Mark R. Hinkle of TriggerMesh

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Mark R. Hinkle (co-founder and CEO) of TriggerMesh, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of TriggerMesh – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

Back in 2018 my partner, Sebastien Goasguen, and I were looking to start a company. Sebastien had created one of the first serverless frameworks, Kubeless.  When Google announced the release of the open source Knative serverless project for Kubernetes at Google Next 2018, they quoted executives from SAP, IBM, Red Hat, T-Mobile, and a yet to be incorporated company, TriggerMesh. 

Soon thereafter GitLab CEO and co-founder, Sid Sijbrandij, came knocking and asked us if we could create the serverless publishing platform for their fast-growing DevOps platform. So we scrambled to incorporate and used that work to fund the creation of TriggerMesh

Early on, we thought that serverless users would need help managing the serverless lifecycle management and publishing to multiple platforms. However, over time, we found that the real need was to trigger serverless functions from a variety of sources. Therefore, we began focusing on automating workflows from cloud service to cloud service and from on-premises applications. The technical category for what we do is enabling event-driven infrastructure

Today we see that, beyond just Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, more and more companies are multi-cloud. They are using cloud services from Salesforce, Twilio, Slack, Zendesk, Datadog, Splunk, and others. We want to provide ways to create those workflows, as well as provide a way to integrate between their legacy and on-premises software like Oracle, SAP, and virtually any other system from modern systems to mainframes.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

I suppose our first challenge was raising the capital to fund our company. We were good at piquing the interest of investors but not as savvy about where the company was going to go, at least at this time. However, we were fortunate to have the support of Index Ventures and Crane Venture Partners who saw early on that we were onto something.

However, I think the hardest part was figuring out the product-market fit for our technology. As is often the case with technologists, we tend to talk a lot about technology and not the benefits. As we got into conversations with customers, we found out that they were under pressure to be more agile. They needed to access data and services from a variety of sources and their only solution was to create custom, hard to maintain connections. Positioning ourselves as a way to standardize these customizations has been very successful.

What does the future hold for Triggermesh?

We plan to grow the company. In November, we released our first product, TriggerMesh 1.0, which can be deployed on-premise or consumed as a cloud service. We are receiving an incredible amount of positive feedback on what we are doing. We hope to start adding customers and help solve their needs for digital transformation, automation, and integration. We hope to grow our workforce into a much broader cultural and technical background. We’d love to be a model for how companies are built in the future, operating virtually but without the encumbrances of geography. We also strive to be an ethical company and a fun place to work.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Cary?

This one is a tough one because we love our town and we have a center of gravity in Cary. However, we are a virtual company with a presence on three continents and just recently retained a space in Apex, NC which borders Cary. However, we haven’t seen a ton of local interest, and the advent of COVID-19 has made it hard to get out and about. Though we are a member of the Council for Economic Development, we are big believers in living and working where we choose. I suspect that this is the future for many companies. However, Cary is extremely attractive because it has a great cost of living. Additionally, there’s access to great talent from NC State, University of North Carolina, and Duke, as well as a huge talent pool concentrated around the Research Triangle Park.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t compromise your values and your integrity to get started. Be your authentic self. It’s tempting to tell people what they want to hear even when it conflicts with your own views and values. Don’t do it. You can’t put that tiger back in the cage.


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2 thoughts on “Mark R. Hinkle of TriggerMesh

  • Shelly Livingston

    Congratulations, Mark on you achievements and hard work. This is wonderful news. I admit I do not understand all this but know that it is the future.

  • Raphael Cuthbertson

    Congratulations Mark!

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