Tap.me In-Game Mobile Ad Platform Raises $1 Million; Interview with Tap.me CEO Joshua Hernandez

January 18, 2011

5:10 pm

Tap Me, a Chicago-based, in-game advertising platform, which we covered previously, announced today that they have just closed over $1 million in Series A funding. The funding came from lead investors Hyde Park Angels, the i2A Fund, and David Cohen (CEO and Founder of TechStars) to continue the development of their mobile in-game advertising platform, iComplishments.  Tap.me offers a unique product that enables developers to easily insert in-game advertising thus making games more profitable. Tap.me came out of the first Excelerate Labs class was also one of the 15 showcased startup at our Fall Tech Cocktail Chicago mixer event.

We got a chance to talk with Tap.me CEO Joshua Hernandez today as to do a quick interview.

Joshua Hernandez of TapMe at Tech Cocktail

Joshua Hernandez CEO of TapMe at Tech Cocktail Chicago Fall 2010

Tech Cocktail (TC): How has the process of raising funding been? Do you have any tips for newbies?
Josh Hernandez (JH): Make no mistake, fundraising can be distracting to building your company but at the same it is a tremendous opportunity to get critical feedback on your business. Make sure that you never take a defensive posture and keep an open mind when venture veterans have ideas on your business model. Its your job to separate the wheat from the chaff when you get back to the office.

TC: What are your plans with the newly raised funding?

JH: We started off with a solid team so we are good there. Our main goal right now is to build our developer network and continue to develop the technology that will drive us into the future.

TC: What has your biggest obstacle been with growing your startup?

JH: The default answer is funding, but that is boring. We are a pretty energetic team and we see opportunity around every corner. Staying focused is the biggest challenge especially since at our core we are game developers. Luckily, we all understand the opportunity before us and now with the funding behind us we can put our heads down.

TC: Being in the mobile space, what do you think will be in a hot trend in the mobile industry in 2011?
JH: Obviously the tablets are hot. I think the Blackberry Playbook will surprise even the most ardent critics. However, this year will be about the content. Expect the emergence of tools and services that allow anyone to create mobile apps. Keep a close eye on start-ups like GameSalad and Red Foundry.

TC: Finally, anything else you would like to share with the TC audience?
JH: There is a perfect storm brewing in the entrepreneurial space in Chicago. When you consider our multi-crop economy that includes everything from technology, advertising and media to retail, insurance and manufacturing, you name the customer, we have it in our backyard. If you work for one of these companies, remember to open your door to entrepreneurship.

Thanks for your time Joshua and congrats to you and the Tap.me team.

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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