October 28, 2014
My Dealer Service, a web-based app that works on all smartphones and mimics the look and feel of a native smartphone app, gives customers real-time updates—via text and/or email—on the status of their vehicle while it is at a service department for repair. After a customer drops off their vehicle, repair workers conduct standard diagnostics and can use their smartphone to take pictures of issues and send to the customers. Founded by Startup Weekend Facilitator Jon Rossi, the company is based in Denver and went through Tech Wildcatters out of Dallas earlier this year.
MDS Notify works to benefit consumers and auto shop owners by allowing car owners to have constant updates and even photos of the progress being made as their car is serviced or repaired, and allowing the shop owners to increase and measure customer satisfaction through constant communication.
We asked Rossi about the startup process, especially in the auto industry. Here’s what he told us:
What have you learned about traction, growth, and measuring the sales funnel? Any celebrations?
It takes longer than we thought it would to flow through the sales cycle. Denver does not seem to be a city where auto startups get traction. The best book on this subject that has helped is The Lean Startup Machine – Because it talks about how to validate your idea and the Build-Measure-Learn process. We were surprised to find that a mountain bike shop is using the platform, and delighted to be able to do a demo with Tesla.
What special challenges have you faced in your vertical?
Trying to get into a legacy industry like the automotive industry has more challenges than expected. It’s an isolated industry, and it seems that everyone judges you by the amount of funding raised?
Are you currently looking for funding?
We are currently looking for funding. But more, we find it’s really important to “Always Be Selling” and focus on our product and our market.
What are your goals for the next year?
We will be looking to bring on another UI/UX person, and I would like to build a CRM and management system. I intend to be the company that comes out of nowhere and is an industry leader and innovator.
If your startup was an animal, which animal would it be?
My Dealer Service would be an elephant: We might be slow, but we are taking our time and yet people underestimate our power and the force that drives us.
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