Jebbit Takes Title as City's Hottest Startup Company
Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 00:09
Jebbit is at it again. Following their soaring success during the past year, the Boston College-based startup has recently secured the title of “Boston’s Hottest Startup.” This honor comes from the competition held by Tech Cocktail, a media organization for startups around the world. Jebbit, a pay-per-performance ad network based on guaranteed engagement, poses questions to consumers about the content of advertisements, thus improving market research.
Now the Jebbit team will head to Las Vegas to move further in Tech Cocktail’s search to find the hottest startup in the nation. On top of this huge success and the impressive $1.29 million in funding from Data Point Capital, the Jebbit team is adjusting to their new lifestyle of working full time.
By securing the popular vote, Jebbit was named “Boston’s Hottest Startup” in the category of Reader’s Choice. Tech Cocktail is searching for the most exciting and impressive startups in major cities nationwide and hosting a national competion in Las Vegas this October. Jebbit will be attending the competition to vie for the national title. During the month of August, people in Boston were invited to vote for their No. 1 choice out of the 15 participating companies.
“It’s been a dream come true,” said COO Jonathan Lacoste. “We’ve been fortunate enough to have built a great team of the hardest-working, smartest people I know, all who share a similar passion and determination.”
Jebbit has been up to a lot more than simple title-grabbing lately. During the month of August, the company raised $1.29 million in funding, with $750,000 coming from Boston’s Data Point Capital. The founder of Data Point Capital will now serve on Jebbit’s Board of Directors.
Without getting sidetracked by all the recent success, Jebbit is continuing to push forward. “As excited as we are of what we’ve accomplished to date, we have a lot of work ahead of us to do and we have big plans,” Lacoste said.
After laying a foundation for Jebbit during their time as students at BC, the Jebbit team made a decision last spring to work full time. Several key individuals on the team took a leave of absence in order to pour all their time and energy into the future of Jebbit.
On what it is like to no longer be a student at BC, Lacoste said, “It’s very unique. Working a startup is not always as glamorous as the media or films like The Social Network, make it out to be. It’s a roller coaster, with higher highs and lower lows than the average academic life. But overall, I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass on and that I would always regret if I didn’t take the leap.”
Lacoste also notes how supportive the BC administration has been of Jebbit and the students’ decisions.
“BC and CSOM have been overwhelmingly supportive and are helping us continue to chart out our future academic plans in hopes of returning to the Heights one day,” Lacoste said.
The Jebbit website has undergone some structural changes, improving their mission to engage consumers with advertisements. The pay-per-performance model unique to Jebbit sets them apart by rewarding consumers for engaging with brands they find interesting.
“The biggest thing I want people to know is what Jebbit is,” Lacoste said. “I feel that most students understand it started as some website where you could go on and make a few dollars, but our mission with Jebbit is much larger than that. We started this company to fundamentally change the way consumers and brands engage online through ads.”
The growth and change in the company since its creation in 2011 is remarkable. The team is always thinking of ways to improve.
“We don’t like the current format, we think the system is broken, and we want to change it,” Lacoste added. “Our biggest expansion of this to date has been the Jebbit Network, in which people can click on almost any ad online and interact with Jebbit’s technology and earn rewards for interacting—so keep your eyes peeled for the Jebbit logo.”
Editors Note: This reporter once worked for Jebbit as a student representative, before the company became an entity outside of Boston College.