This is the first blog post of a series entitled ‘Our Alumni Know Best’. The series of blog posts focuses on the teams‘ experience at the Startupbootcamp Berlin ’12 after having gone through the acceleration program.
Spotistic is a location-based marketing automation platform. It allows marketers to optimize their marketing strategy on Foursquare, Facebook Local, Google Plus Local and other location-based services. http://spotistic.com/
1. Let’s start at the beginning – how did you first start developing the Spotistic concept and what persuaded you it would work?
Maxence and I had to do a final year internship for our schools (Mines Paristech and Supélec). We decided to work on our project which was not really defined yet, but had something to do with social media monitoring and data mining. We tested different ideas with several big companies in France, and finally one of them pushed us to develop a Foursquare monitoring tool. We developed this and got traction quite quickly, mainly thanks to this article in aboutfoursquare.com. Then, we developed a vision based on this first alpha product, its traction and customer feedback.
2. Who are the founders and how did you all meet each other?
Maxence (CTO) and I (CEO) are young engineers from top French engineering schools. We met in France, at Maxence’s school. I knew that he was a cool guy and an awesome developer, so I just wanted to work with him.
When we came to Berlin for SBC, we decided to complete the team with someone with a business background. We got a lot of applications. Danny (COO) was one of them. He had been working in Silicon Valley for Startupcompass. We now have been working together for 6 months and are all quite happy with what we achieved so far.
3. When you first heard about the Startupbootcamp program, what was your initial reaction, and why did you decide to apply?
For us, at first it was just another way to get feedback about our idea and product. We did not expect to be selected at all.
4. Startupbootcamp offers a large panel of high profile mentors. Do you feel that you have benefited from these contacts?
Some of them gave unique insights or did really useful intros that had a huge impact on our business.
5. How has Spotistic changed since the start of the adventure? Do you think the company would have been at a similar status if it hadn’t gone through Startupbootcamp?
There are currently 8 people working for Spotistic. We rent our own office and are closed to first revenues. It is a serious business.
Startupbootcamp investment + free office space for 6 months + investor demo day definitely helped us to be where we are right now.
6. Every team selected for the Startupbootcamp program receives €15,000. What have you used it for so far?
We used it to pay ourselves a small salary, we hired a few interns, paid for professional GitHub and Highrise accounts and tested small Google Adwords campaigns.
7. Looking back on your time at Startupbootcamp, could you describe an important moment you experienced during your time there?
Spotistic is quite a sophisticated B2B product. It is not that easy to pitch to anybody. As a non-native English speaker (I’m French), I would say that every single pitch was an important moment.
8. How would you compare Berlin to Paris to start a business such as yours?
It is hard to say. In Paris, we were working from a 6m2 room in my school. In Berlin, we were part of Startupbootcamp, in the middle of Berlin Startup ecosystem. It is 2 different setups! I don’t want to blame Paris Startup ecosystem since we did not really have the opportunity to experience it.
But Berlin is great! It is the right city to bootstrap (cheap rent) and to attract talent (everybody want to come here).
9. What’s your favorite thing about Berlin? (Could be a café, the parks, the activities or even the weather!)
Minimal techno music
10. Startupbootcamp Berlin organizes a Bavarian team breakfast every Friday. Is this a tradition you would like to keep at Spotistic?
There are a few French people at Spotistic…We do have a real food tradition here. So we often have breakfast or lunch together, Bavarian or not!
Meet the team