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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Three Ways Commerce.Innovated. Helped My Startup Grow

Selling items online has always been a tiring task. Taking photos, writing descriptions and conducting market research is only the beginning. Finding a buyer can be difficult while shipping has proven to always be a cumbersome task.

These experiences influenced the inception of Gone!, the fastest and easiest way to sell unused stuff online, but it was the years of building the product, working with mentors, and non-stop trial and error that made the app what it is today.

With the launch of Gone! Lite and the newfound ability to sell nationwide with the help of numerous partners, I wanted to reflect on our time spent as part of Commerce.Innovated., an accelerator jointly run by Silicon Valley Bank and MasterCard.

Here are three ways Commerce.Innovated helped Gone! reach new levels of growth: gone!

  1. Networking – Participating in accelerators is a great way to fill the company’s Rolodex. During Commerce.Innovated., we were introduced to a handful of startups in a similar stage of growth, which allowed for the sharing of ideas, stories of success and failure and most importantly, constructive criticism.
  2. Mentorship – MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank assessed past and present forms of the Gone! app, our go-to-market strategy and auxiliary obstacles in our business model. Both mentors connected us with broader organizations who worked with us to better understand our target audience and niche markets.
  3. Brand Positioning – With expert knowledge in the commerce space, both MasterCard and Silicon Valley Bank were able to align Gone!’s brand and message with the consumers most likely to take advantage of our technology.

But the best part… even with the 2014 Commerce.Innovated. program in our back pocket, Gone! can still leverage expert guidance from the folks that helped us find our way to success!

With the ability to continue receiving evaluation, guidance and the opportunity to directly connect with key members of MasterCard’s business and professional network, we can create additional commercial relationships to grow Gone! and its users. This, in addition to individual project mentoring, ongoing educational opportunities and open access to core members of the Commerce.Innovated. team has us extremely excited about the future of our technology.