Startup Spotlight: MyStyleBlox
MyStyleBlox is a start up founded by Mario Aguayo and Sandy Kacura and is a marketplace for freelance talent. Two years ago Mario, a former modeling agent, and Sandy, a model of 15 years, had grown tired of the manner talent agencies were carrying out their business. Most people in the industry excused late payments and biased internal politics at agencies which prompted Mario and Sandy to think that “there has to be a better way!”
In December of 2014, Mario, who had no previous coding experience put together a simple WordPress website and tested the market’s receptiveness to the idea of a transparent freelance talent market.
“I couldn’t keep up with the submissions pouring in! It was great, but we needed a more sophisticated system in order to actually service the clients,” Mario said.
Fast forward four months and MyStyleBlox’s founders invested $50,000 to hire a web developer to create a web app. This web developer failed to execute on building a platform that satisfied the requirements for the marketplace and MyStyleBlox was in trouble. coder we hi was missing the emotional side behind the brand and things just weren’t working.”
In the search for a new web developer, they encountered Juha Mikkola and Johanna Mikkola, the founders of Wyncode Academy at MiamiTech events. Mario kept asking if he could hire a Wyncoder to finish the app but most recent graduates were already working on other projects. After a quick meeting with Juha, before he spent any more time looking for a new developer he was applying for Wyncode’s Web Immersive program. “As a business owner I knew I had to find a technical co-founder. I chose the smart route and learned to code,” Mario said. “I decided to be my own technical co-founder and not rely on someone else to execute the MyStyleBlox vision for an online marketplace.”
”As a business owner I knew exactly what was needed and how it should look,” Mario said “At Wyncode I was able to build a flexible platform as a Minimum Viable Product that could easily be changed, which in the big picture has helped us save money by not hiring developers to make future changes.” Sandy’s warm smile confirmed the feeling that the husband and wife co-founders made the right choice in Mario learning how to code.
Their beta website www.mystyleblox.com is live on the web and without much marketing has attracted 1,400 photographers, make-up artists, production assistants, and stylists.
From a Wyncode final project, MyStyleBlox has quickly been making waves in Miami’s growing tech ecosystem. In October, Mario and Sandy pitched at Refresh Miami’s Demo Night against many well funded start up ideas. The group excelled and was selected as the overall winner by the judges as well as the fan’s choice award, securing $120,000 in credits to help the start up grow.
What’s next for the co-founders? They are busy working on new features, listening to customer feedback and applying for incubator and accelerator programs like Founder Institute and TechStars.
Do you have an app idea? Are you tired of looking for a technical co-founder to help make your entrepreneurial startup dream a reality?
Wyncode’s Immersive Web Development program may just be what you are looking for.
Learn more or apply here.