The BizSpark Startup of the day is Develomatic, a company which started as a custom development services shop and who is now developing his own web applications, with a focus on bracketology systems. They now run several websites like Tourneytopia.com, and they have new ideas every day ! They joined Bizspark a week ago and we wish them the best in innovating and delivering new services on the web.
Interview with Brian Anderson, CEO and Co-Founder of Develomatic
Who are you?
How do you feel being the most promising “Company of the Day” per Microsoft?
It is an honor. We sincerely appreciate what Microsoft BizSpark is doing for our company.
What did you do before creating your company?
My partner and I were both consultants at a Microsoft Gold Partner. We specialized in building custom web applications for clients.
How did you get the idea? What's the genesis?
The business started on accident. When I was starting my career I wanted to ramp up on Microsoft web development technologies (classic ASP back then). I decided to build an intranet system to track our companies March Madness office pool. It was a big hit because it used to be done on paper and sites like CBS Sportsline and Yahoo didn’t have a system for it yet. It all started for us a few years later when a client actually hired our consulting company to build a bracketology system for them. They wanted a custom bracketology contest that was 100% branded to their company. We were able to negotiate with our consulting company employer to use the system I had built and we also retain the rights to it. At that point my partner Joel Ross and I realized there was a market for what we had built and formed an LLC to start building our web applications and controls.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
It depends on the site:
o Tourneytopia.com – sells license blocks to host custom branded bracketology contests. They start $15 and we run contests all year ranging from college basketball to grand slam tennis tournaments.
o PayItSquare.com – is a free service that helps people collect money from groups of people. It is tightly integrated with PayPal. It is currently supported by PayPal referral commission and advertising.
o TourneyLogic.com – sells a custom ASP.NET bracket control that is used by developers to build tournament systems. This is the control we use for Tourneytopia.com and MyPlayoffs.com
o MyPlayoffs.com – allows people to publish their playoffs for free. It is advertisement supported.
Our mission at Develomatic.com is to build creative web products that help our customers build their brands, strengthen relationships and stay organized.
What is your market?
Our market is wide but mostly corporate customers. The bulk of our revenue comes from customers who are trying to promote their brands to build stronger relationships with their customers. The second largest segment of revenue is corporate developers building custom tournament systems.
Any clients, references, partners you want to quote?
We have been supported by some amazing corporate brands. Our customers include Playboy.com, Tennis Channel, Sporting New Radio, Jersey Mike’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and many more.
We are self funded. Joel and I invested $500 each to start the company and our growth has been fueled by our profit and late nights developing our ideas.
We have grown our revenues over 50% each year we have been in business. We don’t plan on international growth at this point.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have two employees. Myself and my business partner.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our primary platform is Microsoft .NET. We are using ASP.NET 3.5 and SQL Server.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
We own all of our software IP. As far as we know we are the only professional tournament bracket control on the market.
Who’s your role model?
There are so many but I think everyone who develops web applications using Microsoft .NET has to be a big fan of Scott Guthrie.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
We see large opportunities to build applications that are subscription based services. We have built multiple web applications trying different business models. We have come to the realization that a subscription based service is the best way to build sustainable revenue.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
We are not looking for funding. That isn’t to say that we wouldn’t listen if someone was interested in our business model.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think?
We love BizSpark. It gave us access to full suite of Microsoft development and design tools. It also presented opportunities like this to get more exposure for our company.
Any advice to young software entrepreneurs?
Do the work yourself. It isn’t easy and it won’t happen overnight. Don’t give up and stay persistent. You never know when opportunities will surface. If you stay with it they will come and when they do be flexible and capitalize on them.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Right now is the busiest time of the year for Tourneytopia.com. It is March Madness time in college basketball. Please support us and run a bracketology contest. You will be surprised how easy it is. Your customers, friends and family will talk about all the time while you are running it. They will ask about it next year and every year after. It is a great way to build one-to-one customer relationships and friendships. The entry window opens on 15 March 2009 6:30:00 PM EST. Just try it! - www.tourneytopia.com