Petaluma startup Aftertec Advanced Imaging offers virtual business tours
The technological revolution and globalization have moved marketing beyond the walls of the 'brick and mortar' storefront, and allowed businesses to expand their reach. So in the spirit of those dynamics, a family of Petaluma entrepreneurs is bringing the world to Petaluma's doorstep with the launch of Aftertec Advanced Imaging.
The company, founded by local techies Wayne and Chad Dunbar, provides a new technology service that creates 3-D and virtual reality tours that can be viewed by potential customers and investors around the world.
Since the company's recent inception, the Dunbars have created virtual tours for several local businesses, real estate listings and even a charity fundraising event for a Petaluma nonprofit.
If their names sound familiar, it is because the family has been part of the community since Wayne Dunbar moved north from his birthplace in Novato in 1986.
'I couldn't afford real estate there, so I made the move,' he said. 'Petaluma is a great place to raise kids, and I've been involved in a lot of ways; I've coached Little League, and served on the board of the Petaluma Downtown Association.'
Chad Dunbar, 26, came to local prominence during the holiday season in 2009, when he created a high-tech Christmas light show featuring 50,000 lights with more than 80 computerized channels synchronizing light and sound. The music was piped over an FM radio station, and for several weeks the family's street was inundated with thousands of visitors taking in the seven-minute show.
Since then, he created an online gaming company called Minecraft Survival Games, which was so successful he was able to purchase the best camera equipment available to document his ensuing travels.
Two years ago, Chad Dunbar founded Aftertec, Inc., the umbrella company for Aftertec Advanced Imaging.
'I wanted to take photography, a hobby that I enjoyed, and combine it with my tech interests,' he said. 'By establishing Aftertec Advanced Imaging and joining that with my equally skilled family, we are able to share new technology for industries that can truly benefit from it.'
His mother, Lisa Dunbar, is a certified real estate staging professional who uses her well-trained eye to prepare the space for 'scans.' Brother Chase Dunbar, 21, a graduate of Petaluma High School, brings his own technological fascination with 3-D photography and drones.
Wayne Dunbar brings a digital marketing background and business acumen as former vice-president of Alliance Fireman's Fund, 'before it was sold off.'
So it is a true family business.
They recently made an investment in a Hollywood-quality drone, and are in the process of getting commercial licenses to operate it.
'It will enhance our ability to provide aerial views of properties,' Wayne Dunbar said. 'We'll be able to edit in aerial views, photography and videos on the 3-D walkthroughs.'
Their website, Aftertecai.com, currently hosts several properties and local businesses, including Fuji Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Petaluma Eye Care and iWash Laundry Express. There is also a virtual tour of the 2016 Petaluma Fabulous Women Festival of Trees, an early December fund-raiser for fire victim families and grant opportunities for youth and community nonprofits.
'Their service goes across the spectrum from real estate to holiday fundraisers,' Dave Derby, owner of iWash, said. 'With the Festival of Trees, if someone missed it this year, they can see it and decide they want to go next year.'
Derby, a Petaluma resident since 1970, has known the Dunbars for years and heard about it from Wayne Dunbar at a party. When the company was established, it was only natural for Derby to join in.
Part of his job to attract potential investors and sales for commercial equipment for Taylor Houseman, Inc. a Pittsburg, Calif.-based company specializing in professional laundry solutions. With the new technology, Derby is able to capture laundromats before and after renovation so investors can see the improvements made, and how the equipment fits in with their facilities.
'It's great technology and I was amazed at how simple it was, quite frankly. It didn't take long for them to stitch it together,' Derby said. 'It's a great, great company.'
But Aftertec founder Chad Dunbar sees it as a good harbinger for the future of tech businesses in Sonoma County.
'With Petaluma being my hometown, I am happy to have my base of operations grow in such an amazing place,' Chad Dunbar said. 'The city over the last decade has been rapidly changing its infrastructure to be more tech friendly to help businesses like mine thrive.'
The company is a member of the Petaluma Downtown Association and Petaluma Chamber of Commerce.