The company of the day is SnipClip, based in Germany. SnipClip is a social entertainment startup. You will find below an interview with Martin Szugat, the co-founder and product designer of SnipClip. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Martin Szugat, the co-founder and product designer of SnipClip
Who are you?
My name is Martin Szugat. I’m the co-founder and product designer of SnipClip. SnipClip is a social entertainment startup from Munich, Germany.
What did you do before creating your company?
A lot of different things. I personally wrote articles about .NET and XML, I studied and researched in the area of computational biology, and I wrote about social software, which finally lead me to SnipClip. My co-founders Sebastian and Oliver have experience in software development, marketing, and business development.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?
We are very honored and grateful. Nevertheless, we understand that being named a company of the month is one thing. Paying our bill is something very different. Therefore, we hope that we do not only get recognized for our innovation, but we get also approached by content owners and media brands.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
Initially, a business angel and investor who I know since I was a kid introduced us to the idea of collecting digital items. We were excited about this idea, especially since collecting traditional soccer stickers is very popular in Europe. Since then, the idea evolved into a much more comprehensive concept and finally into a company.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
We sell virtual collectibles. By doing so we bring the fun of collecting to online communities, such as Facebook or MySpace. Our mission towards media partners is to provide them with a platform to promote and to monetize their brands and content in online communities.
What is your market?
We are operating in an emerging market with a predicted size of 10 billion dollars in 2010: the market of virtual goods.
Any clients? References? Partners?
We have worked hard and received a lot of interest from the market place, including LOIs. But it’s too early to talk about names.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
To date, we are 100% self funded and boot strapped. In the next couple of weeks, however, we’ll start identifying investors who can help us to take SnipClip to the next level.
Even though we are a German startup, we see the growth opportunities overseas. Therefore, we are already active internationally and my partner and co-founder Oliver Hanisch works out of the San Francisco Bay Area.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
At this point, we are four people but work closely with a few selected partners.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Yes, of course. We are always seeking talent to hire or to partner with. What we look for are people who are as excited about SnipClip as we are. People who want to change the world of the media and entertainment brands. Currently, we are looking for a Chief Creative Officer, developers, and trainees in marketing and business development in both, Germany and the US.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
On the server side, we use SQL Server 2008 and WCF for building our RESTful asset management service. On the client side, we use Silverlight 2.0 as RIA frontend technology.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
Yes, SnipClip has patents pending. And of course there are things we believe to be the only ones doing them.
Who’s your role model?
There is no single person. In general, people I personally know and who have specific characteristics that makes them remarkable. For example, people who don’t give up or do new things no one did before.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
Of course, virtual goods are a great opportunity, especially for communities and media companies to monetize their user base and content respectively. Other interesting areas are games-as-a-services and social gaming, i.e. gaming in the context of a social network.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
As mentioned before, we are currently starting with the fundraising process. When it comes to the amount of investment we believe that there are several possible scenarios.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
We already joined the BizSpark program, of course! We also joined the “unternimm was.” high-tech initiative of Microsoft Germany. Microsoft helped us in various ways, with business as well as software development.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Many! During the last month I learned so much. But the best advice is: be passionate about what are you doing – no matter if you build your own company or join a company like SnipClip.
Anything else you’d like to say?
If you are looking to monetize your content, if you want to promote your brand, or if you need to engage your fan base or community, make sure to talk to us.