In January 2021, we asked EllisX to tell us about themselves…
Tell us about your company. What problem are you trying to solve?
is a B2B platform that connects startups with relevant media and speaking engagements in 2 clicks. It’s really important for startups to increase brand awareness and get in front of as many new customers as possible, but this is often challenging due to limited resources. Running paid Ads is extremely expensive and unsustainable. Plus, customers tend to ignore Ads, preferring to learn about new products through podcasts, articles and events. However, receiving media coverage and getting speaking engagements are largely dependent on the founders’ personal networks. Most founders can’t just pick up the phone and land a magazine feature or a podcast guest spot. This means that they’re left with two options: hiring a PR agency or pitching media and event organizers directly. The former is extremely expensive, while the latter is very time-consuming and often produces miniscule results. EllisX bridges this gap by connecting startups directly with podcasters, writers and event organizers who are interested in what the company is building, allowing startups to spread the word about their products without breaking the bank.
How did your company get started?
Our story can be summed up in one word: serendipity. When we (Leia Ruseva and Richard Mensah) met, we discovered that both of us had encountered the problem independently. Richard had experienced it directly as a 3x founder in his home country of Ghana, while I had worked with a number of startups that struggled to attract attention, no matter what ingenious solutions they had come up with. Founders would often ask me for intros to media and event organizers, which led me to realize that there was a huge gap in the PR industry. Richard was equally passionate about this problem, so teaming up to solve it was a no-brainer.
Why is your team well-positioned to solve the problem you’re tackling?
Both of us have experienced the problem we’re solving, and know how big of a pain point it is for startups. We don’t come from traditional PR backgrounds, which allows us to see the gaps and inefficiencies of the industry much more clearly and come up with innovative ways to tackle them.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
That you can’t convince the skeptics and should focus on finding the believers instead. When we first started EllisX, we spoke with someone who is a luminary in the media industry whose take on what we do was that “it would never work”. However, our experience and multiple customer interviews showed otherwise. We knew we were on to something, and decided not to spend energy on convincing skeptics. If someone didn’t believe right away, our efforts would be futile.
What resources do you rely on to help your company grow?
We’re strong believers that people are the best resource for any company. For us, this means recruiting the best team and surrounding ourselves with trusted mentors and friends who really believe in the company’s mission and want to see it succeed. We’ve also come to be very reliant on tools like FullStory, Shoobx and Calendly to manage various workflows more efficiently.