Q&A: RecBob CEO discusses going full-time with Startup Weekend idea
RecBob's website hints at a coming Facebook app and allows interested users to sign up for beta testing.
John Schnipkoweit (left), the co-founder and now former CTO of Ovation Networks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has gone full-time with an idea he first pitched at Startup Weekend Iowa City in October. And he's not alone.
"I've sold all of my shares in Ovation Networks to my co-founder," Schnipkoweit said in an email interview on Friday. "There are three of us that are going ahead on RecBob full-time and two going part-time."
Schnipkoweit, who's taken on the role of CEO, said RecBob is bootstrapping but that he has a goal to raise seed capital by July. He and his team are currently working out of Vault, a coworking space in Cedar Rapids.
The startup took third at Startup Weekend, but then about four weeks later it took first in field of 16 at the Technology Association of Iowa's Pitch & Grow competition.
We caught up with Schnipkoweit on Friday to learn more:
Silicon Prairie News: What is RecBob?
John Schnipkoweit: RecBob connects the real world with social media to make recreational sports fun. Facebook and its open graph are at his core, which he'll combine with other available technologies.
SPN: What is the timeline for RecBob to launch into public beta?
JS: Select testers will be helped by RecBob within 6-8 weeks, followed by a larger test leading up to public beta, hopefully in second quarter.
SPN: What are some similar sites to what RecBob hopes to offer?
JS: A dozen or so sites offer sports league management. I don't have the list with me, but I can say what gives us an advantage is that we are tackling the problems from a new perspective, that is built around a social media core.
SPN: What helped you make this decision to go full-time?
JS: The recent assembly of the entrepreneurial community in the Cedar Rapids area has been really energizing. I don't think I would be ready to leap if it wasn't for some chain reactions started by Andy Stoll and Amanda Styron, such as convincing me to go to Big Omaha last spring. Combine that with RecBob winning the EDC's Pitch and Grow, and some conversations with possible investors, all which opened my eyes to RecBob's real potential. Personally, the timing was right for many reasons.
SPN: How did Startup Weekend play a role in the founding of RecBob?
JS: It was an idea I had because of a project I am helping a local non-profit with to build a sand volleyball facility in our New Bohemia neighborhood. That project, NewBoBeach.com will be a great place to gather feedback to make RecBob better. Without Startup Weekend, I would have most likely just treated the idea as a side project and not been able to devote enough time for it to become what we are building now.
SPN: Who makes up the RecBob team?