Co-Founding Love: Giant Pig, Ham

Jess Erickson

July 21, 2012

This story is by Mo Yehia on how he met Avand Amiri. Mo and Avand are  co-founders of Sqoot, a local ad network & analytics tool. Sqoot is part of our current Spring 2012 accelerator batch. Follow Sqoot on Twitter here.


After quitting my job in finance in favor of playing polo in Argentina, a friend introduced me to TechStars. I applied to the Boulder program & was asked to fly out as one of the top few dozen companies. After the day long event, the group strolled over to a local watering hole to drown its’ sorrows. There, I met another “contestant.” He wore a sports coat and a tee-shirt with a giant pig logo. The pig’s name was Ham, the contestant, Avand (in no particular order).

The next week, I met Avand in Chicago over dinner at Blackbird (it was the most I spent on dinner in 6 months). I pitched this crazy idea most easily described as “Priceline for restaurants.” He was skeptical (justifiably), but we stayed in touch. A month later we were both rejected from TechStars, and a month after that we were both accepted into competing incubators. Despite a competing offer, I somehow convinced Avand to join me at Dreamit Ventures. Fast forward 2 years, 3 cities, and 4 failed businesses, and we’re still together, under the tutelage of the maestro, Dave McClure, & The Greatest (Freak) Show on Earth, 500 Startups (booyah!). We wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Timing, perseverance, & ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone

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