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Startup of the Week: Crew

Welcome to the thirty-eighth edition of “Startup of the Week” which features many great startups and interviews with successful business heads.

This week I interview Stephanie Liverani, COO of Crew, a platform that links entrepreneurs and designers for the realization of web projects or mobile applications.

Simply, what does your business do?

Crew is a place where awesome independent designers and developers can come to source really great projects, and project owners can come and find talented freelancers for their projects. They can be anything from a smaller branding project to a fully-featured mobile or web app/site. Crew helps with estimating budgets for project owners, as well as matching these projects with our talented freelancers. We also help with project protection, payments, project management and legal NDA and IP security.

Stephanie Liverani, the COO of Crew

Stephanie Liverani, co-founder and COO of Crew.

How did the idea of Crew come about?

Mikael, our CEO, worked as an independent designer at a creative agency and noticed all the problems in the creative space, in terms of sourcing good work, potentially getting screwed over and trying to fix that whole process. After that, we started Crew to basically be the spot for quality work, whether you want to get quality work done or you want to do quality work.

Crew co-founders Mikael Cho and Stephanie Liverani

Crew co-founders Stephanie Liverani and Mikael Cho.

Did you have a business plan?

We did not have a business plan when we started. Here‘s more about how we started.

What were the challenges you faced when creating Crew?

There were a lot of challenges, and most of them came from attracting quality projects to Crew. Once you have the quality projects, it’s easier to attract high-quality designers and developers to be part of the Crew network. Building a marketplace with two sides is super challenging. We want to make sure that project values are always good and it’s a big challenge sourcing high-quality work, but that’s the value that we provide. You can read more about our challenges here.

What were you doing before Crew?

Before Crew, I had graduated from University in 2011 as an actuary and I worked at an insurance company for about a year. It was more of a corporate 9 to 5 lifestyle, and that didn’t fit what made me happy in life.

Stephanie Liverani, co-founder and COO of Crew

Stephanie Liverani, co-founder and COO of Crew.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

I would tell future entrepreneurs that if they had an idea, to start with the simplest and smallest thing that they can do. They don’t need to start building a website or app with lots of features – test the market first and see what your customers tell you. Avoid technical overhead. I would also tell the entrepreneur that it is going to be a lot of work, and the important thing is to be consistent with the quality of their work and the volume. Don’t stop, because that will break their momentum.

In one word, describe your job?

I think this might be more in line. I deal with the operations: anything from hiring to investment relations to setting up processes, to a vision for future product iterations.

Website: crew.co

Twitter: @stephliverani

Headquarters: Montreal, Canada

People: 30 people at Crew and Unsplash

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