Startup Garage 2020: Giden

In this day and age, consumers are far more likely to trust products that have been reviewed positively by real people over those without any client recommendation. Giden, a content marketing company, aims to provide companies with just that: genuine reviews from clients that already use and love their products. Giden describes itself as “an online marketplace that connects home-furnishing brands with interior designers who use social media to promote products to their followers.” Their platform allows home-furnishing brands to increase their reach to new customers by partnering with influencers in the interior décor industry.

“When a home brand is looking to have content for social media, they can reach out [to us],” says Annie Chen, interior designer and co-founder of Giden. “We have a matchmaking process to match home brands with interior designers that are currently using their products. The brand pays interior designers for the endorsement of these products.”

Chen met her co-founder Ridam Gulati, owner of the hardware company Myoh, at a pitch competition in November 2019. Chen’s pitch revolved around the inefficiency and lack of transparency in the interior design process, and how she wanted to change the industry for the better. As a hardware company owner, Gulati offers the perspective of a brand, while Chen offers the perspective of an interior designer.

“Since we started, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out our proof of concept,” Chen says. “We had a lot of ideas. Our biggest win was when we nailed down what problem we wanted to target, and what product we wanted to take into the market to test. We’re going to reach out to early adopters and create case studies so we can onboard as many brands as we can.”

“The future of Giden is that we want to become the leader for marketing for the home industry. We want to use the power of endorsements for these brands,” says Chen of the company’s long-term goals. “We want to use tech to help enable us to scale our product, to make our system more automatic instead of manual as it is now. We want to add in more technology, like AI and machine learning, in order to scale the company.”

When it comes to participating in the Entrepreneurship Hub’s Startup Garage program, Chen says Giden has a lot of things they want to learn. “What we want to learn most is getting help from mentors, and to understand how the product road map is going to look.” She further hopes that Startup Garage can allow Giden to onboard its first customer, improve its marketing and sales strategies, and further connect with the entrepreneurial community.

*This feature was published as a part of the Startup Garage Company Series, 2020.

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