We love our Class of 2015, and we think you would love them too. As stated in the companies’ description article, we’re going to be posting an article a week focusing on two of our startups at a time, letting the founders speak a few words of their own on behalf of their company. Each post will focus on the founders’ companies, their move to Cincinnati, and how The Brandery has impacted their progress and business.
This week we sit down with the founders of Casamatic and Jersey Watch; both already have active versions of their product available online but are moving well to create an even better product by Demo Day in October. Take a look at some of their responses below and see how joining The Brandery has helped them grow so far.
Who’s on your team and how did you find each other?
Alex Bowman – CEO – Cincinnati, OH
Chris Ridenour – CTO – Cincinnati, OH
John Back – Lead Engineer – Cincinnati, OH
Alex: After I moved back to Cincinnati, I reached out to Chris to join the organizing team of Startup Weekend Cincinnati. As an avid follower during my time in Seattle, I knew I wanted to help make it happen here in Cincinnati—we’ve been buddies since then. We also brought AngelHack to Cincinnati and started a monthly startup meet-up in town with The Brandery’s marketing manager, Emily Cooper. We <3 #StartupCincy.
Chris and John met at Rockfish Interactive, a digital agency in Cincinnati, and they’ve been friends since (literally) day one. Fun fact: John officiated Chris’s wedding this year.
David Carter – Co-founder – Athens, OH
Tim Gusweiler – Co-founder – Cincinnati, OH
David: Tim and I were student-athletes at Ohio University (me- football, Tim- golf) and connected while studying in Ohio University’s prestigious dual MBA/MSA (Masters of Sports Administration) program. We were interested in the underserved and disorganized world of youth and high school sports and have worked together for over two years. Collectively we have built a team culture that blends aggressive tactics with disciplined execution, and a relentless focus on activities that matter. We care about sports, living balanced lives and providing remarkable service to our customers.
What is your company?
Alex: Casamatic matches buyers to their perfect home by learning about the people and activities they love. We’ve curated home listings—no giant maps, no huge lists of homes—we only show you your perfect homes.
Did you know that Zillow and other home search sites are selling page views to real estate agents? They’re basically being rewarded for making you browse a zillion homes. And Zillow’s only search filters are lot size, square footage, price range, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Those aren’t the only things that people care about when buying a home… in fact, they barely scratch the surface!
Chris: By demo day, we’ll be launched in a handful of cities (just Cincinnati right now) with an awesome new design from our agency friends at Landor.
David: Jersey Watch makes it easy to organize and empower youth sports with free, made-to-order websites and online tools. Youth sports organizations want a simple, low-cost solution that includes real service. We deliver on this, and have a particular strength with:
- Strong Product/Market Fit – Competitive groups over-deliver on features and price-points
- No cost– Jersey Watch is free through our sponsors. This is not seen in the market.
- Commitment to Service – We on-board clients faster and service them better than the competition.
By the end of September we hope to have finalized our scaling model and national rollout strategy. We expect to have a variety of new features on our product, and have successfully tested a handful of new tactics to acquire and onboard customers faster. Finally, this fall we aim to begin expanding our team significantly, and hope that recruiting efforts are well on their way come September.
What attracted you to apply to The Brandery?
Alex: Since we’re from Cincinnati, we’ve worked with and are friends with many other founders that have gone through The Brandery, so we knew first-hand how awesome it was and what it meant for Casamatic. It was an easy decision for us to make.
David: We always knew we were going to stay near Cincinnati, and it just worked out perfectly that The Brandery was only a few blocks away from the heart of downtown.
What’s been the best part?
Alex: Getting paired up with our new friends & agency partner Landor has been amazing. It’s crazy that we’re working with the same agency that creates brands that permeate our households—and it’s incredibly humbling!
We love the day-to-day interactions with Tony Alexander too—a seasoned entrepreneur-turned-angel investor who’s been through this before. His regular advice has been incredibly impactful. Our mentors are amazing too.
John: On top of all that, the gigabit internet is definitely a plus.
David: The variety and quality of the Brandery mentors and Cincinnati startup ecosystem has been tremendous. Our mentors have been incredibly supportive and inspiring to push the boundaries on our vision.
Work aside, what’s your favorite thing to do in Cincinnati?
Alex: Eat food and drink beer. We’re currently exploring Northside, one of the amazing neighborhoods in Cincinnati. We’re going to Urban Artifact, a new brewery in Northside that specializes in sour beers, this weekend, and probably hitting up another one of Northside’s amazing taco joints!
John: Riding the tidal wave of excitement, influence, and change that is going through Cincinnati/Over-the-Rhine right now is a real source of pride for me.
David: The city has been a great experience for us, but we especially have enjoyed visiting all the local restaurants around OTR.
Whether you’re looking for a new perfect home to move into or managing your own youth sports team, these guys easily have you covered. We chose these startups for our program based on both their idea and their team’s ability to deliver that idea— so far, so good.
Curious about their products? Take a look through their websites (Casamatic, Jersey Watch) to get a glimpse at what they’ve created so far. Let others know how awesome these companies are by sharing below, and subscribe to our email list to see the next set of company one-on-ones coming soon!
Photos by Zackariah Cole Photography