These 3 startups just launched in Colorado, here's what they learned

July 10, 2014

Three Colorado founders and their small (or, in some cases, not yet existent) team are just starting to gain traction on the projects they've launched this year. Here is what they had to say about taking their concept through the initial startup process and about where they're headed:

Scrubber

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Founder Ryan Angilly's side project, Scrubber, has been on the shelf waiting to see the light since 2012. A series of events, including the rise of his pre-order funding platform Ramen, left the project in limbo. Over the past few weeks, he's polished up the social media monitoring platform. Think of it as a janitorial service for your digital history, he said. After scouring your connected feeds, Srubber presents you with a handy report card for action. Here's how Angilly took his Scrubber from an idea to launch:

The gap it fills: "Back in 2012, I was fascinated with Timehop. The idea that, when I'm 80, I can look back at what I was doing every year going back almost 60 years really made an impression on me. It got me thinking about "digital history" as a subject, and Scrubber came out of that. I looked around and didn't find anything like it, so I started to hack on it."
 
What he learned in the initial launch phase of the project: "The biggest lessons so far have been less epiphanies and more reaffirmations like 1) Clean design leads to trust, which is especially important when you are asking for people's data. I used Peek to get a lot of feedback on the design until I got a few people saying that they trusted it. 2) People love videos. The 1 minute video I produced on Explee upped my user signup conversion rate from ~30% to almost 60%. 3) Don't be afraid to charge. Building virality into a new product at the expense of trying to make money right away can be the right play. Over 25% of users are sharing Scrubber with their friends."
 
What's in store for the rest of 2014: "My main passion is Ramen, so that takes the top spot right now. But I think that everyone needs a creative outlet. Some people write blog posts, some people contribute to open source software. I'll be iterating on Scrubber a bit: adding some more social networks, dealing with some performance issues, experimenting with different pricing."
 
 

Eventblimp

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Although it was founded in 2012, Eventblimp officially launched on June 10 this year. The four-person team is “breaking the routine and doing something different” in the social event discovery industry via five silos: finding, sharing, creating, publishing and promoting events. Founder, Chris Good, gave us the scoop:

The gap they fill: “Eventblimp fills gaps for both consumers and businesses. For event venues and promoters, they put a lot of effort into putting together events, but are not getting the information into the hands of interested consumers who are unaware. We want to bridge that gap. Additionally, we've found through talking with PR, social media and event management companies who create lots of events online for their clients that there's not a great online platform to manage all of the various tools available. We're going to bridge that gap for them as we're starting to demo a prototype with those potential customers as we speak.” 

What they learned from the launch phase: “The biggest thing I've learned is build what customers ask for and iterate with them involved every step of the way. Through those conversations, we've been able to feel confident about where we're going and what we're trying to accomplish. We were able to learn about a tangential product through those conversations that we didn't realize was an opportunity until recently.”

What’s in store for them the rest of the year: “For 'Find', you're going to see better event categorization to make sure users are able to quickly find what they're interested in and clear out the noise. For 'Share', we're building in increased functionality to share events with friends and also implementing deep linking into the iOS app so users can jump between our web and mobile platforms seamlessly. For 'Create', we'll have an event creation tool that enables users to schedule and create events quickly and efficiently. For 'Publish', once an event is created, it will take only a few clicks to publish it to various social media and event management platforms. For 'Promote', if anyone wants to promote their event, they will be able to pay for advertising to get their event noticed on the map, a common request from customers.”

 

Zellebook

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After years of helping his wife run multiple salons and spas, founder Justin Roszelle spotted "a void for an easy-to-use software that could handle the things we needed to not only run her business, but to help increase revenue and promote growth."

Zellebook formally launched in April of this year after nearly two years of developing the platform. The team includes Roszelle as the product engineer and David Crandall, who is focused on sales and operations. Roszelle gave Built In Colorado the lowdown on the cloud-based business management platform's plans for the future:
 
The gap they fill: "We are a complete business management platform that offers all the needed tools to grow a salon or spa including: booking, POS, staff management, inventory management, reports and online marketing services and many other features."
 
What he learned from the launch phase: "Previous to starting this venture I was at Active Junky at the very start. Comparing that experience with starting Zellebook taught me completely different things like having to build and market this product on a shoestring from adopting a bootstrapping approach. Taking Zellebook to this stage has taught me to do more with less and appreciate small incremental successes as they come."
 
What’s in store for them the rest of 2014: "For the rest of the year, I’m going to focus on new product developments to further set us apart from the competition as well as build a team to further grow Zellebook."
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