What exactly constitutes a startup? Our definition of a startup in broad strokes: a young business that is testing a model for scalable revenue. There are caveats, but by our own definition, a company with a proven scalable revenue model may have outgrown those constraints.
“We’re definitely past the level of startup,” said cofounder Greg Star. “I say we’re past startup because I think people think startup connotates an idea. We’re at the point now where we have real employees, we have recurring revenue, we have clients and we’re growing those clients. We’re considering ourselves a real business.”
Carvertise, which turns cars into rolling advertisements, is finding ways to thrive where its competition on a larger scale has failed.
In fact, Star said there really is no competition right now — but both he and cofounder Mac Nagaswami are determined to build a market where there someday will be. And they’re reaching out to whatever competition does exist — no matter if they’re in England or in Utah — in order to do so.
“The biggest gap we’re facing is a lack of education on the part of both drivers and marketers on what this concept is and how it works,” said Star. “We can almost have an opportunity to work with our competitors to establish this as an industry. Once this becomes an industry, there will be best practices and standards, and from there we can start being real competitors. Right now, it’s still the dawn of an age.”
Carvertise is quickly driving that age forward — literally. Star said the company will employ 100 drivers by November. Plus, they just brought in former Clear Channel ad man John Schelich to shift advertising dollars towards the new medium and an operations manager to focus on building campaigns and putting cars on the road. That’s in addition to two full-time devs.
“They’re working on developing an assortment of things on the tech side,” said Star. “Creating visually appealing ways to showcase our data and incorporating our new impressions technology we’ve created into our campaigns.”
Carvertise has officially packed up and moved out of its original home at coIN Loft. The company relocated to its new office adjacent to 1313 Innovation in the Hercules Building, designed by Wilmington interior designer Katie O’Hara. For Star, the new office space makes a world of difference.
“We can take clients in there now and show that yeah, we’re a real company,” said Star. “We look the part, we have a nice office — it shows the people we work with and our vendors that we’re here to stay.”
In addition to all this new internal growth, the company is actively executing plans for expansion. That growth begins with car wraps, and Star said Carvertise has employed its own labor to wrap cars at Precision Color Graphics — a strategic partnership that has done the company wonders.
“This gives us flexibility to scale,” said Star. “We can go to different wrap places. If we want to run a campaign in Philadelphia or South Jersey, [other shops] can print it and we can have our guys wrap it for them. This gives us a little more control over the process.”
Philadelphia, South Jersey and the Philly burbs are the next steps for Carvertise. Having just joined the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, they’re moving on expansion plans with haste.
“Those three geographical ranges are where the next push is going to be,” said Star. “We want to own this area, build a solid ground of business in this area, then we can stop and think about how to scale and get to the next level.”