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Meet Jarek Hamilton of Qikpix

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarek Hamilton.

Jarek, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Qikpix was an idea that my wife and I came up with after her wanting to start a photography business. We started with just an idea and within a year we grew to have a valuation of $1M and 14 people working on the project all for free or sweat equity. After launching our product we had little to no money to properly advertise the platform. We are currently still seeing to raise a minimal seed round to further prove out the Chicago market. We currently have about 150 active photographers around the country with 35 or those being in Chicago and the surrounding areas.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many struggles along the way and many moments of anger along the way. I think the road is always bumpy as an entrepreneur, there’s really no way around it. We had a couple investor begin to pull out while we were raising our angel round that was initially $30K. This was horrible because it wouldn’t allow us to move any further in developing the product. After successfully raising the angel round we began further development and moved forward. During this whole period, it was my first time working for myself. Being an entrepreneur is extremely difficult and you have to be prepared for anything. It was during this time that my father died and my CTO started missing deadlines. We had development issues beyond belief that delayed the launch of the product. By the time we had the product finished we had no money left to properly advertise. We then tried to raise another round which horrible in itself. We met with many investors who were mostly out to waste our time. Hundreds of meeting and phone calls later we were still unable to raise our seed round. So right now I as the CEO am going back to work with the rest of the Qikpix team. Qikpix is still 100% operational and growing!

Being an entrepreneur is always full of surprises, anything that can go wrong most likely will go wrong!!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Qikpix – what should we know?
Qikpix is a two-sided on-demand photography marketplace for photographers and customers.

Utilizing our platform customers/businesses can order a photography session in as little as 60 seconds and for only $99/hour.

A highly-vetted Qikpix photographer (We accept less than 20% of applicants) can be booked just hours before a shoot is required or a period up to 3 months in advance.

Unedited photos are delivered to our customers within 24 hours and they can choose which photos to have professionally edited for just $1.50/photo. Photo edits are delivered within 12 hours from the time of the request.

We are most proud that individuals are able to use our service in many different ways to capture any special moment.

We started this company because my wife is a photographer and we have been customers to this industry for many years with our family. We know what customers want and what their frustrations are because we have the knowledge to go along with the numbers.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We owe much support to Bunker Labs and all if its members. We have learned so much through working with that organization but we have met many contacts.

We also received help from Kevin Conlon of Conlon and Dun. He was very supportive helpful during our fundraising efforts.

Our family and friends have always been our biggest supports. They have supported us from the beginning and even now that we have hit rough times they still are our biggest supports.

Pricing:

  • Qikpix charges $100 per hr and have a 24 hour turnaround
  • We charge $1.50 per photo edit and have a 12 hrs turn around

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Qikpix

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