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Stand In CEO Kat Bobbitt and co-founder Asa Miller.

Stand In wants to redefine how mobile apps are designed.

new-logo-with-wordmarkThe Portland-based startup, currently in the Techstars Seattle 2014 class, is developing a platform that allows mobile designers to use a program like Photoshop CC and implement complicated motions and interactions at the same time. The idea is to allow designers to prototype in real time without having to know how to code.

“We’re the interaction design layer on top of their favorite design software,” said CEO Kat Bobbitt.

Prior to starting Stand In, Bobbitt met her co-founder Asa Miller at a mobile design firm in Portland and the pair later started a mobile user-interaction meetup group.

“There we realized that we had the same passion and drive to make the lives of designers better,” Miller said.

We caught up with Miller for this installment of Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire feature.

Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “We’re building a design platform for every device. We want to empower designers to create amazing user experiences for the devices that you use every day.”

Inspiration hit us when: “My co-founder and I both worked at agencies and startups, working on mobile apps, for years. During this time we were frustrated with the workflows that had evolved from the web era. We wanted a solution that integrated into our process rather than adding more steps to it. After kicking the idea around for a while, we decided to quit our jobs and build it.”

VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “All of the above. We started bootstrapping the company for over a year. We’re planning on an Angel round for our seed, and then moving to VC so we can execute on our big vision.”

Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “We’ve built some really amazing technology that automatically builds interactive apps on actual phones and tablets in real-time. Our backgrounds and insight into the space provide us with a unique perspective as well.”

The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Joining Techstars and PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment).”

Stand-In-Screenshot-Interactive-9537a29fWould you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “Bezos. Not only because he’s incredibly thoughtful when it comes to customer experiences, but he also has a passion for space and deep sea submarines.”

Our world domination strategy starts when: “It starts now. Our world is increasingly becoming covered in pixels. Our goal is to help the folks who give meaning to those pixels create amazing things.”

Rivals should fear us because: “We know this space inside and out. We’re incredibly scrappy and can do a lot with very little. It’s our dream to help designers and nothing will stop us.”

We are truly unique because: “Because we are our own customers. We set out to build this because we struggled with the very issues we are solving. We know the space inside and out and are incredibly passionate and dedicated to providing design solutions.”

The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: “Being just two people working on everything from design, engineering, customer care, operations, etc. — it’s incredibly difficult to get everything done. We’re excited to have just hired our first employee, Will, who will be rocking engineering for us.”

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Go out and talk about your idea. Talk to everyone that could potentially be a customer and listen to their story. Don’t approach it in a ‘sales-y’ kind of way. Just learn as much as you can about who you’re building a product for. That way you can learn tons before writing any code. It will give you the confidence to know that you’re on the right track or help you gain the insight to find a better track.”

Editor’s note: GeekWire is featuring each of the 10 startup companies participating in the TechStars Seattle incubator in the lead up to the Demo Day pitch event and launch party on Nov. 6. 

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