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Cameron McLain, ChallengeMeBy CAMERON MCLAIN, CHALLENGEMECLUB FOUNDER

ELEVATOR PITCH

ChallengeMe is a global contest platform for issuing and accepting challenges. Available through the Apple App Store, the platform combines a number of exciting social features that exist as separate products, such as group chat, posting photos and videos, and voting, into a unique offering centered on a very universal human trait—issuing and accepting challenges.

PRODUCT/SERVICE DESCRIPTION

ChallengeMeClub is a global contest platform. You can use our app to issue challenges and contests, both privately or publicly, to friends or the world, and then vote on the posted proofs while chatting with other participants as the clock ticks away.

FOUNDER’S STORY

I was born and raised in London but came over to the U.S. to study Philosophy at Princeton. Music and media brought me to L.A. where I met our co-founder, Justin Harris. The intersection of creativity and technology has always been my passion, and I worked at various media companies such as WME, Media Rights Capital, and Google-acquired Songza before starting ChallengeMeClub.

The idea for ChallengeMeClub actually came from my 13-year-old brother. I was ideating on incorporating health-related challenges into another startup of mine, EndorphMe. He latched onto the idea of challenges, ignored the health part and painted me a vision—in that way only a mobile native can—of a social challenge platform. I envisioned a global contest platform to connect the world, and I haven’t looked back.

MARKETING/PROMOTION STRATEGY

We split our efforts as such: 25 percent goes to PR, 25 percent goes into online growth hacking, 25 percent is spent on paid acquisition, and 25 percent into forms of guerrilla marketing.

For PR, we work with a firm called Publicize that specializes in startup PR. Paid acquisition is a mixture of online ads and working with social media influencers for sponsored challenges. Our guerrilla marketing involves things like a brand ambassador program, a college bus tour, and my stopping every person I meet in the street and asking them to download our app. Our growth hacks are some secret sauce, but they boil down to maximizing the content created on our platform for growth.

My advice would be to measure as much as you can and just be on your toes and keenly aware of what is working. We use services to track where our downloads are coming from and to garner insights into user behavior within the app. Be careful in choosing what to measure since that will dictate the direction of your company.

MARKET OPPORTUNITY

Messaging apps are the big story of the past two years. The worldwide messaging app market expanded by 148 percent between 2013 and 2014, adding 900 million users—and people’s appetite for ‘snackable’ video content and their desire to connect and communicate is far from satiated.

Snapchat is our major competitor, though what ChallengeMeClub offers is quite different. I suspect we might appeal to the older demographic, who have not yet taken to Snapchat, in a way that the Ghost Killah doesn’t.

ChallengeMe media

HOW WE’RE UNIQUE

There have been a few products in this space which would have been direct competitors, but none that are still active. I think our real competitor will be Snapchat—that’s where a lot of our early audience will be—but what we offer is different. ChallengeMeClub is more interactive and the organization of video content around central themes and challenges is core to the experience of our app—something that Snapchat only emulates with its Team Snapchat stories. Snapchat is the Goliath though, no question about it.

BUSINESS MODEL

Our main source of revenue will be organic advertising in the form of sponsored challenges. An example of a sponsored challenge example might be as follows: Arrowhead Water wants to sponsor a ‘7 Day Hydration Challenge’ where anyone who joins the challenge would try and drink at least 100 ounces of water per week. We receive payment from Arrowhead based on the number of users that join and interact with that challenge.

CURRENT NEEDS

We aren’t looking to raise money at this moment in time. But I am looking for a digital marketing maestro and always looking for more loyal users of our awesome app! So if you’re reading this, download to join in the fun.

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ChallengeMeClub logoHEADQUARTERS: Los Angeles

WEBSITE: www.challengemeclub.com

FOUNDERS: Cameron McLain, Justin Harris

INVESTORS: Bootstrapped

YEAR FOUNDED: 2014

TWITTER: @ChallengeMeClub

FACEBOOK: facebook.com/challengemeclub

CRUNCHBASE: crunchbase.com/organization/challengemeclub