Last we heard from AJ Agrawal and Eghosa Aihie of GreekPull, they were packing up their company after their stint at the Velocity accelerator program and figuring out next steps.
So we decided to check in with founders of the company that was going to be a Kickstarter for Greek organizations, to see how those next steps were going.
What we learned in a nutshell: GreekPull is dead. Long live Alumnify!
I talked to Agrawal about the new platform, their new funding and their potential move back to the Midwest!
Melissa Chipman: I understand that Eghosa is back at school to finish up his final semester. And you were visiting your family for a while. What are you up to now?
AJ Agrawal: Right now, Eghosa is finishing his last semester at the University of San Diego, and I am currently building the next version of our product at a coding bootcamp called Coding Dojo in Silicon Valley.
After Velocity, we decided we wanted to stop outsourcing development and build the next version of GreekPull “in house.” So, instead of paying for a contractor, I decided to enroll into a coding bootcamp for 9 weeks.
In summary, this means on average I code for 16-18 hours a day 7 days a week. Right now, my responsibilities are to build our product that will be ready for launch on January 1 as well as help Eghosa with investor meetings. So I currently have no social life. But I’m having the time of my life nonetheless.
Our minimum viable product (GreekPull) was built on a WordPress site and was able to provide us with great customer feedback as well as early revenue, however, we now feel that we are in a position to build an actual beta version of the website and expand out of the Greek Life market.
Based on our customer feedback, we have decided to focus more on the alumni engagement aspect of our value proposition rather than just using crowdfunding as our primary objective. While development is still in early stages, I can tell you that our new platform, Alumnify will be much more interactive for alumni and will help organizations reach alumni much easier than before.
Because we are rebranding our company to focus on college organizations besides Greek Life, we are changing our name to Alumnify and our tagline is “Stay Engaged.”
Because of the rebranding of our company as well as the amount of coding I am currently doing, Eghosa has been taking on much more responsibility for the company. He currently is getting as much customer feedback as possible as well as taking the lead on raising our seed round of $350,000.
It takes a lot of trust to put that much responsibility on one person, but Eghosa has really kept our company progressing. He’s working harder than ever to not only secure capital but also get new customers, and I couldn’t be more thankful for having a hardworking co-founder like Eghosa to rely on.
I know you guys did a lot of legwork this summer. What were some of the highlights? Connections you made?
After Velocity Demo Day, we were able to set a few meetings with a couple of angel groups as well as personal angel investors in the Midwest. We currently are in talks with these connections that we have been able to make, and the connections that Velocity has helped us gain has been a huge factor in our early success raising capital towards our seed round.
In addition, our advisors have been extremely supportive of us even after the accelerator program ended. Since we are launching our beta in January as well as going through our next round of investment, we have been in constant phone calls with our Velocity mentors the past couple of months.
Any investor news?
We would like to announce that we have received an investment from Awesome Inc. through the Cherub Fund. Although I am unable to disclose the amount, I can tell you that this is a great step in helping us close our $350,000 seed round.
We are currently in talks with two other angel groups as wells as a few angel investors both in California and the Midwest. When we close our round, we will meet with our advisors (Tony Schy, Steve Huey, Dave Durand, Greg Langdon, Brian Raney, and the Awesome Inc. team) to decide where the best place to relocate in Indiana/Kentucky would be.
What are your marketing plans to bring Alumnify to organizations’ attention?
So far, we have been visiting college campuses and using social media to reach college organizations to sign up for our product when we release in January. We have been in talks with two Universities to serve as potential testing schools, and right now it looks like we will be releasing to 10-15 college organizations in our first release.
Still working with Daniel Todd (three-time TechStars mentor) ? In touch with your Velocity cohorts?
Daniel Todd has been a huge help going through our round of funding. Raising over a $1million in capital himself, his expertise and experience as been vital in helping us reach our funding goal.
We still keep in touch with the teams at Velocity and quite honestly we miss a lot of the moments we had with the other companies in the program. When you live, breathe, and sweat entrepreneurship with these guys for 3 months straight, you develop a friendship that is definitely something that lasts beyond your time at the accelerator.
We are the biggest fans of our fellow cohorts and will always be a resource for them whenever we can. In addition, we have been missing the Bourbon from Louisville, as well as hanging out with the Localview team. We are excited to come back and cannot wait to see everyone again!