What do hiking, canning tomatoes and Juggle have in common?
Juggle started out as an idea. It was something the four founders wished existed. Well, wish in one hand… you know the rest. So, we had to bring this idea to life. Where to start? We liked our name so much, that the first thing we did was meet with an attorney to seek advice on protecting it. Alex Brown turned out to be more to Juggle than just a legal eagle, he served as the catalyst that would get this idea off of the ground. And for that, we will be forever grateful.
He liked our idea, and suggested that we pitch it to a tech startup incubator, Rev 1 Ventures. He put us in touch with Greg Pugh, then Senior Vice President of Venture Acceleration, who took a meeting with us. His brutally honest assessment: he’d seen this concept tried 1000 times in a 1000 different ways, and it always failed. But, he liked us, so he invited us to Concept Academy, an intense 3-day course designed to help entrepreneurs determine whether their idea can achieve early product validation. Would people actually buy into Juggle?
Rev 1 hears 600 pitches every year. Only 150 get invited to Concept Academy, so despite the sobering news that our chances for failure were exceedingly higher than our odds of success, we were PUMPED! We dove in and jumped through the hoops, identifying our market, then sending out hundreds of surveys to see whether the features we wished to provide would resonate with people. We charted and graphed our results and we gave Greg his first Juggle surprise: the results were overwhelmingly positive. So much so that at the conclusion of CA, Rev 1, with Greg’s recommendation, invited us to engage with them. Out of the 150 yearly CA participants, only 25 companies get this opportunity. We put on our most professional faces, told them very calmly that we appreciated the opportunity and looked forward to working with them. The four of us made our way to the closest Starbucks and proceeded to jump up and down in the parking lot. We celebrated with 4 skinny soy lattes with cinnamon on the bottom AND top, and shared the exciting news with our husbands over a collective Juggle text chain.
Greg became our official advisor at Rev 1, our mentor, our barometer, our hard-truth teller. Can you make this work in Des Moines, Iowa he would ask us. Over the next year and a half he helped us navigate the startup world, hiring app developers, accountants, bookkeepers, all in a team effort to turn Juggle into a functioning app. We learned so much from Greg, and while we didn’t always appreciate his tough talk, looking back, it was what we needed to hear, and served as motivation to prove him wrong.
We knew we were in capable hands with Greg. He founded and navigated two successful companies, StratoCumulus Technologies and Integrated Mobile, to eventual acquisition. Additionally, he held various business development and sales roles with technology based companies. We finally started really impressing him with our growth both in Columbus and Cincinnati, and our strategy for scaling the company. We feel so fortunate to welcome hims in his official capacity as our Executive Consultant. He will act in both a strategic and tactical capacity. When he isn’t Juggling, Greg loves to hike and can tomatoes. And yes, Greg, we do think we can make this work in Des Moines…
Any Investor or Vendor inquiries may be directed to Greg at: firstname.lastname@example.org