EPISODE 12: MICHAEL KEONI DEFRANCO
Michael Keoni sits down to talk about starting Lua, sales strategies, having advisors, and even the Hoku’lea
Michael came up with the idea for Lua technologies (secure, mobile-first messaging for the enterprise) in college and achieved product-market fit through initial testing on a film set!
The company has since gone on to go through Techstars NYC (Spring 2012), raise $10M in Venture Capital and boasts clients such as Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines, Spotify, the US Government and many of the top companies in the Healthcare industry.
As Founder, CEO at Lua, Michael Keoni has led the company to its industry-leading position and immense traction in the Healthcare space having achieved the stringent HIPAA compliance status.
Michael Keoni is also a contributor to both Fortune and Forbes, speaks Mandarin and Japanese, and is also a trained chanter (oli) having studied under renowned scholar, author, and kumu hula Dr. Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele.
LINKS AND RESOURCES
Notable People and Entrepreneurs Mentioned
A separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogya Rinpoche
Behind the Cloud by Marc Benioff
Bothsides TV by Mark Suster
AVC by Fred Wilson
Companies and Programs Mentioned
Hawaiian Culture References
1:51 – Keoni’s experiences and influences from living on the east coast
4:25 – What Keoni gained from meeting with leaders of the Shinnecock Tribe
7:04 – Celebrating Polynesian culture in New York City and working with the Shinnecock Indian Tribe
10:32 – Coming up with the idea behind Lua
13:26 – The necessary pivot for Lua
14:49 – How Lua continues to gain feedback on product development
17:30 – Designing an office floor plan for high productivity
20:02 – The meaning behind the name Lua
22:19 – Overcoming obstacles in the early stages of Lua
24:19 – Celebrating large and small milestones
27:14 – The importance of a board of advisors
31:21 – How Keoni shifted roles from developer to leader of a company
33:50 – How Lua uses team based selling
36:54 – The framework to providing the most value to consumers
40:58 – What’s next for Lua
43:08 – Rapid Fire Q&A: What is your favorite thing about Hawaii, what is your favorite beach or place, any favorite blogs or podcasts, recommended books, most significant career accomplishment, any inspiring individuals, final tips for entrepreneurs