Start-Ups.Co really enjoyed interviewing the brilliant entrepreneur; Mr. ‘Billy Sheng'; Founder of the Start Up “MinYawns”. Below, is the full interview that we have conducted :
1. What is it exactly do you do and what your start-up is all about?
We provide minions to supervillains! And by super villains we mean local businesses (who don’t necessarily have to be evil), and by minions we mean college students! We match up college students who are seeking one day or less work with businesses needing immediate and one day temps! Think of it as a team of personal assistants, only when you need one!
2. When has your startup been founded and what stage is your startup currently at?
Our startup was founded officially 9 months ago in August 2013, our start-up is the beta testing phase, and ready for expansion.
3. What is your startup business model and how does it work.
Using our state-of-the-art webapp we match students up with gigs. Then we take a small percentage!
4. How did your team meet? And who in our team does what?
Our team all met through a fun game I like to call life. Our sales pro is a contact of our start-up lawyer with a background in corporate real-estate. Our Marketing Director is an old friend of my college roommate. Our devs are from all the University of Washington which I attended.
5. What makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace. What makes you unique.
We are simply, the most reliable and agile. We emphasize no commitment past the first job and we fully guarantee our students work. A majority of recruiting companies place students in long internships or jobs and even part-time help relies heavily on schedules and commitment.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far
My growth has stopped since the 8th grade measuring in at a whopping 5; 6”, but luckily enough our company is growing quite well. Since launch and being focused on one campus, we have over 200 company accounts, and over 440 student accounts. We have gotten seed funding and been able to recruit a team of 10 (granted not all full time).
7. Who are your competitors and what is your start-ups competitive advantage over them?
Our biggest competitor is the gigs section of craigslist, taskrabbit, and ultimately traditional recruiting temps. Some of our competitors that have pivoted are iamexec and zaarly.Our competitive advantage is that we have an awesome crop of reliable students looking for work who can be there at the drop of the hat. You won’t have creepy Jimmy showing up at your business.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them.
I think the biggest obstacle is facing the fact that start-ups are emotional roller coasters (except there’s a 50% chance that your seat belt is broken and you don’t know when the ride takes the final photo).
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand
The savage outsiders don’t understand the difference on how to successfully capture a gig economy without turning into a contracting firm for a specific industry.
10. Why are you going to succeed
I have never won in vegas and I think father lucky owes me one. Also, we have a dynamite team and plausible business model. We also have awesome infographics.
11. If your startup succeeds what areas might you be able to expand into.
If our start-up succeeds we really hope to transform the way temp agencies operate, ultimately transform the perception of employment. I realize that our generation is one of short attention span and loyal and safety are often underappreciated. Instead of working at a job for 40 years, it is more likely for our generation to work 20 jobs in forty years.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on
When I was in college I wanted to make some quick pickup cash without having to go into a research study and get electric rodes prodded at me. Hence I realize, I could do a lot of intern things and computer tasks that local businesses would need.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
So far I have learned that the number one thing in growth in a company is growing as a person, it forces you to learn skills you might have learned 20 years later the day of. It teaches you to have no fear and procrastination is a terrible enemy. I’ve also learned the importance of choosing a good team who can work well together and can handle ridiculous hours.
14. Six months from now, whats going to be your biggest problem.
Scaling and optimizing. Also since our business deals mainly with college students, convincing college students at the age of 24 that I can still relate to them.
15. What is the benefit for the customer/user?
Students get a low commitment job opportunity to make some extra pick up cash to buy books, food, and most likely beer. More importantly they get to practice their real life skills by actually working and making money. The local businesses get a reliable, intelligent university student, for only the hours they need them most!
16. How did customers/users find out about you?
Word of mouth is big. Also social media, handled by our awesome Marketing Director and the much loved task of cold calling.
17. Who are your current customers/users/target customers?
Our four big segments are wedding planners. Event industry, real estate agents, and usability testing.
18. Where do new customers/users come from and what makes new customers use/try you?
Our 100% guarantee for our work and a no questions asked policy.
19. What do your customers/users say about your product or service?
Here’s our favorite quote “I finished watching despicable me with my kids last night, then heard of you guys. I thought to myself I could use some minions. Your college students were minion-like and better. A simple task of stuffing 1,000 envelopes made me feel like I owned a disposable army!”
20. How are you going to scale?
Do the whole campus tour! The ants go marching on, hurrah hurrah! One by one, we will take over college campuses.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/use keep asking for.
A mobile app, which is currently in the works.
22. Are you going to internationalize and if yes how are you planning to expand your start-ups operations accordingly
Not right now, maybe in a few years. It even takes big companies a few years after making it to internationalize.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
We think we can take over as the leading provider of small businesses staffing. With planning, practice, execution, and analysis. It’s just like a sports team, you have the same four steps to victory.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And yes what are job available and where can potential applicants contact you at?
Yes of course! We are always looking to hire. Hustlers, and Hackers!
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals or Other Funding Sources? Or you business Is self sustainable. Where can potential investors/ partners contact you at?
Both! Our businesses is self sustainable and also we are looking to expanded with VC funding. Investors and partners can contact us at my direct cellphone 425-829-4829 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Move to a place where you aren’t distracted. Distractions are your worst nightmare. Don’t check facebook or visit any websites you currently do. Cold turkey everything. Also call your parents from time to time and let them know you’re alive. Also, having decent coworkers who can provide entertainment from time to time helps too.
27. Finally do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
The key to connect four is to put your piece above theirs. Also, you can totally win 2048 by always swiping left, right, up in that order.