It seems like the genius idea to have a charity fundraiser using the service that he just launched has paid off for Justin Kan and his team. On Saturday, EXEC hosted a “Rent a Founder” event which let people pay $100 an hour to speak to seasoned entrepreneurial veterans in Silicon Valley.
Even though Kan tells us that he was exhausted by the end of the event, the company raised $3,000 for Donor’s Choose, which helps classrooms in need, and fielded calls from all over the US, and a few from as far as Europe.
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Pleased by the success, Kan says that “Overall it went amazingly”, and the company was able to help the callers with questions that they had about starting a company.
For example, Kan himself walked a few people through how to raise an angel round of funding, something that is much harder than it sounds.
Of the over 50 calls fielded by Alexis Ohanian, Steve Huffman, Matt Brezina, Tikhon Bernstam, Michael Seibel, and EXEC founder Justin Kan, most of them were from aspiring entrepreneurs. Being able to connect with some of these folks who have built successful companies including reddit, Justin.tv, and Socialcam, is not something most people are able to do. It’s a feat that is geographically prohibitive for most, and takes years of networking to accomplish.
It will be interesting to see if EXEC decides to hold another event like this and if it can lure other “big names” to participate. It seems like the only limitation of the exercise was the lack of time that everyone had to participate. There’s only so many phone calls one can field in a day, and perhaps next time, with more people, more charitable funds can be raised.
EXEC’s “errand running” service has been the talk of the town since it launched at the end of February in San Francisco. Since then, the service is running in beta, with hopes of expanding to other major cities like New York.
The key differentiator for EXEC from similar services like TaskRabbit, is that Kan and company promises to have your task assigned to someone within 10 minutes. This, along with a dead simple mobile app, has become a lifeline for startups who can’t afford to hire an office manager to run important errands.