Today’s interview is with the business development team from Jebbit. Jebbit unlocks exclusive ads around 99.5% of the web and rewards consumers with money and deals for learning about brands that interest them.
When did you start working for Jebbit?
Michael: I met Tom Coburn, one of the founders of Jebbit, while playing for my school’s golf team at Boston College. Shortly after Tom won the Boston College Venture Competition, I started working with the team.
Kevin: During the fall of my freshmen year, I was introduced to Jebbit and began working part-time throughout the school year. Once the summer arrived, I became an intern for Jebbit’s business development team. Since then, I’ve been working for Jebbit full-time.
What is the inspiration behind the idea for Jebbit?
Michael: The inspiration for Jebbit came from the desire to find a solution to the issues around traditional advertising. Younger generations are becoming really good at ignoring online ads, and as a consequence brands are struggling to effectively engage their target audience through traditional online advertising strategies. The Jebbit technology helps establish a 1 on 1 conversation between brands and the target consumer, making advertising a more positive experience for consumers and brands alike.
What stage of business is Jebbit in right now?
Michael: We have launched our product and are now fully integrated on the web. We also just closed our Series A round of funding and are growing the team very quickly.
Kevin: We plan on increasing our number of full-time employees by the end of this upcoming month. Our focus now is hiring employees for our sales, marketing, and technology departments.
What are some of the challenges that Jebbit faces?
Michael: One of our biggest challenges was starting the company while still in college. Not only did we have courses to complete, but most of us had other extra-curricular commitments. There was a lot of uncertainty in the beginning on how to strike the balance between time working on Jebbit and time completing school. But, as the company started to grow it became much more apparent as to the decisions and the sacrifices that needed to be made among the team. I think Jebbit handled this well, and that’s one of the reasons we’re still growing today.
Kevin: One of the biggest challenges we face today is convincing brands to advertise with us instead of with well-established companies like Google or Facebook. One solution that we’ve found to be helpful in combatting this challenge is working with advertising agencies who have existing relationships with these brands and who will advocate for Jebbit.
How has Jebbit played a role in influencing your entrepreneurial spirit?
Michael: I’ve always had the startup bug, but I never considered working for a startup company to be a sensible career option. I’m glad that Jebbit found success quickly and became a realistic job option for me. I find myself more motivated and productive when I am working in a startup environment. Right now, I can’t see myself ever leaving the startup ecosystem.
Kevin: I always thought I wanted a steady job that would allow me to build financial security slowly over time. But working for Jebbit has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I, too, have found the non-traditional work style to be enjoyable and meaningful, and it feels amazing to be firmly connected to innovation.
Has Jebbit reached any milestones?
Michael: Right now, we are working to add different products to supplement what we already offer. Soon, we will move into a new office in the Fenway area, inside the Landmark tower. This is a symbolic step for us because it represents our transition from the early stages of the startup life cycle to the growth stage.
Do you have any startup advice for a first-time entrepreneur?
Michael: Working for a startup means that there will be highs and lows. Take time to celebrate the highs, and keep your head up during the low periods. Working for a startup can mean putting in grueling hours. It’s really important to love your team because it makes those long days at the office a lot easier.
Kevin: In addition, I would say to dedicate yourself to your product and your ideas without being afraid to transform and change them as you move forward. If you stay open minded and seek guidance from as many mentors and startup influencers as possible, you will have more confidence when making those necessary pivots.
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