Take control of your financial future with SocialPicks
Today's featured startup, SocialPicks, empowers individual investors to take control of their financial future; they help their customers Invest Smarter Together.
Read our interview with SocialPicks CEO and Co-Founder, Jeffrey Tompkins. (In the picture below, he's the tall guy in the middle.)
What inspired you to start your company?
Behind the news stories surrounding the protests, chaos, and uncertainty of the recent economic downturn was a different voice. It was a voice of opportunity, collaboration and hope. It was a voice that tells the story of why we began looking for ways to harness the powers of the Internet to help individuals invest smarter together. For most consumers the idea of managing their own investments is quite daunting. Where could a first time investor go to find relevant, trustworthy information and network and learn from like-minded investors? Enter SocialPicks. We believe the Internet offers investors unparalleled access to resources they need to make their investing experience more profitable.
Tell us something unique about you and your co-founder(s)?
We all met while doing our graduate studies at Oxford University and while it was various shared interests (rowing, travel, debates at the Oxford Union) that brought us together it was a passion for entrepreneurship that reunited us more than a decade later. Here's a shot of our team at Tech Crunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, September 2011.
What problem does your product or service solve?
If somebody jumped off a cliff would you follow them? Probably not. And yet this analogy, while extreme, is not entirely dissimilar from what is currently happening online at the intersection of retail investing and social media. Users are jumping into online conversations about investing oftentimes without knowing anything at all about the people with whom they are speaking and the investors they’re following. And with the amount of social information online increasing exponentially we can only expect this problem to get worse.
What are your startup's three biggest challenges to growth?
Recruiting top talent, maintaining a focus on our customers and knowing when to turn down opportunity. The sheer number of opportunities available to startups can be overwhelming. Knowing which ones will contribute to the success of the company and when is the right time to tap them is something we have to consider on a daily basis.
How will Startup America help you overcome these challenges and help your startup grow?
What attracted us to Startup America was the ability to connect with and learn from mentors, advisors and accelerators specifically interested in supporting our company to grow and to scale. Building something that our customers love (not to mention having the necessary capital to keep the lights on and our servers running!) is what keeps us up at night. Access to mission critical services at reduced costs is an oasis for the bootstrapping start-up.
What Startup America Member Benefits have you used?
We’ve tapped some of the great deals for start-ups and have really benefitted from the startup opportunities calendar. There are tons of events, resources, competitions and the like out there and it’s nice to have them all organized and accessible in one place!
What is the startup culture like in your City/State?
NYC has become a real hub of innovation and access to talent for start-ups. Our favorite destination in the NYC start-up ecosystem is General Assembly, a veritable start-up campus for technology, design, and entrepreneurship and there are literally dozens of meet-ups for everything from social media strategy to StartOut, a meet-up for LGBT entrepreneurs. I also think the recent success of Tech Stars, a local accelerator that provides access to experienced mentors, is emblematic of the overwhelming support for start-ups provided by senior talent in the city. It’s an exciting time to be a start-up!
We’re growing and looking to add data scientists, technologists, and product specialists with experience in social scoring (think Klout) and who share our passion to find ways to help our community of users to invest smarter together.
Learn more about SocialPicks below, and click here to vote for them in the NYSE Big Startup Competition, (like the page first).
Join SocialPicks and over 7,100 other startups on the road to success. Get your free Startup America membership now: