Dienstag, 5. Mai 2009

interview with christoper clay of soup.io, part 2

Image representing Soup.io as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

this the 2nd part of the interview with christopher clay.f ounder of soup.io. where christopher sees the need for new start.ups and if austria is a good location to start are in the center of part 2. if you missed the 1st part of the interview, look here.

christopher, which areas do you find most in need for new start.ups?
translations services are in need. translation is annoying us right now, the work flow of translating takes a lot of time. that´s a problem of all european [internet] start.ups. it is an opportunity for a start.up if you can double your market with being available on more markets, it is worth money for them. however, i do not want to say too much right now on that.
actually good opportunities are found by doing your first start.up. you itch on a certain problem, you feel the pain and then you can go after it.

you have successfully won yeurope and seedcamp and those investors are now holding 43.3% of the company. what can start.ups expect from such incubators, what not?
their main idea is that they give you just enough money to work on your product for three month without having to worry about living expenses. it makes a difference if can do a project in your spare time or just focus on it.
with seedcamp it was more about introductions. at seedcamp week we got to talk so many people. industry icons like the founders of bebo, photolog, last.fm, mysql and skype. venture capitalists like holtzbrinck or accel ventures of which you normally you would not even get a meeting with. seedcamp was putting you in front of all this people with initial credibility. seedcamp funds project further along then yeurope. it is like a compressed version of silicon valley in one week.

also there is the network of relations you build up. although you meet 100 people in one week and you can not remember all of them, you clearly can get in touch with them afterwards. if i would have a new idea, i could call to get some feedback.

what you do not get is solutions and answers. you get contacts, inspiration, what worked for others and feedback. but nobody will tell you what will work for you, no one will tell you how to get rich. it does not work like this. no one knows your product like you do.

soup.io is working in a crowded space. which three things did you do, to position yourself to become a seedcamp finalist?
at soup we want to give average people their space online. other then sites likes friendfeed, it is the user which is in front, not friendfeed. it is the one place you can put on your business card.

you spend a lot of time in uk and u.s./bay area. what´s your thoughts on start.ups in austria vs. europe vs. us?
austrians mainly did not understand what we did, which is probably why we did not find investment here. london was much more open to new ideas, and not just wanting to copy what was successful elsewhere [like germany].

in the u.s. it is just a hugely different scale. in silicon valley there are events where hundreds of people working on start.ups meet every day. so while the spirit is similar to london, the scale is still a difference.
people in the u.s. did not stop to believe in start.ups while in europe it got even worse. in the u.s. they see the cheap valuations of start.ups as opportunity.

what are your 3 recommendations for new upcoming founders?
first thing is to select your idea to found a start.up on a clear understanding on how to earn money. secondly apply to start.up competitions like seedcamp if you are in europe.
and finally, like already mentioned choose your location wisely.

stay tuned for more interviews with innovative start.ups, right here, on the start.upICT blog.

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