We're Thinkbox, A Startup
Studio

We build, work with, and invest in startups at the earliest stages (usually marketplaces).

We're not your normal startup studio. We're completely bootstrap and have reinvested our profits into 15+ startups. We're operators ourselves, love working with startups, and playing our small part in backing incredible founders and companies.

"Mike and the Thinkbox team are experts at building online marketplaces. Their work has been extremely valuable to Sharetribe and our users."

Juho Makkonen, CEO Sharetribe

"The Thinkbox team is always a huge help to our portfolio companies and founders. They're someone you want to work with."

Milan Koch, Partner Base Ventures

We're known for sharing everything about what we're working on (like with Studiotime), learning, and insights. Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know when we share.

About Thinkbox

Thinkbox was founded in 2016 by Mike Williams (Yoroomie), a serial entrepreneur. Prior to this, Yoroomie founded Codeity, which was a hiring marketplace platform that quickly grew to being used by 500+ companies to source and hire developers before it was acquired in 2015 by Angelhack (press release).

Post Codeity acquisition, Mike and the original core team stuck together and began to offer their services to other startups. Instead of building a development agency, Thinkbox not only continued to build revenue from projects, but also began to internally prototype ideas and launch products.

The first startup that was launched from Thinkbox was Studiotime, which has been called the "Airbnb of music studios" and has been featured in VICE, Forbes, BBC, and other press. It's the largest online community of music studios in the world (in 35+ countries) and Thinkbox continues to operate Studiotime as a highly profitable startup.

Shortly after Studiotime was launched, Thinkbox also built and launched Yoroomie App, which was acquired in an all-cash deal within six months (in 2016). This was the first acquisition for a Thinkbox startup.

Thinkbox has raised $0 from investors and has reinvested profits from it's first acquisition, profits, and project revenue into now 15+ startups (that have now raised $110M+) and is also a limited partner in two funds.

Our Team

Thinkbox is a small core team that is multi-disciplinary in product, design, and development. We're all former (and current) operators and have worked with some of today's top startups. We are also active makers and are always contributing to projects, working on our own weekend side projects, and perfecting our craft.

Mike Williams (Yoroomie) - Founder

Yoroomie is a serial entrepreneur that has taken two startups from idea to acquisition (one funded & other bootstrapped). He is also a mentor at Founders Institute and helps mentor and advise other young startup founders.

Ben Collins - Technology Lead

Ben was the founding CTO of Codeity, has built and scaled multiple development teams, and has also served as interim CTO for various venture backed startups before leading technology and all development at Thinkbox.

Aure Gimon- Design

Aure is one of the most sought after designers in Los Angeles and has led design for various venture backed startups in the past. He also frequently runs design sprints with startups and leads design for various marketplace & blockchain projects such as Origin Protocol.

Want to join our team? Send us a message here.

Thinkbox Companies

Our team is always taking our own ideas and turning them into startups. We quickly build, launch, and if our product validates, we will then scale, operate, and support them as a Thinkbox startup.

Our first startup we successfully did this with was Studiotime, which has been called the "Airbnb of music studios" and has been featured in VICE, Forbes, BBC, and more. It's the largest online community of music studios in the world (in 35+ countries), and we continue to operate Studiotime as a highly profitable startup.

We also built and launched Yoroomie App, which was acquired in an all-cash deal within six months (in 2016). This was the first acquisition for a Thinkbox startup.

We're always working on something new and the best way to stay updated is by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Twitter.

Studiotime
Yoroomie App (acquired)

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We're Full-Service, Offering Design & Development

Looking to work with a full-service team that can help you take your napkin idea to launch? Need a trusted design and development team that has the track record and experience working with successful startups that you can trust?

We help founders and startups design, build, and launch marketplaces and consumer apps.

Napkin Idea To MVP

Looking to take your idea to MVP in days? We've built and launched 100+ MVP's. Using our experience and process, we can help you get to a validated MVP using minimal time and resources.

Marketplace Design & Development

Need a team that's worked with some of today's top marketplaces to help with your marketplace design and development? We can help design and build an award-winning marketplace experience for you. We are your marketplace tech team as a service.

Mobile App Development

Looking to build a custom mobile app for your marketplace or a launch new consumer app? We've built iOS and Android experiences for some apps that you've probably used.

Sharetribe Development

We're the team behind the most successful Sharetribe marketplaces. We offer full Sharetribe partner development services (here) for their hosted, Flex, and open source marketplace platforms, in addition to full support.

