Life after winning TechCrunch Disrupt: Where is Hello Alfred now?
Tech Crunch Disrupt is in full swing in San Francisco -- and companies from all over are pitching their products and ideas to big wigs and venture capitalists in hopes of taking home the $50,000 prize.
Last year Hello Alfred took home the top prize with its personalized butler service, and huge growth since.
In part one of our interview, AOL.com caught up with the co-founder Marcela Sapone to get the inside scoop on how they won. Now they're dishing on how they've capitalized on last year's big win.
AOL.com: Winning TC Disrupt can make a business. Describe the impact which winning TC Disrupt had on Hello Alfred?
Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck: Well, first it launched us onto the world stage. We received thousands of signups within a few hours from China to Alaska. We had investment requests from London, and partnership offers in India. It gave us legitimacy that has been huge for us over the past year. We're not just another startup. We won TCD and that means that we're not messing around.
AOL.com: Take us back to that moment on stage when you were announced as winners. What did it feel like to be on stage and receive the top award? What thoughts ran through your mind? What are the details you remember from those moments?
Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck: It felt amazing and humbling. We were just honored to have been invited to be in the Battlefield. When we heard that we won, the first thing we thought was, "This is real. People want this and believe in what we're doing." We were so proud of us and what we'd done to that point in Boston and were so excited to bring this product to more people. Then we thought, "we're going to have a lot of work to do!"
We remember holding the check, and that physical piece of cardboard really made it sink in. Then, of course, all the flashing cameras and phones was pretty crazy. We felt like celebrities!
See how team Alfred prepared their presentation:
AOL.com: What happens in the 24hrs after you won Disrupt?
Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck: Our social media accounts went crazy. Reading all the positive shout-outs was so much fun, and we starting responding to people the next day. Our signups and website traffic went off the charts which was thrilling, but also intimidating.
The night after we had a nice quiet dinner and a celebratory drink then called it an early night. We were all buzzing, but exhausted from the three days of TCD and wanted to really hit the ground running the next day, work-wise.
See photos of Hello Alfred at TechCrunch Disrupt 2015:
AOL.com: When did you start to feel the material impact of your success at TCD on Hello Alfred?
Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck: Honestly, immediately. We had member signups and new people who wanted to start using our service. We began onboarding new signups as quickly as we could.
AOL.com: What happened after you won that would not have been possible before?
Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck: I think our ability to reach out to anybody at any company and receive a response would not have happened before. The TCD stamp makes it really easy to start conversations with people, and put us in this amazing position where certain doors were open that weren't before.
AOL.com: How is your business doing today?
Marcela Sapone and Jess Beck: Business is great. We've been growing in NYC and Boston through a combination of word of mouth and press. We've also been expanding the team, which is now 20 people in Boston and New York. Our new "Hello Alfred" app was released in the app store, and we developed some amazing strategic partnerships that have been important to our growth as well as ensuring that our members have an amazing experience. We're always looking to hire new, amazing people to join the team and have plenty of roles we're trying to fill!
Also we'd love to offer NYC and Boston readers a special promo code to get priority access to Hello Alfred using code: AOLFront15.