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Harlem Startup Wants to Pay You to Review Businesses

By Gustavo Solis | December 9, 2015 12:12pm
 In November Price-Mars (left) and Laurent Delly travelled to an international startup summit to share their idea with other investors and entrepreneurs.
In November Price-Mars (left) and Laurent Delly travelled to an international startup summit to share their idea with other investors and entrepreneurs.
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Laurent Delly

HARLEM — Earn bucks giving your opinion on businesses.

Local entrepreneur Laurent Delly started Ideacoil, a website where businesses can pay to post questionnaires and choose qualified people to give them feedback. People selected to review products or ideas keep some of the money the companies paid to post their questions.

“I’ve been living here in Harlem for many years and I’ve heard from many small businesses who sometimes do not have access to this kind of feedback,” said Delly, who came up with the website with his brother Price-Mars.

The two have been working on the idea for nearly two years and hope to launch the site in the first half of 2016. They fine-tune their concept in Harlem’s growing business and entrepreneurial scene.

During the pilot stages earlier this year they helped a company choose a new logo for a product, a farmers’ market select new products and a local filmmaker develop her project.

The brothers are confident Ideacoil will work because businesses, especially small businesses are willing to pay and draw qualified people to give them feedback. It can be used for a restaurant in the middle of coming up with a new menu, a startup still developing their product, or a large company looking for the feedback of a specific kind of vetted consumers.

“Ideacoil allows people to tap into that access and engage with their customers,” said Price-Mars Delly.

Although they are still months ahead of launching the website, the brothers have already received attention for Ideacoil.

In November, they attended an International Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland, where thousands of innovative start ups from around the world got to mingle with investors and people from companies like Slack, Facebook, and Microsoft.

There are other online services — like Yelp or Survey Monkey — that provide businesses with feedback, but Laurent said Ideacoil differs in that they are interested in helping entrepreneurs not specifically consumers.

The reviewers create a profile similar to LinkedIn that has their professional information so businesses can select you based on your background and expertise.

“Old fashion survey methods provide feedback that not only can be outdated but is too generalized to make it relevant to your particular business needs,” he said.

In order to stay competitive businesses cannot afford to ignore what their customers want, especially when local brick and mortar shops are competing with online retailers.

“You cannot be complacent anymore as a business owner,” he said.