We start with an interview with Kane Miller, owner of StarterPad, a community for startups and entrepreneurs. He´s been quite kind in answering our questions and I think we got a very nice view of the current situation of both StarterPad and the startup world.
A: StarterPad is a community for people involved in startups. It offers a platform that makes it easy to connect with other startup founders, share ideas, help one another, network, and even start new businesses together.
A: I’ve been working on various internet startups since the late ’90s when I was in university. I had so many unique ideas but not enough time or financial resources to bring them to fruition. Fast forward 15 years, I now have the funds and experience that I wish I would have had in university. I want to be able to help out new entrepreneurs in a way that I wish was offered to me when I was younger.
A few years ago I was chatting with a friend of mine about starting an angel investing / startup community together. But we were both too distracted with our own projects that we never got it off the ground. When I saw StarterPad listed on Flippa.com, and started chatting with Gediminas about his vision for it, I knew I had to jump on the opportunity.
A: I think it’s as ‘hot’ now as ever before. Especially with the global recession, I think more and more people are starting to think creatively and take risks starting their own businesses, because there’s more unemployed people than there’s been in a long time. Plus, web technologies and communication methods (Google Hangouts, Skype, VIber, etc) are getting better and better every day, so it’s becoming so easy to launch a new online business and work effectively online with your team members.
I also think there’s a ton of great options for startups looking for outside funding, such as Angel.co, Funders Club, Microventures, etc.
A: I definitely don’t think we’re at the peak, I think it’s going to continue to gain momentum.
A: I don’t have a solid plan yet, as I’ve only recently sent out a survey to the members (and had a great response, by the way). I need to go through it and try to get a grasp of what the members want to see out of the site. I also have a document written by Gediminas that outlines some of his ideas for the future of the site, so that should help give me ideas too. Some of the possible ideas are: improved publicity and advertising for startups, an investing platform, resources for startups, and cofounder matching. We’re also in the midst of redesigning the site from CakePHP -> Ruby on Rails, so that’s going to take a bit of time.
A: There’s currently ~4100 users and it’s naturally increasing about 10-20 per day. Yes, I definitely plan to increase it.
A: There’s other startup communities like StartupNation, Ultra Light Startups, and then there’s angel investing sites like Angel List. I think StarterPad has a unique platform (props to Gediminas for his design) that differentiates it from other sites.
A: Correct. In the future this is something I may consider but at the moment I just want to work on making the site better for the members.
My name is Kane Miller. I was born on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. I went to university for computer engineering, then worked in the energy industry in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for 5 years. I had worked on web projects on the side since university but never full time. My thirst for something entrepreneurial eventually got the better of me, and I quit my job, threw everything I owned in my car, and drove down to San Diego, CA, USA to start working full time on my internet businesses. That turned out to be the best decision I ever made