Hacking in high school led to high-tech global company

May 14, 2016 | By Frank Witsil | Detroit Free Press 

Vectorform Co Founders
Vectorform cofounders Jason Vazzano, left and Kurt Steckling.

Jason Vazzano and Kurt Steckling, co-CEOs of Vectorform, are creating virtual reality and other leading-edge technology for major companies in Michigan and around the world.

Some of it is so secret, it’s developed in a room with no windows.

In an interview together in their Royal Oak offices earlier this month, they said that even before they started their high-tech firm, they were finding ways to push technological and mechanical boundaries as Brother Rice High School students. They constantly found ways to pull pranks that put them on disciplinary probation.

“I think we met in detention together,” Vazzano said. “Kurt and I have always had an ambition to push what’s possible — whether that’s making our cars go faster or just hacking things to do things that aren’t necessarily possible. If there was a boundary, we’d break it.”

Vazzano, 38, and Steckling, 39, point out they are close in age — just 13 days apart — and have similar interests, which includes home automation. But Vazzano, perhaps because he has a close-trimmed beard with a few grey whiskers, looks older than Steckling, who is clean shaven.

In dividing up responsibilities, Vazzano handles more of the sales, while Steckling focuses more on operations.

They started the company in a downtown Detroit office building while still in college. They’ve grown to 140 employees, under $25 million in revenues and additional offices in Seattle, New York, Munich, Germany, and Hyderabad, India.

They designed the NBC interactive touch-screen maps used in the 2008 presidential elections.

And one of their latest projects is a virtual reality training simulations for DTE.

In an edited conversation, the founders talked about how their tech company came into being, where virtual reality technology is headed and what companies and other entrepreneurs should — and shouldn’t do — to be successful:

View full article at Detroit Free Press 

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