Kelly is an entrepreneur empowering people and companies of all sizes and revenue streams to execute video marketing content on global platforms like CNN, NYT, Pandora, MTV or anywhere a target audience lives. She is the co-founder and COO of Brandzooka, a Boulder-based AdTech company changing and disrupting the way videos are marketed and shared.
An interview with ADAM MAYER
What was your experience like growing up?
I had a passion for entrepreneurship and legal studies that started during my teenage years. My first entrepreneurial pursuit was creating a company, Sand Dollar Deals shortly after graduating high school. I used all my high school graduation money, $2,000 to build an online commerce store for discounted outdoor gear. That summer I learned a lot about frontend and backend development, SEO (search engine optimization) and marketing. I was really intrigued by the challenge.
Did you always want to create or work at a startup?
I was always more interested in law and studied it abroad in Germany. After returning home I was preparing to apply to law school when I landed my first job, which happened to be at a startup. I was their first employee responsible for preparing decks, reviewing documents and overseeing legal responsibilities. Eventually I started pitching and landing clients. The company grew and this is where I met Aquiles La Grave. We both moved on from the company but continued to work together on some ideas – one of those ideas got us into the Boomtown accelerator and Brandzooka was born.
What was your experience like going through the Boomtown accelerator?
Taking the leap was outside my comfort zone but I felt if I don’t do this right now there might not be another chance.
When we got accepted into Boomtown I was working and growing my career at Velocity Global. I enjoyed working with the founder, loved what I was working on and had financial stability. Taking the leap was outside my comfort zone but I felt if I don’t do this right now there might not be another chance. Aquiles and I began working with Alex Bogusky who was very influential and formative for us early-on. We went from our ideas written on a napkin to having a working MVP (minimum viable product) with platform users. Boomtown helped us go from concept to clients and launching Brandzooka during Boulder Startup Week 2015, all within 3 months.
What do you like to do during your free time?
Having personal, authentic outlets beyond work even just for a few hours a week is important for mental health and success.
It’s hard for me to get away from work, but I play in an ultimate frisbee league, play around on the piano, and always have a book or two that I’m in the middle of reading. Having personal, authentic outlets beyond work even just for a few hours a week is important for mental health and success.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Your chances of success increase if you continually prepare yourself and keep learning. Getting a young company off the ground is tough and it’s important to learn from being in the trenches. Also, connecting with and being surrounded by phenomenal people is critical. Your network is the secret to getting beyond self doubt and making smart decisions.