2017 SVP Startup Profile: CliqBit
Hannah Wei, Wellesley College ’18: Co-founder
Olivia Joslin, Wellesley College ’19: Co-founder
What is CliqBit?
CliqBit connects companies with Generation Z for consumer research. Gen Z (ages 13-21) can come onto CliqBit and make quick money by assisting corporate researchers in answering their questions. On the other hand, corporate researchers can finally get the on-demand access they need to the elusive Gen Z.
What is the story behind your startup?
When we were wrapping things up with our previous social app startup, Olivia and I (Hannah) were approached by the CEO of a major public tech company in China, who wanted us to help advise them on product and marketing for some of their new flagship products aimed at US teens. During this process, we were frequently approached by the company’s Head of User Research who needed to find Gen Z research participants who matched his screening criteria. He revealed to us that it is virtually impossible in this day and age to find Generation Z teens because they aren’t able to be found through phone calls, emails, Facebook, etc.
Additionally, Olivia and I recognized that the success we saw with our social app came from our hundreds of focus group Gen Z-ers who were more than eager to work with our product and help us improve. We always encountered groups of baffled entrepreneurs, investors, and general audience when they heard about our engagement levels with Gen Z teens. We understand our generation and were surprised to find out that most companies have a problem sourcing Generation Z for market and product research. Gen Z-ers are eager to work with companies, and companies spend big bucks trying to get Gen Z, yet they are having difficulty connecting. So that’s where Olivia and I come in with CliqBit. We understand what large companies need and how Gen Z clicks. This is why we created a simple, on-demand way to connect companies with Generation Z.
What’s been a big milestone/accomplishment you’ve made since Summer Venture Program started?
We’ve launched the Generation Z side of our platform. Check it out on www.cliqbitapp.com and please sign up!
What’s been a big obstacle/surprise that you faced?
We’ve absolutely been shifting around our initial product quite a bit, which hasn’t allowed us to move as much in terms of go-to-market strategy implementation and scaling clients this summer. Being B2B, our clients’ needs are pretty definitive, which is great, but it’s also hard when you’re getting varied feedback and thoughts from potential clients. We want to be sure our MVP is at least generating us revenue, so we definitely have to get some things correct. Ultimately, we feel like we’ve just now begun to have enough of an initial grasp of clients’ needs and are trying to plow through building a bare minimum product as quickly as we can to test it.
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs that you want to share?
- Build a strong and extensive mentor/advisor network.
- ‘Failure’ or hardship only brings you closer to success—so don’t be afraid to start.
- Listen to everyone, whether they’re more experienced or less so than you. Having a fresh perspective is sometimes the key to your breakthrough.
- Take what everyone says with a grain of salt. Be discerning and comprehend advice in context, because at the end of the day, you still know your business and yourself best.
Meet CliqBit at the Summer Venture Showcase on Thursday July 27. Register now! >>