Business development / Design / Startups

Need a hand? Call these local startup whisperers

Meet JrPixels.

Let's make a deal. (Photo by Flickr user Flazingo, used under a Creative Commons license)

Building a successful business is hard. As a first-time founder there are a lot of skills you’ll need that, by definition, you don’t possess because, well, you’re a first-time founder. So you’ll need a team — people who bring valuable, unique skills to the table. But as a startup, your hiring finances are not unlimited, and sometimes you’ll need something that you can’t hire a team member to complete.
That’s when you might call the team at JrPixels.
JrPixels is a bicoastal creative agency with offices in NoVA as well as Newport Beach, Calif. But JrPixels does more than help clients with their one-off branding and design needs. The company has a contingent of “branding and digital media masters, senior web and mobile app developers, business strategists, design thinking specialists and financial experts,” it says, that will come in, take a look at your business and help you build it. All of it, if need be.
This, says chief strategy officer Sanford Diday, is called the “growth engine.” The JrPixels team will do your marketing, your UI design, your financial analysis — the list goes on and on. It can be helpful to think of JrPixels as a team of startup whisperers — they aim to know what you don’t, or at least be able to identify someone who does.

JrPixels looks at the business world and sees lots of potential but a lack of follow-through. Innovation is everywhere, Diday told in an email. “What’s not everywhere is successful growth, because it requires a much more focused effort (ideally, and usually, by people who know what they’re doing).”
Sure, as a first-time founder you could muddle through the stages of company creation. But while some might see that as a valuable learning and growth experience — JrPixels sees it as a market inefficiency.
“Just imagine if the failure rate of local growth companies went from 90 percent down to 60 percent!” Diday wrote in an email. “Such an improvement in business success rates would portend a massive uptick in both jobs and affluence as investors and founders alike wasted less time and made more money.”
From this perspective, the value proposition for bringing on JrPixels is clear — they promise to be the experts, the guides, who can figure out what to do (and execute) in a fraction of the time you can.
JrPixels makes money much the same way any consultant or contractor does — charging hourly, weekly or monthly for work done on distinct projects or toward set goals. The company can also be hired on a monthly retainer and, in some cases, will accept equity as part of the deal. “Usually, it makes sense when we’re coming in as a true partner and really helping to grow the company in a very fundamental way where we’re involved with each facet of growth,” Diday told
JrPixels originally launched in 2009, but Diday said it wasn’t until 2012 or 2013 that the team started doing the vast majority of its in-depth work. And business seems to be going well — the small 15-person team (though that can be expanded with contractors if necessary) has worked with brands ranging from National Geographic to Oakley and beyond, according to the website. Examples of companies JrPixels has had a closer, equity-involved relationship with include Harmoney, a personal finance platform that’s currently in stealth mode, and InPerson, a location-based social network for airports. Just last month, JrPixels made Entrepreneur’s list of America’s 360 best small businesses.
“It’s all about building companies successfully,” Diday told And it’s all about reminding founders that, when they’re not sure how do accomplish this, there is someone who can help.


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