On May 8, 2014, The 500 Startups Accelerator held their batch 8 Demo Day, and the batch included Vegas Tech startup, Primeloop.
The 500 Startups Accelerator experiments with early-stage startup formulas for explosive growth with a mixture of up to $250K in funding, superhuman mentors & designers in residence, platform-specific strategies for customer acquisition, a creative workspace and lots more awesomeness.
“Our founders are rock stars, scientists, and artists all in one,” the 500 Startups Accelerator site explains. “They’re also incredibly talented and humble, willing to help their fellow startups and willing to help us too. We believe in their abilities and we believe that their products are solving real-world problems for customers. Our companies are a diverse group, ranging from financial services, search/social/mobile platforms, personal & business productivity, education & language, family & healthcare, web infrastructure, and more.”
Thomas Knoll
“I have been part of the 500 Family for a while now. First, as an entrepreneur (my last startup, Launchrock, was in batch 2). And then, for several years as a mentor,” said Primeloop co-founder Thomas Knoll. “And while I personally had access to the network, I wanted my whole team to be 500STRONG! We also wanted to use the ‘pressure-cooker’ nature of the accelerator to figure out growth and marketing.”
When the company was first started in Las Vegas, they went by the name ClippPR. He says the team moved way beyond just “clipping your PR”, so the literal name didn’t fit any longer.
“Even before choosing Primeloop (or did Primeloop choose us?) we knew we wanted to change the name to something that would be a better fit for the bigger vision, and grow along with the company,” he explained. “We love the name because Prime reminds us of “First, beginning, priming the pump, best choice, prepare”, and loop reminds us of “circle-up, join, growing, continues.””
“It’s funny… when we were leaving, almost everyone in Vegas assumed we were going to stay in San Francisco and never come back. The truth is, the #VegasTech community is awesome, way more awesome than we even realize ourselves,” Thomas Knoll said. “500 was great. San Francisco is interesting. But, I know now more than ever that the tech community here is better than the tech community in San Francisco.”
When Thomas Knoll tweeted about pivoting on stage at the 500 Startups Demo Day, he raised some eyebrows.
“I’m not sure if a company has ever pivoted on stage at Demo Day,” he said. “During the program, as we started to focus on marketing and selling the product, we discovered that one specific feature was actually the best opportunity to help brands move towards more Personal Relationships (get it? PR?), AND it was the best way for us to start growing our own business.”
He says his team calls it “Retargeted Conversations”, and with it, brands can show ads to the people who are actively engaging in their online/social conversations but have yet to become customers.
Interested in learning more about Primeloop and how you can help them succeed? Thomas Knoll says his team loves to learn from brilliant friends.
“Please come share your input and reactions to stories we are discussing here,” he says. “Right now, we are focused on connecting with any brands who are already familiar with traditional retargeting, and spend $5k-$20k per month on advertising. If any #VegasTech companies fit that description or if you have customers, cousins, or colleagues who work on brands that size, please reach out: 415-935-3547 or thomas at primeloop.com.”