Some Of Our Marketplace Work

Studiotime
Napkin Idea To MVP, Shartribe Flex Build, Sharetribe Marketplace Support

We're the team behind the largest online marketplace for music studios in the world. Studiotime is in 35+ countries and is frequently mentioned in top media outlets such as Forbes, BBC, Hypebeast, Fader, Complex, and more. Our team continues to operate and support Studiotime as a highly profitable marketplace that runs on Sharetribe Flex, which we've heavily customized.

Roamer
Napkin Idea To MVP, Sharetribe Customization, Sharetribe Marketplace Support

The Roamer team came to us with a napkin idea for a student housing marketplace and we helped them with go from idea to live MVP in a week. We leveraged our marketplace expertise to help Roamer also have a successful launch and achieve market liquidity to validate their business concept. We then helped further customize and support their customized Sharetribe marketplace.

Some Of Our Mobile App Work

Lenny App
Product Design, Mobile App Prototyping

The Lenny team came to us with a challenge to design and create a mobile experience. We went through a product design and prototyping sprint with the team and created a mobile app experience that has gone on to win standout Fintech recognition, in addition to being showcased at SXSW.

Stitch
Product Design, Mobile App Prototyping

The Stitch team came to us with the challenge of designing an app that would revolutionize the way fans interact with artists. Stitch was a venture backed startup with a development team of 30+ that we interfaced with. We delivered full product designs and a mobile app prototype within 30 days.

See more of our mobile app work

We Focus On Marketplaces And Consumer Apps

Our team of designers and developers are all marketplace and consumer app experts. We've built and launched successful startups ourselves (two have been acquired), have worked with some of the top marketplaces and consumer mobile apps, and are confident that we can deliver some of the best work to make your marketplace or consumer app successful.

FAQ

Why Thinkbox?

We're not your typical software design and development agency. We bring the additional value of our experience as operators (successful exits), working with 100+ founders and top startups to refine our process, and offer this as a full-service team to founders and startups. We're also one of the only teams offering this with deep marketplace expertise and focus.

Who will I be working with?

You'll be interfacing directly with our founder and product lead, in addition to our core design and development team as needed for your project. Our team is all based in Los Angeles, CA and we do not offshore our work. You'll have the peace of mind by working with a team that has a proven track record as operators, working with other successful startups, and comes highly recommended.

What services do you offer?

We are full-service and can help with everything from initial napkin idea to MVP, marketplace design and development, consumer mobile apps, to of course our Sharetribe services we're best known for. We can also help with your launch and post-launch support. You can also think of us as your team as a service.

How can we work together and what are your rates?

To keep things simple, we work on a project basis and cash compensation for all of our projects. We don't take equity and recommend projects have an initial budget of at least $10K to get started with our napkin idea to MVP sprints. Custom design & development, mobile app development, and Sharetribe development are based on the scope of work.

What's the deal with Thinkbox and Sharetribe?

We were one of the first and now largest marketplaces to run on Sharetribe. We have a close relationship with their team, have helped 100+ people build their marketplace MVP using Sharetribe, and are also the team behind the most advanced Sharetribe customizations. They are a software partner and we typically leverage their platform for marketplace builds.

How can we get started?

It's very easy and you can contact us here. Please let us know your needs, budget, and timeline that you're looking to get started. We'll get right back to you and get everything out of the way such as project proposal, timeline, deposit, and everything else so we can have a project start date confirmed within hours or days.

"Mike and the Thinkbox team are experts at building online marketplaces. Their work has been extremely valuable to Sharetribe and our users."

Juho Makkonen, CEO Sharetribe

"The team is hands down invaluable and helped us take our idea to validated startup. They also expedited our learning curve as a marketplace startup."

Alexander Galicki, Co-Founder Roamer

"Mike and the Thinkbox team are incredible resources and helped me go from idea to live marketplace in days! He really expedited my marketplace in every way from product, growth, to user validation. I highly recommend working with them!"

Laura AlOtaibi, Founder Venues N More

Ready to get started and work with us? Please reach out to us and let us know more on your project, budget, and timeline.

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Some More Of Our Mobile App Work

Yoroomie App
Napkin Idea To App Store, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Support

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Seedly App
Napkin Idea To App Prototype

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Vidfly App
Napkin Idea To App Store, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Support

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Art Chatbot/Art Chat App
Napkin Idea To App Prototype

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Ready to get started and work with us? Please reach out to us and let us know more on your project, budget, and timeline.

Thinkbox Fund

Our "fund" was initially started by our founder making angel investments via AngelList to build an initial "fund MVP".

