Freddie A. Laker
Freddie A. Laker
Freddie Allen Laker
|Occupation||Founder and CEO of Guide|
Freddie Allen Laker is a British-American entrepreneur and the founder of the tech startup Guide. Prior to founding Guide, he launched the Internet service provider Laker.net and the digital agency iChameleon Group, and worked at SapientNitro as the company's vice president of global marketing strategy. He is the son of Freddie Laker, the founder of British airline Laker Airways.
Freddie Laker began his career after dropping out of college and joining his father's company, Laker Airways. The same year, he became a DJ for The Womb, a Miami-based pirate radio station. After being shut down by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the radio station used the Internet to transfer the signal between two antennas, making it the world's first 24-hour Internet radio station. Laker has credited the media attention surrounding this event with launching his career.
Following his time at The Womb, Laker founded Laker.Net, an Internet service provider (ISP) and web design company, which was the fifth ISP in the state of Florida. After seven years, he sold Laker.Net to another ISP, WebUnited (acquired by Host.net), where he worked for a short period as the director of sales before leaving to found iChameleon Group.
Laker's company iChameleon Group was a digital agency with clients including Coca-Cola, Guinness, Taco Bell and Toyota, for whom Laker developed digital marketing campaigns. In 2008, iChameleon Group was acquired by SapientNitro.
Following the acquisition, Laker worked on marketing and strategy for digital campaigns for SapientNitro. He worked out of SapientNitro's Miami office as the director of digital strategy, then moved to Shanghai as the company's executive director of digital strategy for Asia. He later returned to Miami, where he became the company's vice president of global marketing strategy. In 2012, after four years with the company, Laker left to launch Guide.
In 2012, Laker founded the software company Guide. He is currently the company's chief executive officer. The company has developed a visual newsreader app that uses text-to-speech and avatar technologies to convert written news and blog sources into video. The idea behind the company came to Laker after attending a Consumer Electronics Show in 2011. Unimpressed by the user experience of current Smart TVs, he was motivated to develop an app that provided a TV experience.
In March 2013, Laker attended South by Southwest (SXSW), where Guide was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Accelerator competition. The next month, Laker was selected to present at The Next Web Conference Europe in Amsterdam, where Guide won the second round of the Microsoft BizSpark Startup Rally competition.
Laker is a contributor to the online publication PSFK and is also a co-founder of the Society of Digital Agencies, which promotes thought leadership and industry change among digital marketing agencies.
- Alan Hudson (6 March 2006). "Freddie Laker". The Cairns Post. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Interviews Freddie Laker - SapientNitro". thefwa.com. The Favorite Website Awards. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Kira M. Newman (24 March 2013). "Freddie Laker of Guide Looks into the Future". Tech Cocktail. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Normandy Madden (2 June 2010). "SapientNitro's Freddie Laker". Advertising Age China. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Jack Marshall (5 October 2012). "Agencies as Startup Schools". Digiday. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Sarah Shearman (1 April 2013). "Start Me Up: Gui.de". PRWeek. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Kiran Aditham (30 August 2012). "Laker Leaves SapientNitro". Agency Spy. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Anna Heim (1 January 2013). "Awesome Offices: Inside 8 fantastic startup workplaces in Miami". The Next Web. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Danielle Kurtzleben (1 April 2013). "Your Next News Anchor May Be a Robot". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- "Miami-based startup turns your RSS feed into a personalized newscast". Contagious. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "SXSW Accelerator 2013 Finalists". sxsw.com. South by Southwest. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Nancy Dahlberg. "News: Miami startup Guide receives $1 million in seed funding; next stop SXSW". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Nancy Dahlberg (22 April 2013). "A Swarm of activity at Venture Hive, other news of note". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
- Nick Summers (26 April 2013). "Guide CEO Freddie Laker: Total Recall and Minority Report TV interactions coming in next five years". The Next Web. Retrieved 8 May 2013.