founder and CEO, Bluebridge
Going mobile: “Mobile computing is here to stay,” said Santiago Jaramillo, founder and CEO of Bluebridge, creator of mobile apps. “It’s the first technology to beat the TV in number of hours that consumers spend on it.” Yet he believes many businesses still haven’t grasped the importance of mobile technology. “It’s still like the early days of the Internet when businesses asked, ‘Why do I have to have a website?’”
Picking targets: Bluebridge intentionally focuses on markets with a clear value for apps, specializing in tourism. He and his team have created apps for regions as close as Hamilton County and as far as South Africa. Such tourist hubs as Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Kissimmee, Florida, also use Bluebridge. The firm also is used by churches (including Church at the Crossing) and colleges from Purdue University to the University of Hawaii.
Minding his own businesses: Jaramillo had no friends or family in Indiana when he moved to the state to attend Indiana Wesleyan University. His family had settled in South Florida after moving from Colombia, where, at age 7, he had started his first business, delivering water to neighbors. Entrepreneurial spark ignited, he created music classes for kids while in high school in Florida and organized camps and launched a transportation and storage company while at Indiana Wesleyan. Afforded the chance to work at ExactTarget’s Sydney, Australia, office, he fell in love with high-growth tech with a strategy of “software as a service for recurring revenue.”
Partnering up: Having the right business partners is key. “I love the people side and vision side of the company, and my partners take the sides that they are really great at. I offload to them and I get to be in my sweet spot.”
Away from the screen: A relaxing getaway for Jaramillo can be scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, salmon fishing in Alaska, or mountain climbing in Peru. His charitable focus is often international, as well. He works with the Water is Life program to provide clean water in Africa and with an orphanage in his hometown to teach computer certification to help reduce cyclical poverty.•