Digital Product Innovation

Gold
VERIFIED

We're a talented team of strategists, designers, and developers from many disciplines and backgrounds brought together by a shared mission: build digital products that transform organizations for the better.

Since 2008, we've helped hundreds of startups, businesses, and enterprises launch over 250 digital products. Successful projects are more than just design and technology – it's about the people: our clients, their customers, and our team. Through a shared vision and mission, we help our partners solve their toughest challenges.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 800 W. Huron St., Suite 3E
    Chicago, IL 60642
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Northwestern University, Raise, Groupon, Edwards Lifesciences, Brunswick, Unyson, Vitality Group, Winix, Outcome Health, CBIZ

Select Home Warranty Dispatch Automation

Select Home Warranty is a nationwide home appliance insurance company that provides coverage for everyday household appliances like refrigerators, HVAC, water heater, microwave, and much more. When a customer has an issue, they dispatch a contractor to assess the claim and then fix or replace the item. Learn how we helped reduce contractor dispatching time from hours to minutes through process automation.

Slurv Sports Messaging Platform

Slurv is a messaging app for the fantasy sports industry. With Slurv, online communities can easily add real-time messaging features. Users can interact in public threads or privately in private threads or direct messages. Share gifs, videos, and links through rich-media attachments.

Tiny House Listings Real Estate Platform

Client

Tiny House Listings is a popular listing site for discovering tiny homes. They approached kohactive to completely rebuild their platform.

Our Solution

We rebuilt the entire platform using modern technologies. To handle the large volume of traffic, we used advanced caching, auto-scaling infrastructure, and performance improvements. The search is robust and

quickly returns matching homes. Listers and buyers can communicate via in-app messaging and we capture and bill listers for the leads generated through our pay-per-lead system.

Deliverables

Product Design Workshop, User Research & Interviews, Wireframes, Usability Testing, UI Design, Responsive Design, Ruby on Rails API, Ember.js front-end, Analytics Microservice, Elasticsearch.

NextLot Auction Platform

Client

NextLot offers a robust auction software for auctioneers, organizations, and nonprofits. They have thousands of customers across the world.

Our Solution

We performed a rescue mission and took over this project from an offshore company. Over the course of 5 years, we redesign the bidding interface, rebuilt core functionality, and began a rebuild of the

backend admistrative dashboard. We performed a complete rebuild of the real-time auction software that powers live auctions.

Deliverables

Product Design Workshop, User Research & Interviews, Wireframes, Usability Testing, UI Design, Responsive Design, Ruby on Rails API, Ember.js, Amazon Web Services and more.

Candoo

Candoo is an app that enables college students to help each other. If you need a tutor or help moving or technical help, you can find a Candooer that can provide the support you need. 

Props in a Box

Samantha Martin and her team created a physical product called Props in a Box, which is designed for families to create stories through their whimsical props, costumes, and backdrops. They approached us to build a custom mobile application that would allow families to record, edit and publish their movies.

Reviews

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Web Design & Branding for Actuarial Company

"Their innovative ideas and willingness to collaborate stands out."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Fall 2016–Ongoing
Project summary: 

Kohactive redesigned and developed a WordPress-based website. They created the wireframes and assisted with rebranding and messaging efforts on the platform.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Head of Marketing, Actuarial Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The updated, refreshed website has contributed to a jump in engagement from potential customers. The improved platform is mobile-friendly and fulfills expectations. The team at Kohactive has been creative and proactive in putting forward the best possible product.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of marketing for a pension consulting and administrative firm.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kohactive?

We weren’t fully satisfied with our current development vendor—our website wasn’t mobile responsive and needed to be redesigned.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We started the project with brainstorming sessions between our teams. They created the initial wireframes and came back to us with new ideas. We worked together to tweak their designs and finalized the strategy. From there, they developed our site using WordPress and created a smooth user experience.

In addition, the Kohactive team worked on our messaging and branding approach. They duplicated our blog and put a gate around our content.

What is the team composition?

