Mike Christensen moved to Colorado Springs after he finished college in California. He had a series of different jobs before he decided to strike out on his own and establish his own business, called Prosperent.
Prosperent is an Internet marketing company, and it is clearly prospering. With remodeled office space downtown at Platte Avenue and Tejon Street, Christensen has seen astounding growth and is gearing up to hire new employees.
What is Prosperent?
Prosperent is an advertising solution for web site owners looking to generate revenue from visits to their sites. This is accomplished through a growing set of tools such as our Performance Ads and Application Programming Interface (API). The Performance Ads allow web site owners to place a small bit of code on their site and our servers instantly create an ad displaying products relevant to what their visitors were searching for or reading about. The API works similarly, except web site owners have much more control over the display of the product data returned.
We’re gaining relationships with a growing list of major merchants, including Zappos.com, Overstock.com, REI, QVC. These relationships allow us to create a catalog of more than 50 million products. When one of these products is purchased, Prosperent earns a commission from these merchants and we pass a large percentage of the commission onto our web site owners. Because of the volume of sales we generate every day for our merchants, we’re able to leverage higher commissions and work with merchants that smaller publishers would not have access to. As a result, our publishers typically make more revenue through Prosperent as opposed to working with the merchants directly.
How did you come to start the company?
After seven years of working in the internet marketing industry, my partners and I started to see an obvious and growing need to simplify the process in which a publisher gets product data. We started the company as a way to solve many problems including organizing product data into a searchable format, negotiate for near-unobtainable contracts with merchants, negotiate for higher commissions, simplify the creation and display of product ads and create an open community for all publishers to collaborate, among many others. In short, our company was created to empower publishers and provide them with the leverage that a larger company is afforded.
How is business? How many people work for Prosperent? Are you growing?
Business is growing incredibly. Despite our current fiscal year being two thirds complete, we’ve already realized a 428 percent rate of growth from the previous fiscal year. We have hired three employees and will be bringing on two more by the end of the 4th quarter. The six of us are a small team, but stay productive through a relaxed and fun office atmosphere. A game or two of ping pong or foosball is played day in and day out and dress shirts and ties or prohibited from our office. As developers, we know how easy it is to get burnt out and resent your computer and so this atmosphere has served us well. We’re currently juggling five major projects, all progressing at a rapid rate.
How did you end up in Colorado Springs? Why have you stayed?
As a struggling college student in California, I felt I needed to try something different and accepted an invitation from my father to move to Colorado Springs so he could help me get on my feet. Within a week I landed a job as a travel agent and then moved on to auto insurance sales where I met my partners in Prosperent. Since meeting my wife, having a baby with another on the way, starting and running a successful company with partners I consider my brothers, Colorado Springs has become my permanent home; all changes I welcome with excitement and humility.
What changes would you like to see in Colorado Springs over the next five, 10, 15 years?
I would like to see Colorado Springs win more projects with technology companies again. The Vineyard Data Center Park was a great step in that direction. This desire is partly selfish as it would be of great benefit to have a data center a quick drive away from us, but also because our community needs it. We can’t survive on aerospace, real estate and insurance alone.