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Bitrix24: A United Work Space which Handles the many Aspects of Daily Operations and Tasks that Allows you to Create your Own Social Intranet in Minutes!

http://www.bitrix24.com/

Bitrix24 is a comprehensive business collaboration platform. It contains robustly constructed tools like a CRM, calendars, file sharing, tasks, and project groups that are enhanced and unified by an intuitive social-style interface.

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We have really enjoyed interviewing the entrepreneur Mr. ‘Dmitry Valyanov‘; President of the US (Virginia)-based start-up “Bitrix24″.

“Bitrix24″ is a new SaaS product based on the Company’s on-premise product – Bitrix Intranet – and features flexible collaboration modules, highly simplified deployment procedures, and advanced security mechanisms.

Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Valyanov’ regarding his web-based company “Bitrix24″;

1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Bitrix24″ is all about?

Bitrix24 is a comprehensive business collaboration platform. It contains robustly constructed tools like a CRM, calendars, file sharing, tasks, and project groups that are enhanced and unified by an intuitive social-style interface. These social features make communications concerning all company operations easier and more transparent, with the added benefit that company knowledge is always searchable. It is the aspiration of Bitrix24 to present a practical solution for management of the entire company.

2. When has “Bitrix24″ been founded? And what stage is “Bitrix24″ currently at?

Bitrix24 began in 2011, having jumped from the shoulders of Bitrix, Inc. The product itself came out in public beta in May 2012. Bitrix24 is in validation stage, although judging by the number of users, there seems to be little doubt that it can find a niche. Financing has thus far been completely internal.

3. What is “Bitrix24″‘s business model and how does it work?

Bitrix24 is a cloud service with a typical freemium pricing model. However, unlike rival services, the paid versions have no limit on the number of users, but pricing is very reasonable and oriented on the amount of space used. More formal business tools, such as reporting and time management, are available in the top plan.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

The founders represent a majority of a small Russian bank’s former IT staff. Forging out on their own, they found success in developing an online software vending service and content management solutions. Sergei Rizhikov is the CEO and business strategist; Dmitry Valyanov is President and product development tsar; Yury Tushinsky is CTO, and Vadim Dubravanu is Head of Development.

5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?

First of all, Bitrix24 is focused on small business. Other products which offer a unified social collaboration platform have a strong leaning to enterprise level clients. It is worth noting that there are few very many products which offer the set of tools present in Bitrix24, or even a reasonable likeness. Secondly, Bitrix24 has a pricing model that is ahead of its time, since we only charge for space used and some additional features, not users. Objectively, it is hard to explain why 10 cloud users incur more cost to the service provider than 9; Bitrix24 does not look for artificial answers to this question.

[Read more…]

Utrip.com: An Online Platform that was Created to Enhance the Overall Planning, Travel, and Sharing Experiences of the Modern Traveler

http://www.utrip.com/

Utrip.com helps travelers plan their dream adventures to their favorite destinations. Utrip creates the perfect trip for you by sifting through thousands of restaurants, attractions, events, and activities and crafting an itinerary that perfectly matches your personal interests and desires.

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We had the pure pleasure of interviewing Mr. ‘Gilad Berenstein'; the Founder & CEO of the US (Seattle, WA)-based start-up “Utrip” about his company.

“Utrip” is an online platform that was created to enhance the overall planning, travel, and sharing experiences of the modern traveler by making all aspects of the travel experience simple, enjoyable, and extremely personal.

Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Berenstein’ regarding his internet start-up company “Utrip”;

1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Utrip” is all about?

Utrip.com helps travelers plan their dream adventures to their favorite destinations.

Utrip creates the perfect trip for you by sifting through thousands of restaurants, attractions, events, and activities and crafting an itinerary that perfectly matches your personal interests and desires. We partner with local experts who provide firsthand authentic knowledge on your favorite destinations. Whatever your dream experience is, Utrip will help you live it.

Quickly, easily, and cheaply any traveler can experience their favorite team’s soccer game in Madrid on Friday, the Picasso Museum in Barcelona for free on Sunday, and still be there in time for the opening celebration Oktoberfest in Munich on Wednesday, all while flying on the cheapest days of the week.

2. When has “Utrip” been founded? And what stage is “Utrip” currently at?

The initial idea for Utrip came about in October 2010 and the team started working 6 months later. Since day one, we have continuously worked on the development and improvement of our product. Public beta officially launched 16 months later on July 9, 2012. Currently, we have a collaborative team of 10 and are located in Seattle, WA.

