Whenever new customers sign on with online app discovery platform Ooomf, CEO Mikael Cho personally emails them an important question: “What is your biggest challenge?”
Now, after gaining feedback from thousands of users over 11 months, the Montreal-based startup is ready to help these customers address this question and act on it.
They’ve created LaunchThisYear.com, a platform for entrepreneurs, experienced or not, to follow through with a resolution to create a mobile app in 2013. “There's a lot of entrepreneurs and innovative people that want to make an app, but it's hard to know where to start," said Cho, 26. "We want to help break down every hurdle from idea to launch and beyond."
According to Cho his team encountered two types of users: those who have built an app but struggle to successfully market it in the App Store and those who have never built an app before. They’ve geared Launch This Year towards the latter group in an effort to empower anyone and everyone who has the desire to create an app.
Once accepted to Launch This Year, users gain access to a personalized step-by-step guide to help them launch the app. ooomf will be close by providing users with action-based direction to help them stay on track and deliver their launch date.
ooomf was born out of Montreal accelerator FounderFuel. The team graduated as part of the first cohort of businesses and quickly secured $500,000 in seed-stage funding from Real Ventures and BDC Venture Capital. Since then they’ve assisted thousands of entrepreneurs in less than a year’s time.
Most of the team met while working at an agency prior to FounderFuel. Here they consistently faced reoccurring issues from clients, providing inspiration for both the company and Launch This Year.
First, several startups couldn’t afford an agency to help them build an app, and for those that could there were serious setbacks. “People were paying a lot of money for these apps but there was almost no value because people couldn’t find them in the app store,” said Cho. “So we thought we could probably fix this and we could probably fix it for the majority of developers.”
The next logical step was to try and make some central platform available to the masses and thus the creation of Launch This Year, the website that is helping entrepreneurs who want to make a mobile app in 2013.
Cho likens the new site to last year’s coding initiative started by New York-based startup Codecademy.com called Code Year. Early on the initiative was reported to have surpassed 200,000 users and he thinks that this goal isn’t too lofty for Launch This Year.
What if they successfully help over 200,000 users? “We’ll do it again,” said Cho. “I would continue to do it again because you’re empowering people with something that they thought would be impossible.”