Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble. Heckerty is here!

Broomstick Productions is Archimedes Labs latest portfolio company to launch into the world. Jan Ziff and Allan Davidson have a very special person in their life – Jan’s Mom. Or, because – like myself – Jan is from Yorkshire in the North of England, I should say Jan’s Mum…..


Jan’s Mum had the very special privilege of telling stories to the children of Prince Charles, either the future King of England or at the very least the father of the future King of England.

During her stint at that very unusual job she developed the character of Heckerty(TM) the Witch and her trusted sidekick, Zanzibar(TM) the cat. These stories have never been published before, and certainly never been animated. As Jan herself says:


When Princess Diana wanted to send her sons, Princes William and Harry, to weekly musical storytelling sessions as part of their education (click the links to see rare photos of the young princes), she chose my mother, Ann Rachlin.So when my mom asked Allan and me whether we were interested in bringing one of her favorite story characters to mobile devices, we jumped at the chance!
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Bringing Heckerty’s gentle, zany adventures to life for kids around the world was just too good to pass up! I had grown up with Heckerty’s magic and we both loved my mother’s many CDs and books (iTunesAmazon).

Today, they are available on the iPad, iPhone and on the Kindle Fire.

Meet Heckerty is the first of many stories to come and we feel sure that, Hollywood will soon be knocking on the door of Broomstick Productions seeking to take these adorable characters and stories to the big screen

Blurtt launches in the app store

I first met Jeanette Cajide early in 2011. She was a founder at Blurtt – a company that was then focused on delivering a web based photo-upload service, permitting users to send printed postcards of said photos to friends via mail.

A few things were quickly obvious.


1. Blurtt is a great name, but not for sending postcards.

2. Mobile is the right place to develop what Blurtt could be.

3. Blurtt should let people Blurtt things out…..

4. Combining images with text produces a very powerful means of communicating emotion-rich messages.

5. Jeanette is a force of nature and simply refuses to fail.


So, Blurtt became archimedes labs second acceleration company, after Tomer Kagan’s Quixey. The 12 months since have been great. Jeanette weathered many storms, and succeeded in building a set of relationships that allowed her to ship her product today, with significantly less than $100,000 spent. You can get it from the app store now.

I couldn’t be more thrilled for Jeanette, Laura, Kuba and the team at Dialexa in Texas…..Congrats

I know that the team is planning lots of new features. Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.




Archimedes Labs opens for business

Palo Alto, CA, 12 December 2011

Today is an exciting day at Archimedes Ventures. We have some announcements to make.

Firstly, going forward we will be known as Archimedes Labs LLC. This is to make clear that we are an incubator, not a venture capital company.

Secondly, we can now announce that in August this year I established a managing entity – Escondido Labs LLC. It has been the sole manager of Archimedes since that time.

Thirdly, we can reveal that in the future investors will be added at Archimedes Labs as partners in the entity.

Finally we are announcing the following members (aside from myself) at Escondido Management LLC:

Kambiz Hooshmand – Former senior executive at Stratacom which Cisco acquired for over $4 billion in 1996; Cisco SVP; and CEO at Applied Micro (AMCC), Kambiz is now CEO and a General Partner at Escondido Management and runs the management of Archimedes Labs.

Patrick Gannon, a founder at Lending Club, Patrick is Chief Investment Officer at Escondido Management.

Kevin Doerr, VP and Chief of Staff (Products) at Yahoo.

Matt Kaufman, VP Product and Engineering at Oodle.

Bess Ho – Mobile Architect, Lecturer & Book Author.

See the team page for more details.

In the first 11 months of 2011 we have incubated, entered into an acceleration agreement as a co-founder at Blurtt and invested in Quixey, Incident Technologies and Broomstick Productions.

In 2012 we intend to do more incubations and accelerations.

Happy Holidays to all….

Blurtt joins Archimedes accelerator program

Blurtt – an Austin, Texas based startup has joined the Archimedes accelerator program. The company is in stealth and will launch in early 2012. We are pleased to welcome CEO Jeanette Cajide and her team to the Archimedes family.