Be persistent

GrowBoat events setting sail on a catamaran to build relationships in a truly unique environment

Please introduce yourself and your startup GrowBoat to our readers!

Ahoi everyone! I’m Andre, Founder of Admiral Media and GrowBoat. 

The GrowBoat is one of the most notable events of the mobile app industry. Crew members will meet for an afternoon of exclusive networking aboard a catamaran, connecting with the brightest minds of the app industry. We are setting sail with a limited amount of experts and executives. After sail, everyone enjoys a private dinner in an exclusive setting. GrowBoat is hosted by my Performance Marketing agency Admiral Media which is a highly specialized performance marketing agency for apps, obviously. We consult mobile app publishers and help them to grow their user base. We successfully manage their global mobile marketing campaigns across all digital marketing channels. Basically our clients benefit from a holistic and modern marketing approach that fits their specific needs. Most of our clients are specialized in developing great apps but often need fresh ideas and insights. 

How did you get the idea of the GrowBoat?

I’ve been working in mobile marketing for over 10 years, growing with and being an active part in the industry. I am eager to contribute & share lessons I have learned over the past years. I am also very keen to know what challenges others experienced. Getting the right advice from someone who was in the same situation can be very beneficial. So I came up with this app growth event „GrowBoat“ which represents a whole new approach. One big measure in the whole ideation process was certainly my relocation from Berlin to Barcelona. In Berlin you can go to a mobile growth event literally every week, in Barcelona – despite a vibrant startup environment – has not so much to offer in terms of networking events, especially for veterans from the app industry.

Why did you decide to start with the GrowBoat?

The difference is, I didn’t want it to create the next “biggest industry event” or have literally as many people as possible in our crew. Because this is what I’ve been missing in events, too many people, in big event halls with only a little time for meaningful conversations. Having a selected amount of like-minded attendees in a unique environment, creates just the right atmosphere for networking and good talks.

What is the vision behind the GrowBoat?

Imagine sailing a great yacht, alone. Still, it can be fun when the sun is shining. But imagine a storm arises and you have to decide to either go around or sail through. You might make it through easily. Sailing with a crew on board makes it much more enjoyable and probably safer. You might even arrive faster. And now think of building a company or general entrepreneurship. The sailing metaphors could easily apply to startup life, the challenges that we have, the pitfalls we run into & the moments of success that you can enjoy, sometimes. This is the vision of the GrowBoat, find a nice crew, bring them together and exchange experience, knowledge & personal fails to help others growing faster. There is not much that is more delightning than seeing someone else benefitted from my advise.

How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?

The start was easy, I just chartered a boat and started inviting a bunch of local app veterans who were quite interested to join. It was new, nobody else did something similar yet – so creating some excitement around it was kinda easy. But – getting the final confirmations and people really appearing that particular day was not so easy. I quickly realized that people still have other sudden appointments, sick kids at home or other more important things on their tables than to join a few hours sailing. Totally understandable, but with super limited space on the boat, extremely hard to plan. The last events in Barcelona & San Francisco for example, we had like 10 last minute cancellations … but you cannot really overbook a catamaran event – if to many people show up, whom would you send back home?!

Another big challenge which I totally underestimated was making the boat actually grow (lol)! Raising awareness for this new event was the first step to take, because what is an admiral without his crew? Yes, a lonely sailor. So we had to spread the word – name it, we’ve done it all. But we overcame the first storm of endless excel invitation lists, mailings or sponsor acquisitions and had a successful maiden voyage in September 2018 in Barcelona. On board we had among others the founder of the Canadian Startup IPNOS, the founders of a Spanish startup called Tiendo or a few Game companies with millions and millions of downloads. Since then we hosted two additional events with amazing crews. 

Who is your target audience?

The GrowBoat is limited to Experts of the App industry, ideally Founders, CEOs, CMOs and other high level profiles. As we are sailing on a catamaran, seats are very limited. You need to apply to become a potential crew member. The process is, you sign up for our newsletter and reply to our welcome message with some simple answers about yourself.

What is the USP of your startup?

The GrowBoat is setting sail on a catamaran to build relationships in a truly unique environment. It is an event without any presentations or workshops & as space is very limited we try to keep the level of crew members rather high, CEOs, CMOs, Marketing Directors, you name it. Sponsorship opportunities are also limited: with a maximum of 2 sponsors. This way we can guarantee a calm 3hours sailing event where you have enough time to chat to other people from the same industry on the same level having similar problems.

Short: An event for the brightest minds from the app industry with limited space but maximum output.

Can you describe your typical workday ?

Well, most of my time goes into my agency business, Admiral Media. Here we manage a tremendous amount of ap marketing campaigns on all the digital user acquisition channels. Facebook, Google, Snap, Twitter, Apple Search, Pinterest … at the moment I dedicate most of my time into data issues to improve the analytics & campaign efficiency of our clients. Without a proper analytics stack we wouldn’t be able to grow our clients business’ successfully and that’s why I basically dig into Tableau, SQL, Big Query basically the whole day. Imagine I almost missed highschool degree because I was so bad in math, now I am responsible for millions of dollar budgets and a ton of data analytics projects.

Where do you see yourself and your startup GrowBoat in five years?

I hope we can grow the Boat to something exceptional having a harbor in every major city. With the help of great partners & sponsors and a growing number of crew members who enjoy these events this should be doable. At least in the main cities where a lot app developers have their homebase.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?

Be different. Try to break some standards even if others tell you it will not work.

Be persistent. You will hit a wall. Hit it harder, walk around or climb over it. That’s the only choice you have.

Invest when your company does well. Do not work for the monthly profit. Reinvest it in products or people. On the long run this will pay out 10x, either monetary or personally.

More information you will find here

Thank you Andre for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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