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Be Ready for It: Startup Ideas Can Occur at any Time, Any Place

by Sarah Mote | May 08, 2015

Josh Holstein, CellARide

That’s what happened when Josh Holstein, founder of Springfield’s CellARide, noticed the familiar “for sale” sign attached to a car.

“With today’s technology and mobile marketing, there had to be an easier, more effective way to sell and buy a car.”

From that problem, Josh developed an innovative solution to replace the “for sale” sign with technology. He founded CellARide, which uses text message technology, incorporating an interactive experience with private party automotive sales.

With few resources, a limited knowledge of entrepreneurship, but lots of determination, Josh pursued his idea.

“I’m not a car guy and I knew nothing about the industry, but I couldn’t let it go.”

He created an LLC in October 2010 then moved from Springfield, to Des Moines, to Tulsa and back to build, promote and learn about his idea and product.

“I traveled a lot, slept very little, all while my family tagged along. It was frightening to go from a guaranteed paycheck to something that was quite risky.”

Then things turned around.

Soon after creating his company and building a prototype, Josh met Ewin Barnett of CarFax fame, in Columbia. After a five-hour conversation, Ewin joined the project as an investor and advisor. Next, Josh became involved with Capital Innovators and shortly after, obtained a seed round of funding from Arch Angels. This helped him build the CellARide team using the infrastructure and resources of the eFactory in Springfield, Missouri.

The fears he encountered in his startup days were soon displaced by gaining validation from companies like Toyota, Maritz and Capital Innovators.

“Creating something out of nothing that has value to so many people is very satisfying,” Josh explains. “In turn I can contribute to the Springfield community and help others.”

Josh has been inspired by Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square who advises, “If you are going to fail, fail fast.”

Josh also adds, “If you have an idea that could make a difference, get out there and do it. Don’t wait for whatever you think you need.”

Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.​​

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