Two Lives. Parallel Paths. Same Destination.
The fabled Silicon Valley startup story usually begins in a garage, but for Rhumbix the story starts at a military base outside Djibouti City, Djibouti, during the Arab Spring of 2011. Co-founder Zach Scheel was serving as a civil engineer for the military. By day, he was managing large-scale construction projects, and by night, he stood watch in the Joint Operations Center monitoring more than 3,000 US troops using a technology called Blue Force Tracking that leverages GPS to monitor soldiers’ locations. The tool provided an extremely high level of visibility to military activity, which was in stark contrast with the paper time card system he was using during the day with his construction teams.
A few years later Zach and Drew were both in Chile working on large infrastructure projects. Over beers in Santiago, they realized that even though their projects were different, the challenges they were facing with data collection and productivity were very much the same and could be solved if they had a tool like Blue Force to use on their projects. When they returned to the states, they officially founded Rhumbix and in a matter of months they had secured seed funding and completed a successful pilot.
Rhumbix’s first prototype was created by soldering together off-the-shelf wearables to be worn by craft workers for our original POC. It’s still in our office today and serves as a great reminder of the roots from which our platform was born: mobile tools that help workers build smarter and safer.
Co-founder and COO
Drew’s family has a rich military background. His father and older brother both served in the Air Force and Drew knew that he, too, wanted to serve his country. While an undergrad at Notre Dame, Drew enrolled in ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned into the Navy as a Nuclear Submarine Officer. He spent over 6 years with the Navy, stationed primarily in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and deployed to locations across Southeast Asia.
After his service was complete, Drew enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business to pursue a joint MBA/MPP degree program with a focus on energy systems and infrastructure. He interned at a few different energy companies while in school, and shortly after graduating started the renewable energy company, Valhalla Energia, in Chile with two classmates.
ZACHARY SCHEEL, P.E.
Co-founder and CEO
Zach joined the military a week after September 11th. He filled out a Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) application and enrolled at Duke University to study mechanical engineering. At the height of the Arab Spring, Zach was stationed in Djibouti, Africa, managing large-scale military construction projects. His other billets include serving as the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction and Assistant Public Works Officer at the Naval Station in Everett, WA.
After completing his military service, Zach enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where he interned with Bechtel as an Assistant Area Superintendent at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, and Project Controls Engineer at a copper concentrator in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.