Starting Your Startup: Entrepreneurial Insights
Experiences are greater than things. This is the statement that has been the driving force behind everything that I do. My name is Kreg Peeler and I am the Founder and CEO of SpinGo and Aktify, two innovative companies that are changing the attendee experience. SpinGo is an event engine that provides tailored solutions for events including ticketing, onsite badging, scheduling, and much more while Aktify is a customer acquisition engine that qualifies and reactivates prospects through goodwill experience marketing.
Before I was an entrepreneur, I was just a college student with a simple mission: I didn’t want to hear people constantly complaining that there was nothing to do in our college town. At the time I worked on sounds and lighting for many different events, so I knew there was a lot to do but somehow getting the word out about these events was proving to be a challenge. I decided I wanted to create a way for people to hear about these events so they wouldn’t have to complain about it anymore. The idea started there and has since transformed into what SpinGo is today, but it didn’t happen overnight.
In the early stages, I had a company called Spin Student Life, a directory of local events, entertainment, restaurants, date ideas, deals, etc. targeted at college students. It was the failure of this company that eventually led me to SpinGo. A particular experience that has always stuck with me was when Spin Student Life decided to officially launch with a big block party. We had thoughtfully pieced together the venue, entertainment, food, music, etc. All we needed was marketing to get the word out about our event, so I enlisted the help of my good friend and we got to work. Unfortunately, our marketing efforts wound up being ineffective. So much so that the day of the event we had an event set up for an expectation of 5,000 people and we had maybe 10 show up. Definite failure. However, it is failure that has taught me the most as an entrepreneur.
I’ve come to accept that failure is a constant state of entrepreneurship. If you aren’t failing, you’re not trying anything new. That feeling of your gut sinking, of embarrassment, of failure, is awful, but it can be resolved by trying again and trying differently. When Spin Student Life failed I knew I could quit and simply stay a failure, or I could try again and maybe succeed because of everything I had learned the first time around.
Today I am a passionate entrepreneur and CEO of 2 companies. I pride myself on taking care of my people, which enables my team to be as focused, creative, and driven as they can be. I don’t want them to have to worry about the money or the politics of it all, I want them to thrive in their roles and not be afraid to try new things. My experience as an entrepreneur has taught me that I don’t have all the answers. Because of this I have made it a point to hire smarter people than myself so that I am surrounded by the best and the brightest. I encourage my team to embrace “honeybadgerness”, meaning to never be afraid to break down walls and take on projects head on. Because of our go-getter mentality, we make decisions together because I think it’s important for every one of us to have a voice.
If you are getting ready to launch your own startup my advice to you is to:
1) Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish.
2) Have a solid team of people you know you can count on to take initiative and break down walls.
3) Have a good financial partner who has your back for the ups and downs of it all.
Great companies aren’t built in a day. When I started SpinGo we were responsible for our own finances. Today we are backed by tech influencers like Todd Pedersen, CEO of Vivint, and Rick Alden, Founder of Skullcandy. Remember that it takes time to achieve the success you want. It will take lots of time and lots of mistakes. We’ve made tons of mistakes, done plenty of things wrong, but if I remove those from the story, then my companies wouldn’t be where they are today.
- Kreg is the Founder & CEO of SpinGo. He is committed to creating extraordinary experiences and simplifying the lives of event makers. He has been in the event tech industry for 18 years and has helped over 7 million events. Kreg is also the CEO of Aktify, a customer acquisition engine that qualifies and reactivates prospects through goodwill experience marketing.