Meet the Startups in Area 31: VSpot

Escrito el 16 julio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

Author: Natalie Cartwright

Where did you get the idea to develop VSpot?

Team was more important for us than the idea. We started by looking at our life and entrepreneurial goals, decided that they aligned and that we wanted to work together. Then we sat in a room together for weeks on end brainstorming ideas. We were interested in building a wind tunnel in Vancouver and a mentor told us to start with renting idle time in another wind tunnel to test the market. From there we jumped to renting idle time in spaces in general and VSpot was born.

How long have you been working on the idea?

We have been working on the idea since November 2013. VSpot was part of the IE International MBA venture lab program from January – May 2014. After we graduated, some of the team was offered short-term contracts that were difficult to refuse so at the moment are taking a short hiatus as we gain start-up experience and refill our bank accounts following our MBAs.

Who are your current or potential competitors?

The space market is taking off and there are lots of start-ups with similar models in Vancouver, New York, London and elsewhere. We met with our competitor in New York and are looking for opportunities to work together – for example with licensing software etc. For the moment, no one company has any significant market share.

What features would provide further differentiation?

Because this is in an event space, the opportunities to differentiate are more or less limitless. For the moment, we are focusing on getting a solid core product and making sure that the user experience is exceptional.

How does VSpot work?

Elliot can tell you in 45 seconds. Watch this video.

What is VSpot’s Business Model?

It’s a very simple model. Vspot is a two-sided platform that connects venues with people who want to host events. Every time VSpot connects a venue and a host, we take a minimum 5% commission.

What kind of investors does VSpot have?

VSpot has three major investors – Elliot Stone, Chris Gomes and Natalie Cartwright (we also happen to be the founders). We wanted to bring as much value to the company as possible before seeking external investment. We are currently bootstrapping our venture and have not yet sought external financing.

Do you have a prototype?

We patched together an MVP to allow us to test the market – www.vspot.es. We curated the best venues in Madrid and added them to the website to see what people are most interested in booking. We are also getting metrics on user patterns to help us develop the next website iteration.

What are your most difficult experiences as an entrepreneur?

Our team is made up of a Brazilian, a Canadian and an American who met in Spain. We love working together but it’s difficult to all be allowed to be in one geographical place – especially in a city that makes sense for our business as it is very location specific.

Is there anything that you would do differently if you had the chance?

We would spend more time managing the IT portion. Early on we found a developer who worked on our site for free. However, he completed 90% of the original site and then disappeared. We managed to find a way to complete the website and learned a lot in the process. Having stronger IT skills on the team or a clear risk mitigation strategy from the beginning would have been useful.

What advice would you give to potential entrepreneurs?

Team is everything – invest time in putting together the right one.


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