Sculpt’s story began in a social media marketing class at the University Of Iowa Tippie College Of Business when three students were paired up for a class project. The students – Josh Krakauer, John Doessel and Micah Kulish – were tasked with consulting local business owners about the ins and outs of social media marketing. They quickly realized they had stumbled onto a real need among business owners. Like any good entrepreneur they seized that opportunity, and Sculpt was born. In the two years since, Sculpt has evolved into a full-service social media marketing agency with 11 employees and Krakauer at the helm.
What prompted you to launch Sculpt?
A takeaway from our class project was that social media marketing was a completely underserved market in the Creative Corridor. Small business owners had social media strategies, but there was a huge pain point when it came to implementation. They simply didn’t have the time to execute the strategies. When we created Sculpt in January 2012, that’s really what we focused on. Since then we’ve expanded our services to digital and inbound marketing, search engine optimization, creative services and more.
Your core competency is in social media community management. What do you like about managing and building communities?
Looking back, I realize now that a lot of the experiences I’ve had in the past have led to Sculpt. I had all these ventures and passions that were based around specific interests that I could share with like-minded people. I’ve always been a community builder at heart. My most recent obsession is in the start-up community and entrepreneurship. (Sculpt operates in the recently opened IC Colab.)
What do you like about banking with MidWestOne?
When you start a business one of the first questions you ask others is “who is the start-up friendly bank?” In 2012, we got referred to MidWestOne Bank and they’re truly fantastic. They have a passion for entrepreneurs that isn’t a marketing ploy. We’re not a huge business for them but they have taken the time to build a relationship with us. It’s really rare to see a bank want to build an authentic relationship, not just because you’re a customer but because they like what you’re doing. The way they support entrepreneurs through being ever present in the community is very authentic.