Who says you need to live in Silicon Valley to launch a successful tech startup? Not Julie and Dennis Roche, who started Burbio.com from their busy house in Pelham. As the parents of four children, now ages 13–19, the Roches found it hard to keep track of constantly changing team schedules and community events. “It seemed like we were spending hours checking our calendar,” says Julie.
There had to be a better way, they thought, but they couldn’t find the automated solution they wanted. So they set out to build it. Julie enrolled in Web-development and programming classes and soon built a tech team. “She would get up at 4 a.m. and Skype with our overseas developers,” recalls Dennis.
Two years ago, they launched Burbio, which offers an online calendar-sharing application, an iPhone app, and a new option that allows any Westchester business to add its events onto Amazon’s voice service, Alexa, for $20 per month. The Roches have raised more than $1 million from private investors and now count over 200,000 users and more than 150 advertisers.
Burbio’s initial listings have drawn on public calendars issued by schools, municipalities, and sports teams in towns including Ardsley, Larchmont, Lewisboro, New Castle, New Rochelle, Ossining, and Pelham. They are also expanding nationally.
Recently, Burbio was chosen by Google to be one of 14 global partners to have its events listed in local search — meaning a Burbio listing may come up alongside events from Ticketmaster and Meetup. “It’s been an exciting year for us,” says Dennis.