Archives for the month of: February, 2014

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Founder George Christoforakis tells us his story…

Tell us a little bit about your background?

Born and raised in the sin city of Athens, I am part of an urban generation who grew up worry-free and learned how to enjoy the essence of life.

I’ve been living in London since 2006 and I’m not planning to move anytime soon. Being part of London feels like riding a roller-coaster in the dark! You never know what comes next, and that is what makes it so exciting.

How did you come up with the idea for “rendeevoo”?

I was never a big fan of online dating for many reasons. From a personal point of view, I simply can’t be bothered with browsing & chatting. I prefer to talk face to face instead. From a marketing perspective I strongly believe that technology is underused and underexploited when it comes to dating solutions. Modern day consumers want on-demand services without much hassle, and of course 100% safe.

That’s how rendeevoo was born, and that’s why it will definitely make an impact. We bring people together in just a few taps! No…chats attached.

What is “rendeevoo” all about? What is your vision?

It’s all about responsible flirting basically. Less and less people nowadays enjoy flirting in the physical world, whereas more and more associate flirting with finding someone to date instead. Which naturally leads them to an online community. Our vision is to bridge this gap and allow people to find each other through technology, but flirt in real life instead of a chat-room.

Tell us about your team?

Jorn and I are the parents of rendeevoo, and we know each other since our postgrad studies in 2009. It’s one of these relationships where you know you just click…professionally speaking! He is the design genius whereas I’m the master of communications. We also have four Spanish amigos who handle our development efforts and two lovely girls who help us with the PR activities.

What stage are you at with the business and what comes next?

We are in the final stages of developing our beta version, which is launching on iOS this March. We will have 12 speak-easy bars around town, and can serve up to 300 rendeevoos every week. During the first three months we will be listening the market and shaping our offer accordingly until it gets flawless. As soon as that happens, we will start coding the Android and Windows versions followed by Blackberry. We are also planning a European expansion to Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, but our big aim is to be in New York before the 2014 ends!

Anything interesting to tell us about your technical platform?

It has all sorts of cutting-edge goodies. From our very own facebook authentication algorithm that “kills 99.9% of all bacteria”, to safe and cool redemption of drinks when at the bar.

The code is written from scratch, and it will keep being that way, because it makes us safe in terms of data transactions, and light regarding energy consumption levels.

We also feel proud of our backend system that allows every bar to access their account and

fetch info in real time. It really makes life much easier for everyone, but most importantly allows us to scale up quite efficiently.

What is the main challenge that you face?

This also is our leap of faith. Do people prefer to discover someone’s background and personality in real life, or choose the comfort and solidarity of an online environment?

Our challenge is to educate the market that meeting with someone you might not click with, is by far less risky and consuming than trying to find the ideal match online.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I’m an average looking guy with a normal IQ but……put me in a bar, hand me a double gin (no tonic please), and I will transform into a fun-loving innuendo! Is that interesting enough to have a rendeevoo with me?

What’s next in the horizon?

First, we just launched our crowd-funding campaign on Seedrs. We are after £25k in exchange of 6% equity, so everyone can get a piece of us from as little as £10! We are also SEIS eligible, making us a zero-risk investment for all UK taxpayers.

Second, our very first commercial video is in the production pipeline and due to get published on the 1st of March. It’s a quite provocative material with which we expect to attract the attention of our target audience, and hopefully we can see it going viral and entertain all those who are opposed to online dating and its outcomes.

Lastly, we are hosting a launch party on Google campus on the 22nd of March, where you can expect to listen some cool opinions about flirting and its main psychological effects. No, this is not going to be a speed-dating event

Website: www.rendeevoo.com

Twitter: @rendeevoo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rendeevoo

Crowd-funding campaign: https://www.seedrs.com/startups/rendeevoo1

 

Dreamstake provides end-to-end support for entrepreneurs wishing to get a startup funded in the shortest possible time. The startup rating system allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor progress.Dreamstake Academy provides guidance on how to create a successful startup. Dreamstake will link startups with suitable mentors and professional advisors.
Startups that have successfully achieved an acceptable rating will be given the opportunity to feature at monthly demo days and investor pitching events.

I attended the recent Product Camp #PCampLDN. As well as being impressed with the great ‘unconference’ format I was struck by the growing importance of product management for early stage startups. It appears that tech startups continue to get simpler. Many offer single functionality addressing one particular business need in an elegant and simple way. Snapchat, Tinder, Uber, TaskRabbit, Hailo and YPlan are all examples of propositions that offer the consumer a very simple UX.

We will also see the enterprise software market transformed by the emergence of disruptive startups with very simple UX/UI.  In fact, in many cases the UX will be the USP for these products. Enterprise employees are becoming accustomed to using elegant consumer apps. and will demand the same in the workplace.

All this means that the product manager, who ensures that technology, UX and business needs are aligned, will become a far more important part of the startup team. The challenge is that early stage startups have to chose between a product manager and a CTO, which is a difficult choice.

In the early days of the startup a compromise has to be made which will probably mean that the product management function has to be split between the CEO and the CTO, with additional support from UX/UI designers in the team. However, it is surely important to bring in dedicated product management stills as early in the process as possible. This will largely be down to budget.

Dreamstake provides end-to-end support for entrepreneurs wishing to get a startup funded in the shortest possible time. The startup rating system allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor progress.Dreamstake Academy provides guidance on how to create a successful startup. Dreamstake will link startups with suitable mentors and professional advisors.
Startups that have successfully achieved an acceptable rating will be given the opportunity to feature at monthly demo days and investor pitching events.

 

Building a successful tech startup is extremely hard.  There are millions of apps out there and even if you have an amazing product it is hard to get discovered. The secret is; use your unfair advantage!

Unfair advantages come in many forms. You may have a particular skill such as being the world expert in image recognition. This skill will allow you to come up with something unique and will make it extremely hard for others to copy.  Or you may have a massive following as a fashion blogger or have some unique contacts in your chosen industry. For example, celebrity endorsement can be the fast way to success.  Imagine having a pop -star pushing your music app or an ‘A’ lister pushing your film app. These contacts are worth their weight in gold.  Without them you will simply get lost in the noise.

Another type of unfair advantage is having done it before. Second time entrepreneurs have a great advantage. They know the ropes and find it easier to get investment.

Unfair advantages are often called USP’s or Unique Selling Points. I would go as far as saying that if you don’t have a USP don’t start in the first place. Creating a successful business is largely about exploiting our unfair advantages to tackle a problem or create an opportunity. However, if we search hard enough we will often find an unfair advantage that we can use to get our idea out there.

Dreamstake provides end-to-end support for entrepreneurs wishing to get a startup funded in the shortest possible time. The startup rating system allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor progress.Dreamstake Academy provides guidance on how to create a successful startup. Dreamstake will link startups with suitable mentors and professional advisors.
Startups that have successfully achieved an acceptable rating will be given the opportunity to feature at monthly demo days and investor pitching events.