Eugene Stark started Hoovy after a career in finance and space technology operations. Hoovy, a drone advertising platform, was created to make advertising fun again. Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media, talks to Eugene about Santa Monica, drones and Hoovy.
Erik Huberman: What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
Eugene Stark: I’ve always had a passion for starting companies and entrepreneurship. When I was young, my parents had their own businesses and their passion for it rubbed off onto me. Whenever an opportunities presented itself, I just jumped on it. That’s how I started Hoovy.
EH: Tell me about Hoovy.
ES: Hoovy is a drone advertising platform. We use drones to fly banners in different places. The reason I started Hoovy is because the outdoor advertising space has not seen any innovation in the last several decades. If you think about it, the traditional billboard has not changed at all. People see them, but they don’t pay attention to them. Our goal with Hoovy is to make advertising fun and engaging and get people involved. That’s what we’ve been doing with drones.
EH: How are you changing the world?
ES: We want to make advertising fun and interactive. We don’t want it to be boring or annoying and that’s what people think of now when they think of advertising. Every single time we fly a drone ad, we get a crowd of people watching us, taking pictures of the banner and sharing those pictures on social media. With all of that, we’re seeing a huge conversion rate for our clients.
EH: Why Santa Monica?
ES: Santa Monica is the hub of startups in L.A. I was born in L.A. so I really like this area, and if you’re going to start a business in L.A., you have to do it in Santa Monica. Startups here tend to help each other, so there’s a ton of support to help your business.
EH: Do you have one piece of advice for entrepreneurs starting their own businesses?
ES: I think the biggest thing that helped me is meeting new people and networking. My friends and connections help me out a lot, more than anything I’ve learned from school or any experience I’ve gained. My best advice is to network and make a lot of friends.
EH: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Santa Monica community?
ES: We’re launching an IndieGoGo campaign on June 2 to take drone advertising nationwide. We’d really appreciate your support to help grow engaging advertisements that are more fun for everyone.