Episode #435: From noodles and hot sauce to funding in 9 weeks – with OOOMF co-founder Mikael Cho
We’ve all been there, staring at blank faces, not quite able to read them, not sure that you want to. This is agony and something that Mikeal Cho and his partners were facing as they waited to hear feedback from a room of mentors early in their stay inside FounderFuel, a Montreal-based incubator.
It didn’t go well.
Left to ponder the feedback – and perhaps their future – the partners settled in to what would be a serious brainstorming session that would take them from the brink of entrepreneurial despair to $500,000 in funding and incredible momentum a short 9 weeks later. This is that story – the one where the founders hunker down and persevere with an idea shaped within an incubator and executed to perfection (so far). This is that story where honesty from the mentors took a talented team and forced them to rethink almost everything – and it worked. This is that story of 3 partners who didn’t quit, didn’t back down and now look at barriers as surmountable.
This is, of course, the story of OOOMF, the LaunchRock for mobile applications but that is not where they started. In this episode you will hear about that disastrous (or serendipitous) meeting with the mentors and what it did to set their sites on new, fertile ground in the mobile space. Mikael offers considerable insight into techniques they used to pivot quickly, grow their community and secure their seed round.
What makes an entrepreneur an entrepreneur is the tenacity shown by Mikael and his partners – they didn’t quit, they are building something they are passionate about and they managed to stun those same mentors 3 months after they were left for dead.
Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. What is so important about LaunchThisYear.com 1:50
2. What gives you the right to create something like this? 3:22
3. What is OOOMF? 5:15
4. What are the challenges to launching a mobile app? 6:00
5. How do you help overcome the trough of despair in app launch 8:55
6. How big is the OOOMF community? 10:45
7. How did you come up with the idea for OOOMF? 11:45
8. The FounderFuel experience: Mentor Day disaster 13:00
9. How did it feel to receive terrible feedback for your idea? 15:08
10. How did you recover? 17:50
11. Where did the idea for OOOMF come from? 20:00
12. Becoming the “Launch Rock” for mobile apps 24:00
13. The Demo day story 26:00
14. How did you grow the OOOMF community over night? 26:50
15. How did you redraw your passion to your new idea? 29:00
16. How quickly did you close the round of $500,000 31:00
17. How soon after the launch did you start adding additional services 36:00
18. How did you find your first customers? 37:40
19. What was your strategy for dealing with press and media? 38:40
20. Where did the LaunchThisYear idea come from? 40:40
21. What is the goal for LaunchThisYear? 43:30
22. How do we rid the world of crappy apps? 46:45
23. When should apppreneurs give up on their apps? 49:00
24. Should app makers focus on revenue or passion to build product? 52:00
25. What is your hope for LaunchThisYear? Is it a biz dev tool for OOOMF? 57:00
About Mikael Cho
Mikael is the founder of ooomf, a Montreal-based web company building the future of social app discovery. Prior to ooomf, Mikael co-founded 2 web companies. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Psychology.