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May 1, 2007

GoChongo: Commerce and creativity

Posted by Kim Peterson at 10:16 AM


goChongo

GoChongo founder Shawn Plaster.

A Seattle startup is putting a spin on the YouTube concept with a new site that goes public today. GoChongo features an ask-and-answer model where users describe projects that they're willing to pay for. A user might request a musical sample, for example, or put out a call for poster designs or videos. Other users can see those requests and submit entries -- and the winning entry gets money from the person who requested it.

Add goChongo to the growing list of startups whose business model relies on advertising money. A user will see a few seconds of advertising before viewing submissions, and that ad revenue is split three ways among the requester, the performer and the company.

The idea for goChongo came from founder Shawn Plaster, 36. He worked at Accenture for 11 years, the last six in the company's Seattle office. Part of his role at the company was to study the consumer technology space.

"We were in awe of how people were willing to video and submit their content," he said of sites like YouTube. "We were trying to figure out how we can create a fun, entertaining site that would give these people an opportunity to meet one another."

Plaster calls goChongo an "entertainment destination and marketplace." (Chongo, by the way, is a Spanish slang word for "monkey" and was Plaster's nickname growing up. His brothers still call him "Chongo" today.)

GoChongo has nine employees, all working from their homes. Plaster has put $100,000 of his own money into the company and angel investors have contributed $75,000.

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