January 30, 2014
Carla Valdes co-founded Fortify Ventures where she sat as a General Partner, managed their Distilled Intelligence (DI) event, and supported a portfolio of over 30 companies. Tomorrow she will be setting out on a different path with the launch of her new app, available for iOS, Handpressions; this marks Valdes’ first foray into the world of startups.
“Going through Fortify, I saw things that worked, I saw things that didn’t. I talked to founders and saw their fears,” says Valdes. “Seeing the obstacles they had to overcome prepared me mentally for the startup journey: it’s not a set of skills that makes a startup successful; it’s a successful management of different factors.”
The main function behind Handpressions is simple; users snap photos of their children’s’ hands, feet, or paws – if their children happen to be animals. The photo is then digitally rendered into a print that looks like a classic little-kid school project or a lasting piece of memorabilia.
From there users can select from over 400 design templates to create art that incorporates the digital print. Valdes has also built in a printing service that will deliver the custom created images as gifts and keepsakes directly to peoples’ doorsteps.
To get Handpressions up and running, Valdes held an Advisory Round led by Fortify Ventures, Jonathon Perrelli, and other independent angel investors. She is also going to be opening another funding round in the near future to maintain a successful trajectory as she moves forward.
“I never want people to lose faith in my ability to execute,” says Valdes. “I want to make sure that I’m not going to over promise or under deliver and actually fulfill my own expectations.”
To that end Valdes has taken the necessary steps to prepare the future development of the app as well. Further down the road, users will see the platform transform into more of a memory preservation platform while still holding true to its hand, foot, and paw print creation.
“I ran an accelerator but never ran a company: it’s like going to medical school but never becoming a doctor,” says Valdes. “I have all the skills and knowledge, and it’s time for me to put it to use.”
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