We started way back in 2004 offering not TV but VOIP. The original company was called DutchPhone Holdings Inc. I was reselling a white label product and literally got on my knees to install routers at the homes of Dutch expatriates in Rio de Janeiro. I had just gotten my Master's at Maastricht University and spent my last year studying abroad at the Harvard Business School. No one in Brazil wanted to give me a job so I had to start something. I raised a tiny bit of angel funding from my first customers and moved back to the USA.
Here I found my business partner, Darren, a Mechanical Engineer with a great MBA. After one year we figured out the VOIP business was going nowhere so we started selling TV subscriptions by connecting cable boxes to SlingBoxes and marking up the subscription price. We quickly became the largest SlingBox hosting company in the country.
After doing this for about 2 years, Darren came up with a better and more efficient way to do this and got his best friend Eric, a former developer for Intel to built it for us. The rights were a big problem but we were doing this so early that the licensing contracts did not even mention Internet TV distribution. Of course VCs would not touch us with a 10 foot pole.
I was teaching at a local University to make ends meet and one of my students, Jason, a hardware guru from Taiwan joined the team and got our hardware in order.
Since we were predominately serving the U.S. military overseas and top ambassador used us and our cable partner paid the programmers' bills neatly and on time, programmers left us alone. Internet TV as we invented it, is as much about cable TV as it is about the Internet and we would have never made it would our cable partner, a real maverick and pioneer.
Fast forward a couple of years and now we have our own licensing agreements, our own money and can finally hire people like you.