Alex Mathews was shocked at how much custom manufacturers would pay for the software he and business partner Param Shah developed. Thus FactoryFour was born.
, Johns Hopkins Magazine
Published Fall 2018
Alex Mathews hadn’t planned on becoming an entrepreneur—especially not while still in college. But in his junior year, Mathews met Param Shah through the Hodson Trust Scholarship Program. Shah told him about the production challenges he faced with his nonprofit, the Lotus Life Foundation, which delivers medical devices to children in remote areas of India. Mathews created a software platform that enabled Lotus Life to accurately produce orthotics and prosthetics customized for individual patients, and in 2016, Mathews and Shah founded their first business, Fusiform. They soon discovered, however, that their software could also serve the custom design-and-build needs of a range of industries, which up until now have lacked viable software for managing product specifications and performance data. In 2017, they launched the manufacturing software company FactoryFour (maintaining Fusiform as a subsidiary) with support from the Baltimore venture capital fund community, quickly growing to 16 employees with a current plan to double in size within the next year.
How did your personal and educational background prepare you for launching FactoryFour?
I did a lot of computer science work in high school, so I had a head start. My freshman year, I met Jamasen Rodriguez, A&S ’15, a fellow Hodson Scholar who was a year ahead of me. Along with some other friends, we launched Jama Cocoa, which specialized in single-origin chocolate truffles. I was the chief technology officer, developing our e-commerce platform. We didn’t make a lot of money but were successful enough to be bought out by an initial investor. That really changed my preconceived notions of entrepreneurship.
Read the rest of the article at here at Johns Hopkins Magazine