They provide a project manager, who was replaced with another individual.

How did you come to work with Kohactive?

We checked lists of top-ranking design firms in Chicago and New York. We reached out to Kohactive and liked their locality and innovation. They also felt like the best fit for our company culture.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent between $50,000–$70,000 on the engagement.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in the fall of 2016 and Kohactive provides ongoing services.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The new site has had a significant impact on our business—we’ve seen an increase in potential customers who reach out through our website.

How did Kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They’ve managed the project well. Although there were a few issues wrapping up the projects, we’ve been able to address everything with them. They provide good documentation and trained our team on how to use the new site.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their innovative ideas and willingness to collaborate stands out. They use their experience from previous projects to help us achieve our goals.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There’s nothing coming to mind that they could improve on.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Approach the project with a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve. If you provide Kohactive with a straightforward plan, they’ll be able to guide the process.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Design for Real Estate Management Firm

“We valued that Kohactive created a final product that perfectly matched our vision.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May 2017–Feb. 2018
Project summary: 

Kohactive developed a new WordPress website to replace a dated platform. They built the wireframes and incorporated existing branding elements into the final product.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Eric Galanti
Senior VP, CBIZ Gibraltar
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The updated site has been a significant advantage for the brand’s marketing efforts and has boosted team-wide confidence. As a development partner, Kohactive provided key insights and transparency. Their extensive skill set coupled with open communication made for a smooth collaboration.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the senior VP of CBRIZ Gilbraltar, a real estate advisory firm based in Chicago. We help companies evaluate their options and take them through the searching, negotiating, signing, and design process.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kohactive?

Our website was outdated and needed to be modernized to catch up with our competitors. We wanted the platform to serve as an online brochure.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We provided Kohactive with a list of 5–6 sites we found appealing and expressed specifically what we wanted. From there, Kohactive created the first draft for the platform and we submitted our changes and feedback. They modified their designs mockups and, once we approved the wireframes, they began development for the WordPress site. Then, we supplied their team with content and they made minor edits for brevity and clarity before finalizing the site.

What is the team composition?

Kohactive supplied a team of 3–4 people for the project.

How did you come to work with Kohactive?

We reached out to several large and medium firms and interviewed between 5–6. We chose Kohactive because their bandwidth to support the project and price-point matched our needs.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $10,000—$15,000 during the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with Kohactive from May 2017–February 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The improved platform is a crucial asset for our marketing and business development efforts. We are now excited and willing to direct potential customers to our site, which is a fantastic success for us.

How did Kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

Kohactive was highly responsive—every email was answered immediately. Whenever we asked for something outside of the initial scope, they were transparent about the extra costs. Their team finished the project in a timely fashion and kept us informed throughout.

What did you find most impressive about them?

We valued that Kohactive created a final product that perfectly matched our vision. They also provided valuable insight during development and gave us creative ideas to help convey our key message, which we appreciated.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Listen to Kohactive and value their input—they know how to help you and when to offer their opinion.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Design for Professional Services Company

“The combination of their technical and creative expertise sets them apart.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - Apr. 2018
Project summary: 

Kohactive redesigned a website, providing branding design and frontend development support.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Jonathon Marsico
SVP of Sales, TopBloc
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Kohactive significantly improved the look and feel of the company's branding and website, improving its credibility with both potential clients and employees in the process. Accessible, timely, and organized in their approach, working with their team was a seamless process.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the SVP of sales for TopBloc, a professional services company that provides software consulting services.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kohactive?

We engaged Kohactive for web design support. Our previous site was very basic and needed to be upgraded.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Kohactive redesigned our website, adding new branding elements, features, and functionality to our original landing page.

What is the team composition?

We worked with a project manager, a couple designers, and a developer.

How did you come to work with Kohactive?

In addition to being located in the same building as our company, we compared their rates to other firms and found that they were more competitively priced.

How much have you invested with them?

