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March 12, 2015

Member Spotlight: Justin Shelby, Founder and CEO of Artichoke

By Ali Lord, Community Manager

Members Spotlight is a blog series where we will be telling the stories of our member companies and entrepreneurs — how they got started, what motivates them, and advice they’d like to share

Today I caught up with Justin Shelby, founder and CEO of Artichoke. Here’s what he shared with me.

Q: Describe what Artichoke does in a few sentences.

Artichoke Client Management is a mobile app that helps freelance wellness practitioners get organized, get booked and get paid without being tethered to a desk.

Q: Where did the idea come from?

We developed a cloud based solution to manage emerging revenue channels several years ago for two wellness businesses I own and realized there was an unmet need to empower freelance practitioners on a broader scale using mobile technology.

Q: What was your motivation?

Seeing a unique point in time when mobile adoption exceeded 75% and the general public is familiar with the UI.  This combination makes it possible for freelance practitioners to compete with the big boys, have more fun, and make more money using our product.

Q: What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of entrepreneurship?

The hardest parts are the first few phases as you progress from concept to traction.  The most rewarding parts are when clients respond to your messaging, start using your product, and even take the time to share ideas for improvement.

Q: What is your favorite thing about working/living in Baltimore?

From my house, I walk to the gym and the incubator where Artichoke is based (Betamore). In fact, Betamore is about 50 feet from the gym.  It’s a small town that enables a high degree of connectivity, which means there is a powerful and supportive network, essentially an ecosystem. It’s getting better everyday.

Q: If you could give a piece of advice to future entrepreneurs, what would it be? 

Obsess over the product and customer experience. Break down organizational charts and barriers that separate you from the customer because filtered feedback is too watered down to guide your important choices.


For more information about how Artichoke’s Client Management Application works, visit their website.


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