We had an interesting chat with Mr. “Jamie Brewster”, Founder and CEO of the Oakland – USA based start-up “TheVegasHookUp”
Below is the interview we conducted with him:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
Our goal is to connect Vegasbound Folks w/each other BEFORE they arrive! Users can use the Profile Filtering System to streamline their search or scroll thru the thousands of registered Users.
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
We launched in April 2014. Proof of concept has been realized and now its time to find investors to help me grow. We are also ready to start advertising Vegas Clubs, Casinos, Restaurants, etc.
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
The initial plan is to offer Free memberships to users. Our revenue will come from advertisers. I also have plans for a paid membership level to generate revenue.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
I am a team of One. I paid a Developer to design the site and I’ve been running it ever since! I’m a Social Worker by trade and need assistance in growing.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
We are the first destination specific dating website! We’ve combined one of the top travel destinations in the World, Las Vegas and combined it with the #1 way people meet nowadays!
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
Since launching in April, with ZERO marketing budget, we have gained over 1750 Users (with new users added daily!!) Our Vegasbound Users are from more than 35 dif countries!
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
Since our launch, we have seen 1 other similar site called Meet me on Vacation. Their site is worldwide. Ours is targeted on Sin City! We have no other competitors to our knowledge.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle is growing a site organically with no funds to spend on advertising. With the use of Social Networks we are growing daily! I also work a full time job in the Bay area running a program to help Inmates in a County Jail, so finding help is key to being able to grow.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
We are more than a “Hook up” site. Many Users have found long term relationships using our free service!
Outsiders may not understand the need for a vacation dating site.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We are going to succeed because we have found our niche in the Online dating world. Everyone goes to Vegas with visions of a wild time! We help make it happen!
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
Travel accommodations such as airfare deals and Hotel deals are the next thing we want to include on our site. We also have plans to expand to a paid subscription membership as well as our basic free service.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
Shy, single people need help meeting others! We want to enhance your next Vegas experience to be one you’ll never forget! As a shy person myself, I felt the need was there and I wanted to be the one to make it happen.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
I’ve learned how much I dont know! As a Social Worker entering the Tech world, I’m at a crazy disadvantage. Theres so much I’m learning daily and so much I have yet to learn.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
I can’t foresee any problems at this time. Our biggest issue currently is gaining more users with out being able to spend money on advertising. Six months from now hopefully we’ll have generated some revenue to spend on advertising.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
The benefit for our Users is that they can set up a date before they arrive in Vegas. This saves time, streamlines the process and ensures theres a real connection. Shy people struggle to break the ice. we help them!
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
Organically! We use Twitter and Facebook to spread the word to potential users. I also believe it or not post ads on Craigslist “HookUp” section. This has proven to be extremely effective.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
Our current Users Singles headed to vegas that want to meet someone as well as Married couples into Swinging! Our target user is 30-45 yr old, professional, single or in an alternative relationship.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
Google analytics tells us that our users come from all over the Country. We have identified over 35 countries with Vegasbound users! Most of our Members are all Vegasbound looking for NSA fun!
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
We’ve had Users thank us for providing this free service, We’ve also had users ask to delete their profiles because they have successfully met someone on our site!
20. How are you going to scale?
I need a sales person to sell banner space. The income thats generated will be used to advertise and bring in more users. I need someone with a background in Startup growth to help me expand and take it to the next level.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
A better Private messaging system. Needs to be more user friendly. Currently the Private messaging system we are using works just fine. It’s just not very user friendly and requires an additional step to accomplish your goal.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
As previously mentioned we already have users in more than 35 dif Countries using our sites service. In an effort to expand internationally, I’d like to have the option for Users to select their language preference.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
There is no limit to how big we can grow. An App is being built as we speak that will be more user friendly. This will capture even more mobile users. I plan to achieve growth by bringing in partners.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
I’d love to find a sales person to sell banner space and someone with management exp to help me with the things I dont know. Start up experience and experience making things grow.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
I welcome a partner! As I said, I’m a Social Worker that come up with a great idea! Now I need help growing it. A Venture Capitalist would be a God Send! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and look forward to hearing for you!
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Be bold! Nothing comes to a dreamer but dreams…Take charge and go for it! Great ideas turn into great business’. If you don’t begin it, someone else will.
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
I’d like to thank Startups.com for the opportunity to expose my Startup to more people.