We invested about $35,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from around January–May 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Kohactive took our company to the next level, significantly improving the professionalism of our branding and website. Their work has improved our credibility in the eyes of both potential clients and employees.

How did Kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very accessible, met deadlines, and documented their work well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The combination of their technical and creative expertise sets them apart. They also educated us throughout the engagement and provided a lot of valuable feedback to help us improve the outcome of the website.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a clear idea of the project goals beforehand, so the scope of work doesn't change as design and development take place. Our website ended up taking a little longer than expected, because we weren't as prepared going into the relationship as we could've been.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

CRM Dev for Home Warranty Company

“All the projects they have done for us have been a success.”

 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

kohactive revamped a platform’s custom CRM by implementing automation and modifications. They updated user permissions, redesigned the billing and dispatch portals, and integrated a Redash reporting tool.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Joseph Shrem
Owner, Select Home Warranty
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

kohactive enhanced the CRM’s security, made the platform mobile responsive and more user-friendly, and revamped several landing pages. The redesign they completed increased sales and revenue. Responsive and communicative, they react quickly to resolve critical issues and maintain a smooth dynamic.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of Select Home Warranty.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with kohactive?

kohactive has done many projects for us over the last few years. They took over as our developers to revamp a poorly built custom CRM that had been previously developed and got it under control. Our goals for the engagement were to update our CRM and add more automation to the system. They've made a lot of updates to expand it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

kohactive has provided everything from web design, development, and minor updates to our system to support significant projects. Recently, they integrated our system with Velocify, which is a lead distribution system. The team redid the dispatch portal in our system we use to dispatch technicians and revamped the billing portal that bills customers and charges for recurring billing. They helped us integrate a Redash reporting tool that reports metrics from the database. 

Throughout our engagement, they've completed many small updates and changes to the fields and automation. They recreated our permissions system based on which users should have access to different areas. They've also helped us significantly with our program to manage our affiliates. 

What is the team composition? 

kohactive assigned us a project manager and two developers. John (Founder and Managing Director, kohactive) also worked on our project. 

How did you come to work with kohactive?

We posted online that we were looking for a development company and Kohactive responded. After speaking to a few different companies, they sounded the most trustworthy and reliable. Based on our initial few conversations, we felt comfortable giving them a try with a few small projects. It worked out well. 

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent over $100,000 on kohactive’s services. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working together for probably three years now. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

kohactive’s services have had a positive impact on our business. All the projects they have done for us have been a success. They've made the CRM more secure and helped us in emergency situations when things have gone wrong.

Improving our mobile site’s responsivity markedly improved our sales. Beforehand, our site hadn't been very mobile friendly. The team helped redesign a few landing pages, which also notably increased sales. Updating permissions and the CRM has made our website much more secure. 

How did kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

The workflow between our teams was very effective. Our communication is great. kohactive uses a system called Trello for major projects. They respond quickly to any urgent issues we experience. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

kohactive is very easy to work with. John (Founder and Managing Director, kohactive) is a great person, and we trust his team.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They could estimate the price of our projects more accurately.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Dev for E-Learning Platform

"Kohactive has become an invaluable arm of our company and had a very positive impact thus far."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

Kohactive is developing an e-learning web-based platform on Microsoft Azure, using JavaScript and Ruby on Rails.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago, IL
Kevin Jones
Co-Founder, Jones Software Corp
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Kohactive built a high-quality platform that's helped significantly improve the company's IBIDA and ability to meet client needs. In addition to their organized, transparent, and proactive approach to client management, their team also genuinely cares about project success and viability.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the co-founder of Jones Software Corp, a company that provides an intervention math software tool for grades K–12th.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with kohactive?

We engaged kohactive to help us develop our e-learning web-based platform.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Kohactive built our e-learning math platform on Microsoft Azure, using JavaScript and Ruby on Rails to create the cloud-based web application. They collaborated with our team on the overall design and incorporated Google APIs that allow us to bring other schools onto the platform.

What is the team composition?

We work with a project manager and about five developers.

How did you come to work with kohactive?

