LeadOpt - Chicostart

LeadOpt is a end-to-end digital marketing, design, and lead generation agency. We offer high-performance marketing solutions and help both small and medium business dominate in the digital world, all at a surprisingly affordable price.

About the founder:

16 months ago, I had just been let go from my job as a marketing manager in San Fransisco.  At the time, it was severely devastating.  Making only $60,000 as a single man living in the bay area meant that I was effectively living paycheck to paycheck, with no buffer, savings, or support.  
My life consisted of waking up, taking BART for 1 hour to San Fransisco, working 9-6, and then taking BART back home.  It was a grueling 12-hour schedule that most people endure in the Bay Area.  But when I was let go, the checks stopped coming, and I knew I had to make a change.
I landed in Chico, to stay on a friend’s couch.  I had lived in Chico previously when my best friend attended CSU in 2012 – I knew it was a land of less traffic, affordable rent, fresh air, and beautiful women.  While I was just sleeping on a friend’s couch, my quality of life had seemed instantly improved – things we’re looking up.
One night shortly after moving to Chico, I was walking back to my car from Panamas, and I ran into Jake Wade, and Andrew March.  I was somewhat acquainted with Jake from living in Chico previously, so I said hello.  After some small talk, they told me about ChicoStart and suggested that I try to join.  I was thankful to have run into them and knew that this might be the beginning of something magical.
Later in the week, I met with Wendy Porter, to discuss what adventures I might be pursuing.  I distinctly remember feeling like Wendy genuinely cared about my “start up” which was something I had never experienced before – it was inspiring.  I joined ChicoStart the next day and met the other residents, Parallel Revolution, Work Truck Solutions, Small Business Triage, to name a few.
Something people rarely talk about is how isolating making your company can be in the early days.  I was thankful to be surrounded by new interesting people pursuing similar dreams.  The amenities and community that ChicoStart offered were truly something I would not have been able to get otherwise, and I will always be thankful for being able to, well, incubate.  I met friends and mentors, built products, and had some fun along the way.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Now that we’ve graduated into dedicated office space, I realize how critical of an asset ChicoStart was to our success.  ChicoStart offers such a fantastic package at a ridiculously competitive price.  Now that I’m responsible for the internet, janitorial, food and snacks, fresh water, utilities, and the list goes on: I realize that Chicostart is a truly incredible value.
It was very bittersweet to leave ChicoStart.  But I hope us leaving opens more space for newcomers to try their luck at the start-up game.  Utilizing the community and workspace is a no-brainer for anyone in the early stages of starting their own business.  I will always be thankful for the amazing things ChicoStart provided our startup.
Sincerely, Miles Rampel