Allentrepreneur’s first interview is with american entrepreneur Francisco Guerra. From his early brush with the world of magic to his creation of special effects factory SnowMasters, Francisco has most kept one thing constant all throughout his life’s work : the “wow” factor. His latest invention is the very cool flying logos marketing technique aka Flogos which was covered here earlier.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m a 39 year old inventor born in Cuba and immigrated to the States when I was 5. At a young age there was an inclination to magic; illusions fascinated me. In my early 20’s I invented a process of making it snow. This new technology was called evaporative snow. I formulated my first special effect factory called SnowMasters.
What is your company about ?
For the past 15 years we’ve been designing special effects for the movie and special event industry. In our Northern Alabama R&D facility, we have been working on unusual new technologies.
How did the idea for Flogos come about ?
About 7 years ago, a colleague of mine, Dr. Brian Glover, started on the notion what if we could make clouds? Then the next question came, what if we could make clouds in the shape of logos ? Seven years later, we developed the technology. We call it FLOGOS. The new industry has been born for skyvertising.
Did you start off alone ?
If it wasn’t for the resources of SnowMasters R&D department, we would have never been able to. It helps when you have a fleet of engineers and a facility equipped to make prototypes.
What is the toughest thing about having partners ?
As a general rule of thumb, I don’t like partnerships but Brian and I have partnered on other inventions and have worked very well together.
The coolest ?
We split up our resources. I handle the manufacturing and Brian handles the chemistry.
How did you go about looking for financing for Flogos ?
In this case, I used my own resource which is SnowMasters.
Have you thought about raising outside money such as VCs or angel investors ?
This project is actually larger than anticipated. My next step is either become a publicly traded company or be acquired by a larger entity.
What has been your marketing strategy ?
In the sky. Every single potential client that sees a Flogo signs into the program. The response is overwhelming. The inquiries flood our e-mail server. It appears that every major advertising agency has made contact and is proposing Flogos to their clients for their next new campaign.
What consequences to your personnal life has the move towards entrepreneurship brought ?
In my case, continually reinventing oneself and adjusting to the economy and finding new markets to develop is a drive that cannot be stopped.
What are the 3 toughest challenges your company has faced so far ?
1. Designing a simple unit.
2. Designing a specialized fluid that will adhere the Flogos.
What are your goals for the short-term future ?
Establishing distribution throughout the world.
Becoming a publicly traded company.
My last question is what advice would you give to a young person with entrepreneurial ambitions ?
Keep dreaming of ways to improve the way people do things. I have found that if something has never been done before, then I’d like to be the first. This attitude is needed when one wants to become an entrepreneur. Work hard, find advice you need from those who have made it. Be careful from taking advice from those who have not made it.
Finding advice from those who have made it is precisely what this blog is about and it’s good to know that there are entrepreneurs who believe in the same practice. Should the need to have your head in corporate clouds arise, you’ll now know where to look. Thank you to Francisco Guerra for this excellent interview and congratulations on this entrepreneurial endeavours. Check out the SnowMasters website as well as Flogos‘ to learn more and be sure to leave your comments.