This week on the Geekdom Member Spotlight, we shine the light on Matt Wilbanks, a serial entrepreneur and long time member of our Geek fam.
**cue the spotlight**
Matt has been with Geekdom since the beginning, having a membership during his time at Rackspace and then continuing that membership as he transitioned into the founding of HelpSocial. The 7th floor of Geekdom became home to HelpSocial from 2014 until it closed its doors in 2020. As he currently chases his passion through his position at SecurityGate.io as Chief Marketing Officer, he also is chasing some personal dreams and visions on his own time.
Matt shared three core aspects of Geekdom that he believes make all the difference for an entrepreneur.
Community – Matt defined community as, “Being around people who understand what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. It makes all the difference when you don’t feel like you are isolated and by yourself, and it’s a big deal if you can walk around and talk to leaders and fellow workers.”
Workspace – In Matt’s eyes, it’s the little things that make all the difference when it comes to a work space. “The Geekdom environment makes starting a company so easy because of all the little things. Since 2014, I never had to worry about a printer, a desk, or where to get coffee or water from because Geekdom offers all of that. You don’t have to think about the day to day of having an office. So many little things get in the way of thinking about your product and can tend to take up so much time. You just don’t have to do that here at Geekdom.”
Exposure – Lastly, Matt believes exposure is a key component of Geekdom’s offerings to members. “For a tech startup in San Antonio, we were really fortunate in that we had grown up inside of Rackspace and inside of Geekdom. When figuring out which investors are best, when you should raise money, and how you do that, Geekdom helps shortcut those steps a lot. Investors in town know to keep an eye on Geekdom and their members. By having a membership and proximity to the space, you’re much more likely to make connections. Geekdom is also super tied in with the city. So the city will start promoting and supporting companies because they are a part of the Geekdom world.”
So, what’s next for Matt?! He’s giving back to the community that he came from with his latest entrepreneur endeavor.
“The new thing I’ve been working on is called RocketOption. It’s an idea that I’ve been tinkering with for the last two years since Helpsocial closed, and it’s all about fundraising and trying to help founders spend less of their time fundraising. I had like 13 or 14 moleskine notebooks full of stuff about Helpsocial.”
“I went back one day and started reading through these notebooks looking for ideas and what I learned over the years. I realized that so many of these ideas were focused on fundraising. So I got curious about all of this. I realized that of the time I had allocated over the last 6 years, 2 years of that time was dedicated to fundraising. It’s like working a part time job because you’re focusing on fundraising so much. All the time that Geekdom takes off people’s plates, I want to do that for fundraising. I wanted to create an expedia.com but for startups looking for lenders to give them a loan. RocketOption was launched Monday, January 3, 2022.”
Throughout Matt’s journey, one question drove the passion and direction of every startup he was a part of. “Before HelpSocial was ever even an idea, I worked for a guy named Rob La Gesse. He always asked this one question, ‘Are we being helpful to the customer in doing this?’ That ‘be helpful’ culture that came from Rob has become so significant to me. I wanted to do something that would be meaningful and helpful for other founders and that’s definitely what Geekdom is all about.
We are so thankful that Matt joined our Geekdom family so many years ago and are thankful for his years of dedication to the startup community. If you are a entrepreneur looking for funding and don’t know where to start, visit RocketOption where Matt can help you find the perfect lender for you and your startup!