We came across kohactive through a co-working space we're both apart of in Chicago. We interviewed a handful of developers, but kohactive stood out for their ability to understand our project and vision. They also helped us understand various elements of the process we were previously unfamiliar with, which we found extremely helpful.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested a little under $80,000 thus far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in November 2017 and had a prototype ready by around April 2018, but the work is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Kohactive has become an invaluable arm of our company and had a very positive impact thus far. We're very happy with the quality of the platform they've built and their efforts have helped significantly boost our IBIDA, which we anticipate to continue growing. They've taken the time to understand our client needs and are quick to support us through any bug fixes or issues that come up.

How did kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They're great at managing projects overall and maintaining an open line of communication at all times.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Kohactive was one of the few firms willing to work with our unique business plan. Compared to others, we got the sense that they actually cared about building a platform with a high chance of success, so their input has been invaluable throughout the engagement. They'll be honest if they see something isn't going to work, which ends up saving a lot of capital, resources, time, and money in the long run.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Redesign for Real Estate Platform

“We felt very comfortable with them.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Aug. 2017 - Mar. 2018
Project summary: 

Using Ruby on Rails, kohactive developed a new website from scratch for buying and selling tiny homes. They established a messaging system and a pay per lead system. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
North Carolina
CEO, Real Estate E-Commerce
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

kohactive’s work resulted in a massive increase in users on the site. The new system enables better communication with users and improved analytics. The team excels in understanding the work and executing it quickly. They deliver clear and frequent communications.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of a global marketplace for buying and selling of tiny houses, which are homes that are 500 square feet or smaller.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with kohactive?

The website was antiquated and on a limited platform. It ran on WordPress. It was time to take things to the next level. I also wanted to establish a pay per lead system so each time a new lead is generated on the site, we would be compensated for it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had quite a few things we wanted to change. Communication with our users wasn’t centralized before but was email based. We wanted to bring that all in-house so we could have more analytics. We developed an internal messaging system through the site where all the messages that are exchanged daily were done internally, in-house, and kept on Amazon Web Services. They integrated a messaging tool called Intercom into the site.

They produced everything from scratch. Our website platform runs on Ruby on Rails. They provided several mock-ups and wireframes. We picked one and kept making iterations until everyone was happy with it. They also established the pay per lead system.

What is the team composition?

At any given time, we had 4–6 designers, one project manager, and the owner/creative director.

How did you come to work with kohactive?

We found them through Glassdoor.com. We did a lot of research and interviewed about 10 companies. kohactive didn’t have the best price, but they had the best communication. We were impressed with their interpretation of our vision and the timeline. We felt very comfortable with them.

How much have you invested with them?

It cost close to $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from August 2017–March 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The number of users we have coming to the site has increased exponentially. Now that we have so many more users, we can communicate with them via Intercom on the site. There’s much clearer communication with our users and much better analytics to determine how we can better serve them.

How did kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

We used the agile approach and we used InVision. They’re very good communicators whether it be through Trello or Slack. On any given day, we did daily stand-ups. We had very clear communication daily, multiple times per day.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The owner is willing to get involved in the process. He has the ability to delegate to the team. The team has the ability to understand what needs to be done and they do it quickly.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Before the project starts, schedule an appointment with some of the people that you’re working with to familiarize yourself with how agile will work on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. You’ll then have a better understanding of how to communicate to them within that framework. Also, have a clear understanding of how things will work post-launch.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Wordpress Redesign for Wealth Management Firm

"They’re great to work with in general, very helpful, and just a really good team."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Aug. 2016 - Nov. 2016
Project summary: 

Kohactive redesigned a website to match a modernized brand identity. During a three-month period, they provided two options for creative, unique WordPress sites.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York City Metro Area
Marketing and Investor Relations Associate, Wealth Management Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Kohactive delivered a successful platform and remain engaged as necessary. When the first design wasn’t ideal, the team gamely produced a better, more accurate version. They were helpful and responsive, and they took responsibility for staying on time and on budget.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a private equity firm focused on investing in middle-market companies. I am an associate in the marketing an investor relations role. I am in charge our engagement with our investors. We raise outside capital and then invest it in public pension funds, private wealth managers, and things like that. We invest, on behalf of them, into relatively large, private companies to help improve them operationally, and then ideally sell it at a profit, then return the capital back to the investors.

