Receept's founder and CEO Kevin Pfefferle
iMedia: Tell me about Receept since winning iMedia's Next Wave competition. What prompted your decision to put the company on hold?
Pfefferle: After our Next Wave win at the iMedia Summit in October, I returned to Cincinnati to complete The Brandery startup accelerator program. Following the program's demo day at the end of October and follow-up pitches in New York City, I had several promising conversations with potential investors. The biggest weakness of Receept was that I didn't have a business-focused cofounder, which left me stretched incredibly thin between the technical and business responsibilities of building the company. This balancing act made it very difficult to secure funding as prospective investors rightfully expected to see constant progress on both fronts.
iMedia: Tell me about your new startup ChoreMonster. What is the inspiration behind it?
Pfefferle: ChoreMonster was one of the other startups participating in The Brandery accelerator program alongside Receept. Founded by Chris Bergman and Paul Armstrong, ChoreMonster is a web and mobile application that gives kids a reason to do their chores using technology that they know and love. I had developed a good friendship with Chris and Paul during the program, and was impressed by their progress solidifying the concept, building a working prototype, and securing seed funding during and following our time at The Brandery. They had a need for a strong technical lead to build out a scalable web app, and that's exactly where my core strengths and passion are. It has been a great fit as the three of us fill the three core needs of any early startup team: the Hustler (Chris), Designer (Paul), and Hacker (myself).
iMedia: How does your experience with Receept affect your approach to ChoreMonster?
Pfefferle: My experience with Receept has made me really appreciate what ChoreMonster founders Chris and Paul do on a daily basis. I have always enjoyed engineering good-looking software, but I'm not a designer. I was lucky to have a great design partner with Receept, so supporting the incredible design of ChoreMonster that Paul is creating every day has been a continued joy in that area. The creativity and detail that he brings to the ChoreMonster world and the monster characters that inhabit it makes my job so much more fun and really has become a competitive advantage for us.
That appreciation is multiplied with Chris handling all of the business development as CEO, which is the part of running Receept that really stretched me. He's a tireless networker, and it's great knowing that he is worrying about investors, business models, partnerships, and everything else, which means I can focus squarely on engineering software. I have a good base understanding of what running the business side of a startup is like thanks to Receept, so it has been very easy for us to discuss what is going on in his work without a lot of extra explanation.
iMedia: What advice would you give startup entrepreneurs?
Pfefferle: Really focus on who else you're going to go through the process of building a startup with. Make sure that you're working with people whose strengths fill in your own weaknesses not only in skills and ability, but also in what they are truly passionate about. By combining the right team of people, each one can focus on what they love doing most, and loving what you're doing is the only thing that will sustain your effort long enough to build a successful business.
Kyle Montero is an editor at iMedia Connection.
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