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Interview with @KevinHenrikson of @Acompli, hot mobile startup with Pune connections

Mobile email startup Acompli has been in the news recently for raising $7.3 million in funding.

Kevin Henrikson, co-founder Acompli, has a long history with Pune, and Acompli has a 4-person team in Pune which is expected to grow. Kevin is visiting Pune this week, and we took the opportunity to interview him for the benefit of PuneTech readers.

Can you give a quick overview of Acompli as you see it?

iPhone Email Just Got a Promotion. Acompli allows professionals to take more action with email on their mobile devices. Leveraging the full capabilities of smartphones, Acompli uniquely combines advanced email, full calendaring, file sharing, predictive search and smart contacts into one powerful app. Request an early invite to the iPhone app at http://www.acompli.com

Can you give an overview of Acompli’s development activities in Pune and overall – in terms of team size, composition, and responsibilities?

Vishwesh Jirgale leads a team of 4. The focus is identical to those in the San Francisco, CA USA office. Make Acompli the best place to work for those focuse on solving the hardest problems for professionals on mobile using email. Team is made up of experienced experts in both the email and mobile space.

Specifically, can you give details of the technology stack you’re working on, the kinds of skills that your team has, and generally the cool technology challenges you’re tackling?

We’ve got a very modern tech stack. Server side Java running on AWS talking to mailboxes on both Gmail and Exchange. We have a Python based Frontend device API proxy and a custom binary TCP based protocol that delivers lightening fast dat to our iOS Objective C client. In short we use the best tech for the task and are very focused on both end-user UX and speed of the application.

How did Acompli land up in Pune? Can you talk about the structure, and other important aspects of this relationship?

9 years ago I started a team in Pune for my last company Zimbra. After 12 trips to Pune in the last 9yrs it’s become like my second home. I know so many people and have so many friends it was an obvious choice for us when starting Acompli. Vishwesh and I connected via mutual friends and we quickly assembled a team from within our networks. Having a team in both Pune and San Francisco is a huge advantage to a small company like Acompli. We get 24/7 coding and operations support. We also get to hire the best talent from two super strong software cities.

Doing geographically distributed development is always a challenge – how are you tackling this problem at Acompli Pune?

Number #1: Hire great people. Great communicators, great engineers. The rest really just falls into line. Also you need to spend time together. I’ll be back in Pune the first week of March. This constant face-time with the team is the best way to build a strong team and great relationship. It’s also the best way to recruit. We are looking to hire a Sr Java Platform engineer and a Sr Android engineer. For communication we use Google Hangouts. It works really well.

(Kevin is visiting Pune this week. Those interested in meeting him should get in touch with him or Vishwesh)

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