The Life of a Start-Up: VOMO

August 23, 2023
Mike McCalley


Here’s a hard truth: only 18% of entrepreneurs successfully launch their start-ups. Most of these lucky few individuals would probably tell you that the road to success isn’t rosy. An entrepreneur’s ability to connect, build, and maintain high-quality relationships with their team and investors is key to making it past the first few years of owning a business.

But what does it really take to go from ideation to selling your business in 2022?

On this episode of Get Vertical with Mike McCalley, host Mike McCalley is joined by Rob Peabody, Co-Founder and President of VOMO and VP of Category Growth with Virtuous. The two discuss the tumultuous life of a start-up and the journey towards success in today’s economic climate.

While living in London as a pastor, Peabody realized he was doing a lot of work to recruit volunteers for non-profits. He figured that this process would work better virtually to meet the needs of nonprofits and match the interests of their target audiences. VOMO, which stands for volunteer mobilization, grew from this realization.

Peabody explained, “I was studying digital platforms and just reading about technology and, you know, all the crazy stats about smartphone usage and platform society, and the ‘Aha!’ was like, wow could we leverage the power of technology right now in this cultural moment to get people to go do what we’ve been trying to do through manual processes…?”

Peabody’s journey includes:

  • How long it took VOMO to go from an idea to launch
  • Why and how liquidating assets helped VOMO take the next leap
  • What it takes to build a start-up from a “seedling” to sold

Peabody notes that, “once we started needing to scale and hire all, especially with an exchange platform, and SaaS platform like we have, you know, you gotta spend all the money to market to get the leads, and then sales folks, and then you’ve got to support it with all of the CS, customer success side of it, and then you’ve got all the engineers that are building everything, so the team just grows! I was spending probably 50% of my time fundraising the entire journey of VOMO.”

Rob Peabody started his journey in the church where he worked as a College and Campus Pastor at Lake Pointe Church for five years before moving to London as a Global City Leader for the International Mission Board. Since getting the idea in 2015, Peabody has helped grow the start-up VOMO from seedling to sale. He is now the VP of Category Growth for Virtuous, a software company that acquired VOMO in 2022.

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