Groupon made targeting small businesses popular for startups again. Even if their big IPO flops they’ve created an anti-walmart “I’m going to target the little guy” mentality and that’s exciting. One startup that’s targeting the “little guy” is Kngroo. This is their story in their words.
1. Tell us about Kngroo
Kngroo emerged from the 52 hours of insanity known as “Startup Weekend.” The idea came to me after reflecting on a Groupon-copycat project I had worked on earlier in the year. It failed, and I found myself frustrated at the gouging practiced by group-buying companies.
I thought, “There has to be a way to use technology to reliably put paying customers through the doors of local businesses and accurately track the customer’s actions.” In order for Kngroo to work it, needed to be cheaper than Groupon, more proactive that Foursquare and more valuable than print ads.
Kngroo is a mobile application that transforms normal metropolitan landscapes into virtual gaming platforms. Our company connects customers to local businesses through an interactive format that rewards exploration, inquiry and repeat patronage.
Kngroo is different from competitors because it utilizes multiple locations and verifies check-ins in a non-intrusive way. Customers ask employees a question to ensure they went into the store and to facilitate interaction. For users, Kngroo solves boredom and satisfies people’s social desires for competition. For businesses, Kngroo mobilizes thousands of potential customers who are rewarded for visiting new places, learning new things and documenting their adventures online.
2. Who or what inspires you and why?
Kngroo is inspired by the tenacity of local businesses and we hope to help them stay in business. My father is my inspiration. Most kids think their dad can do anything, only to come to the realization when they grow up that he is a normal guy. I grew up and realized that my dad knew a lot more than he ever let on. He may not be an entrepreneur in the technical sense, but he taught me that anything you work hard at is possible.
3. What other advice do you have for other people just getting started?
Do something. The most important and most challenging part of starting a business is actually accomplishing the little steps. Everyone will give you general advice on starting a business, but no one will stand over your shoulder and say, “Do this next.”
So, get yourself out of bed and just start doing. The worst that can happen is you mess up, you learn, and you move on. At least you’ve learned something, which you wouldn’t have if you had just thought, “Someday I’m going to start my own business.”
4. What do you like most about KickoffLabs?
The interface is simple, and the finished product is professional and clean. The best part, though, is the report page. It is the best thing I’ve seen since I started tracking users on my various web pages. It is intuitive and tells me the most important data in a very easy-to-digest format.