E075: with Kelly Perdew

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Jason Calacanis hosts This Week in Startups with guest Kelly Perdew, CEO of RotoHog.com.

00:01:30   You won season 2 of the Apprentice, how many of the people are legit entrepreneurs? I think he picks four or five potential winners and then covers the rest of the demographics. It’s a show.

00:03:00  Walk me through getting on the show and what you learned. Well, their is the typical cattle call of waiting in line hoping to get chosen. You can mail in a tape along with the application which didn’t look like fun. Mark Burnett also contacts business schools and I was able to make contact as an alumni for a close casting call. Approx. 300 are contacted for the interview.

00:06:00  What is it like on the show? It’s about 8 weeks of filming, limited sleep and common bathing areas. You are on 24/7 audio and video. They take away all contact with everyone, no cell phone, no drivers licence, no money. Everything is controlled.

00:08:30  How often do people stop you? I get the “hey where do I know you from?” all the time. I worked in the Trump organization for a whole year and got to know their team. His kids have their heads on straight and know what is going on, I was very impressed. I worked there for 14 months and was able to publish my book. Take Command

00:10:00  What impact does being on the show have on being an entrepreneur? Having the media exposure you get comfortable speaking with them and you now have that as one more reason for the journalist to interview you. It also helps with speaking engagements.

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00:12:45  Tell us about RotoHog. We are a games as a service provider, we build games for brands

00:14:00  As an entrepreneur their are a few things you should look at when choosing a VC. One the funds reputation, where they are in their fund cycle. Typically, if it’s a $200 million fund the they are going to invest somewhere around $120 million into first time funds. They will set aside more money “Dry Powder” aside to re-invest in your company if you are hitting your milestones.

00:16:00  Tell me the business of RotoHog are you the destination or do you empower the destination? We power media partners that want to put them on Facebook, etc. I use RotoHog.com as a test bed.

00:17:30  Our audience wants three things. To grow the audience, cause them to do things and monetize

00:18:00  In fantasy sports games are they playing for money? In RotoHogs games they are, it’s legal because horse racing and fantasy sports are exempt.

00:19:00   We are also power “snackable games” for MMOs where you’ll be able to play 5 minute snippets that provide a reward for your character.

00:19:30  How old is the company and they brought you in as CEO correct? Yes, it was founded in 2006 as a B2C site for fantasy sites. I switched it to B2B and I think most companies need to decide to build or buy I want us to be that enterprise.

00:22:30  We’ve set up our platform so it can be used with other languages.

00:24:30  What is going to happen with online betting type games in the US? I think it will become a state by state issue but not country wide. I think this will happen within 12 months making intrastate legal.

00:28:30  What are the most important characteristics of a good entrepreneur? Integrity, Passion, Perseverance

00:29:30  What did the military teach you about entrepreneurship? I think it’s fantastic, I attribute much of my success to that, people think the military is too structured in problem solving and the opposite it true they are good problem solvers.

00:31:30  What is your take on Afghanistan? Yes their is a way to win it, the military is just a tool in foreign policy. I believe with the proper resources we can win most anything.

00:36:30  Who are your entrepreneurial heroes, aside from Donald Trump? Steve Wynne the former CEO of Adidas, also Luis Villalobos of Tech Coast Angels

00:37:30  Do you angel invest? Yes, my wife and I try make some smart investments

00:38:00  What do you look for? Market size, passionate team and something we are familiar with

00:39:30  Why haven’t you sold so far? I want to to try occur on our terms and try create an auction of some sort. When we do thins it will be a collective process we have investors and founders who own much of the company.

00:43:10  What is your biggest challenge in business? Distribution and Ruby developers

00:49:00  One of the best things that came out of being on the Apprentice was that I can help charity more effectively.

00:52:32  End

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