Sidekick was born out of frustration. Nathan Jean, one of the co-founders, was becoming increasingly busier as he was growing his software development company. He was being booked for multiple meetings during the same time slot. Occasionally being stood up as a result of miscommunications while setting the meeting and feeling the pain of trying to schedule group meetings with clients and team members drove Nate to look for solutions.
So like any savvy person living in a world where we can just “google it”, Nathan did just that. He started researching software that could help him with his calendar, scheduling meetings, and make his life easier. He found a few tools, but none were sophisticated enough to fit his needs.
Keep in mind, Nate is a software engineer that writes custom code for a living. So after not finding software that worked for him, he set out to build his own.
Nate decided to bring the idea of Sidekick before two friends in the mobile app industry, Chris Ake and Jon Butler. Both of them immediately loved the idea of Sidekick because they both had felt the frustration of scheduling meetings and not wanting to hire an assistant. All three of them teamed up and set out to build Sidekick.
About The Founders
Behind every great company and product are people on the warpath. We wanted to give you some background about the Sidekick founders.
Jon Butler, Founder Sidekick
Jon has been partners with Chris Ake since early 2012. They both worked side by side to build Grandapps, a serviced based company that focused on mobile app development. Grandapps is an award-winning mobile app development company that has launched over 500 projects since 2011 and has clients from around the world. Jon was a crucial driving factor in the growth of Grandapps. The company was bootstrapped and started in the basement of a chiropractor’s office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jon is currently the CEO of Grandapps and manages daily operations. Jon had become very familiar with the software industry because Grandapps is a reseller for a mobile app SaaS software.
Jon Butler adds vast knowledge and experience to Sidekick that ranges from management, sales, and finances. As Sidekick grows and scales, Jon will wear more hats in the company.
Chris Ake, CEO Sidekick
As mentioned above, Chris Ake has worked with Jon Butler over the past several years at Grandapps. Chris is no stranger when it comes to start-ups and software. He helped build Grandapps from the ground floor and has invested and launched multiple companies since the founding of his first company.
Chris was named a 40 Under 40 winner in 2019 for his home city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. When the opportunity of Sidekick was brought to him, he loved the idea of spearheading the company and bringing the product to market. His partners Jon Butler and Nathan Jean agreed he would be the best fit to sit in as CEO and lead the bootstrapped company. With his experience in sales, marketing, and product software development, he was a perfect fit for the role.
Chris is currently the CEO of Sidekick and his main focus is to get Sidekick 1.0 ready for a January 1st, 2020 launch.
Nathan Jean, Founder Sidekick
Nate has been a software developer for over eight years. He started as a freelancer for many years before deciding to build a software development agency. Just a few years into running a company, the idea of Sidekick was born. Nate is the lead engineer for Sidekick and brings the technical software development skills. He is a very talented software developer and Sidekick is lucky to have him on the team. Nate has always been fascinated with machine learning and artificial intelligence, and Sidekick will be his first attempt at building the world’s smartest scheduling software for people.
He will lead product development and oversee the Sidekick software.