Introhub - An Emerging Online Network Introducing You To An Impressive Prospect
By: Administrator 02/01/2013
Anyone in business knows that cold calls can be brutal, even when you’re just trying to slide your foot in the door and say hi. These days connections can mean everything, but what do you do if you don’t have any? There’s got to be an app for that, right?
Not an app, exactly, but an emerging online network called Introhub. The startup allows anyone to essentially monetize their social network by sharing important connections from LinkedIn, Gmail, and other sources anonymously on the network.
This potential “introducer” can be contacted on the service by a “requestor” -- a member who’s looking to set up a meeting with someone in the former’s network. Once the introducer talks to both parties, they can decide if they’re interested in going ahead and making the connection, gaining fuzzy feelings along with some cash for their helping hand.
We sat down with co-founder David Litvinov, who chatted with us about what he took and left from his experience in corporate America as well as the revolution in social supply and demand.
What was the inspiration behind Introhub?
Introhub consists of myself, Rob Reynolds (the CEO of the company) and Paul Maurer. We all conceptualized the company when Paul’s wife, current VP of marketing for IBM -- she used to be the CMO of a company called Initiate Systems -- was paying for meetings.
When Paul ran his company he would gladly pay for meetings. When I was in sales I would have gladly paid for a quality lead to get in front of a key decision maker and help accelerate my sales cycle.
That’s kind of where it came from. We thought there was a big need in the marketplace. We thought of the concept five or six years ago, but we thought it was too early to put something out there.
RIght now, though, people are more accustomed to really working on the internet, making introductions, and using networks like LinkedIn and Facebook to connect individuals, so we thought this was the right time.
Facebook is actually starting to charge now for emails. Let’s say, for example, you want to email Mark Zuckerberg. It’s going to cost you a hundred dollars. If you want to email someone of relevance and have your email go directly to their inbox and not their junk mail, you have to pay for it.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had entrepreneurial desires in the past. I left corporate America back in 2009. I started a small investment real estate company, so that was my first small push into the entrepreneurial space.
Then we started conceptualizing this in 2010 and saw an untapped need. That’s how we started pursuing it.
Basically I got fed up. I was in business school and I was sick of working for a large company. At the time I was an account executive at IBM and I just got fed up with the bureaucracy and just dealing with the BS that comes with working at a large corporation.
I found a niche where I can make a living working for myself and go off on my own and start my own business and dabble in things that I really enjoy doing.
What’s the most difficult thing you’ve had to do as an entrepreneur?
I would say giving up a good paying salary and benefits. Giving up the paycheck is probably the hardest thing to do as an entrepreneur.
What was the first job you ever had and what did it teach you?
First job out of school I started out as a managing consultant at Ernst & Young. It was my first taste of corporate America, first taste of having an expense account, first taste of being out there in the real world and working with people.
I learned that those skills go into everything I do. Probably the most important thing is to have a plan—you’ve got to have a process in place for anything that you do, for any venture that you pursue later in life.
If you could choose a theme song for your startup, what would it be?
I don’t know if we’d have a theme song but in a word I would say: perseverance -- keep on pushing. The challenge with building a startup is you think they’re going to take a lot quicker to get done and they take a hell of a lot longer and it’s a lot tougher than you think.
You set out to build a website or build a marketplace and you think people will come but it’s a lot tougher than that.
If you could add one person to your team today, who would you choose?
I would say a very good technical person, someone that loves to program and code. An experienced technical individual that could be our CTO. That’s the person that I would add to the team right now.
What’s next for Introhub?
Hopefully take it to the next level, get as many individuals signed up on the system as possible, and go out there and try to raise some capital.