One of the greatest things about being a startup entrepreneur, in my humble opinion, is the amazing community of excited, motivated, interesting people that you’re a part of. It’s definitely the biggest thing I took away from my visit to Start-Up Chile earlier this month, where I was almost overwhelmed by the ideas and energy being thrown my way. Just being around that group of people lit a fire under my ass and got me re-pumped about writing for you guys every day because you’re awesome.
I’m constantly hearing about things like the startup world’s response to Hurricane Sandy and the daily awesomeness that is coworking spaces and startup networking events. What other field can you name that has such a great network of support built right into it’s foundation?
Okay, now that I’ve fluffed you all up a bit, let me introduce you to Startup Rocket Launcher, an exciting new startup that’s aiming to take that excellent startup community and make it available to you anytime. The idea is super simple: sign up for their email list and once a week they’ll randomly pick a startup to send out to a group of targeted users who can provide feedback. This allows you, the startup founder, to get educated, useful feedback during every step of the process.
As anyone who has participated in an incubator knows, other startup entrepreneurs are by far the best people to evaluate and help you out with what you’ve got going on. They know what’s going on in the field and their heads are in the same space as yours, all the time. Startup Rocket Launcher wants to give you access to those great minds that you might not encounter in your day to day.
Co-founder Jason Hamilton-Mascioli took some time to catch us up on why he launched his startup, what they hope to accomplish, and what’s going on up there in Hamilton, Canada.
Is Startup Rocket Launcher your first startup?
No, we launched a local Italian catering company from our home and an online retail store selling party favor’s over 10 years ago. We ended up opening a web development company from our home in 2005. And now we are currently refining our web development business into early stage web development for startup entrepreneurs (demo’s, prototypes and MVP products and services) as we explore new tools and services for the startup community and businesses.
What’s the story behind Startup Rocket Launcher?
The Startup Rocket Launcher idea was born during AngelHack 2012 after witnessing and being part of the camaraderie that took place at the event. Merging these actions with a listserv idea we previous had formed the business idea. Startup Rocket Launcher is meant to mimic the help and support seen at local meetups, hackathons and conferences. So after participating in the Angel Hack, that was good validation in itself that startup entrepreneurs helping and being supportive to each other was all the evidence we needed to begin.
Startup Rocket Launcher was refined to address with one of the most critical areas small businesses and startup entrepreneurs face – validation and testing early on by working with each and every startup to refine a well targeted and formed email that tells a story. An added bonus every startup entrepreneur will receive based on the nature of the service is quick growth and public attention making this all occur potentially before even launching your product.
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan /FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The amount of potential feedback startups will gather with our service can possibly have a huge impact on how startups begin their business in the future. We hope that everyone would find our startup community service an essential part of launching a successful business in the future.
This service gives us a chance to talk with many startups about their business and tailor our service to their needs on an ongoing basis and possibly release new tools in the future to give startups the tools they needs in the early stages. We feel our service will change to meet the needs and wants of future startups.
What’s your background? Have you always been involved in the tech world?
Jason, the current cofounder and CTO has over 10 years experience developing web sites specifically in early-stage startups with such notable roles as Senior Web Developer, Technical Cofounder and CTO. Jason currently teaches PHP and Web Development Part Time at McMaster University and is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Mohawk College.
Eva, the current cofounder has a Master Degree in Education, Diploma in Human Resources Management, Honors Degree in History and BA in Psychology from McMaster University. She is currently an author.
Who did you start Startup Rocket Launcher with? Was it you all on your lonesome or did you have a team?
We started StartupRocketLauncher.com on our own by placing a signup page (using LaunchRock.com) on our site to gather the emails needed to begin the service. Once we reach 1000 subscribers the service will officially begin but has been on fire since we put up the page. We have a large breadth of combined experience between the two of us to take ideas and make them happen.
Who’s on your team now?
- Jason Hamilton-Mascioli, CTO and Cofounder (connect with Jason on Twitter and LinkedIn)
- Eva Hamilton-Mascioli, Cofounder (connect with Eva on Twitter and LinkedIn)
What city and country are you located in?
We are located in Hamilton, Ontario Canada near Toronto.
How’s the startup scene there?
The startup scene is taking off rapidly. McMaster University recently opened the McMcaster Innovation Park which supports all kinds of startups providing a wide-range of services. There are many meetups happening every week in the region.
What does your office space look like? Do you have a remote team, a traditional office, or something more on the quirky side?
We both work out of our home and use freelance remote help as required for design, technical operations, marketing, advisors and development.
What do you like to do in your free time?
We like to spend time with our family, visiting parks and zoos.
Is there any other field you could see yourself working in?
We could see ourselves renovating old houses with selling potential and re-selling them.
What music are you listening to right now?
Jason listens to U2 and 80’s music. Eva listens to a bit of everything.
Do you have any advice for other startup entrepreneurs out there?
You can control the journey, so have fun and be happy along the way. Unfortunately you can’t control the destination.
What’s the next step for Startup Rocket Launcher? Are you thinking of expanding the service or just sticking with the email blast format?
We will continue with the email format but add to the existing website to view past launches and feedback, pay terminal for scheduled launches and additional services, and implement a feedback tool which will allow anyone to gain credit towards your next paid scheduled launch.
We want to keep the service simple and easy to use. Our goal is to help startup entrepreneurs launch more successful businesses in a shorter amount of time.
Thanks so much for the great interview, Jason! Now, all you startup founders, head over to Startup Rocket Launcher to help them meet their goal of a million users!