What single Louisville company is part of the same fraternity as Airbnb and Dropbox? It's a company called WeatherCheck, and they now are an alumnus of the prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator Y-Combinator. They're the first and only Y-Combinator company to date from Kentucky!
Demetrius Gray, Founder of WeatherCheck, and Co-Founder Jermaine Watkins recently returned from their 4-month stint with the accelerator, and it has proven to be an amazing accelerator for their company.
In this podcast, I have an in-depth conversation with Demetrius and learned:
◊ more about his background and how he became and entrepreneur,
◊ how WeatherCheck got started and raised early seed capital,
◊ how they got into Y-Combinator,
◊ what they learned from Y-Combinator that can apply to our startup community, and
◊ where they're headed.
This is a must-listen podcast for our startup community and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Transcript (This was machine transcribed. Please forgive the typos.)
Alan: 00:00:01 Hi everybody. Welcome to the MetroStart podcast. This is Alan Grosheider, and today I'm interviewing Demetrius Gray. He's a founder of WeatherCheck and the first Louisville area company to, I think. right Demetrius, ever get into Y-Combinator?
Demetrius: 00:00:18 Yeah, man. The first actually in the state of Kentucky. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. That's, wow.
Alan: 00:00:25 That's pretty amazing because that's one of those, if you're an entrepreneur, you've heard of y Combinator and you've heard of Airbnb and I guess Dropbox and some of the big companies that have gone through y Combinator. So congratulations man. That's amazing.
Demetrius: 00:00:39 Man. It was, it was a heck of an experience. I mean we, uh, we were out there for like three months and I'm like, I'm just telling you, you know, I'm out there still once a month for about a week at a time and um, it's been really cool to kind of, um, build a little bit of a bridge to the bay area, um, with a heck of a lot of access.
Alan: 00:01:02 Yeah. And I think I'm excited because it seems like that access is going to be good for other companies in our area, since you guys are pretty tied into the startup community. And in fact, you know, you and I have, have, have some combined founders and, and you know, I, hopefully it's going to be good for the whole startup community. It's those connections kind of take off. Okay. All right, well why don't we start, let's kind of get an idea about, I like to find out what got somebody started being an entrepreneur and it seems like there's a lot of common common denominators that, you know, got somebody that made somebody want to be an entrepreneur. So I'm just curious, you know, about growing up and what got, what made you want to be an entrepreneur? Would you do, what was your, your childhood like were you an entrepreneur as a kid? Those sorts of things.
Demetrius: 00:01:54 Yeah. So, um, so you've heard of the Book Rich Dad, Poor Dad? Yeah, I probably will eventually write a book called Black Dad White Dad.
Alan: 00:02:06 Okay.
Demetrius: 00:02:08 Um, my mother actually married a, um, petroleum engineer, white guy from, um, uh, central California, um, Stanford educated, um, petroleum engineer. Um, his, his, his father actually had invented the horizontal drill, um, for the oil and gas industry, which really kind of, um, opened my world. And then, um, my, uh, grandmother on that side, um, her father had invented a form of die casting, um, called Granger's. Dot Casting and southern California. And so, um, it was really my first sort of foray into entrepreneurship, having watched to them I'm running oil and gas proliferation company, um, that was eventually sold to Halliburton. Um, then, uh, before that, um, then watching my, my great grandfather Harlow's,