Chris Miano & His Journey from the Army to Founding a SaaS Startup

Chris Miano is the founder of MemoryFox.io, a platform for collecting and organizing content to support better storytelling by brands to inspire action. Chris began his entrepreneurial training as a platoon leader in Iraq at the ripe age of 23. He shares his transition from a distinguished military career back into civilian life, ultimately culminating in the creation of MemoryFox. We barely scratch the surface of his startup story; however, Chris is an incredibly insightful guy, and you’re sure to gain a new perspective about entrepreneurship from our 35-minute conversation. Enjoy!

Chris and CJ Discuss Starting a Business, the Impact of Non-Profits on Society, and of course, the Buffalo Bills

 

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Episode Overview

  • Chris had to grow up quickly having been plopped into Iraq to lead a platoon at the age of 23, tasked with solving very real problems of the people on the ground. He quickly adopted an entrepreneurial mindset to aid him in reaching his goals, a quality that was somewhat abrasive to the very traditional, older sergeant majors and colonels around him. 
  • Of the many skills he acquired in the process of leading dozens of people, he acknowledges empathy as being the most critical, no matter what the arena: politics, sales, the military, or marketing. 
  • The transition from the military back into civilian life is a complex one. Chris explains how he had to recalibrate his qualifications upon returning to the U.S. and what his entrepreneurial journey looked like. His options were either to start in a low level position at a local company and work his way up to the level he left off when he served, or to create the job he wanted. He had no doubts that he could put in the time and make up ground eventually, but his personality was better suited for startup culture. 
  • Some people thrive being a part of a team, and others are better suited for leading the team, setting the schedule, and bringing people together. Chris is the latter. This self-awareness led him to take entrepreneurial classes at the University at Buffalo.
  • MemoryFox began as an interviewing tool to capture the memories and histories of pre-dementia elderly before their stories were lost forever. 
  • There’s this next gear that kicks into effect when you take on a project of your own volition rather than being directed into it--when you’re truly aligned with the mission of a company or project. 
  • Today, MemoryFox continues to aid storytelling, but with a different target market. MemoryFox helps businesses, for or not for profit, gather community-generated content to tell their stories.
  • Without overstating things, Chris finds fulfillment in saving the memories of these brands, the stories of the hard-working missions out there, and securing that peace of mind for his users that the memories created by their foundations aren’t being lost to time. This is especially so when he reflects on the impact nonprofits have on our society. He views them as the ones tending the soil in which the tree of society grows. 
  • In true Buffalo fashion, we wrap up our conversation swapping predictions on the remainder of the NFL season. Go Bills! 

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