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05.25.2021

Featured Founder: John Sung Kim of Jetbridge

Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed John Sung Kim, Founder of Jetbridge, which is an invite-only marketplace for elite software developers and VC-backed startups.

What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?

I'm a serial entrepreneur. I was working in a call center for Schwab which inspired me to create Five9 - the first virtual call center technology. My young cousin Steve passed away from NH Lymphoma, which is the reason I started DoctorBase.  I was teaching software development & design to post-grads in Ukraine and Poland, so I launched JetBridge my current company (a community of elite international engineers).

What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?

Most non-technical founders have no idea how to scout and vet technical talent, and top coders in the USA are beyond the financial reach of most non- FAANG companies, so our clients come to JetBridge to find the best engineers internationally.  Seeing our clients launch successful products, get funding and build international remote engineering teams thrills me every day.

Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?

Understanding the different cultures and communication nuances between our engineers in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Belize, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, and San Francisco took quite a bit of time, but well worth it for my global education. The only way for me to solve it was to spend time with each of my teammates visiting the countries, speaking at the local universities, and making techie friends in all our hiring locations.

Where do you see your company headed next?

IPO or bust.

Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.

If you don't have a technical co-founder that is either a) innately brilliant and/or b) built a commercially successful application before, you're going to be in for some long, extended pain which you won't be able to diagnose as a non-technical founder. Don't skimp on this important piece of your team - you'll pay dearly later when your platform gets exposed and new features take forever to build.
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Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective
We are a startup collective — curators of experiences, resources, and environment that help forward-thinking founders and their teams thrive in Tampa Bay, FL.
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