Differential 2.0


by Ry Walker

On April 16th, we promised to “officially announcing details of our new model” in a few days. Here we are five months later…

What we were going to announce in April was “Differential 1st Gear” — a cool program where we worked closely with a few VCs to create a short path to initial funding for startups that we wanted to take equity in. We just needed to dot the i’s… and then we got this email…

I spoke with our team and we’re very interested in working together. One of the partners would love to meet you guys in person.

No problem! Except during that meeting, Paul Lee (General Partner at Lightbank) opened our eyes up to bigger ideas — ideas we’ve been chasing down since then.

What is Differential?

When we started the company, we wanted to give ourselves room to explore, and explore we did :) We had a lot of successes, some quick failures, but we’re fortunate to have arrived at a scalable business model.

We learned that at our core, we’re passionate about the launching tech products — and helping these apps/products/businesses succeed in every way.

We helped some startups for equity, we helped some for cash. We adopted very early an up-and-coming web framework called Meteor. We executed the Lean Startup methodology over-and-over. At first clients trickled in, then they started pouring in. And not just startups. Big companies wanted to work with us too.

  1. We love the idea (and metrics) around “angel development” — by helping startups get their MVPs built for equity, we help them solve their two biggest problems (getting seed funding, and finding a developer who cares, is available, and will deliver). We won’t stop doing that.

  2. We also recognize that we’re in a great spot with Meteor, and we should capitalize on it. We're building a cadre of Meteor developers that can be leveraged not only by startups, but also corporate innovation projects.

We’ll continue to do both, via two business units we call “Venture Labs” and “Dev Shop”.

So what is Differential?

We’re a startup studio.
We help startups (and corporations) bring their ideas to life.

Growing team

We haven’t had any problem finding good people. We’ve added to our team quite a bit in the past few months, growing from 8 to 18 people.

Recent team additions:

  • Ben Gregory — product manager in Cincinnati
  • Bruce Hubbard — developer in Cincinnati
  • Dave Anderson — developer in Cincinnati
  • David Woody — developer in Cincinnati
  • Josh Whitehead — designer in Cincinnati
  • Megan McDonough — associate in Cincinnati
  • Melissa Lower — product manager in Cincinnati
  • Nick Wientge — developer in Las Vegas
  • Shannon Walker — admin in Cincinnati
  • Spencer Carli — developer in Columbus
  • Tim Brunk — entrepreneur in Cincinnati

What’s next?

It’s still very early, but we see a opportunity across many dimensions. Maybe we’ll bring our model to other startup ecosystems… such as Chicago, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. We’ll continue to invest into Meteor, Node.js, and Javascript in general. We’ll build lots of MVPs, pursue traction, and continue to add great people to our team. 

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How Can We Help?

Reaching out doesn’t mean you’re ready to start a project, but we’d love to learn more about the challenge you’re facing, answer any questions, and see if we might be a good fit for working together.

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