Where did you guys come from?
Koios began when founder Trey Gordner pitched a library software idea at Startup Weekend Columbia in November 2014. The idea was a browser extension that checked the library for you from Amazon. A great team came together, built a prototype in just 54 hours, and won the competition. This wasn't Trey's first run-in with libraries: he'd been working in and out of them for 5 years, and had just finished consulting with Richland Library on attracting young professionals and technologists.
At Startup Weekend, Trey met cofounder Ralph Kuepper, a talented developer with a specialty in ecommerce. Together, they entered the FiredUP Accelerator program, launched their first product, and have been working in libraries ever since. Koios is a previous winner of USC's Proving Ground, a member of the famed DC civic tech incubator 1776, and a proud SC Launch company.
Why libraries? Why digital marketing?
Libraries have incredible collections that are currently underutilized. It's a classic business problem (think Uber for cars, or Airbnb for homes), only in this case the assets are public instead of private. We're big fans of public resources, especially the ones that libraries provide, and we want more people to be aware of them. If libraries want people to discover their content today, they'll need to be at the top of search results. And with our background in ecommerce, libraries, and advertising technology, we've got the perfect combination to make that happen.
What does success look like?
We want to continue serving libraries, with the same management, indefinitely. We love what we do. Ultimately, we define our success by the success of the libraries we work with. We want to increase library engagement by 5 times. In other words, take the number of hours your members currently spend on your website, in your building, and using your resources, and multiply it by five. Do you want that too? If so, we'd love to talk with you.
Make borrowing online as easy as buying.
Free and democratic access to all human knowledge