It’s been six months since we started EllisX with the goal of helping startups get the visibility they need to reach more users and establish themselves as thought leaders. Since June 2019 we’ve launched and relentlessly iterated on our first product, had more than 50 startups trust us, and have been over the moon every time we’ve helped our customers get exposure. And this is just the beginning!
As we begin the new year, we wanted to lift the curtain and share the why behind what we’re doing. Our purpose has always been to help startups with compelling stories and innovative products become more visible — something that is usually hard to achieve, expensive and/or time-consuming. This stems from our desire to increase meritocracy in the world by making resources more accessible and creating more opportunity for talented people who are not afraid to dream big.
It is no secret that EllisX was inspired by Ellis Project — a side project one of our founders (Leia) had started to draw attention to the contributions immigrant entrepreneurs have made to the US economy. We started by hosting quarterly events that allowed foreign founders to tell their stories, and soon enough founders were reaching out to ask if we could help them connect with media or speak on a panel.
While we loved increasing exposure for the entrepreneurs we knew, it felt like we were putting a band-aid on the problem, not treating the root cause. As we dug deeper, we realized that American-born entrepreneurs were getting equally excited about the work we were doing, as getting exposure was a challenge for them as well. That’s when it clicked: the traditional PR industry didn’t work for startups. Agency fees were way too high for early-stage companies, and when founders chose to find visibility opportunities on their own, it was always very time-consuming and a big distraction from building the business. We knew there had to be a better way.
It didn’t make sense that entrepreneurs had no easy way of sharing their vision with the world. When you’re building the future, you can’t wait for tomorrow to arrive. Exposure can certainly accelerate this process, but it’s currently reserved for those with deep pockets and/or the ‘right’ contacts in their personal networks. This means that the majority of innovators are left out of the conversation.
We envision a future that favors unique stories and insights over personal contacts. That’s why we seek to bring talented people together and draw attention to innovators working on big ideas. We believe that the stories of category-defining companies deserve attention, and exposure can be a powerful catalyst that helps change industries and create movements. Our quest to make visibility more accessible was born out of our desire to increase meritocracy in the world by helping forward-thinking companies get the recognition they deserve. We believe that entrepreneurship is a force for good, that those who have the audacity to envision and create something bigger than themselves are worthy of exposure, and that garnering attention should not be a privilege.
That’s why we created EllisX: to expand opportunity by fostering relationships that empower innovators to succeed.