Startup Spotlight: Blockpad, Functional Programming for Everyone

Our Startup Spotlight series highlights New Orleans-based entrepreneurs going through The Idea Village‘s accelerator program for innovative, high-growth ventures. 

Next up is Blockpad, founded by Charles Babbitt, that builds on the convenience and simplicity of spreadsheets. Blockpad is built around dynamic files that integrate traditional spreadsheets, word processing, and 2D and 3D drawings. Read our interview with Babbitt below:

[Silicon Bayou] Describe your company in two sentences or less.

[Babbitt] Blockpad makes a new kind of spreadsheet software. It is especially for engineering calculations, but it can save time and avoid mistakes for anyone who uses spreadsheets.

How did you come up with the idea behind your company?

When I got into computers as a hobby in high school, I dreamed of the next generation of software for spreadsheets, documents, and drawings. That never came. Instead, working in the engineering industry, I was frustrated with how much engineering work is done in sprawling uncheckable spreadsheets, or even by writing out long calculations on paper.

Why is your solution the best one for your customers?

Our software is the spreadsheet of the future. It offers greater power and clarity, without giving up convenience. Also, it is a smooth transition from other spreadsheet and math software.

And why are you the team to make this happen?

Coming from the industry, our team has a unique commitment to delivering exactly what our customers demand. We are laying the groundwork to scale up.

Why do you think New Orleans was the best place for you to found this company in?

Being outside the bubble of Silicon Valley, New Orleans is a great place to develop ideas that challenge convention. This is a city that inspires creativity, and it has a supportive entrepreneurial community.

Tell me about a current goal you are working towards with your company.

One current goal is to surpass 1000 daily active users this year.

What’s a challenge you are currently facing as a company?

So many engineers never imagined that something like this could exist. As we grow, the challenge is sparking people’s curiosity so they can imagine how to incorporate our tools into their work.

What has been your proudest moment so far as one of the founders of this company. 

Getting our first paying customer outside my professional network has been my proudest moment. It is rewarding to see this become an indispensable tool.

What’s a fact about yourself that people would be surprised to hear. 

Even though I love running this software company, my larger passion is building real-life things. One day I hope to tackle water and infrastructure problems in New Orleans.