Former START-UP winner on judges panel at 2015 competition

2014 winner Joel Robinson offers advice for contestants

Joel Robinson of VidFall, winner of the 2014 Seacoast Start-Up competition.

Joel Robinson of VidFall, winner of the 2014 Seacoast Start-Up competition.

ROCHESTER, NH – Contestants in Rochester’s annual Seacoast NH Start-Up competition will be able to tap into insights from Joel Robinson, CEO of VidFall and winner of the 2014 competition. Robinson has signed on to be on the judges’ panel for the 2015 competition. Finalists will be announced on October 23. Final judging will be held on November 11 at the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Conference Center on Whitehall Road in Rochester. Contest information and applications are available at SeacoastNHStartUP.com.

“VidFall is going well,” says Robinson. VidFall is a social platform for shoppers, and Robinson credits the competition for giving him confidence and critical market insights at an important juncture in the development of his business. “The competition was just two weeks before we launched, it was great to know that the judges and the audience liked the concept, and they gave feedback that helped.“

Robinson offers these “words of wisdom” for this year’s contestants:

1)     “Be passionate in your pitch. Express excitement and give the judges a reason to believe in the concept as much as you do.”

2)     “Find a solution to a real problem. Convince the judges that there is a market that is looking for a solution and that you know how to market to them.”

3)     “Be open. Show your willingness to accept feedback and find robust solutions. We were inspired by our audience to rebrand and it is making a difference.”

After the competition and based in part on feedback the concept received during the judging round and in one-on-one interviews with site users, Robinson and his VidFall co-founder Steve Messa, a New Hampshire native and graduate of University of New Hampshire, have re-branded their business. The original concept of VidFall focused on what he called the “coupon cutters” market. Robinson and Messa have re-branded the site to appeal to male millennials. Currently the site, VidFall.com is a social marketplace for video games, entertainment, tech and devices, food and sports/apparel. It has 34,000 regular users and is growing steadily, according to Robinson.

Seacoast NH Start-Up is a New Hampshire-based competition only open to contestants that are a for-profit New Hampshire-based business with an innovative idea, formed no more than five years prior to the deadline for applications.

To learn more about Seacoast NH Start-Up, please visit www.seacoastnhstartup.com.

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