Mindsense planning more offerings this year

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Print this page by Veronica Garabelli
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The founders of Mindsense hope new products
will allow the company to hire more employees.

A Blacksburg-based startup known for the popular email app Mail Pilot is launching new products this year in hopes of driving growth.

Mindsense just released an updated version of its paid app, Mail Pilot 2, which still treats emails like a to-do list but makes it easier to sort through messages. The new version is available on the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch and will soon be available on the Mac.

“It’s actually our highest rated application so far,” says Josh Milas, who co-founded Mindsense in 2012 with his friend from college, Alexander Obenauer. The Virginia Tech grads used $54,000 raised through a Kickstarter campaign to start Mindsense. Since its launch, Mail Pilot has taken the No. 1 paid app spot in the Mac App store in 58 countries. As of April, Mail Pilot had about 60,000 users.

But Mail Pilot 2 is not all Milas, 25, and Obenauer, 24, have in store for this year. In June, they plan to release Throttle, a software that helps users get rid of unwanted emails.

The web-based program immediately blocks access to unwelcome emails and tells users how an organization got their email without their permission. It also warns users if they’re about to provide their email to a site known to sell personal information.

Obenauer believes the new product will help solve the email problem “at the source of it, in a way that we haven’t seen anything else do before,” he says.

He and Milas also are developing “a next-generation tool for handling our online life,” from social media and email to online shopping. “It’s a really interesting piece of software. It’s not an email client, but I think it’s going to replace the need for an email client,” Obenauer says about the program that’s scheduled to be released later this year.

Overall, Mindsense hopes the new products will help build sustainable revenues and allow the company to hire more workers. In the next few years, Mindsense would like to add 20 to 30 employees. It currently has four employees, including Milas and Obenauer.

“I definitely look forward to … pushing that a little bit further this year and continuing to grow the team,” Obenauer says. “That’s probably one of our biggest challenges.”

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