Zack Rosenberg: The Belief That That Our Vision Is Right, Our Product Will Solve the Problem, and That This Team Will Execute

Zack Rosenberg

Zack Rosenberg of CatapultX.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Zack Rosenberg, and I am the founding CEO of CatapultX. I have played a key role in helping the leading brands, agencies and publishers to unleash the power of revolutionary digital media and advertising technology solutions since 2006.

Prior to co-founding CatapultX, I served in key sales and leadership roles at Keywee (now Anyword), Buzzfeed, SmartBrief and WebMD. During my tenures at these companies, I was able to generate revenues nearing $100MM.

I have also helped lead the industry through his founding and leadership roles at 212, First Wednesdays and SixDegreesofZR. Through these efforts I helped more than 50 people find jobs and many more through mentoring opportunities.

I received my BA in Sports Management from Towson University and is the proud father of 3 amazing boys: Chris, Ethan, and Ronan.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

Movies like the Social Network, the Founder, and shows like SharkTank that make it appear like everything just works. I always equate it more to the movie Whiplash. You’ll have to push through the worst of it to ultimately reach the top, which many won’t.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

I’m not sure if there is ever a specific point, but I would tell myself you’ll always need more time and money than you think.

What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

Conviction. The belief that that our vision is right, our product will solve the problem, and that this team will execute.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

I’ve learned how to plan for the order of operations. It’s easy to say here is where we need to go, but having the right steps in the right order is often overlooked.

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Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

CatapultX was co-founded by two digital media and technology pioneers—myself and James Altschuler—in 2019 to help brands and publishers engage audiences in a new way that integrates contextually relevant advertising with great media content in a non-interruptive and seamless way to maximize audience experience and performance. Before CatapultX, James and I started a company called WatchFantom, which was a sports media company. We hired sports talk radio hosts from across the country, acquired the rights to independent sports leagues, and began generating over 600K viewers a day across social and our website after a few months. However, the income generated from this was low, but we did not want to add a ton of interruptive ads on top of our videos, so we created a product to insert brands into the video using new formats and smarter placements to achieve this goal. That product was called CatapultX, and it started to generate real income. It wasn’t long before the product became more interesting than the sports media company.

Where do you see your business in five years?

CatapultX believes the next 12 months are critical to open up more CTV inventory and help the industry understand the power of moments in their marketing. From the type of moments brands want to be associated with to the types of moments they don’t. CatapultX wants to continue bridging the gap in the digital advertising space by recognizing relevant moments for advertisers and automatically inserting the brands message to offer a viewer an incentive to engage with the content. The company hopes to see more increases in revenue and to continue adding new partners and customers to their already growing list.

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What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

Privacy legislation is not slowing down and we do expect the removal of cookies from browsers to continue. We also expect infinite ID solutions and growing SVOD subscribership will be issues to tackle. However, we were able to foresaw all of these issues when we started the company and have thoughtfully built a solution that addresses each one from the ground up.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

We saw incredible growth this past year. The company had a multimillion dollar funding round and saw an 1083 YoY% increase in revenue has led to the ability to bring in top tier talent across the organization, including the appointment of four executives to our leadership and advisory roster. This year, CatapultX’s ability to help brands harness the power of AI to provide viewers non-interruptive and contextually relevant ad experiences as they enjoy their video content has gained even more traction, leading to deals with Activision and a number of other top brands as well as thousands of publishers across all channels including the web and CTV. During Q1 alone, the company delivered more ad impressions than it did during all of 2021. Currently, we have more than 100 customers—including Audible, Activision Blizzard, Nickelodeon—and 20 employees.

How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

My background is in sales and I’m fortunate to have spent the better part of my career hosting networking events, building mentor programs, and trying to be a resource for those around me.

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However when it comes to any particular roles, as CEO you have to do them all simultaneously. This means sometimes you get to do the things you enjoy and are good at and sometimes you don’t. In relation to our business we’ve built something unique and have found ourselves in a position where people have sought us out whether it be to improve their video monetization or produce better results from their video ad spend.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

I have learned that a product is nothing without a team behind it. When you’re starting a company from scratch, your first few hires are a large part of your success factor. As you grow, if you keep your people a priority, you’ll continue to attract high-quality talent, but it certainly doesn’t hurt if your product or company has that “wow” factor that interests talented people in the first place. Building a culture that attracts other top talent is a huge part of our ideals at CatapultX and has helped us grow our internal team, while also attracting brands and customers.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

I hope the future brings health for family, friends, colleagues, and myself. I would love to see an influx in new clients and customers and on-stream become the new go-to video advertising platform, getting rid of those pesky intrusive ads brands use now.

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