Featured Founder: Chris Krimitsos of Podfest Expo
Welcome to our Featured Founder series, where you’ll meet startup founders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Chris Krimitsos, Chief Creative Officer of Podfest Expo, which facilitates new media communities via live and virtual events.
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
I had been an executive producer of a TV show called the BleepinTruth and had a fun time producing some pretty entertaining shows. Then after getting thrown off the air, I formed eMarketing Groups and the Tampa Bay Business Owners. I sold TBBO and started building a conference called Podfest helping creators connect and the rest is history.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
Podcasters and YouTubers (creators) live primarily online and really have very few touchpoints where they meet face-to-face. We have created a facilitated environment that fosters collaboration and the free flow of information, in-person as well as online.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
One is brand awareness with full-time influencers. I sponsor as many regional and local events as humanly possible as well as help influencers connect via e-introductions every day of the week. I also host the monthly Florida Podcasters Association, the longest-running meetup of its kind in the country. We averaged 40-50 attendees prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are averaging 20 attendees during COVID-19.
Where do you see your company headed next?
Last year we had 2000 registered attendees for our in-person event in Orlando, and this year we believe we can reach 4000 attendees. We also set a Guiness World Record for largest virtual event, and on March 1st through 5th, we are looking forward to shattering that record this year! We are creating an umbrella brand called The Creator Village to house all our concepts that cater to online creators.
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.