Michelle is part of the Marketing & Communications Team at OCEAN Programs.
We love catching up with our alumni. This month, I had the opportunity to chat with Griffin Morris. Griffin, with his company Homefield, moved to Cincinnati from St. Louis to be in our 2016 accelerator cohort.
“OCEAN was an awesome experience. They taught us the importance of sharing our values with the startup teams we were building. The ‘company culture’ in startups is catching up to what OCEAN has been teaching for years — there’s more talk about balance and mental health, which is so important.”
After his time with Homefield, Griffin joined Spatial (a location data company that organizes billions of social media data points into segments to better target, predict, and market products to the customer). Then in 2019, he co-founded Resquared. Being familiar with the industry from his time at Spatial, Griffin knew shopping centers and landlords were looking for help filling their vacant properties.
Along with co-founder Tyler Carlson (COO), the team released an MVP version of their marketing platform in the first week of March 2020 to reach small and local businesses for their clients. Shopping center owners and brokers are their primary customers, but recently they have also been working with tech companies who help small businesses adapt and digitize. Resquared is the first marketing tool specifically designed to get in touch with local businesses more effectively. And, it turns out, there are many companies that struggle to reach this audience.
The timing for a commercial real estate-focused company turned out to be ideal: as owners of shopping centers deal with the increase in vacancies, local businesses make up 80% of new leases getting signed in 2021. Resquared’s incredible marketing tool has also aided in helping displaced small business owners who need a restart after the hit of the pandemic.
“For a few months at the beginning of the pandemic, we were still working and had no idea what was going to happen. We thought, ‘This could be good timing, but no one was picking up the phone.’ We pushed through, and then in summer 2020, things picked back up. We realized how much these companies needed our tools, and we started growing quickly. Every month, we were compounding and growing.”
As the team and product continued to grow, Griffin decided to apply Resquared for the Y Combinator accelerator. He had experience going through accelerators, but he wasn’t sure it was realistic to get into one of the most prestigious programs where application competition is intense every class. Resquared stood out among the other applicants because of their strong team, their traction, and compounding growth.
Resquared Co-Founders Griffin Morris (left) and Tyler Carlson (right).
Griffin and Tyler were selected for investment by Y Combinator as part of their Winter 21 batch. The strong team, traction, and compounding growth Resquared had worked hard to build was validated through the application process!
An entrepreneur’s dream come true.
Over the last few months, the two have been more focused than ever on continuing to develop their company. Their team and customer base are both growing, while the product continues to provide an extremely high-quality platform and access to their network for their clients.
Being selected to join Y Combinator is a significant accomplishment, and we are so proud and honored to watch how Griffin’s determination and focus have led him to this moment. The OCEAN team wishes him and the Resquared team all the best throughout 2021 and beyond!