Colorado Springs startup SnapAdvice, which developed a smartphone application that helps entrepreneurs get online advice and mentoring, has been sold to Phoenix-based Launchers Inc., which provides a variety of tools to help entrepreneurs get their startups off the ground.
Terms of the transaction completed last week were not disclosed, but SnapAdvice cofounder and CEO Paul Bae said he will remain with the company for an undetermined period to ensure a "smooth technology handoff" to Launchers. He is already consulting with the organizers of a business accelerator and will eventually "move on to my next startup," but hasn't yet worked out the details. Bae said he began talks about selling SnapAdvice to Launchers after meeting Danny Pickett, the company's CEO, by connecting with him on the SnapAdvice application.
"They focus on early entrepreneurs and helping them launch new businesses, so they were interested in acquiring SnapAdvice and it became obvious that it would be a good deal for them. It was hard for us to scale. A larger company with more resources and experience will help us grow quicker," Bae said.
Pickett said he plans to incorporate the advisers and mentors from SnapAdvice and the code from application into his Launchers platform for entrepreneurs that will be available this summer with an array of tools and resources for startups. He called SnapAdvice "a good product that we can rebrand and add a few other things into it."
Bae started SnapAdvice nearly two years ago at Epicentral Coworking with a Ukrainian partner and funding from a Los Angeles angel investor as well as Epicentral Cofounder Lisa Tessarowicz to develop an application that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to connect with advisers and mentors. The application debuted about six months ago for use with smartphones on both the Apple and Android operating systems and now includes about 200 advisers and mentors worldwide that can be booked for video calls that are completed and paid through the application.
"I was already working with entrepreneurs remotely, and there is a huge community of entrepreneurs who work remotely, so I wanted to build an application for advising, mentoring and connecting with those who could help them regardless of where they are located. I am passionate about bringing meaningful connections across the globe," Bae said. "It was an idea I had for a long time, talked to a lot of entrepreneurs to validate the idea, investors encouraged me to do it, we quickly spun up a prototype and we started getting users right away. We had paying customers for day one."
Bae started his career as a web developer for retailer J.Crew, but eventually moved into entertainment and worked with Google and CBS before he was recruited in 2013 to Colorado Springs by local Christian publisher David C. Cook as director of digital marketing and strategy for its Integrity Music label that it had acquired from Sony two years earlier. The job turned out to be a poor fit, so he left after a year to start a software development and applications company called Fidolab and after 3½ years, moved on to start SnapAdvice.
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