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Bill Boebel '99

Bill Boebel

Founder, Pingboard

Class of '99

I’m a serial problem solver, company builder and adventure seeker. Got my first job at age seven, and I’ve been working ever since. I dropped out of Virginia Tech to start my first company, Webmail in Blacksburg during the dotcom bubble. Then I sold that company to Rackspace, moved to Austin, TX and co-founded Capital Factory. From there, I ran a startup studio, eventually spinning out Pingboard, where I am currently CEO. As long as I keep finding unsolved problems that I can solve, I'll keep starting companies or investing in others to start.

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The work project/initiative I'm most excited about...

the world changed big time in 2020 and created a lot of new problems to solve. B2B SaaS [business to business software as a service] was getting a bit mature and boring pre-COVID. It's exciting again because the way we work has permanently changed and there is a lot of new stuff to build!

 

Unlike a lot of CEO's I know, I...

am not very good at being CEO. I like to start things and get into the details, and often that's messy. But I've surrounded myself by great people who help me be a better CEO.

 

One of my mottos...

if you want to be great at something, just start doing it. Don't over think it.

 

Fondest Virginia Tech memory...

the extreme work-hard / play-hard cycle that my friends and I had. We partied hard on the weekend, but were very focused on school Monday through Friday. It seems exhausting now to think back on that.

 

I stay connected with fellow Hokies by...

hiring Hokies at my companies. Hanging out with Hokies in Austin.

 

If I had a superpower, it would be...

seeing slightly into the future.

 

The coolest company I've invested in recently...

Armbrust USA -- a software founder in Austin dropped everything in early 2020 to build a face mask factory for COVID, now producing millions of masks per month. They've scaled faster than I've ever seen and are solving a real supply-chain problem since most face masks are not produced in the USA.

 

The most formative experience I've had...

the first 2 years of founding and running Webmail. We pivoted 6 times, experienced the dotcom bubble burst, and learned to build, scale and sell a business through trial and error.

 

Words of encouragement to a current Virginia Tech student...

the job market is hot, especially for engineers, and especially software engineers. And companies now are willing to hire people remotely anywhere, paying top dollar. You can really find your dream job anywhere now and work how, where and when you want to work. (Previously that was only achievable if you started your own company)

 

Who would play me in a biopic...

Jason Sudeikis