An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Amit Tishler, the co-founder and CBDO of PopBase, which was honored in our:
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Burbank
- 2019 Best Tech Startups in Burbank
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Burbank
Tell us the origin story of PopBase – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Most of my career has been on the creative side of entertainment development, from animation production to video games. Most artists are not engineers, and have no interest in learning tools that are way outside of their area of interest or comfort. With PopBase, we sought to bridge that gap and allow non-technical creatives to focus on what they care about in an interactive format that would be otherwise inaccessible to them. Entertainment today has to be quick, responsive, immersive, and flexible. Tools with that kind of power can have a serious impact in many different fields, so the first goal was to create these tools. The next one was to find the ideal user to leverage them.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
One of the challenges of building new technologies and solutions that are new and unusual is to get your story clear. When you live in it, it’s easy! You can see it, you can feel it, you can dream it – and hell, you can build it. But finding a way to describe what you built and the value in it is a challenge when there is no direct reference or market equivalent. With that said, the story became a lot easier to tell once we found our ideal user. When you have a strong use case to point to, explaining how a tool can be used becomes more arbitrary.
What does the future hold for PopBase?
We built a powerful tool that can drive a uniquely immersive experience. We want this experience to be used for good. The heat we got from the healthcare industry was a real eye opener, and it really motivated us to pursue this vertical. I’m a type 1 diabetic myself, so the idea of using the PopBase experience to increase pre-teen knowledge retention and patient adherence for those who suffer from this condition hits really close to home. We’re currently working on forming strategic partnerships with health organizations to run pilots with and prove the effectiveness of this new form of engagement. We are also opening seed round talks with investors who share our values and want to take this rare opportunity to join us on the next step of this exciting journey. It’s a pretty eventful time here at PopBase!
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Burbank?
The LA tech scene is very entertainment focused, which is something I love. But I feel like LA in general, and Burbank in particular, needs to increase its active support of its startup scene. There are many fantastic entrepreneurs in this town and they’re trying to build a fast paced development scene in a town that’s used to very traditional business and creative development practices. There’s a lot of potential here, and I think that supporting this community can drive some serious growth in this town.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Move fast, iterate, don’t be afraid to push. Fear and hesitation are the entrepreneur’s ultimate enemies. Running a business can be humbling. Creating a completely new solution goes far beyond that. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to learn from them. Put yourself in your customer’s or partner’s shoes, understand what pains them, what drives them, and what can help them. Never be afraid to start a conversation, to reach out, to poke, to probe, and to question. And finally – be smart, be bold, be kind, and care about what you’re doing.