Rich Martell founded Floxx.com, previously known as FitFinder, a location based anonymous micro blogging social network, in April 2010. The site is based on the concept of anonymously posting both a location and description of an attractive person whom one has spotted; this post is then immediately placed on the FitFeed, where it can be viewed by anyone.
The idea came about after Martell and his rugby friends would text each other when they spotted an attractive girl in the library. They took this idea and expended on it so the whole world could see.
Rich has been compared to Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook who created Facemash (rated students hotness against each other) one drunken night gaining huge traction overnight, tons of views, which then put him in hot water with his uni after crashing the servers. Rich created the FitFinder site overnight and by 9am the next morning the library at UCL (University College London) was full of students using the site. That day saw over 2,000 hits which overwhelmed the uni servers.
As word spread, Rich had requests from other universities around the UK to be added to the site, so their students could use FitFinder. One month later and the site had 50 million hits and was in 50 universities!
This caused the university to harshly fine Rich £300 for "bringing the college into disrepute." They also demanded that the site be taken down or they would withhold his degree. After spending 3 years working towards the degree he decided to take it down and get his degree, with plans to re-launch the site after he graduated in the summer.
The young entrepreneur felt that he had just scratched the surface with FitFinder. He is entrepreneurial by nature as he comes from a family of entrepreneurs in both his parents. The story of FitFinder made a lot of noise and gained a fair amount of press. One article was read by Doug Richard, a former Dragons' Den panelist. He was impressed by the demand that the product had shown in it's short life time. This is when things got serious.
Doug introduced Rich to big time, US investor, Kevin Hall. Together Doug and Kevin became founding angels for Floxx.com which was launched in January 2011. The site was renamed to appeal to a more global audience as the word 'fit' is mainly a British term and has different connotations in the US for example.
Rich gives 3 tips to other aspiring entrepreneurs:
1.) Get smart advisors on board early
2.) Be passionate about your business idea and make it happen
3.) Don't take no for an answer. Never give up!
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