Bounce Imaging: A Whole New Outlook on the Surroundings
Parallel to the ever-lasting evolution of technology, the concept of identity and security is rapidly changing and requiring new equipment for businesses.
While old-school cameras only let you see the world with a limited field of view, Francisco Aguilar set out on a mission to provide a completely new opportunity for the tactical industry.
Francisco’s brainchild, Bounce Imaging, designs throwable sensors and cameras for the highest-quality omnidirectional image stitching algorithms available to first responders. Unlike the usual, one-dimensional view offered by traditional cameras, the devices manufactured by Bounce Imaging observe in all directions simultaneously.
Bounce Imaging took off as a sensor technology startup initiated by MIT and Harvard Innovation Lab in 2012, and since then, it has become a top-notch choice for first responders.
Stick around to unfold the story of Bounce Imaging and the mastermind behind it - Francisco Aguilar.
The Kindred Spirit of a Young Man
Ever since the formative years of his education, Francisco Aguilar stood out as an incredibly ambitious learner. He started his academic journey at Harvard University, working hard toward earning a Bachelor’s degree in 2005.
From 2009 to 2012, Francisco attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government, obtaining a Master’s degree. However, Fransisco didn’t stop there, and he also received a Master of Business Administration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management in 2012.
Besides being keen on expanding his realm of knowledge, Francisco nurtured a philanthropic spirit. In 2003, he interned at Human Rights Watch and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights.
Having spent three months as an intern in Bechtel, one of the most acclaimed construction, engineering, and project management companies globally, Francisco acquired even more valuable insight into the world of entrepreneurship.
Bouncing From One Experience to Another
Before starting Bounce Imaging, an ambitious, promising entrepreneur from Costa Rica, Francisco Aguilar, had amassed a considerable social and private sector strategy background. Having worked in Latin America, the U.S., East Africa, and Central and East Asia, Francisco managed to gather experience in advanced materials, energy, telecommunications, and electronics.
Francisco started off as an analyst at DC Energy, spending 2 years at the company - from 2005 to 2007. After that, Francisco served as a senior associate consultant in The Bridgespan Group from 2008 to 2010. The entrepreneur’s brief experience as a strategy intern in Roshan Telecom in 2010 gave him insight into the Central Asian market.
In 2011, young Fransisco started working as a summer associate at McKinsey & Company in the Washington D.C. Metro Area.
The Rise of a Sensor Technology Brand
Even as a visionary, Francisco never imagined the success of the company would blow to such proportions. What started as a simple idea to provide greater protection to people with the riskiest job descriptions became a valuable product for US military special operators and law enforcement agencies.
Francisco Aguilar launched Bounce Imaging in 2012 with one primary purpose: to provide first responders with the best and most affordable sensor technology for remote hazardous environment surveillance. The company is famous for its budget-friendly, advanced 360/VR tactical camera systems for first responders.
Any tech-savvy employee can use Bounce Imaging’s technology with little to no training. The cameras are easy to handle, compatible with smartphone technology, and serve multiple purposes. You get peak situational awareness at a significantly lower price than traditional systems.
One of the challenges the team faced when developing the camera was providing a clear yet static image, even when the bearer hangs on a rope or is in any other unstable position. However, by expanding the team and bringing new ideas to the company, Francisco successfully perfected the product and made the company the number one technology leader in the field. Today, Bounce Imaging’s Tactical Pole camera enables a safer attic or crawlspace clearing, which are some of the most dangerous operations for first response teams.
The company currently cooperates with many government agencies, including the FBI, Department of Defense, and over 400 other fire and law enforcement departments on two continents (North America and Europe).
Money Makes Ideas Bounce High
Francisco’s company has attracted 16 investors and acquired a not-so-shabby sum of over $9.5M in 11 funding rounds, becoming a leading brand in the situational awareness sector. The latest funding round took place in May 2022, attracting multiple investors, whereas a leader posed the company R42.
Bounce Imaging obtained $1.5M in a seed round led by MassChalenge. This international non-profit accelerator helps high-impact entrepreneurs and promising startups. In 2013, another seed round led by Maine Angels resulted in a $350K capital boost. In 2014, the same investor dedicated to improving regional economic development added $75K to that sum.
2015 was a pretty fruitful year for Bounce Imaging with three funding rounds: one seed round worth $110K and led by Moai Capital (an angel investor focused on passionate new entrepreneurs), another one led by Propel(x) and worth $1.3M, and a grant worth $1M in December led by Verizon Communications. This broadband company offers entertainment and information services.
In October 2016, 43North poured $500K into the company in a seed round. In February 2020, Bounce Imaging carried out a venture round led by Broad Street Angels.
The latest funding round proved the most successful, doubling down on the investors and funds previously acquired during multiple rounds. Namely, on May 2, 2022, Bounce Imaging raised an astonishing $4.2M through Series A Prime Round private funding. The number of investors was 8, and both companies and individuals helped raise this money.
The Future of Bounce Imaging
A decade after its launch, Bounce Imaging is a leading brand in several fields, including law enforcement, robotics, sensor and video, hardware, and consumer electronics. Hispanic-founded and headquartered in the Boston Area in New England, this brand employs dozens of professionals. So today, the company employs over 20 people.
One of the newest inventions of the Bounce Imaging team, the Explorer camera, has been declared Best Invention by TIME, CNN, and Popular Science for offering unprecedented situational awareness to first responders and therefore helping them keep civilians safe.
Furthermore, the company is a member of the Forbes 1000, winner of the Verizon Powerful Answers $1M, and the In-Q-Tel portfolio.
Although Francisco founded and started developing the company in Boston, Massachusetts, after the first few fundraising rounds, he decided to change its location. Today, Bounce Imaging is headquartered in Buffalo, New York, one of the many tech hot spots in the US.
As Bounce Imaging’s CEO, Francisco leads an international, cross-functional team that provides a new level of safety for first responders and civilians by creating best-in-class yet user-friendly and affordable imaging and robotics technology. In addition, the company continues to pour new ideas into the world by constantly working on advanced projects and software solutions in this field.
With the recognition of its impact and innovative spirit by the media, global competitions, and customers, Bounce Imaging aims for further success via software and hardware development, customer engagement, financing and fundraising, and advanced manufacturing.
Thanks to the forward-thinking of Francisco and people like him, the future of the world seems more stable. His resourceful nature and desire to make meaningful contributions to multiple communities have forever changed the field of technology.
With a strong will and patience to overcome obstacles, Francisco’s journey is a true testament to what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. Visionaries truly are the ones who change the world!