Finance for Millennials by Millennials

Story of a Startup with Jon Matar of PowerUp Labs

Story of a Startup with Jon Matar of PowerUp Labs

Jon Matar, CEO of PowerUp Labs, comes on the show to discuss his journey from young entrepreneur to a successful startup:

Want to start a business but worried you will fail? Jon Matar tells us his story of a startup and how he has managed to keep trying until he found success.

Story of a Startup:

  • Jon Matar tells us how why he left a comfortable job as a banker to join the startup world.
    • Remember, even if your startup fails, you can always go back to where you started, usually at an even higher position.
  • He discusses how he pivoted from his first startup, “Why Wait?”, and why he made that decision.
  • His next startup, “Localview”, was more successful but ultimately he needed to make another pivot to “PowerUp Labs”.
    • As with many successful businesses, PowerUp Labs’ success came because Jon started listening to customers and working to make his customers happy.
  • As long as you don’t burn bridges with your existing company, usually they will understand your desire to start a business and will welcome you back if things don’t work out.
  • Jon’s prediction for the future of the tech industry and why he expects big things from virtual reality and augmented reality.
  • If Jon had to go back to work, which area of the tech industry he would like to join.
  • The struggles of being CEO of a company and why it isn’t all glitz and glamour. Every decision you make will directly impact your family and your employees’ families.
  • How he was finally able to feel comfortable with his business by switching from trying to hit a “home run” and get investors to bootstrapping and trying to make money by listening to customers.
    • Additionally, we discuss the importance of validating your business idea, a concept Paul learned about when he attended Startup Weekend.
  • What Jon learned about investing and startups from the CEO of Hubspot. Specifically, how it can be dangerous for a company to raise a lot of money from investors right away.
  • Why he chose the Angel Investor route, raising money from friends and family, and then decided to close funding for his companies.
    • Jon Matar’s advice to most startups is to validate your idea and then bootstrap (fund it yourself) while working at your current job.
    • John Ackerman recommends every potential entrepreneur should first read “Rework” to learn the importance of building a company slowly.
      • It took Jon Matar five years before he really felt a breakthrough.
  • If you think you want to start a business, if you don’t you will regret it. Take a chance and do it.
  • Even when life got tough, Jon has never regretted starting a business.

Last call questions and answers:

Special shoutouts and show notes:

Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a startup? Check out our previous episode with Phil Brun, winner of Startup Weekend Louisville. Also, feel free to contact Jon Matar on LinkedIn or at

Have any topics you want to be covered or entrepreneurs you’d like us to interview? Let us know! You can email us at or You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. Please be sure to subscribe to our weekly mailing list at

About Jon:

Jon is a determined leader who is passionate about creating a company that brings real value to its customers. He brings to the team real world experience in financial analysis and risk management. Jon has a “never-give-up” attitude and is consistently trying to move the business forward by being innovative and different. His mission is to build a company that provides cutting edge technology solutions for his customers. His professional goal is foster a company culture that has a real impact on the local community through economic development and job creation.

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