Get to Know Entrepreneur and CEO of SpokeHub Robert Hartsfield
By Durham Chamber of Commerce / Published 08.17.18Back to Feed
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
Through the breadth and depth of my career prior to SpokeHub and in the year since our launch, I have watched the mission I have for this company come to life which is inspiring the next generation. I’ve been told countless stories of men and women, young and old, being inspired to chase their dreams as a result of watching how SpokeHub is changing the way we communicate.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I like to prep for an important business meeting or event by first being in a quiet setting and having time to really collect my thoughts. I know this may sound cliché, however, it is so important to have a settled spirit and a clear vision so you can listen and be well prepared. As I am getting dressed, I like to listen to gospel music to get focused and reflect on my “why.”
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
The quality that I look for is authenticity when building relationships. This is extremely significant in that you want to know exactly who you are building and growing with.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
My father would tell me growing up that God will never put more on you than you can bear. Those words stuck with me more than I ever knew. One of the greatest examples of struggle that I experienced was in 2009. The country was experiencing one of the worst markets in history. The company that I was working for at the time had laid off almost half of the company and I was one of those affected. This was my first time ever experiencing anything like this. One week later, my daughter Leah Grace, who was 5 at the time, was having high fevers and rashes that the doctors could not explain. The doctors went almost a year without having a diagnosis but the fevers and rash were still there and still no answers. They narrowed it down to three categories: infectious disease, rheumatology, or oncology. The first category (infectious disease) was immediately ruled out, which left the possibility of cancer or a rheumatology condition. The doctors set up a bone marrow test where she would have to go through this surgery to rule out leukemia. The doctors came back with the results immediately after that she did not have leukemia, which we were so thankful for. A few weeks later, the doctors came back with the diagnosis of Juvenille Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). Throughout all of this, Leah Grace never complained one time, she approached each doctor’s appointment with a level of confidence, strength, humility, and gratitude that left me and the team of doctors in awe. Today, through God’s grace, she is in remission and healthy. Watching her handle this burned into my soul these important qualities of how to handle adversity and to know that God will never put more on you than you can bear. As an entrepreneur, each day presents its own sets of challenges and the key is how you approach it and overcome adversity. One of the main reasons that SpokeHub is off to an incredible start is because our team embodies all of these qualities.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Right now, our focus is on the AR SaaS and data on-demand business solution we offer through SpokeHub. We recently finished an activation with the conference Social Media Day, San Diego as well as an activation with the Atlanta Hawks. In our pipeline we have a pending activation in Jamaica with the largest music distributor in the Caribbean as well as few activations in the southeast with some major global brands. We are focused on generating revenue for the business, growing our users, and using our team to establish SpokeHub as thought leaders in the technology, digital reality industry.
What advice do you have for others who want to make a difference?
The best advice that I would have for others trying to make a difference is to be fearless and to surround yourself with others that share your passion that you can build and grow with. There will be days that are tougher than you can imagine and will test your resiliency and those will be the days you need to dig deep and remember why you started and the impact that you will be making.
One Word That Describes You:
SpokeHub is an AR Social Engagement Platform. We allow businesses to make better decisions faster. (1) Through SpokeHub you can leverage (cutting-edge) AR/VR technology to create an unprecedented interactive experience around your brand. (2) Through that experience you can drive all your customers to 1 place (your dedicated hub) for real time chat & engagement. (3) While your consumers are chatting, we are aggregating the voice of your community and providing real time data analytics through a live dashboard. Our analytics suite provides you with hindsight, insight and foresight; allowing you to always have a pulse on the sentiment of your community, which puts your steps ahead of your competition. (4) Additionally, since SpokeHub exists in a mobile app, you have the opportunity to truly monetize your engagement strategy through sponsorships. We provide you with 4 advertising properties within your hub, you can now offer this digital inventory to your sponsors and create a predictable, repeatable revenue stream.