Boston, Founder Stories
19 July 2013

Strong Teams Build Great Startups:

The three co-founders sit scattered around the work space. CEO Jay Singh rests at the head of the table, constantly connecting with investors and executing team building efforts. COO Dan Levin, stationed just across from Jay, is designing a proposal promoting an upcoming blockbuster. And at the end of the table, Kate Willett VP of Business Development meets with her sales team, devising a strategy to create new revenue channels. This group has been working together since March 2012 in order to establish ViralGains as the leader in viral video marketing.
 
In 2008, 19-year-old Dan and Jay founded their first company, ViralMS, after they realized the value of their online influence in driving traffic to content. Dan had become an influencer on prominent social news networks and the two discovered they could use social news inventory to drive targeted traffic to advertisers. They started working with a couple of small clients, but received real validation of their business when they signed a deal with their third customer and Fortune 100 Company, Sears.
 
For the next four years, Dan and Jay worked to expand their offerings and develop innovative advertising technology. Capitalizing on a huge market opportunity, ViralMS attracted large clients including Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble. Impressively, the company was making six-figures a year. Breaking into the viral video marketing industry wasnt easy. It required extensive research and a great amount of time. Combined, Dan and Jay racked up 10 years of experience while striving to enter the world of online video marketing. Once they made it in, Dan and Jay decided they wanted to take the company a step further.  
 
They started talking with clients, discovering what they couldnt find in the industry and how ViralMS could make them happy. After these discussions, the two decided on a specialized business model: a viral video marketing platform. Thus, in 2012, ViralGains was born.
 
Jay wanted this new company to flourishto make that happen, he had a lot to learn. So he worked as the Demand Development Manager for Experience.com, a software company that had successfully scaled itself. Learning how to create a scalable business was essential for Jay. The ViralGains online video platform had to have the potential for economic growth. Understanding corporate structure and how teams work together was another valuable lesson Jay picked up at Experience.com.
 
Here, he met Kate, the Digital Sales Manager, and they formed a professional relationship while working together under Chief Strategy Officer Ed Wagner. After a while, Jay introduced Kate to the business he and Dan had created.  ViralGains needed someone who could sell the companys idea and create a value exchangeKate was the perfect candidate; she joined the team, becoming the third and final Co-Founder.
 
After a year and an acquisition of Experience.com, Jay and Kate decided to move on and fully commit to ViralGains. They secured office space at the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), which gave them the structure they needed to take their idea and create a valid business out of it.
 
The company developed an innovative platform, the first of its kind that optimizes video marketing campaigns for views, shares and conversations in real-time. Online video is booming and advertisers need their videos placed on sites that maximize their brands reach. ViralGains takes these videos and distributes them to premium publishers: blogs, social destinations, and influencers.
 
Backed by investors including Semyon Dukach, Joe Caruso, Sheryl Schultz, Michael Mark and Will Herman, ViralGains has prospered. The company has landed deals with Paramount Pictures, Yamaha, San Pellegrino and Life is good, approaching a million dollars of revenue in its first year. Last year, the founders began to build a strong team of sales, operations and development aficionadosViralGains now has nine full-time members and is still growing.
 
When it comes to team building, Jay looks for candidates who inspire the existing team. Each member excels in their field which makes the team stronger as a whole.
 
ViralGains attracts these kinds of people by offering a cool office culture. All of the team members are friends which makes working for the company that much better. The founders want ViralGains to be a fun place to work (which it definitely is, in my opinion). In Jays words, We want people to feel good while they do what they do best.
 
On the business side, the company is concentrating on creating a predictable, scalable business, so access to the MassChallenge mentors and network is extremely valuable.  The whole team feeds off the energy and passion of the other startups and is thrilled to be working in such a productive environment.
 
ViralGains has high hopes for the future. The companys goal is to become synonymous with viral marketing, first in the video space but ultimately in general. By utilizing the tools provided through MassChallenge, ViralGains will no doubt take crucial steps toward attaining that goal. 

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