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MassChallenge: An Awesome Tree Fort for Crazy People

By Dave McLaughlin, CEO and Co-founder of Vsnap

A year ago I submitted Vsnap to MassChallenge. What’s now a full-fledged venture with a team and products and thousands of users was then really just an idea. There was no product and there were no employees yet. Just me and one of my co-founders with some strong beliefs and deep passion about the importance of video messaging, as well as the size of the market and how to approach it. 

We were committed to running hard and fast, and by the time the competition actually started, we were a team of three full-timers on the threshold of having an alpha product. We launched it shortly after and then spent the next several months running tests and refining our understanding of what problem we are solving and for what users. 

MassChallenge was an awesome place to be during this period. I really can’t imagine doing it any other way. We benefited from all the expertise and other resources that the program aggregates for early-stage folks like us. We learned from the various speakers, and from the other startups. Moreover, we enjoyed the camaraderie of the competition, and we welcomed the chance to help and to be helped by everybody else who was involved. 

We’re pretty zealous - our whole team is - about how essential community is for people who are going after big audacious goals. There’s something great about finding your tribe, you know? All the other crazy ones who think they can change human behavior and change the world. MassChallenge is like an awesome tree fort for these folks. Us included. 

In fact, we have applied to participate in MassChallenge again. The rules are that a company can apply to come back for a second year if they did not receive one of the award grants and if they have not yet raised $500k in investment and do not yet have $1M in revenues. Certainly we’re a company with amazing growth potential and one that can benefit from the resources and the culture that come together here. We’re also a company that has a lot to offer to the MassChallenge community and to the Greater Boston ecosystem as a whole. We intend to build a damn big company here. 

I hope that anyone else considering whether to apply will see this as the ultimate affirmation of the value of participation. We believe in MassChallenge so much that we’re throwing our hat in the ring for a chance to be let into the tree fort again. 

For any readers who don’t know what we do, Vsnap makes it easy to send short video messages as a more personal alternative to email or other text-based communication. It’s all about helping businesses engage customers in more personal ways, deepening those relationships and making the business environment feel more human. 

If you think that’s even a little bit awesome and you’d like to support us, please vote for us here. Thanks in advance!

Filed under dave blogs masschallenge video messaging video message tree fort vsnap startups