Back in 2017, our founders Erdinc and Yu Li crossed paths for the first time at a communal house located in Silicon Valley. This house was specifically dedicated to housing entrepreneurs from all around the world, and it was owned by a Japanese family with four children.
At that time, Erdinc was working on his previous startup, a creative collaboration platform that allowed brands to obtain user-generated content from their customers and supporters. Meanwhile, Yu Li was the CEO of the Silicon Valley branch of a Japanese consulting firm, where they realized that Japanese businesses were facing significant connectivity challenges on a global scale. The duo quickly realized that it was not only the Japanese businesses' challenges, every country's business in the world has the same but to different degrees. This realization led them to start the openfor.co which basically dramatically pivoted the version of the previous startup.
Build Upon Traction
During their journey, Erdinc and Yu Li first developed a friendship and later collaborated on a consulting project together. And initially, they didn't know what to build to solve their customers' problems, so, they configured Openfor.co as a consulting firm, and self-funded its operations while learning from customers and partners to develop a product. Over time, they accumulated a vast network of connections who were all seeking the same thing - collaboration to build global relationships.
In 2018, without incorporating, the founders became a consulting duo and started building a basic landing page to communicate and iterate ideas rapidly.
By 2019, they owned the domain and incorporated in Delaware. They started to build a very early version of the platform on a low-code platform.
In 2020, the founders got traction mostly from consulting in Japan and physically moved to Tokyo.
Throughout 2021, they continuously iterated to find the right problem-solution fit. They launched the Partner Programs Directors/Marketplace, featuring the world's most innovative partner programs. Meanwhile, they built the Fellowship initiative for building a support team, helping 1500 youths in Southeast Asia.
In 2022, the platform approach finally worked. Several new initiatives and partnerships were launched and grew, such as the Automatic Revenue Share feature, pre-set collaborations, Partner Program Builder tool, and a workshop series to discover the training aspect of the business. They also formed partnerships with the Founder Institute and started to see both social and economic impact on surrounding businesses and startups, estimated in multiple 8 figures USD.
By 2023, they started to get significant traction and hit the 6 figures revenue level without any upfront capital, fully bootstrapped with client projects. Prime partnerships like the Founder Institute gained significant traction rapidly in Japan, resulting in multiple 8 figures of equity portfolio in Japan in a little more than a year. They were also invited and sponsored by the Korean government to run a comprehensive accelerator program. Most recently, they launched their bootcamp as Openfor.co and got significant traction as well, projected to hit 7 figures by the end of 2023.
Openfor.co is a global partnership development program that provides an online platform and a bootcamp, enabling ROI from collaborations. It offers a variety of partnerships for small and medium to large enterprises. The platform incentivizes users to build a partner program and reach out to grow their company. They integrate each other's partner programs, co-promote, invite, and share each other's networks. This way, the partner program gets traction and grows the company. Members can get up to 20% revenue share from Openfor.co by just using the platform.
The platform also offers a Partnership Development Bootcamp where users can learn about partnerships and how they can be beneficial. The bootcamp consists of four modules: Discovery, Ideate, Develop, and Launch. Users can also build a collab program and launch it in less than 10 minutes using the Partner Program Builder Tool provided by Openfor.co.
Openfor.co believes in the power of pivoting. They understand that there is no magic wand to build a scalable product and become a unicorn. It takes countless iterations of building, measuring, and learning. Now, Openfor.co has evolved into a platform where users can gain and manage partnerships, learn how to grow with partnerships, run collaborations, and get ROI.