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Cleveland Tech Newsletter Features Wisr CTO

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Cleveland Tech Newsletter Features Wisr CTO

Originally published in Cleveland Tech Newsletter

Ari Lewis 

Name: Kris Ciccarello
Title: CTO at Wisr
Favorite restaurant in town? Red
Favorite thing about Cleveland? The Metroparks

Q: Kris, tell us about your journey. What led you to co-founding Wisr? I started programming young – before high school – trying to figure out how to get extra minutes on our AOL monthly subscription, if anyone remembers those. After college, I worked at a custom software shop on all kinds of different applications and learned a lot about many different businesses, and how to help them solve their problems. It was basically like an applied version of going to business school while sharpening programming skills at the same time. After doing that for a while, it led to me wanting to work on my own business and my own sets of problems, so I started looking into the local startup scene in Cleveland. After getting my feet wet by making a move to lead engineering efforts on a B2B online auction platform, I started an online writing platform called Beegit with some local entrepreneurs. A lot of lessons were learned there, but it was a successful journey that had many complex technical challenges to solve. Beegit ended up becoming NgageContent, an inbound marketing and technology company, and they’re still doing well. During that time, I had been talking with one of my current partners, John Knific, about a cool idea to create an online platform to help college students and engage college alums by giving them an outlet to volunteer their time by helping current students jumpstart their career networking before graduation. It turned out that idea came from Kate Volzer, who had been busy researching and drumming up demand for a product to meet that need. After meeting Kate, I jumped in and started building the product, and the rest is history.


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