Featured Startup on Azure: Recmnd

Featured Startup on Azure: Recmnd

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Recmnd.me is an easy and fun way for people to recommend and rate each other. It’s great for employers and recruiters looking to quickly hire top talent or for finding the best realtor, doctor or teacher. Learn more in an interview with Jesse Gant, the CEO and Co-Founder of Recmnd.Me.

BizSpark: Tell us who you are and your role in the company. 

Jesse Gant: I am CEO and Co-Founder of Recmnd.Me and focus on product management, user experience and marketing.

BizSpark: What did you do before creating your company? 

Jesse Gant: I’m an Internet executive with 15 years of experience building highly social and scalable online applications in ecommerce/subscriptions, analytics and video, search and map technologies. Companies have included Ancestry.com, Buy.com, Omniture, Move Networks and Teradata.

BizSpark: How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark? 

Jesse Gant: We’re excited to be in a select class of Orange County tech startups built on Microsoft technology.

BizSpark: What is your company’s mission? 

Jesse Gant: We hope to simplify social recommendations so you can find the best people, companies and products.

BizSpark: In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does: 

Jesse Gant: Users rate people on intelligence, dedication and personality. Combined with years worked and education level, users are then ranked among their peers.

BizSpark: How did you get the idea for your company? 

Jesse Gant: As a hiring manager myself, I realize that employers and recruiters are always trying to find "A" players. Subsequently, people are always asking for the best doctor, realtor, etc. The best way to discover them are through personal and professional recommendations. Avg LinkedIn profile has <1 rec, because it takes too long to be thoughtful and unique. On the flip side, employers and recruiters waste too much time sifting through resumes, so by ranking results every time, we speed up the process of finding top talent quickly.

BizSpark: Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much? 

Jesse Gant: Self funded to date.  We are seeking a seed round right now.

BizSpark: How many employees do you have? How many developers? 

Jesse Gant: 2 employees (both co-founders).  Our other co-founder is the CTO, so our main developer.  We use contractors for other things like pr, design and HTML work.

BizSpark: Are you hiring?  If yes, what are you hiring for and where? 

Jesse Gant: As soon as we get our seed round closed, we’ll be hiring a couple more developers and maybe a full-time UX designer.

BizSpark: Which platform are you building on?  Why? 

Jesse Gant: Microsoft technologies and Azure for hosting.  Our CTO has tons of experience with Microsoft and we feel that it can handle the influx of users as we grow and scale.  Plus the talent in Orange County tends to be Microsoft focused.

BizSpark: Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area? 

Jesse Gant: I think making development easier has a ways to go still.  Besides building once for multiple browsers, now it has to be responsive to different sizes/devices.  Cross platform development is key to staying competitive in today’s market.

BizSpark: What do you think about the BizSpark Program? 

Jesse Gant: We’re early into the program, but it will no doubt help us cut some of the costs of running a startup and then grow with us.

BizSpark: Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs? 

Jesse Gant: Things always take longer than you think (so try to bake that into whatever plan you have).  Also, it’s hard to build and launch a product or service and raise funds at the same time, so keep that as a consideration going into it.

BizSpark: Who’s your role model? 

Jesse Gant: Steve Jobs.  He was obsessive about design and simplicity while having a profitable business.

BizSpark: What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview? 

Jesse Gant: It’s time to leverage recommendation like never before.  Simpler recommendations not only lead to more of them, but once you have them, let’s use them to differentiate yourself in other ways (i.e. who recommended you, how does that help rank you among your peers, etc.).


Follow Recmnd.me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/recmndme.

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