Innovator Maria Edvalson Pickup PatrolAs the Ultimate NH Connection Challenge kicks off for 2016, I’ve been thinking about the growth PickUp Patrol has experienced in just one short year. At about the same time we were selected the winners of the 2015 NH Ultimate Connection Challenge, we were also finishing up with Alpha Loft‘s 3-month intensive accelerator program. There’s nothing like gaining a great deal of knowledge in a short period of time and winning a statewide startup competition to shore up your confidence and give you the courage you need to move forward with a bootstrapped idea.


When we won the competition in June, we experienced a windfall of local and national press and our website experienced a spike of hits from places all over the world. Our meeting with Governor Hassen opened up all kinds of avenues for us to explore, and later, as the result of the meeting, we met with several different entities that could help us grow our business, and were offered mentorships with experts in our industry.


Since then, a lot has happened for us. As I mentioned in this blog post, shortly thereafter we brought on a new team member, and added some new customers. We started to get inquiries from schools in Texas, California, Florida, and the Carolinas, and started doing online demos because our customer circle was expanding to include not just local schools but out-of-state schools as well.


In September, with several districts already signed on, we added our first charter school and, after documenting suggestions from our customers, we worked on product enhancements that not only made our product more efficient, but it made them really happy as well.


In October, we continued to add schools and enrolled our first daycare., In mid-October we also surpassed the 100,000 plan changes mark. That’s 100,000 times that a parent or school secretary has accessed our system to change a student’s after-school dismissal plans!


In November, the momentum continued when PickUp Patrol won the 2015 Seacoast NH Start-Up Competition presented by the Rochester Economic Development Corporation. Its $40,000 prize package, including $10,000 in cash, is definitely making a huge difference in our growth potential and has been the perfect boost we needed to help us open up new revenue channels.


In December, we brought on Catherine Edvalson to handle our marketing. She has been working with the team to update and add content to our website, and will soon be launching a blog. We are working hard to automate the sign-up process by adding more video demos to our website, and are gearing up to attend a few conventions as part of our strategy to build upon our growing number of customers.


All in all, we couldn’t be more pleased with our progress, much of which could never have been possible without resources such as Live Free & Start. I highly urge any startups who want to grow their business to enter the Ultimate NH Connection Challenge, because you just never know how many dots your company can connect in just one little year.


Do you have a NH startup tech business? Enter to win the Ultimate NH Connection Competition, an hour long meeting with Governor Hassan, members of the Live Free and Start Advisory Council, and tech and industry leaders hand selected to discuss how they can help accelerate your growth. Learn more here!

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