The Power of an Innovation Network - From Incubator to Investment

The Power of the Network: How One Program and a 30-minute Meeting Led to a $1.5Million Investment

“I feel naked.”

That’s how Carter Wigell, CEO of Ideator, describes how he feels after graduating from the Salesforce Incubator’s first cohort and moving to his own San Francisco office space with co-founder Charlie Smith. Connecting with his 22-person team, more than half of whom are remote, via video conferencing and messaging apps is a stark contrast to the literal and figurative in-person elbow rubbing the incubator provided.

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Product Hunt

We Had a Blast Using Product Hunt

Image via producthunt.com

I still have a grin from ear to ear. Why? Because the Ideator team got to experience the excitement of having our product “hunted” on Product Hunt. What fun! It was an amazing opportunity to engage with Product Hunters who wanted to learn more about us. We learned that Product Hunters are not shy about voicing their opinions. We also learned a lot from their very direct feedback, as well as feedback from the Product Hunt team.

Being on Product Hunt also got us great exposure. Nasdaq tweeted about us, and we also caught the attention of Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, one of the coolest movers and shakers in the startup community.

Best of all, our average monthly visitor rate to Ideator.com nearly doubled after being hunted, and weekly signups more than quadrupled!  Based on our experience, we give Product Hunt a rousing two thumbs up, and would give three if we had an extra one. If you’ve got the right kind of product and are prepared to follow the rules, Product Hunt offers a great opportunity to let the tech world know about your new product.

 

Ideator SF v2

The Ideator May Challenge

Mark Your Calendars!

Ideator is sponsoring this year’s Startup Grind Global Conference, an annual event that brings together Silicon Valley’s top investors, developers, journalists, and entrepreneurs for two days of workshops, talks, intimate meetings, and parties.

The event takes place on Feb. 23 – 24 at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, California. With 3,000 founders and investors, more than 40 keynote and fireside sessions, and over 50 exhibiting startups, this year’s conference promises to be Startup Grind’s best and largest ever.

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Where Are They Now: Penguin App

In 2015, one of the first ideas Ideator showcased on our blog was the Penguin App, a social networking app that allows people to connect based on their mutual interests rather than just physical appearance. At the time, the app was still in the developmental stage, but we are proud to announce that Ideators Sidao Li, Phillip Duong and Andres Santana have come a long way since then – including submitting their product for acceptance to the Apple App Store.

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Onto New Things

I am truly excited and passionate to become the CEO of Ideator. It’s been a career-long dream to make this happen. 

I came up with the idea for Ideator back in 2008. I had recently moved from San Francisco to
Los Angeles and the venture idea started from hanging out with my good friend Aber Whitcomb. Aber was the CTO and Co-Founder of MySpace. The MySpace social events were pretty wild. Since MySpace’s HQ was in L.A., their events attracted not only serial entrepreneurs but also lots of Hollywood actors, actresses, musicians and lots of famous people. I would watch Aber get repeatedly approached by people who would say, “Hey – I have a great idea, I would love to chat with you about it.” At the time, I realized there was not an easily accessible place to get help with an idea and start a business.
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