When using stream aliases, you will have to create an alias prior to doing a pullstream. This is because the EMS acting like a separate server, even though it is making the request on itself. So in order to create a live stream out of a vod file, you will have to create an alias for the pullstream command, Ronald just missed a step:
(as an fyi, it is always important to have the HLS stream waiting so that it is ready to accept the first packets from the file which are almost always a key-frame).
1.) createHlsStream targetFolder=/var/evostreamms/media/hls localstreamnames=start groupname=custom_group_hls
2.) addStreamAlias localstreamname=start.mp4 aliasname=start
3.) pullstream localstreamname=start_live uri=rtmp://localhost/vod/start
4.) addgroupnamealias groupname=custom_group_hls aliasname=hls1