Love and startups go hand in hand for Brock and Shelby who are helping media companies generate seven-figure revenue streams.
Sramana Mitra: Whoever wants to start, let’s start at the very beginning of your personal journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Brock Berry: Thanks for having us. I’m the Founder and CEO of AdCellerant. I’m from Indiana where I grew up and spent the first 23 years of my life before I was compelled to move to Colorado where the weather is a little friendlier and there were few more work opportunities.
I’ve been in Colorado now for 15 years and had several roles and responsibilities including roles in Denver Post and Media News Group. Most recently before AdCellerant, I was the SVP of Sales and Operations for an advertising and technology company called Adtaxi.
Sramana Mitra: What about you Shelby?
Shelby Carlson: I was actually born in Rhode Island. I also journeyed to Colorado with my family pretty early on. I went to Colorado State University. I’ve never left Colorado because it’s just fantastic here. I started my career dabbling in entrepreneurship.
I always found a hole that I thought needed to be filled. I had a couple of businesses prior to AdCellerant. I was actually working for the Denver Post selling advertising. Brock and I with two other partners started AdCellerant two and a half years ago.
Sramana Mitra: How did you meet?
Shelby Carlson: We both met at the Denver Post as colleagues and are now husband and wife.
Sramana Mitra: We actually have done several articles on couple entrepreneurs. It’s a series called Love and Startups. Tell me a bit about what triggered AdCellerant. What was going on in the industry? What did you see as the gap and what did you want to build when you started?
Brock Berry: When we both worked at Media News Group, we were helping run the technology in an advertising company called Adtaxi. Eight years ago, programmatic advertising was emerging rapidly but most people were not very used to leveraging it to accomplish their goals in marketing. In the first three and a half years, we grew from zero to a business that was doing about $75 million a year with 86 employees. That growth rate was tremendous and really exciting.
Sramana Mitra: What period of time did you experience that growth rate in?
Brock Berry: We started in July of 2011. At that time, it was nine months old. It had done $700,000 in its first 10 months. In 2012, we took it from a million dollars to $25 million. Then we took it to $50 million in 2013. Then we were on track for about $75 million in 2014. That’s the path that we’re on.