MESA sat down with Scott Davies, CEO of Qonqr, to ask him about his experience working with MESA.
Tell us a bit about your background, your career history, and your business. What prompted you to get involved with MESA?
Qonqr – mobile gaming. Been in business since 2010. Launched commercial product and started generating revenue in 2012. Location based game where you defend your hometown and/or attack other towns to take them over. You can ally with others to take over other towns. Plays on people’s interests in competition, pride of their hometown, interest in strategy, and recognition for conquering others.
Since inception, generated $1M revenue, captured 1 million towns/cities in all countries except country of Chad. Players have covered 34% of cities on earth. Initially, users access freemium version of the mobile game and then can pay for premium upgrades (offers of additional features [which last forever], consumables, and cosmetics [e.g. can paint your house with a color that is more ornamental]). Business is owned by 7 partners. Acquisition is the targeted outcome – ideally by a media business. Stars are aligning for promotion of the game given that location based gaming is getting tremendous lift from Pokemon Go. The game also plays off local home town pride – as you protect and expand your hometown (sometimes requiring Alliances).
I initially engaged with MESA as it offered him the opportunity to get to network with some “power players” in Twin Cities – which he knew would be necessary for future success of the business.
How did you find out about MESA?
Scott was at networking event (possibly MOJO event) and Kevin Spanbauer came up to Scott.
What was your biggest business challenge before working with MESA? Has MESA been able to help you work through it, and if not, what happened instead?
Todd and Dan were my mentors. Big question the business had as Todd and Dan engaged was what to do about funding. Needed help with figuring out 1) how to refine the pitch; 2) who to pitch to (based on fit with the investor’s goals/approach). Todd/Dan helped me understand how to tell the story, but it required more compelling data, proof points, growth metrics, so I told Todd & Dan that funding would take back seat until growth demonstrated.
What, specifically, is your favorite part about working with MESA, and why?
Best value from Todd & Dan – validation on business model and how the business was being managed given that Todd and Dan were proven Operational Advisors (people with experience building a business vs. just other entrepreneurs who hadn’t necessarily demonstrated success or investors who had no operational experience).
If you were going to recommend MESA to a colleague, what would you say?
Need to make sure that you are in right spot to leverage MESA. Scott feels that MESA has incredibly valuable resources (people with connections) and want to make sure leveraging these Advisors at the right time. Scott felt he engaged MESA too early. Additionally, MESA’s price is right for Entrepreneurs bootstrapping their business.
What three words would you use to describe your experience with MESA?
Confirmation, Experience, Validation (weren’t any material shifts in direction as much fortifying that Conqr was on right path). Helped provide Scott confidence.
Anything else you want us to know about your experience with MESA?
Scott would love to have opportunity to reengage with MESA (via alum network/programming, reengaging MESA on progress at Qonqr and how to tackle next big challenge).
Did you consider any alternatives to MESA?
Alternatives to MESA were too expensive (alternative is Tech.MN investor event; startup school) and/or didn’t offer practical advice as the Advisors didn’t have real world entrepreneurial/operational business experience and success.