I engage with investors on a pretty regular basis. I’m in charge of giving them the information they need on the portfolio companies and giving them updates periodically. We wanted the information we gave our investors to match how we showed ourselves externally, so we decided to update our website. That’s how that digital marketing aspect came in.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kohactive?

We’re a middle-market firm focused on investing in sustainability and wellness companies. We hadn’t updated our website in at least 10 years, and it really needed a facelift and an update to coincide with our brand, how we wanted to be perceived in the world, and who we thought we were. We wanted to give it a fresher look to match how we perceived ourselves and how we wanted others to perceive us as well.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They just did the website redesign, and they did a really great job. We were very happy with how it worked with them. They were very engaged, very responsive to our emails. They came up with a lot of really creative ideas and really listened to what we were getting at. When things didn’t go how we envisioned the first time, they took a second crack at it. They were really great in that regard. It’s an information site built on WordPress.

How did you come to work with Kohactive?

I talked to a few different website developers. We decided to go with Kohactive for a number of reasons. A co-worker at the firm has a friend who had previously worked with Kohactive and highly recommended them. They were reasonably priced compared to their competitors. Looking at their work, they were doing exactly what we wanted for our own website.

How much have you invested with Kohactive?

I don’t know off the top of my head.

What is the status of this engagement?

We had a pretty short, three-month timeline from start to finish. We launched it in October or November of 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I am definitely satisfied with their performance. They’re still very helpful when something isn’t working right or we have questions. They’re very responsive to our emails. I think it was a very successful project. They’re great to work with in general, very helpful, and just a really good team.

We have annual meetings when all the investors come, and we present to them about annual updates on our portfolio companies. We launched prior to our annual meeting, and we got a lot of positive feedback from our investors. We’re not a consumer-oriented company, so we don’t expect a lot of traffic to our site outside of potential investors or portfolio companies that might be interested in partnering with us. So, we have a limited number of people who look at our website. The website has been operating smoothly since the launch.

How did Kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very responsive, and they made sure we stayed on task and on budget, which was very important to us.

What did you find most impressive about Kohactive?

I think they’re very creative. They sat down with us and listened to how we viewed ourselves, in order to put a pen to paper and put it on a screen. I think that was very helpful. They put together something I don’t think I could have done myself in terms of vision. I think they were really great in that regard.

Are there any areas Kohactive could improve?

No. I think they were really great.

Do you have any advice or suggestions to help other clients be successful when they work with Kohactive?

It’s important to have a clear and concise vision of what you’d like to see on your website and how you view yourself, then communicating that to them very clearly. This will help to avoid confusion and assist them in taking a great first crack at it. In our case, they did a really great job, but if you’re not clear and communicative, there could be issues.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I think we were originally planning on launching a little earlier. There were a number of vacations through the summer, including mine, and we could have been a little better about that.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were really great in that regard.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They had great quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.

MVP Website Launch for Sports Fantasy Startup

"They responded to emails quickly and did everything they could to make me happy."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Kohactive created a fantasy sports website from scratch, developing and expanding the design of the MVP to attract an initial audience base. They now manage updates and feature additions. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Founder, Fantasy Sports Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since launching several weeks ago, the platform has successfully supported testing with 50–60 users. Kohactive’s strong coding skills and cost-effective price point allowed the site to meet all original requirements and accommodate an evolving product vision.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

FanMatchup.com is a startup gaming site that combines daily fantasy sports with confidence pool rules. I have arranged it like DraftKings and FanDuel where users can create contests, and the site makes money by taking a percentage of the entry fees. That's the long-term goal. Right now, I'm doing free contests to try to increase interest.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Kohactive?

