Love and startups go hand in hand for
AdCellerant Co-founders Brock Berry and Shelby Carlson, 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 a few more work opportunities.
in Colorado now for 15 years and had several roles and responsibilities,
including roles at the 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.
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.
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.
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 for 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
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.