If you want groceries delivered to your door, you might choose between Amazon Fresh or Instacart. If you want to book a last-minute appointment with a beautician or a makeup artist, you might turn to StyleSeat. Spotlist, Inc. wants to be the one-stop-shop for various kinds of services so that customers never have to leave the house for their needs.
The on-demand New Jersey-based platform is set to provide services across industries whether customers are in need of a makeover, a new hairdo, deliveries, or in-home massage.
Spotlist, Inc., founder and CEO, Jae Pesante began developing her idea for the company while caring for her father, who was healing from surgery.
“I always tell people that Spotlist wasn’t a company I came up with sitting around thinking of a way to make money. My father suffers from heart disease, and after his defibrillator surgery, he couldn’t drive,” Pesante said. “He told me that he wished he could have someone to service him at home.”
Spotlist allows users to schedule appointments with beauticians, makeup artists and massage therapists. Customers can filter through the services by price and location.
Before trying her hand in the tech space, Pesante ran her own boutique marketing agency Fashion Entertainment Media LLC (F.E.M). As she continued to work on Spotlist, Pesante hit many roadblocks with potential investors.
“Before my demo was complete, I had five investment offers; however, one investor sexually harassed me and a financial advisor of another investor was professionally inappropriate,” Pesante said. “I dismissed both offers.”
She said that her story isn’t rare and that it can be difficult for women like her to be taken seriously as startup founders.
“I was offered 300k and $2.5 million, but how I become successful matters to me,” Pesante said. “Thankfully, I have a team that respects it.”
Pesante said the best thing upcoming entrepreneurs can do for themselves is to protect their ideas and stay prepared.
“Keep your business and plans to yourself until you’ve reached a point of launching. Every investor or person we introduced the platform to signed our Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete,” Pesante said. “I never shared my investment deck or business plan. Everything was presented in person except our general overview of the platform.”
Pesante said she researched for nearly eight months before creating a business plan and that she plans for the unexpected.
“It’s important to prepare everything based on worst-case scenarios and ‘what if’s’ because investors will find every reason [that the company] won’t work,” Pesante said.
One of her biggest goals for Spotlist — which is set to release in 2020– is for it to become a global company that will help communities nationwide.
As she expands, Pesante plans to create a non-profit arm of the business to teach people about financial independence.