I'm trying to break into the industry. I have an original intellectual property concept that I designed over the last few years. I chose Kohactive to build the site. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I spent a lot of time putting the design together in Photoshop and other programs. Kohactive took my design and built it exactly the way I wanted. They're always adding and changing things. They had to create a home landing page. Kohactive used Ruby on Rails and Ember to build the app and deployed it on Heroku. We do Facebook and Twitter, but they're not really doing much of the marketing.

They built the platform for football. After football season ended, we wanted to continue, so they added baseball. Right now, we're doing baseball contests, but the main goal is having the site primed for football season this upcoming year. In the daily fantasy sports world, football is the dominant participation. Eventually, I would like to do football, baseball, hockey, basketball, and golf, but getting the stats for all of those is pricey, and I really want to have clients first.

How did you come to work with Kohactive?

I interviewed a number of companies when we were deciding how to build the site. Kohactive came up through my searches for firms in Chicago. I met with 5 or 6 people in the area, and they seemed to be the most reasonable. Other companies said they couldn't take on a project like this, and 2 others asked for higher prices. Kohactive had a whole startup section targeted at building a minimal viable product (MVP) within my price range.

How much have you invested with Kohactive?

The original MVP was $30,000. Since then, we've added close to $6,000–$10,000, so I could be at $40,000 pretty soon.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the work in last September. It took few months to get everything running the way I wanted. The site is currently live. I post new contests every day to get people interested. It really is going to be an evolving process. Right now, the startup is just me. Hopefully, Kohactive will maintain responsibility for changing and adding to the existing site until I can hire a CTO or bring in some coders.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The website looks the way I wanted it to look, and it's working the way I wanted it to work. Kohactive did a great job with the coding. Their MVP met my goals and can accommodate add-ons. I want to add 5 new things to the site already, as well as continual adjustments.

We've been testing the site with about 50–60 people. During the last 4 weeks of football season, we had about 20 people enter. Since we went live 2 weeks ago, we're pushing it on Facebook and Twitter and trying to get more users. 

How did Kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

They responded to emails quickly and did everything they could to make me happy.

What did you find most impressive about Kohactive?

Overall, I'm happy with Kohactive; they did what I needed. This was their first time doing a daily fantasy sports site, and they have been helpful when something needed to be changed.

Are there any areas Kohactive could improve?

A minor negative is their design abilities. if you want to build a totally original design or concept, more preparation really expedites the process. When Kohactive had to design something like my homepage, it took too many hours. Besides that, I think they're bright coders, and the owner, John, is receptive to ideas.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Kohactive?

Try to be totally prepared with your design. The more prepared you are up front, the faster Kohactive can work. If you leave the design to them, the hours could add up.

5.0
Overall Score They've done everything. Although the homepage wasn’t exactly what I envisioned, it can be fixed, and it's going to be constantly changing anyway.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I think my site was more complicated than a lot of others. We thought the MVP would take 2 months, and it did go a little bit longer because of add-ons, but that’s to be expected. It wasn't a real downfall.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We came to an agreement for the MVP, and they got it working for that price. Kohactive never tried to squeeze more money out of me for add-ons, which I appreciated.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The quality of their work is exactly what I wanted.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them for new websites.

Prototype Development for Social Startup

"kohactive hit the nail on the head with every task we gave them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

kohactive developed a social networking app prototype for college students to share services. The project was on the iOS platform and included limited creative design.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Co-founder, Social Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The prototype has gotten high satisfaction rates in testing. kohactive came up with solutions to various design challenges and demonstrated good project management. The team was communicative of their own accord, although there was sometimes a few days gap between project updates.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

We are called Can Do Inc. We have designed and created a mobile application that connects a college student with a problem to another student within the same campus who can solve that problem.

Whether they have broken their phone screen or need to put together some IKEA furniture, they can log on to the app, create a job and, from that, seek someone on the campus who is able to fix it. We receive a 15 percent commission from each job provider, after its completion. Transactions are done entirely through the app, and it is a free download.

