Ottawa startup checkup: A ‘Bumpn’ the road

Earlier this week, Ottawa Business Journal spoke with Moe Abbas, the founder of GenM. It’s software-as-a-service solution to provide clients with in-demand marketing skills through project-based learning.

The genesis of GenM came from Mr. Abbas’ previous venture, a social media platform called Bumpn.

“We were hiring all of these interns and we were just spending so much of our time training them,” Mr. Abbas recalled.

Techopia has spoken to Mr. Abbas about Bumpn several times over the years, exploringwhether it’s possible to build a consumer app with mass appeal from Ottawa as well aslooking at what it’s like to run a mobile app startup.

Despite some early success in international markets, Mr. Abbas says that the market for social apps is hyper-competitive and dominated by players like Facebook and Snapchat.

“I feel that timing has passed and there’s no longer a great market opportunity for someone to create a new platform for social media,” he says. “It would really have to be something different, new, and quite frankly, adopt probably a new medium (like AR, or VR) for that to happen.”

It dawned on Mr. Abbas that he wasn’t solving the right problem with Bumpn. When he noticed the skills gap problem entering his office on a regular basis, he discovered an opportunity that he felt much stronger about.

“It became evident very quickly that GenM was just simply a much better business opportunity than Bumpn … If you’re working on the wrong problem, it doesn’t matter what you do.”