New Series 'Start-Up Junkies' Featuring Seattle Start-Up Earth Class Mail Debuts This Week on MOJO HD

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"Start-Up Junkies," the eight-episode high-definition TV show that premiered on Thursday, Jan. 24, chronicles Earth Class Mail's quest to drag the trillion-dollar, global postal-mail industry into the Internet Age.

Getting a start-up off the ground is hard enough, but if you want to build something to scale as big as a FedEx or Starbucks, you have to start with battle-hardened entrepreneurs who know the drill and can cope with the hours, the stress, and the management challenge.

What's it like to build a company with global ambitions from the ground up? That's the premise of "Start-Up Junkies," a new high-def weekly documentary series on high definition cable channel MOJO HD that debuted on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Viewers without an HDTV or cable access to MOJO HD can watch the show online in streaming video at the "Start-Up Junkies" website. The show will be rebroadcast on MOJO HD throughout the week.

Seattle-based Earth Class Mail was chosen to be exclusively profiled in "Start-Up Junkies" because it fit the producers' blueprint of a newly hatched company in the throes of raising capital and launching a product with the real potential to become "the next big thing."

Over the course of the show's eight half-hour episodes, viewers will have a unique window into the pressure-cooker world of a start-up as Earth Class Mail launches its revolutionary concept - online postal-mail delivery. Throughout the season, the show will go behind the scenes as the company undergoes the trials and tribulations of raising angel and venture-capital investment, attracting seasoned serial entrepreneurs - the "start-up junkies" - to its management team, and dealing with all the people issues that arise when employees wake up running at Mach speed, every day of the week.

The show's cameras follow along with CEO Ron Wiener and his executive team as they make critical investor presentations, struggle to find suitable office space, interview candidates to see if they can "drink from a fire hose," debate sales strategies, and ride a daily emotional rollercoaster of breakout successes and inevitable snafus. And the company's ambition - to forever change the way individuals and businesses throughout the world receive and manage their postal mail - only heightens the pressure on Wiener and his team to succeed in an unforgiving entrepreneurial environment where so many other start-ups fail.

During the nine months of filming "Start-Up Junkies," Earth Class Mail makes major strides toward achieving its vision of transforming the postal industry. In Episode One the company prepares its football stadium-sized mail processing plant to create capacity for its first million customers. By the final episode the company achieves a key strategic partnership with Microsoft and grows to thousands of customers - from individuals and small businesses to a Fortune 100 company - in over 130 countries. Viewers will see how the company raises millions of dollars of angel and institutional venture-capital financing, and how it launches negotiations with the postal organizations of nearly 20 countries to deploy its platform to serve every citizen and business in their respective nations.

"We're building the jet engine in flight here, and not everyone is cut out for the task," says Wiener. "Getting a start-up off the ground is hard enough, but if you want to build something to scale as big as a FedEx or Starbucks, you have to start with battle-hardened entrepreneurs who know the drill and can cope with the hours, the stress, and the management challenge."

Sneak preview receives rave reviews
Earth Class Mail - along with angel-investment group Keiretsu Forum and Microsoft - hosted sneak-preview screenings for entrepreneurs, investors and the media on Jan. 15-16 at Microsoft's conference facilities in Mountain View, Calif., and Redmond, Wash. The reactions to the show's first episode were uniformly positive. Here's a sampling of attendee reactions:

"I was impressed by the editing, directing and production overall. It's really exciting, engaging television. People will want to continue watching to find out what happens over the whole arc of the story of the start-up."
--Björn Levidow, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft

"For the show to be based in Seattle, that's so real. Seattle is a very laid-back place where you can close a million-dollar deal at Starbucks. After seeing the show, my first reaction was, 'Wow, I've gotta buy that stock.'"
--Shane Coakley, Managing Partner, Real Partners real estate investment services, Seattle

"The show gives the average person a glimmer into what the driver's seat of a start-up is like. Ron captures the interpersonal drama and audience's attention in the roller-coaster ride of dealing with venture capital, angel financiers and a new team learning to work with each other."
--Brian Ruby, CEO, Carbon Nanoprobes

About Earth Class Mail
Earth Class Mailâ„¢ gives people the ability to access their U.S. postal mail online from anywhere in the world, 24x7. The service is used by individuals, small businesses, and major corporate and government enterprises, with users currently accessing the website from over 130 countries. It is a popular alternative to P.O. Box rental, executive suites and mail-forwarding services. Earth Class Mail technologies also manage standardized process mail, such as claim forms, invoices, and checks, more efficiently and cost-effectively than ordinary document management and storage solutions, for companies that are trying to "go paperless" or have large numbers of mobile workers, telecommuters and expatriates. Founded in 2004, Earth Class Mail is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has over 20 points of presence in the USA from New York to San Francisco where customers may have their mail delivered. The company is exclusively featured in a new eight-part high-def documentary TV series, "Start-Up Junkies," that debuted Jan. 24 on cable network MOJO HD.

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Amy Fritsch
Hill & Knowlton
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