Matt McCawley, Co-Founder of VDOMKR told Innovation Destination Hartford about the challenges of launching a startup and the importance of planning ahead.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: When and why you launch the startup?
MATT McCAWLEY: My brother James and I launched VDOMKR three years ago with nothing but a basic website and a mission to develop a better way to create professional-quality video for less. We saw a gap in the market between traditional freelance platforms and full video agencies and studios and developed VDOMKR to meet those customers stuck in the middle.
IDH: How was the business concept developed?
MC: Some friends shot some footage they needed edited into a slick video. Because they were located in a different state, we figured out a simple process to collaborate online and share the raw video files and edited cuts along the way.
This got us thinking that if we could edit a video with this process as non-pro editors, why not open this up to the freelance editor community to create really amazing videos! By using our innovative process and technology, we were able to bring the overall price down, which opens up the video market to so many more people and small businesses.
IDH: Have you worked with any Connecticut resources to help launch your startup?
MC: We’ve worked with a number of the great folks at the Stamford Innovation Center, who have helped guide us along the way.
IDH: Tell us one or two things we don’t know about what it’s like to launch a startup.
MC: You will learn more launching and running a business than you will at any school. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but so freeing and exciting.
IDH: You work with other startups—why is this important to you?
MC: The culture and sense of community among startups is just so contagious and inspiring. The more we work with others, the more motivated we are to succeed.
IDH: How are you marketing and building a customer base?
MC: We have done various events like New York Tech Day & Northised Festival in Brooklyn as well as online search and social advertising.
IDH: What’s the biggest challenge your startup has faced?
MC: Building and maintaining momentum. It all just takes so much time when we’re running this as a side project and have very demanding full-time jobs in the tech and advertising industries.
IDH: Any advice to others who are thinking of launching a startup in Connecticut?
MC: Plan, jump right in, grind, grind, grind, and don’t forget to call your mother once in a while.