That’s the Ticket: Temerlin Alum Creates Startup Business

Bucket specializes in discount tickets to top attractions in far-flung locales

The Capilla del Hombre is one of the top attractions in Quito, Ecuador, included in the Bucket Pass.

Karissa Jobman smiles when people ask if her company is international. It means she and business partner Daniel Pino are on the right track.

A year ago, Jobman, a 2013 graduate of the SMU Meadows Temerlin Advertising Institute, and Pino, a world traveler and native of Ecuador, started up a company called Bucket. Bucket is focused on increasing tourism in developing cities. “We’re not courting already-established cities like Paris and London,” says Jobman. “Our focus is to help smaller cities get better access to tourists.”

The first city they are promoting is Quito, Ecuador. After having won Quito’s 2014 Tourism Innovation competition, Jobman and Pino set about creating the “Bucket Pass,” a pre-selected, discounted package of tickets to Quito’s top five attractions. Jobman developed a Bucket website where tourists can purchase and download the Bucket Pass from the site or via a mobile device. The site, which officially launched on August 10, 2015, is currently available in English and Spanish, with French, German, Portuguese and Mandarin to be added as the business grows. Bucket also promotes the attractions on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

The service is the first of its kind in Latin America.

Inaugural City: The Top 5 Attractions

Quito is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The discounted attraction bundle for Quito includes tickets to the Capilla del Hombre, a gallery and home of revered Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín; the Museo de la Ciudad (built in 1565, the Museo chronicles the history of Quito); the Museo del Carmen Alto, a former convent important to the area’s religious history; Iglesia de la Compañía, considered one of the most awe-inspiring buildings in the city and rated by Trip Advisor as the number one spot to see in Quito; and Mitad del Mundo (“Middle of the World”), an equatorial spot where visitors can take photos with one foot in each hemisphere. In addition to those destinations, Bucket Pass buyers get admission to the hop-on, hop-off Quito Tour Bus, which shuttles visitors to 12 additional must-see spots throughout the day.

Buying the discounted bundle from Bucket saves the tourist up to 20 percent off the regular admission rates.

Temerlin education: tools, ethics and inspiration

Jobman, who also teaches school in inner city Dayton, Ohio, says her time at Meadows’ Temerlin Advertising Institute helped equip her with the tools she needed to create the company.

Karissa Jobman (B.A. Advertising '13)
Karissa Jobman (B.A. Advertising '13), left, with Bucket co-founder Daniel Pino.

“All my classes about developing consistent branding really helped me establish Bucket,” she says. “I learned about consumer insights, brand planning, how to communicate messages and more, not only in my classes but also during my internship with The Richards Group.” Jobman says she gained from the classes Integrated Marketing Communications and Advertising Brand Planning, both taught by Professor Alice Kendrick.

She also appreciates the ethics classes she took with Professor Carrie La Ferle. “As a student, I hadn’t realized how many times ethical decisions come up when running a business,” she says. “At Temerlin I learned how to weigh decisions on what the most ethical thing to do would be in any particular situation, and how to best communicate with the customer so that the information is clear and without unintended deception.”

While at Meadows, Jobman also took an arts entrepreneurship class, where she learned elements of how to start your own business.

Starting your own company: tips, stakes and loving what you do

Over the past year, Jobman and Pino learned a lot about establishing a startup business. To be a successful entrepreneur, says Jobman, it is vital to maintain relationships – whether with clients, vendors, the public, or industry associates – and keep the communication flowing. “Constant communication is front and center with me and my business partner. I live in Dayton and Daniel lives in Ecuador.

“The whole time we have been building Bucket, except for the last month or two, we’ve been in different countries,” she explains. “We use Google Chat every week, sometimes as long as three to four hours, to plan, review details and the latest client changes and more. We use online apps such as Trello, Work Flowy or WhatsApp to help each other hit deadlines. Constant communication is key.”

When asked what advice Jobman would give to students considering opening their own business, Jobman says it has to start with loving your product or service. “If you’re just in it for the money, it won’t last because you won’t be invested and excited about it,” she says. “You have to love what you do. You have to be willing to sacrifice. It will take a lot of time.”

Jobman also gives a head’s up to aspiring business owners, saying prioritization increases in importance in the business world. “I was a busy student in school, involved in clubs and classes and more,” she says. “Now, I’ve got the same amount of busy, but the consequences are much higher if I don’t follow through on business matters. In college, if you don’t respond to an email, you can get by, you’ll be fine. But in business, things like not returning an email in a timely way can really hurt you. The stakes are much higher.”

A third bit of advice to would-be entrepreneurs, says Jobman, is to set deadlines. “No one is setting them for you,” she says. “If you don’t set a deadline, it’s just an idea. It sounds good, but unless you motivate yourself it stays an idea.”

Bucket helps boost tourism in Quito by offering discounted tickets to attractions such as the breathtaking Iglesia de la Compañía.

Learn more about Bucket.

Read more about the Temerlin Advertising Institute.