By Leah S. McDaniel
Tech. Start-up. Incubator. These are the buzzwords of the hour and entrée into this industry can be elusive. Meet the man who has it figured out, Jarryd A. McCree.
Leading three successful companies by the time he was 30, McCree, vice president of Products at LateShift, is a tech guru who is addicted to entrepreneurship.
“I’m addicted to building companies and growing them,” McCree says.
McCree got his start in tech early, catching the bug after his first computer science class in high school which appealed to his pragmatic nature with a balance of creativity. Having grown up in metro Atlanta, he attended the Georgia Institute of Technology where he was the captain of the rugby team and qualified for the south U.S. National under t23 squad. After graduating in 2008, he began working as an IT consultant with several FORTUNE 100 companies.
After working corporately for several years, he decided to branch out on his own, working with partners to found his first company Eboticon®, an emoji app that offered multicultural options before it was an iOS standard.
“Once we launched, we were number one in the iTunes App Store for social media which was incredibly exciting,” McCree recalls. “And we won a couple of local awards here in Atlanta.”
After Eboticon®, McCree was off and running, starting work almost immediately with his second companySmartUp®, which is an online platform that allows startups and small businesses to easily connect with legal entities for a variety of services.
“I kind of realized, in the beginning, a lot of entrepreneurs understand the technical aspect, but the legal side is just a giant black box; my partners and I wanted to take the difficulty out of that.”
SmartUp® also includes a patent platform which simplifies a business component for entrepreneurs that can often be expensive and difficult to obtain. This experience led McCree to get involved with ClientSIde®, the leading electronic signature system for the legal industry.
Recently, McCree became involved in a new venture, LateShift — a consumer-facing financial empowerment platform aimed at using tech to work with financial institutions and big companies enabling consumers to take control of their financial health.
“The tech side will be massive, but I can’t speak to it too much as we are still in stealth mode, McCree shares. “But, I am so excited for this; there are 77 million people in debt in this country and I want to help them.”
McCree credits the open and dynamic Atlanta tech community with how he decides where he wants to invest his time.
“Through this community I meet a lot of different people and I always want to use technology to help people. In Atlanta, people will give without expecting anything back; they just want you to succeed and I just love that about it.”
McCree gives back through speaking both locally at his alma mater and through other organizations, and strongly encourages anyone who is interested in getting involved in tech to reach out to him or others in the Atlanta community.
“The tech scene here is amazing. It doesn’t matter your age or background; if you’ve ever thought about wanting to get involved, do it.”
When he’s not blazing new trails on the tech scene, you can find him thrill seeking in other areas. “Every year, I try to do something that scares me to death,” McCree says.
These feats have included everything from climbing Mt. Rainier to this year flying a helicopter. “Fly high, fly free,” which is one McCree’s favorite quotes, accurately describes his boundless potential in this fast moving industry. With the growth of opportunities to gain programming skills, McCree thinks this could be the next big space in tech.
“[According to] a study by Intuit, by 2020, 40 percent of Americans will be independent laborers through programming and we will begin to see the growth of big economies in this area over the next few years.” AT