What is your position?

I am the president, chief financial officer, and one of the founders of the company. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with kohactive?

We needed help in developing our application. 

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

They've facilitated the development of the app for iOS, working with our creative designer to implement a prototype. They've worked on the creative design of the app to a limited extent. We're also working with kohactive on website design for our company.

[Editor's Note: The project also involved UX/UI work and was completed using Ruby on Rails and Heroku.]

How did you come to work with kohactive?

We reached out to five different development companies in the city of Chicago. We met with each one, going through a discussion process around the application, seeing if they had any ideas for it and what their level of interest was.

After that, each company submitted a proposal. Our team assessed which of them had the best input as a whole, and kohactive were chosen as a result. We liked them and thought that they understood our idea. They were eager to work with us on the project. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

The total development cost so far has been between $50,000 and $200,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Work on the application is almost finished. At this moment, we're in the middle of developing our website. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

They were helpful and accommodating with everything that we needed, and worked with us in coming up with solutions to initial design issues we had with the application.

We sent out 250 to 300 different renderings of our app to kids on college campuses as well as having an initial think tank about the idea itself. The satisfaction rate has been around 80 to 85 percent.

How did kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

kohactive hit the nail on the head with every task we gave them, taking our initial renderings and functional specifications producing the final product we were looking for. They reached out to us, sending constant updates of different variations that they proposed.

What distinguishes kohactive from other providers?

They were very helpful and committed to each project. They never treated any task as if it was inferior to another. As a small startup company, we felt that kohactive, being a small company themselves, would be more inclined to understand our motivation. They understood that we function within a competitive market and have pushed us to the next level.

Is there anything kohactive could have improved or done differently?

At times, there was a bit of a lack in communication, from my standpoint. There could be periods of two days without talking, in the midst of the project. I would have preferred to stay ahead of these things. Otherwise, they were great.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were outstanding.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I was very pleased with their work and have recommended them to a couple of my colleagues.

Software Development for Intellectual Property Startup

"kohactive knows much more about the technology side and ensures that I achieve my outcome."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

kohactive created an MVP for crowdsourcing intellectual property between various governmental agencies. The team used existing software and architecture to develop the backend and UI/UX. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Cofounder, Intellectual Property Startup
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The MVP has won several awards at the national level and has been very successful in meeting targets. kohactive successfully turned a tedious aspect of research into a fun one. The team has good project management, regular communication, and allows access to the codebase upon request.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

My idea started a few years ago: collecting and crowdsourcing the content that is generated in federal labs around their intellectual property. I thought this information had tremendous commercial potential so I decided to start a business around the idea.

What is your position?

I am a cofounder with one other main person.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with kohactive?

We hired kohactive to build a platform for collecting and aggregating intellectual property, which we ultimately push out and move to the private market.

We wanted to make things more efficient and provide access. We do a lot of work with the Department of Defense and the Air Force. They are seen by their national and local communities as a kind of black box. As taxpayers, we spend billions of dollars in R&D [research and development]. There's been a lot of research that has been deployed to our military to serve war-fighting needs, but there's also a lot of economic value in those inventions. kohactive has helped us take that information, shed light on it, and use local incubators, accelerators, universities, serial entrepreneurs, and investors to add valuable knowledge to the markets where those inventions can be repurposed.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

I brought the architecture of the software to them. I had an idea of how I wanted it to operate, and they started building it in sprints, which we'd deploy to our customers and users. kohactive did some design work, and a lot of back-end work. It's a very complex piece of software with many user roles and permissions. We have many stakeholders in our user base that have different reasons for using it. They helped design the best UI [user interface] and UX [user experience] for our needs at the time.

They did some front-end design as we rolled it out to more users. It had to look a little bit friendlier than a minimum viable product. They didn't do any training for the software. I handled that myself.

[Editor's Note: The project also involved UX/UI work and was completed using Ruby on Rails, Anjular, and Heroku.]

