Rockbot Offers Modern-Day Jukebox to SMBs

Small Business Spotlight: Rockbot, @GetRockbot

Who: Garrett Dodge

What: A mobile app that provides streaming music to businesses

When: 2011

Where: Oakland, CA

How: Rockbot co-founder Garrett Dodge launched the company at SXSW in 2011, winning a contest by impressing the crowd with its innovative service that provides streaming music to businesses.  “It combines background music and a jukebox in a mobile app,” says Dodge.“Almost all businesses play some kind of music.”

Rockbot lets businesses’ customers get in the fun: by downloading the app, they can vote on songs to be played. Dodge says the company has raised $1.2 million in funding in a seed round backed by Google Ventures and Detroit Venture Partners, among other investors.

Biggest challenge: “Small business owners are busy, and bar owners in particular don’t spend a ton of time on the computer looking for the next great technology,” says Dodge. “Reaching small businesses is challenging, so we’re doing that by word of mouth.”

One moment in time: Dodge is happiest when customers of the businesses using Rockbot enjoy the service. He says he recently saw an Instagram photo of a bar patron talking about how she met the person she was dating at a bar choosing a song on Rockbot.

Best business advice: “Surround yourself with great people early!” says Dodge.