Now that we're a bootstrap and profitable startup studio (with one acquisition), we've chosen to build out our initial portfolio and reinvest a large part of our profits from our acquisition and projects back into the startup ecosystem. We're proud to play our small part in backing some incredible startups and have invested in 15+ startups that have raised $110M in addition to two funds. We've done this in 18 months and plan to invest in 20-30 startups within the next 12 months.

If you'd like to invest alongside us, you can back our AngelList syndicate here.

Working on something amazing and want us to invest? Send us a message below.

The Sharetribe Marketplace Directory

Looking for examples of online marketplaces that were built using Sharetribe? Want to see what's possible using their hosted version, open source, or Flex platform?

We've created what we believe is the most comprehensive directory of marketplaces built using Sharetribe to help others.

Why create The Sharetribe Marketplace Directory?

We're the creators of Studiotime (now the largest marketplace for music studios in the world) and first built it using Sharetribe. Since then, hundreds of people have reached out asking us how we help take their marketplace idea to MVP leveraging Sharetribe. We wanted to create a directory so people can see other real examples and the possibilities when building a marketplace using Sharetribe.

How can I add my marketplace to The Sharetribe Marketplace Directory?

You can add it directly here. Tweet at us (we're @Thinkboxmakes) if you need help doing so.

How can I learn how to take my idea to a launched marketplace using Sharetribe?

Our founder has shared quite a bit about this with these YouTube tutorials. You can also see written guides (as also featured in Hacker Noon and freeCodeCamp here). These are all free resources that we're sharing to help others. We of course offer Sharetribe services if you have a budget and would like to work with us.

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, Sharetribe tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

The Sharetribe Marketplace Directory

Looking for examples of online marketplaces that were built using Sharetribe? Want to see what's possible using their hosted version, open source, or Flex platform?

We've created what we believe is the most comprehensive directory of marketplaces built using Sharetribe to help others.

Looking to use Sharetribe to take your marketplace idea to MVP, customize your Sharetribe marketplace, or build a custom marketplace using Sharetribe Flex?

We're the team behind the most advanced Sharetribe marketplace customizations and also the most successful Sharetribe marketplaces to date. We're here to help you and you can see all of our Sharetribe services here.

Helpful Marketplace Resources

We're always sharing what we're working on, learning, and insights so we can help other marketplace founders.

Here are a few resources that we've created to help others that are interested in learning more about marketplaces.

Marketplace Resource Stash

The Sharetribe Marketplace Directory

The Complete Guide To Building & Launching A Marketplace (coming soon)

Marketplace Video Series (coming soon)

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Home / About / Companies / Services / Fund / Resources / Contact

We're Experts At Building Sharetribe Marketplaces

Looking to get started building a peer-to-peer marketplace using Sharetribe, customize your existing Sharetribe marketplace, or build a custom marketplace using Sharetribe Flex?

We're the team behind the most advanced Sharetribe marketplace customizations and also the most successful Sharetribe marketplaces to date. We're here to help you!

"Mike and the Thinkbox team are experts at building online marketplaces. Their work has been extremely valuable to Sharetribe and our users."

Juho Makkonen, CEO Sharetribe

Idea To Marketplace MVP

Looking to launch a marketplace but don't have the budget for a custom build? We can help you go from idea to MVP in days leveraging Sharetribe's hosted platform and only a few thousand. We can also help you launch!

Sharetribe Customizations

Already have a Sharetribe marketplace but need help with customizations? We've done some of the most advanced Sharetribe customizations! We can build custom pages, subscription functionality, complex booking flows, native app versions, and more!

Sharetribe Flex Builds

Looking to build a custom marketplace that has advanced requirements? We can build fully custom marketplaces using Sharetribe's new Flex platform. We were the first to build and launch a Flex marketplace!

Sharetribe Marketplace Support

Need a team to help support your marketplace? You can count on us to be your team and we have full capabilities as operators ourselves. We've been there and can help save you time and money as you scale your marketplace!

Examples Of Our Work

Studiotime
Napkin Idea To MVP, Shartribe Flex Build & Customization, Sharetribe Marketplace Support

We're the team behind the largest online marketplace for music studios in the world. Studiotime is in 35+ countries and is frequently mentioned in top media outlets such as Forbes, BBC, Hypebeast, Fader, Complex, and more. Our team continues to operate and support Studiotime as a highly profitable marketplace that runs on Sharetribe Flex, which we've heavily customized.

Venues N More
Napkin Idea To MVP, Sharetribe Customization, Sharetribe Marketplace Support

Venues N More initially came to us as a solo founder with a napkin idea for a marketplace to book birthday venues & parties. We helped them go from idea, business validation, to marketplace MVP in days. We then leveraged our marketplace expertise to help them have a successful launch that resulted in immediate bookings and even press articles and media coverage!

