Check out The-MakeGood.com for a fantastic Q&A with Spongecell Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Kartzman. Learn how Spongecell started, where it’s going and what makes it such a successful young company.
A few excerpts:
In 2008, I saw the online advertising space as fragmented, and felt we had a product that could help cure that.
It’s as much about the people as it is the strategy that has helped us grow as a company.
We’re a technology company at heart and we’ve made sure that our technology is used as an enhancement.
It’s been a record-breaking year for us in terms of revenue, but what may be most satisfying is the diverse success we’ve seen from different verticals.
In what has been an incredible year, Spongecell has just been ranked #2 in the 2011 Technology 200 awards. The list is based on the highest percentage revenue growth from 2008 to 2010. According to VentureBeat, “more than 600 companies applied, all of whom are based in the United States, are private, and earned over $500,000 in revenues in the year 2010.”
Last year the list focused on 500 of the top growing startups (Spongecell among them, #17), but the company wanted to focus on a tighter group this year, says Tom Blue, founder of Lead411 and the Technology 500.
“Everyone’s got a top 500 list. But we wanted to see how the top 200 fared,” said Blue, “The higher up the list you go, the more trends you see in terms of what’s helping these brands succeed.”
Read what they are saying about the list in VentureBeat
Also, be sure to check out Spongecell CEO, Ben Kartzman’s interview on the award site.
Great article in Crain’s NY, featuring Spongecell and how technology is driving advertising. Quick excerpt below and full article after the break.
Spongecell—which last summer landed an undisclosed amount of money from a group of investors including Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt—pivoted from serving as an online personal-calendar business to delivering video and interactive ads because, said CEO Ben Kartzman, “there’s bigger money and a bigger market opportunity.”
Ben Kartzman, CEO and co-founder of Spongecell, will be speaking at OMMA Global in NYC on September 26.
Fueled by advances in technology, display advertising is in the midst of a creative boom. In this exclusive panel that should not be missed, Ben will be offering his unique insights into the industry and where it is headed.
Here’s a description of Ben’s panel:
Panel: Thinking “Inside The Box”: A Lesson In Creating Innovation In Banners
Banners are not typically looked at as “sexy”. Creative likes to create TV commercials, and they like print ads, and they like immersive websites or out-of-home experiences, but nobody gets excited about creating a banner. Why is that? Banners represent the lion’s share of online advertising opportunities and they’re only becoming more important as new technology is getting into the mix. How can your team go about bringing innovation, excitement and fun to your banner ads? Attend this session and the panel will teach you the process and the tools that will turn your banners up to “11″!
Ben Kartzman wants banner ads to do more than sit and wait to be clicked. As common as that mode of marketing has become, he believes his company, , can more efficiently engage the public by weaving rich content—video, social media, or interactive features—into typically idle ads.
“We don’t think static ads should exist anymore,” says Kartzman, CEO and co-founder of Spongecell in New York.
A heavyweight in the online world seems to agree with him. In June, Spongecell raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A2 round led by Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google. The recent funding is helping to expand the technology and sales staff at Spongecell, according to Kartzman. Other investors in the round included Jim Pallotta, chairman of the Raptor Group; Brian Rooney, who serves on the board of directors for the Pittsburgh Steelers; and SilverHaze Partners.
We are proud to announce that Spongecell has been ranked the 76th fastest growing company on the 2011 Inc. 500 list, with a 3-year growth of +3,064%! Spongecell is also the 7th fastest growing company in the state of New York, and 9th in the Advertising & Marketing segment.
We’ve grown tremendously even since this list has come out. Today, Spongecell has almost 40 employees that span the United States and Europe. But accolades aside, we’re even more excited about the innovations we’ve made to our technology platform this year, and have even bigger and better planned for the next 12 months and beyond!
Lastly, thanks to all of our clients and partners, we couldn’t have be recognized for this honor without you. We look forward to continued success with each and every one of you!
by Larry Dobrow, Friday, July 1, 2011, 12:00 AM
Featured in OMMA Magazine
It’s an uncomfortable moment in any journalist-type person’s day when the interviewee turns the tables and starts asking questions. It’s even more disconcerting when that journalist lacks even the barest hint of a clue as to the answers.
Such was the situation in which I found myself during the first interview for this story, which I’d elegantly pitched as “Why does online display advertising suck eggs?” The person on the other end of the line was Daniel Ruby, research director for online insights at Chitika, an online ad network/data analytics consultancy. After I prodded him with numerous leading and largely theoretical questions about display ads – “Where did we go wrong?” “Who is to blame?” “And be so courteous as to name names, please,” etc. – he hit me right back with a query that, unlike mine, was neither dramatic nor overly labored. What he asked me was this: “What is the best or most memorable piece of online display advertising that you’ve ever seen?”