How did you come to work with kohactive?

I had been working with a few freelance developers. They were terrible. I had project requirements that I delegated to a few people and, typically, things didn't work correctly, if at all. It wasn't up to my standard. I had one freelancer who was basically a fake. We kept spending money, and I never received updates. That was the last straw.

My business partner also suggested we should hire a development shop as this was going to be a bigger project than we'd thought. In March 2015, I started looking up web development firms on Google. I saw that kohactive had been rated best in the previous year. I spent a couple of hours on their site, looking through their testimonials and previous work. They worked with startups and built minimum viable products, which they actually called minimum lovable products. That term really stuck out. I would be having people using it, so it shouldn't look crude. I wanted it to be loved and to be able to log in and play with things.

I sent them a message on Sunday afternoon. I didn't expect to hear back, but I got a note that night, and we had a meeting the next morning.

I looked up John [Koht, principal and creative director of kohactive] online, and saw that he was a whiskey lover. I picked up a bottle of Chicago Whiskey, and brought it to the meeting, saying I was in desperate need of their help and wondering if they could work with me. We worked it out and signed a contract the next day.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

To date, we've invested $70,000 to 80,000 into the project.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in April 2015. The work is ongoing. We have kohactive on a monthly retainer.

We have a minimum viable product and people are using it, but we've had a lot of notoriety within the federal lab system because of kohactive's fine work. We've won many awards for our platform on a national level and more people want it. kohactive continues to enhance the existing features, and also add new things.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

The Air Force Research Lab is our biggest client. They have an unusual legal structure for doing business. You have to go through the right channels to transact with the federal government. We work with many partnership intermediaries across the country. Last year, one of the labs that we were working with won a few awards for the process that we deployed with them. That was the basis for a lot of the software that we built.

This year, the executive director of the entire Air Force Research Lab [Doug Ebersole], who has around $8 billion to $9 billion for R&D available to him, has endorsed our platform and will be using it in 2016 across multiple labs. We're also getting a lot of traction with multiple Department of Defense labs for deploying it within the universities and the various communities with which they work.

This isn't the most glamorous field. We're inputting intellectual property and dissecting inventions, and doing this with Excel spreadsheets can be tedious. kohactive made that fun. I have a few administrators for the platform, who add inventions, labs, and edit features of those inventions. They love it. We're making something that was tedious before seem fun. The labs we work with didn't actually want to do any of this before.

How did kohactive perform from a project management standpoint?

We use Trello for project management. I have access to the codebase, too. I can change and edit things, so I manage the project with John and his team in parallel. That gives me a greater feeling of control. This is our software, we've invested much into it, so I don't want to hand it to someone and not get what I expect. I appreciate the processes and tools that they use, which allow me to achieve the outcomes that I want.

What distinguishes kohactive from other providers?

They spend much time with me and have the right tools and processes in place. I want things deployed very quickly, and there's a necessary process for each step. I talk to John on a weekly basis and meet him face to face. He gives me plenty of time for expressing my concerns, not about the team, but about what I'm trying to get done and making sure that I'm meeting objectives within my timeline and budget. His team has always been able to resolve this. Communication is always good.

I appreciate what John and his team do. This kind of business is very people focused and many engineers and developers tend to have their heads down and build things without trying to understand what you're trying to achieve. John has spent an extraordinary amount of time with me, making sure that they're building exactly what I need. He even challenges me.

There are things that will cost a lot of money – features that I get enamored with. We sometimes have to take a step back and ask if we really need a particular feature and if there isn't something more important to the user base that we can roll out. kohactive knows much more about the technology side and ensures that I achieve my outcome. I've come to appreciate that.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    This is a difficult question. I want them all to myself. I would recommend them if the project would not be in a competing area.
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
ID
03152197
Date of Formation
Aug 10, 2009
Source
Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
Last Updated
Jan 19, 2019
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Dec 22, 2018
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
14
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.9
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
January 28, 2019