Two years ago, John Ortega founded a service for travelers to request videos from locals at their destination. He quickly learned that the travel space was too broad and narrowed his focus to a marketplace for videographers.
The result was Vidpal, an on-demand marketplace that allows videographers to sell their services and customers to request them.
For the past four months, Vidpal has been incubating in Seattle’s 9Mile Labs accelerator. Last week, Ortega debuted the product on stage and Milestone 9 Demo Day.
We caught up with Ortega for this Startup Spotlight, a regular GeekWire feature.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: “Vidpal is an on-demand video platform that allows you to request a video shoot in near real time.”
Inspiration hit us when: “We began to receive requests for various operations like real estate, sports, and travel.”
VC, Angel or Bootstrap: “We are totally not ready for VCs yet because most VCs want at least $10,000 in revenue per month. We are ready for an Angel investment, clearly. We have bootstrapped and gone through an incubator and later, Seattle-based accelerator 9-Mile Labs.”
Our ‘secret sauce’ is: “We are able to connect videographers with businesses in a one-click service by using an Uber-like location mapping service that sets local videographers up directly with the request.”
The smartest move we’ve made so far: “Our smartest move has been moving over to serve businesses as our primary target. Also, we feel that our widget and subscription services have been helpful.”
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: “Attempting to serve a market (travel) that was entirely too wide for us.”
Would you rather have Gates, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: “Zuckerberg or Bezos, I think Zuckerberg can help us better address our market and Bezos has an experienced resume that would be helpful.”
Our favorite team-building activity is: “Coding, we are techies.”
The biggest thing we look for when hiring is: “A go-getter who is willing to go the extra mile. Someone that understands how much this company will be worth in just a small amount of time.”
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: “Don’t let the rough times get to you. We all have them. If you want a piece of the action you must work and learn. Don’t spend your time trying to get money, if you build to solve and you get customers, worry about the customers.”
Editor’s note: GeekWire is featuring each of the startups in 9Mile Labs’ fall cohort. The companies debuted their final products at the Milestone9 Graduation Day event Oct.13.