In the Loop

Make sure you--and your gadgets--know what's going on.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the September 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Serial entrepreneur Fabrizio Capobianco, 36, doesn't scrimp on mobile gadgets. And the specter of unsynchronized address books, vanishing appointments and lagging file revisions that mobile warriors fear led him to found his latest venture, Funambol.

Capobianco often lugs his notebook computer, Windows Mobile smartphone and MP3 player. If he's traveling with his daughter, he might tote a DVD player to keep her distracted. At home, he roams between couch, office or kitchen with a tablet PC.

Capobianco himself splits his time between his home near Funambol's Redwood City, California, headquarters and his native Italy. Although he found a universal charger to keep all his gadgets juiced up, Capobianco was haunted by how to keep his address book, calendar and files synchronized and available to him, his family and his colleagues.

That vexation was the inspiration for Funambol, Capobianco's third startup, which is backed by $10.5 million in venture capital and staffed by 55 people. "At the end of the day, the devices are multiplying, but the data needs to be the same," he says. "The problem of synchronization was just so basic."

Funambol develops software for--you guessed it--keeping multiple address books, calendars and e-mail accounts up-to-date with each other. What makes it extra compelling is that it works with widely available internet services that offer address book and calendar functions, including AOL, Google and Yahoo!. Funambol also works with iPods and cell phones, which are often left out of the data synchronization equation.

Of course, there's more to business than contacts and e-mail. For that, Capobianco's company uses an internal web page where he collaborates with Funambol employees. The company also keeps customer relations files here, so they are a central resource that can be updated by everyone--no matter where they happen to be.

Heather Clancy,.a freelance journalist and consultant, has been covering the high-tech industry for close to 20 years.

More from Entrepreneur

Kim's expertise can help you become a strong leader, pitch VCs for capital, and develop a growth strategy.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.