Thumbtack was given the People's Choice award at the Juice Pitcher last week. The local services startup was chosen after presenting alongside nine other companies at the event, which showcased 10 startups chosen by their peers during the Juice Pitcher competition. Presentations by Mint CEO Aaron Patzer and Like CEO Munjal Shah about building startups were also given. (See links to all the coverage below)
Make sure to watch to see what Adeo Ressi, The Funded founding member, has in common with the movie Jerry Maquire.
As part of Juice Box, Thumbtack's founder and CEO Marco Zappacosta got the chance to grace the stage again and give another pitch - this time 90 seconds - in front of a panel of judges consisting of regular hosts of Vator Box, Bambi Francisco, CEO and founder of Vator.tv, Ezra Roizen, digital media investment banker, and Ressi.
The ground rules were that after the 90-second pitch, the panel had six minutes to give Zappacosta feedback, touching on his pitch, the novelty of the idea, the competition and challenges, and how best to make money and/or advice. Zappacosta could not respond, but he could take notes, and could give a rebuttal after the six minutes. The panel then had the final word.
Thumbtack is an online marketplace for local services, with some similarities to Yelp, Insider Pages, CitySearch, Craigslist, and emerging startup - Red Beacon. The difference is that Thumbtack is not just a listing service, it goes the last mile and helps to facilitate the transaction between the consumer and the local service provider. In many ways, it offers the transaction platform, much like eBay.
For instance, if you find a plumber or piano teacher on Thumbtack, you could book an appointment and pay the piano teacher right on Thumbtack. All the panelists raised concerns about the challenges of building a critical mass of local service providers, but they did give Thumbtack a thumbs up on the UI (user interface). As Ressi put it: "You had me on your UI."