Community ties often run long and deep. Such is the case for RHS Alumni Mark Kossick (‘93), founder and CEO of GroupSpot, a communication, technology, and media platform. Kossick founded the company in the Fall of 2019 starting with a pitch to the RHS Football team to test the developing app. After receiving positive feedback from coaches, parents, and players he then proceeded to onboard the RHS Band Program. After finding success with both large-scale RHS programs, Kossick knew he was on to something special.
Kossick aimed to streamline the many functions social media and technology apps offer and create one app with all the features. He modeled his business idea of having all of the users’ groups in one “spot” after the iconic Swiss Army Knife. As a result, GroupSpot has numerous features on it, such as event organization, discussion groups, shared photo albums, calendar, and RSVP forms, to name a few. GroupSpot also heavily values privacy and does not use or sell any of its users’ information, ensuring safety and security for users. This, coupled with its utility and flexibility, makes GroupSpot highly competitive in the social media and technology market. Moreover, users are responding with overwhelmingly positive feedback, with over 500 positive reviews and a 4.9/5 star rating on the App Store. These statistics suggest that GroupSpot is here to stay.
In order to run a business, Kossick says, “You really need three key people for a tech startup: a Hipster, a Hacker, and a Hustler”. The Hipster is the Head of Product, who oversees product development, and adjusts the company’s functions to keep everything running smoothly. The Hacker is the CTO who, in this case, writes over 150,000 lines of code to make the app perform in the desired fashion. Kossick takes on the role of the Hustler, who raises money, encourages people to use the platform, and entices investors to invest in the company. GroupSpot’s next phase will be developing a sales marketing team and increasing the nationwide and global use of GroupSpot, bringing people together in smaller, organized groups across the world.
The symbiotic relationship GroupSpot has with the Ridgewood community highlights the impact support and community involvement have on a growing business. Kossick has every intention to continue giving back to the Ridgewood community and is grateful for the support they provided his company. When creating his company, he kept the value of meaningful relationships in mind. He aimed to bring people together and make doing so easier. “Ridgewood is a five-star community where everyone is so supportive, and always looking out for each other. The warmth is how I want people to feel about GroupSpot. We want you to have that warm fuzzy feeling of being connected in a real and authentic way, the same way Ridgewood made me feel back in the early ’90s.” With component groups ranging from sports teams to school clubs to parental groups, GroupSpot is living up to its goal of bringing people of our community together better.
Being an entrepreneur is an exciting yet daunting idea for many RHS students. Kossick emphasized the importance of having confidence, being resilient, learning through observation, and networking. He credits much of his success to the educational and entrepreneurial foundation he received at RHS. “RHS education is a springboard that can take you wherever you want to go,” he proclaims. When asked what advice Kossick would give RHS students considering pursuing a career as an entrepreneur, he responded with, “Always put your hand up!” Kossick stresses the importance of being curious and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, even if that is simply putting your hand up at school to learn more. A key component of being an entrepreneur is taking calculated risks, Kossick says, and by taking chances, you eliminate the risk of missing out.
Graphic: Musaab Mahmoud