by Nick Mathers, Finance and Operations Manager at KITE
Editor’s Note: Welcome to the first installment of the KITE founder interview series, Rising Together. At KITE, our goal is to help emerging companies connect and partner with brand and agencies. Each month we’ll introduce you to one founder that’s using KITE to drive their go-to-market strategies.
“Entrepreneurship is about looking forward, so no regrets.”
Our focus this month: Social TV, second screen and content discovery apps, and other entertainment-related technologies have exploded in popularity and volume over the last few years. Business Insider recently reported that 88% of US consumers use mobile as a second screen while watching TV and more and more services are popping up to help us sift through our Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime queues, movie listings and endless TV options to find exactly what we’re looking for with more ease and satisfaction.
Trailerpop (KITE score: 72) is one of the most promising entries into the content discovery space, helping film fans discover new movies, prove their movie trivia expertise and earn rewards in a beautifully-designed, fun app experience. To discuss this vibrant emerging category and his growing company, we’re excited to kick off our interview series with Jon Vlassopulos, the Founder and CEO of Trailerpop (see his bio at the end).
How would you describe Trailerpop using 100 words?
Trailerpop is the world’s leading, all-premium entertainment discovery playground, designed to be experienced on all screens. Trailerpop makes discovering entertainment fun by delivering curated channels of more than 20,0000 HD film trailers with added trivia, friendly competition and rewards. The app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, engages all movie fans from movie buffs to newbies with lists from Trailerpop editors, celebrities, tastemakers and friends. Trailerpop makes it easy to find what you want to watch by seamlessly integrating with all major movie rental and purchase partners like Fandango, Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon.
How and when did the idea for Trailerpop come about? What problem are you solving?
We came up with the idea for Trailerpop last year (2012). We are solving the pain point of entertainment discovery by making it more fun. We do this by creating a playground where studios, brands and consumers can all play together with all parties benefiting. We want to get more people watching more content than ever before.
How did you name your company?
After various brainstorming sessions, we came up with Trailerpop and I bought it from someone. Trailerpop has the pop of popcorn, pop culture and pop quiz with the excitement of trailers. It seemed like a strong fit.
What were you doing prior to founding your own company?
Running an award-winning mobile agency.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while creating your company?
The main hurdle was having the confidence to actually do it. Quickly after, there was the challenge of finding our first investors to help solidify the company and give us runway to build what was in our heads.
Our mantra is “We Rise Together”. How has collaboration helped your company to succeed so far?
Collaboration has been key to Trailerpop. From the beginning, we’ve depended on our network of investors, advisors and other founders here and around the world. My family members have also been key collaborators and I couldn’t have done it without them.
Has your initial vision changed since launch?
Our ambition has always been pretty large since the beginning, so we are still on a similar path. Planning to disrupt entertainment discovery and consumption by making it more fun and social is still where we are headed.
What have you learned this year that you think every entrepreneur should know?
When you are raising money, you need to be determined with potential investors. If they are not following up, it is their fault and you are justified to keep checking back. Don’t feel bad– just get on with it.
What do you wish you’d have known pre-launch that you know now?
Actually nothing comes to mind, entrepreneurship is about looking forward, mainly, so no regrets.
Which entrepreneur do you most admire? Why?
Richard Branson – he has always been my role model. He started small, thinks big and has proved himself decade after decade as a leader in multiple sectors outside of entertainment and travel. Above all, he is a nice guy and always makes sure that fun is a key ingredient in his company’s recipe.
What are three spaces or emerging trends that you are most excited about?
I am excited about Quantified Health really coming of age; it is in the baby stages right now. I do angel investing on the side and have invested in an exciting company in that space called Fitstar (KITE score: 70), they have a lot of room to grow along with the space. Additionally, I like Messaging Tech (Line, What’s App, etc) as they all merge with gaming and other contextual experiences. Finally I have to say Entertainment. We are moving from analogue to digital library consumption and moving towards an era where real media services will be born– services that know you, reward you and really add value (companies like Willcall are good early examples). Also, as device capacity keeps improving and connectivity moves towards ubiquity, this space will get really exciting very fast.
Have you passed up any opportunities that you now regret?
I wished I put some money into Netflix when it was down but I put that money into Trailerpop… so no regrets.
What is your favorite movie of all-time and favorite trailer of all-time?
I will expand your question to my top 3 because that is what we are about at Trailerpop; gathering preferences and learning from them. For me it would be High Fidelity, True Romance and Shaun of the Dead. For trailer – Great Gatsby was awesome. I presume yours are UP, Upin the Air and Rise of the Guardians. [Very clever, Jon.]
Where do you see Trailerpop in 5 years time?
Trailerpop will be one of the leading entertainment services in the world.
About Jon Vlassopulos: Jon is a mobile, music, TV and advertising thought leader with 17 years of experience, having worked as a senior executive, entrepreneur and angel investor in the UK, Asia and the US. Previously, Jon served as CEO of Skyrockit, an award-winning mobile agency. Prior to that, he was the SVP of Digital Media and Branded Entertainment for Endemol, the world’s largest independent production company. Recently, Jon founded his own company that’s changing the way people discover interact with entertainment. Big thanks to John for being our first of many founders interviewed.
Trailerpop is one of the many companies reaping the benefits of claiming their KITE profile. They have already been put in front of two major brands interested in emerging technologies. If you’re a startup, claim your profile here: http://bit.ly/ClaimCo.
Tune in next month for the next installment of our Rising Together series for another interview with a founder leading marketers into the future through KITE.