A never-give-up attitude and an appreciation for every opportunity that comes their way continues to fuel the founding duo behind Kansas City-built The Market Base.
“We’re just glad to be recognized for our relentless pursuit,” Milad Ghasempour, co-founder and COO, said moments after the startup was named Emerging Business Award winner by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon — the grand finale of its 2021 Small Business Celebration.
“It’s truly amazing to be recognized for that. We have our heads down so much [staying focused] sometimes you forget to look up.”
Elevator pitch: The Market Base is a marketing software that eliminates the hiring process and high cost of working with an expert marketing team. In less than 10 minutes a business owner can build a team and start a full marketing campaign for less than $18 a day.
Finalists for the Emerging Business award were evaluated by an independent panel of judges who dived into each company’s pillars of community involvement, employee engagement and growth/sustainability. Criteria for judging was similar to that for the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year “Mr. K” Award — the organization’s top business accolade — but for companies three years old or younger.
Charlie Hustle claimed the title of 2021 Small Business of the Year during the Thursday afternoon event. Click here to read more about the milestone achievement.
Jannae Gammage, co-founder and CEO, agreed, noting the win validates the partners’ work to build a revolutionary company that makes marketing tools accessible (and available on-demand) to companies at every stage in their journey to scale.
“We just want to bridge that gap in an industry that’s not built for small businesses. And if this is a celebration of small businesses, then obviously we should be a part of it. We are honored that they saw us — I don’t really know what they saw in us, but we’re honored that they did see something in us,” Gammage laughed, noting the pair went into the event thinking, if anything, they might have a shot at the KC Chamber’s small business equity award — an obvious choice for the two-year-old startup and its founding team who have been visible champions for Black-owned, woman-led and LGBTQ+-run startups and small businesses in Kansas City.
“One of the things that is important to us is knowing that the awards, the recognition, the write-ups all of that is not just validation of what we’re doing — but it’s confirmation that we’re on the right road and that what we’re doing matters and that it matters for other people,” she said.
Founded in late 2019, The Market Base previously was named one of Startland News’ 10 Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2021. Click here to learn more about the company, its mission, and journey to kick the tech platform into high gear.
Announcement of The Market Base award came on Gammage’s birthday, Ghasempour pointed out, making the achievement that much sweeter for the friends and founders.
“[We’re going to celebrate with] a Drake song. That’s our thing,” Gammage joked.
As for what the future holds, the duo isn’t counting themselves out of the running for the 2022 Mr. K Award, she noted.
“We have a lot of work to do, but we’re up for it.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation works to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.