Roamer
Napkin Idea To MVP, Sharetribe Customization, Sharetribe Marketplace Support

The Roamer team came to us with a napkin idea for a student housing marketplace and we helped them with go from concept to live MVP in 30 days. We leveraged our marketplace expertise to help Roamer also have a successful launch and achieve market liquidity to validate their business concept.

"Mike and the Thinkbox team are experts at building online marketplaces. Their work has been extremely valuable to Sharetribe and our users."

Juho Makkonen, CEO Sharetribe

"Mike and his team are incredible resources and helped me go from idea to live marketplace in days! He really expedited my marketplace in every way from product, growth, to user validation. I highly recommend working with them!"

Laura AlOtaibi, Founder Venues N More

"The team is hands down invaluable and helped us take our idea to validated startup. They also expedited our learning curve as a marketplace startup."

Alexander Galicki, Co-Founder Roamer

FAQ

Why Thinkbox?

It's simple! We have the most experience working with Sharetribe, have built the most successful Sharetribe marketplace to date, and are also operators ourselves. We're more then just developers building a feature for you. We bring the additional value of our experience and insights that will help your marketplace succeed. We've helped 100+ founders and startups take their idea to live marketplace with Sharetribe.

Who will I be working with?

You'll be interfacing directly with our founder as the project lead, in addition to our core design and development team as needed for your project. Our team is all based in Los Angeles, CA and we do not offshore our work. You'll have the peace of mind by working with a team that has a proven track record, are marketplace experts, and come highly recommended by the Sharetribe team.

What's the deal with Thinkbox and Sharetribe?

We were one of the first and now largest marketplaces to run on Sharetribe. Since then we have helped 100+ people build their marketplace using Sharetribe. We are also the team behind the most advanced Sharetribe customizations. We also have a close relationship with the Sharetribe team and consider them a software partner.

What services do you offer?

We are full-service and can help with everything from initial napkin idea to MVP, customizations, to even post-launch support. You can think of us as your team as a service. We list all of our Sharetribe service offerings here.

How can we work together and what are your rates?

To keep things simple, we work on a project basis and cash compensation for all of our projects. We don't take equity and recommend projects have an initial budget of at least $5-10K to get started.

How can we get started?

It's very easy and you can contact us here. Please let us know your needs, budget, and timeline that you're looking to get started. We'll get right back to you and get everything out of the way such as project proposal, timeline, deposit, and everything else so we can have a project start date confirmed.

Ready to get started and work with us? Please reach out to us and let us know more on your project, budget, and timeline.

Full List Of Sharetribe Services We Offer..

Looking for Sharetribe customizations? If so, you've come to the right place as we're Sharetribe experts!

We've been working closely with Sharetribe for years and have the most insights and experience working with their platform. We're the team behind the most advanced Sharetribe marketplace customizations and also the most successful Sharetribe marketplaces to date. Here's a full list of Sharetribe services we offer.

Marketplace business ideation & validation

Marketplace idea to MVP builds

Sharetribe GO (hosted version) setup & builds

Sharetribe GO customizations

Custom homepages

Custom why pages

Custom subscription functionality

Custom booking flows

Custom UI/UX improvements

Custom payment & transaction capabilities

Sharetribe GO (hosted version) to Flex migration & setup

Sharetribe Flex builds

Sharetribe Flex customizations

Custom homepages

Custom why pages

Custom subscription functionality

Custom payment, booking, and transaction flows

Custom UI/UX improvements

Custom user capabilities

Native iOS & Android builds

Marketplace design services

Marketplace pre-launch & launch services

Marketplace growth services

Marketplace development & support team as a service

Looking for help with your Sharetribe marketplace? We're the team behind the most advanced Sharetribe marketplace customizations and also the most successful Sharetribe marketplaces to date. We're here to help you!

