What do you currently do?
I am CEO and founder of GoPrezzo, a new startup headquartered in Northern Ireland. It’s been an exciting few months for the team – we launched our product in the US earlier this year and then we had our official UK launch this summer.
We’ve raised almost £600,000 in seed funding to date and are in the process of offering £50,000 of equity to ordinary investors through the crowdfunding platform Investingzone.com. Up to 5,000 shares are being floated up to October 9th, so I’d urge people to log on, check out our pitch at https://www.investingzone.com/pitches/goprezzo/ and consider buying into the business.
GoPrezzo is high-growth business. Our product is a marketing-integration platform that’s creating a win-win solution for gamers, brands and developers. We help developers to monetize their games, we help gamers win real-world prizes and we help brands to connect with consumers.
It’s a really straight forward process. Once developers integrate their games with our platform, we offer their users the chance to win prizes by posting their scores to online tournaments. Our score normalising technology means the game you’re playing becomes irrelevant – all scores are equal and everyone has an equal chance to win. Brands can then advertise their products as prizes in tournaments to an engaged audience. Developers get a slice of the Cost Per Engagement revenues.
Already we have games partners like Rope Rescue, Legend of Fat Ninja and Tik Tak Totem, as well as big brands like BirchBox, SimpleThings.ie, and Paul Frank.
What is your inspiration in business?
My inspiration comes from the people around me. I’m very fixed on the concept of pooling resources, and bringing people and talent together to solve a problem. We’ve built great relationships in the US in the build up to our launch and now we’re in the RocketSpace accelerator in San Francisco. RocketSpace has help spawned companies like Spotify, Uber, LeapMotion. Podio and SuperCell – so we’re in great company.
Seeing at first hand how tech innovators do business in Silicon Valley has been a huge inspiration for our team. Personally, I learned a lot out there about how to master technology to target your audience and to get an audience engaged with your brand.
Who do you admire?
Outside of business, I’ve probably been most inspired by my parents and their work ethic. From a young age, the necessity for hard work and believing in yourself was instilled in me by how they behaved and what they taught me.
Looking back would you have done things differently?
I know we’ve done things imperfectly but given where we are now, I’m not sure I would change anything very differently about that. We’re all pleased with how things are going for the company. We scaled up fast, moved to the US and raised more than £600,000 in seed funding from venture capital and angel investors. We’ve just pitched at the Danish Spil Demo Day which is by invitation only, so we’re reaching out to international markets and spreading the word about what we’re doing.
However, I do have a two-year -old daughter who hasn’t seen enough of me over the past 18 months. So looking back, I’m content with where we are as a business but the biggest thing I’d change is getting more time to spend at home.
What defines your way of doing business?
Collaboration for me is of central importance and a huge plank in our strategy. We’ve grasped the opportunity to work with publishers, distributors, brands and advertising partners. You can’t do anything on your own – you need to identify the strategic partnerships that work for you and add to your value chain.
GoPrezzo is now part of an eco-system stretching from San Francisco to London and beyond. You can’t get into that position if you aren’t willing to collaborate and be willing to share your ideas.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
The most important thing is to have a clear vision and identify what your problem points are. Ask yourself: what are you trying to serve to your customers; what are you trying to do better?
Technology is important but the most important thing for any business is knowing your path and figuring out how to execute. Ideas are important but the execution is the where the value comes and is a large part of the reason why we’ve come so far in such a comparatively short period of time.
If you’re a tech company, base yourself where your potential funders will be, where your customers are and where your partners will be.
Finally, I’d say completely believe in what you’re doing and don’t be afraid to share with others.