.CO Internet just gave businesses one more reason to buy a .co domain: free stuff.
Launching today in beta is i.go.co, a place where .co businesses can get help with promotion, networking, and education. Perks include tickets to Startup Weekend and the Lean Startup Conference, Google AdWords credit, a one-hour SEO consultation, free access to some coworking spaces, help with PR, and more.
While domain providers mainly interact with customers when it’s time to renew a URL, .CO realized they could add value throughout the year. They started calling and tweeting at new .CO companies, inspired by the cool products they were building. They connected with around 15 of those companies at SXSW, giving them tickets to events, places to pitch, and interview opportunities (including with Tech Cocktail).
The response was way more enthusiastic than the one they got when advertising the technology behind .CO: a smorgasbord of acronyms from SEO to SLAs to EPP to DNS. So .CO decided to embrace this new path: not only were they the “cool” domain name for startups and entrepreneurs, but they would be the helpful one, too.
And as vice president Lori Anne Wardi emphasizes, it’s not just about the free stuff. .CO wants its companies to feel like they’re part of a community – which is especially valuable to tech startups.
“There’s a real energy and excitement about it, but you’re also plagued by this feeling of being out on a limb. And it’s scary. You can work and hustle and feel like you’re very much alone at the same time. The idea is helping our .CO users know that as a startup, they’re not alone – that we’re behind them and there’s a community of other people doing the same thing,” says Wardi.
Hopefully, that community will come together and start helping each other. “They’re part of a group of individuals that are clearly early adopters and they’re comfortable going against the status quo,” says CEO Juan Diego Calle. “When you see the community taking the reins and actually offering back to the community, that is where it becomes really interesting.” In fact, .CO startups have already contacted them about offering discounts and early access to their fellow .CO’s. And the free passes to coworking spaces are all from .CO’s: Projective in New York, Canvas in DC, Tigerlabs in Princeton, and CO-work.co in London.
Around 1.4 million domains are already registered with .CO. As their website says, it’s a .community.
Tech Cocktail is proud to call .CO a partner and sport the tech.co domain.