To Upvote a Business

A Ryerson University student is set to launch an online video hosting and aggregating start-up akin to the popular Imgur. 

By: Azim Ahmed

Nick Jessop has the entrepreneurial bug. At the age of 20, he is already embarking on his second business launch. Even before the launch of Klipur this month — a website that puts a different spin on community-based video sharing — Jessop has already started, developed and then subsequently sold a web-hosting startup.

Jessop, of Stratford, Ont., is going into this third year at Toronto’s Ryerson University, studying graphics communications management.

“It’s a mix of everything that interests me, and while it’s not directly related to what I’m doing with Klipur, it helps,” Jessop says on his program.

Digital media is clearly a hot market right now, and many startups are striving to capture some of that heat. While many are well-intentioned, they too often neglect to differentiate themselves from an increasingly saturated market.

Jessop’s Klipur, however, he said, is aiming to develop its own niche, and feed off of, rather than simply replicate, the success of behemoths such as Youtube and Vimeo.

Klipur essentially combines various traits from other social media outlets including Facebook, Youtube, and Reddit, before adding its own fresh take. It takes video-sharing — itself not a unique concept — and emphasizes the enticing elements of community and popularity.

Users can vote on videos, helping to bring them up and down to the ‘top of the list’.

As Jessop describes it, Klipur will be like Reddit — social news website that is socially curated by users — but for videos. Finally, utilizing social media staples such as profiles and postings adds the now essential social aspect to the mix.

While advertising will be used to some extent, its founder said he is focusing more on sponsored-videos to boost revenues.

“Having sponsors for the videos would be a better revenue stream I believe, because you pay to have your video at the top of a certain collection, so it appears that this video has to be pretty important if it’s with the other popular videos,” says Jessop.

Despite his young age, Nick Jessop says he will also use his past business experience to his advantage. While still in high school, he decided on a whim he wanted to create a website, despite having no formal training on web development.

After applying and getting a $3,000 grant from the Ontario Summer Company program, and self-teaching himself on the area of web design, he started a web-hosting company.

Jessop says he will reap the lessons he learned from this first venture — namely, not to spread himself too thin.

“One big mistake I had made was trying to do everything — and be everything,” he says. “I would see huge web-hosting sites, and think that I want to be like them, and have all these cool features they had.”

“But looking back on it now I should have just stuck to one little product, and tried to drive sales with something on the website like a big call to action, and one or two products on it,” he added. “Now, I know that I can always expand later, and try to cut down costs as much as you can right from the start.”

Jessop says he also learned that as an entrepreneur, it’s imperative to always keep growing. He continues to learn new programs and trends, relishing the concept of being self-taught.

While he is a one-man show with Klipur, doing everything from programming, to designing, to marketing, to social media, he says he recognizes part of the business goes beyond his skill-set. 

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