While working in iLab, they found software developers, to help create the MVP, through a local community of designers and programmers called HackCville.
Rumbaugh and Mayo have been accepted for another year in iLab, which will allow them to further defer overhead costs. “I have free office space and access to printers, whiteboards, supplies,” Rumbaugh says.
BOOTSTRAPPING THROUGH THE MBA PROGRAM
Working full time on a new venture while completing an MBA was hard, but added impact to her courses, she says. “Doing it simultaneously made those classes tenfold more valuable,” she says. “Everything was so much more relatable.”
In the beginning, Rumbaugh bootstrapped the company with a small amount of her own money. She and Mayo have brought company funding up to about $50,000 with Rumbaugh’s two iLab salary stipends and winnings from five business plan competitions, including $25,000 for the Courageous Women Entrepreneur Prize at the 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition.
They’re in the middle of a seed round of financing, and have raised money from angel investors on the East Coast. Two days before today’s launch, they presented at the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association’s TechBuzz in Dulles, Virginia, and expect to start a Series A funding round in 12 to 18 months.
Rumbaugh and Mayo plan to build RelishMBA into “RelishCareers,” to cover MBA students, MBA alumni, PhD students, law school students, and undergraduates in specialty programs such as engineering.
Rumbaugh describes her entrepreneurial work as “at times upsetting” but “incredibly more rewarding” than consulting. “Working for someone else in any career, there’s always a ceiling on how successful you can be, a cutoff – the sky is not the limit. I wanted to be an entrepreneur, picking your own fate, and choosing when you work, where you work, and how you work.”