Georgetown startup, Encore Alert, raises $390,000 in investment seed round

The social media monitoring service Encore Alert, co-founded by two Georgetown students, announced March 17 that they raised $390,000 from an investment seed round. The startup’s software monitors Twitter and sends out alerts when client’s brands are mentioned, allowing companies to engage with users interested in their products.

Encore Alert’s client list includes, among others, the Consumer Electronics Association and Georgetown University itself.

The Rosslyn-based startup plans to use the investment to continue to expand their employee base. The company hired two new software developers over the last two months.

“We’re really trying to get marketing and salespeople, as well as a few more developers,” said VP of Product Tammy Cho (MSB ’16).

CEO James Li (MSB ‘13) said that in the near future the startup would remain focused on Twitter.

“Over the next eight months, we’re going to make sure we’re delivering accurate alerts on Twitter,” he said. “When we try to raise the next round of investment, then we’ll be able to say that brands are seeing quantifiable [return on investment] from using our platform.”

Encore Alerts, however, won’t remain limited to Twitter indefinitely.

“Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ are all extremely important platforms that brands use every single day,” said Li. “The faster that we can move and nail down our formula, the faster we can start delivering on those other platforms as well.”

The $390K investment round is the second big announcement from Encore Alert this March. At the South by Southwest multimedia festival in Austin, Texas the company rolled out a redesigned version of their product that expands the variety of Twitter alerts it provides.

“The response to the new features has been overwhelming positive,” said Li. “We launched the platform with an emphasis on speed, getting the product out as fast as possible. Going back through and paying more attention to design details and usability has paid off in a really big way.”

Jeff Reid, the Founding Director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, is confident that other successful startups will follow in Encore Alert’s footsteps.

“I think Georgetown is a wonderful place for entrepreneurship,” he said. “James and Tammy are examples of kind of students that can start a company while they’re in school, and we want to support students like them. We have business pitch competitions, we have courses, we have a summer incubator program … a lot of the things we do are geared towards inspiring students to consider entrepreneurship.”

Li agreed with Reid’s assessment of Georgetown’s entrepreneurial culture.

“I think if we were to examine where we are 5 years from now, we would be able to say that we are in the ranks of the kinds of universities that put out great entrepreneurs,” he said.

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