Marketplace Resource Stash

We've curated some of our favorite and most helpful marketplace resources we've found and are sharing them with you. You'll find posts and essays from marketplace experts like Andrew Chen (Andreessen Horowitz), founders like Jonathan Swanson (Thumbtack), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), and more from some of the most successful marketplace teams. We've even added videos!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Idea Stage Resources

✍

How to come up with a great marketplace idea

What you need to know before starting your marketplace

Four Things Every On-Demand Company Needs To Nail

Want to suggest an article or video for us to add here? Tweet at us @Thinkboxmakes and let us know!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Pre-Validating Marketplace Resources

✍

How to validate your marketplace idea before building the platform

Read This Before You Build Uber For X

Want to suggest an article or video for us to add here? Tweet at us @Thinkboxmakes and let us know!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Launching A Marketplace Resources

✍

Marketplace Scaled To Thousands Of Users In Hours

πŸŽ₯

How I built & launched the Airbnb for music studios in an evening

3 Tips For Launching A Marketplace

Want to suggest an article or video for us to add here? Tweet at us @Thinkboxmakes and let us know!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Sharetribe Marketplace Customization Resources

✍

How I built the Airbnb of music studios in a single evening using Sharetribe

How I customized Sharetribe and scaled the world's largest marketplace for music studios

Want to suggest an article or video for us to add here? Tweet at us @Thinkboxmakes and let us know!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Marketplace Tools

Sharetribe -Marketplace platform. Easily build an Airbnb, Etsy, and more similar types of marketplaces.

Eventgrid - Create your own events marketplace. Eventgrid is a complete white label API driven event ticketing platform.

Stripe Connect - Payments platform for marketplaces.

Spreedly - Connect once to a complete, cloud-based infrastructure for payments applications.

Chargebee - Easily manage susbscriptions, invoicing, and more for marketplaces.

Payable - Everything you need to pay contractors for your marketplace and ensure that you are 1099 compliant.

Peerkey - Easily add user identity, trust, and reputation to your marketplace without any technical integration needed.

Stripe Radar for Fraud Teams - A more powerful toolkit for marketplace teams to control fraud and protect their business.

Jumio - Trusted ID and identity verification as a service. Products such as AI selfie recognition and ID matching is used by Airbnb and other top marketplaces.

NoFraud - Accept credit cards without the worry of fraud chargebacks. Eliminate the need to manually review transactions for fraud – NoFraud delivers a yes/no response using the latest fraud prevention technology.

Blockscore - ID verification API for user identity. Used by KitSplit.

Sift Science - Fraud and chargeback prevention software. Used by KitSplit, Airbnb, Shutterstock, Cabify, and more marketplaces.

TalkJS - Messaging for marketplaces. Add buyer-seller chat to your online marketplace or platform.

Timekit - A booking API that can be added to your website allow for booking experiences, scheduling, and more.

Forest - A highly customizable admin interface for your marketplace.

Want to suggest a marketplace tool for us to add here? Tweet at us @Thinkboxmakes and let us know!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.

Marketplace Resources Stash

We've curated some of our favorite and most helpful marketplace resources we've found and are sharing them with you. You'll find posts and essays from marketplace experts like Andrew Chen (Andreessen Horowitz), founders like Jonathan Swanson (Thumbtack), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) and learnings the teams that have scaled companies such as Airbnb, Uber, and more. We even added videos!

Marketplace Tools

Sharetribe -Marketplace platform. Easily build an Airbnb, Etsy, and more similar types of marketplaces.

Eventgrid - Create your own events marketplace. Eventgrid is a complete white label API driven event ticketing platform.

Stripe Connect - Payments platform for marketplaces.

Spreedly - Connect once to a complete, cloud-based infrastructure for payments applications.

Chargebee - Easily manage susbscriptions, invoicing, and more for marketplaces.

Payable - Everything you need to pay contractors for your marketplace and ensure that you are 1099 compliant.

Peerkey - Easily add user identity, trust, and reputation to your marketplace without any technical integration needed.

Stripe Radar for Fraud Teams - A more powerful toolkit for marketplace teams to control fraud and protect their business.

Jumio - Trusted ID and identity verification as a service. Products such as AI selfie recognition and ID matching is used by Airbnb and other top marketplaces.

NoFraud - Accept credit cards without the worry of fraud chargebacks. Eliminate the need to manually review transactions for fraud – NoFraud delivers a yes/no response using the latest fraud prevention technology.

Blockscore - ID verification API for user identity. Used by KitSplit.

Sift Science - Fraud and chargeback prevention software. Used by KitSplit, Airbnb, Shutterstock, Cabify, and more marketplaces.

TalkJS - Messaging for marketplaces. Add buyer-seller chat to your online marketplace or platform.

Timekit - A booking API that can be added to your website allow for booking experiences, scheduling, and more.

Forest - A highly customizable admin interface for your marketplace.

Want to suggest articles, videos, or tools for us to add to our resource stash above? Tweet at us @Thinkboxmakes and let us know!

Subscribe to our dedicated marketplace newsletter for marketplace insights, tips, what we're learning as we run Studiotime, and more.