Innovator of the Week
CEO & Founder of Koodoit
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
Koodoit [pronounced: could-do-it] is a social app that enables two friends, strangers, or a single person to post photos/videos side-by-side for comparison, and other users can vote and comment for the one they prefer. Koodoit is versatile, fun, interactive for nearly every interest—sports, music, dance, gaming, etc. At the same time, Koodoit is straightforward and intuitive enough so that new users can quickly come aboard and begin using the app within seconds.
Being a musician with tons of hobbies, my goal with Koodoit is to inspire others to get better at what they already love and encourage them to expand their interests. I believe Koodoit will help people and companies connect and will give users invaluable feedback to make difficult decisions. We have already been seeing some of these results with our current users today!
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
I had the privilege of attending Alpha Loft’s Startup Fundamentals, a 6-week program designed to help new entrepreneurs start their companies. Joshua Cyr, the lead instructor, and Mark Kaplan, CEO of Alpha Loft, has helped shape Koodoit tremendously by providing invaluable insight and personal guidance. Through the program, I learned to define our value proposition, strengthen our financials, and develop our business model canvas which drastically improved Koodoit’s fundamentals.
Following the program at Alpha Loft, Joshua Cyr continues to provide direction, assistance, and resources for Koodoit. For instance, he recommended videos such as Stanford Startup, Angel Investor Advice, and TED Talks series to develop us as entrepreneurs.
In addition, Angel.co & Outsource.com are great sites to network with people around the world. Through these platforms, I have met some skilled developers and business professionals whose expertise brought Koodoit to a new level.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
Bootstrapping on a risky B2C product like ours is the hardest endeavor I have ever undertaken. As an entrepreneur, you are torn between either working at a stable, high paying job or working on a product you are insanely passionate for at no salary, except for the dream of future success.
The difficulty of self-funding and bringing a complex application like Koodoit to market cannot be overstated. Since the founding of Koodoit, I have had three technical co-founders quit. Each resignation was an enormous setback for both Koodoit and me. Mentally—I had to remain positive and soldier on. Through these endeavors, I have become stronger mentally and learned to grow in the midst of hardship.
What’s the best advice you have received?
The best advice I have ever received was:
Launch your product as soon as possible to figure out who your product markets to and what you could do to make it better.
I initially thought that Koodoit was only for talented individuals such as singers, dancers, and athletes. Through this advice, I learned that I was dead wrong. After our beta launch, we discovered that anyone could use Koodoit and that it was incredibly fun and entertaining! Users were posting best karate poses, cat pictures, pranks, and other silly challenges. Koodoit was also able to help users make decisions hairstyles, business cards, and store promotions! We are actively listening to our beta testers and making improvements to increase our user engagement. It’s also a great confidence booster when you see your friends and random strangers enjoying your app.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
People are friendly and helpful here in New Hampshire, especially in our small startup community. This being said, it’s essential to be your best while attending social events because your reputation will precede you. It is important to be respectful, provide constructive feedback, and share your knowledge and experience with others. With this mindset alone, it is possible to have countless opportunities and connections in New Hampshire.
What does the future look like for your company?
It’s very promising! We are growing exponentially and seeing super-high user engagement which is always good for a B2C app. I often visit college campuses to pitch the app and recruit more users, about 90-95% of the people I speak to are interested in signing up. After using the app, students tell us that Koodoit is not only fun but also helpful in with school projects and decision making. This type of feedback is what keeps me focused and motivated!
Stay tuned for our public launch in Q1, 2017!