Machinio’s co-founder and CEO Dmitriy Rokhfeld and his partner Dan Pinto filled that need by creating a massive search engine for industrial machinery. The market was ready – it’s a $200B highly fragmented global market that is extremely old school and ripe for the picking. “I saw huge information discovery meeting a problem. The inventory is out there,” he said. “It’s scattered among tens of thousands of individual seller websites. So we aggregate all that so then when buyers look for machinery, they come to us instead of having to visit hundreds of different websites.”

They launched in 2013, and within 6 months they went from 0 to over 250 000 unique visitors. Today they have the largest search engine with 1.25 million machines for sale and 300,000 buyers per month. They also changed their focus to facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers. “It’s going really quickly, it’s a huge market, very disjointed and with very few competitors. So we’ve gone online and really disrupted the space.”

He felt that his key to becoming a successful startup was to go after what he calls “a true market” that has opportunity instead of one that seems sexy. “Our space is unsexy, but the opportunities are large and that’s what makes it sexy. We went into a very traditional industry and disrupted it.” Another key for them was to spend hours and hours of customer development before they even started. This was especially necessary since that did not have much expertise in the industry. They spoke to over 50 different buyers and sellers of machinery to understand what they were using and learn how they went through the process of finding and selling it. “So we really created a product from day one that they really needed versus creating a product and then trying to sell it.”

When Rokhfeld first moved from San Francisco to attend the Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator program he did not have any connections. “But ERA is extremely influential and in a matter of months it connected us to hundreds of investor advisers. The organization is extremely well connected and they do an incredible job networking. NYC is a huge market for true entrepreneurship and there is so much interest from the investor’s side for disruptive startups.”

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