3. What is “Utrip”‘s business model and how does it work?

We offer a free personalized trip-planning service to all Utrip users.

We have a “20/20 rule”: Utrip lets travelers collapse 20 hours of confusing research into 20 minutes of enjoyable trip planning leading to the perfectly customized trip every time. Based on your desired travel destinations, duration in each city, personal preferences, and interests, Utrip’s proprietary optimization algorithm takes a multitude of factors into account to craft your ideal itinerary.

Once a trip is planned and booked, Utrip receives commissions from the back end working with partners like Expedia, hostelbookers, and more. The service is completely free for our customers and is available at www.utrip.com. Although not available at launch, Facebook integration and blogging features will soon allow Utrip users to instantly share their itinerary, pictures, and stories from their adventures with friends and family.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

Gilad Berenstein (founder & CEO) and Edan Shahar (co-founder & COO) share a great passion for travel and technology, and have been good friends since college.

Since the founding of Utrip, the company has brought on 8 more full time members, including 4 programmers, 4 knowledge team members.

Please visit https://utrip.com/about/team to read detailed bios of our team members.

5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?

Utrip has a few key differentiators that make our product stand out from the rest. Today, countless travel blogs and websites provide trip planning tips and destination suggestions. However, no one has solved the most difficult and important problem of all, how to take these ideas and tips and turn them into a complete and personal itinerary.

We don’t believe there is such a thing as a one-trip-fits-all. Through a few simple steps, we pinpoint the traveler’s preferences and interests, such as sports (Spanish soccer), art (Baroque), history, culture (running with the bulls), museum, nature (bird watching), etc. Combined with authentic local advice, geographic optimization and other important factors, we then create a perfectly personalized trip for you. Utrip was designed with travelers in mind to build the most useful travel tool around.

[Read more…]

Ubooly: A Voice Interactive Stuffed Animal Smart Toy Powered by your iPhone or iPod Touch

http://www.ubooly.com/

Ubooly is a stuffed animal powered by your iPhone or iPod touch. We use voice recognition and ongoing updates to make the world smartest toy.

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Mr. ‘Carly Gloge'; CEO of the US (Colorado)-based start-up “Ubooly” has been kind enough to give us some more insight into what his company is all about.

According to Mr. ‘Gloge'; Ubooly is a stuffed animal powered by your iPhone or iPod touch. We use voice recognition and ongoing updates to make the world’s smartest toy.

Many children receive their parent’s old phone as a hand-me-down gift. In addition, the iPod touch has become one of the most popular gifts for children. We built Ubooly turn these devices into a magical friend.

Ubooly’s uses wifi to get smarter each day. Ubooly can comment on the day of the week, the weather, and news.

Our vision is to create a toy that has long-term engagement and focuses on creativity and social responsibility.

Our games and stories expect kids to respond back verbally and encourages them to us their imagination through choose-your-own-adventure stories, and “play pretend” games.

In the future, we’ll allow parents to purchase educational content such as: language packs, Ubooly roadtrip (Ubooly will use GPS to become a tour guide on roadtrips), and other educational content.

Ubooly launched to the public in August 1st, and has over 1000 active users. Expect to see Ubooly on store shelves this October. [Read more…]

EasyWebContent.com: An Online Web Based Application that Makes Updating and Editing Websites Available to Anyone who Owns or has a Website – Easy

http://www.easywebcontent.com/

EasyWebContent.com, is a web content creation and management platform that simplifies the way users develop and maintain their web presence.

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We had the utmost pleasure of interviewing Mr. ‘Payman Taei‘; Founder and President of the US (Maryland)-based start-up “Easy WebContent” about his internet company.

“Easy WebContent”  is simply the easiest and quickest way to access your pages to create and/or edit your website from any standard web browser – without installing any software on your hosting account or making changes to your existing HTML web pages.

Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Taei’ regarding his start-up company “Easy WebContent”;

1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Easy WebContent” is all about?

I am the Founder and President of Easy WebContent, a web content creation and management platform that simplifies the way users develop and maintain their web presence. We’re all about creating efficiency and simplifying the way users interact and manage their web presence. Our service is geared towards anyone with little to no technical knowledge who wants to take charge of their website be it creating, editing or adding engaging features to their websites.

2. When has “Easy WebContent” been founded? And what stage is “Easy WebContent” currently at?

Easy WebContent was founded in 2008 as a simple website editor geared towards anyone who wanted to easily manage the content of their websites without coding knowledge or changes to their existing website. In 2010 we extended our system to allow site owners to add various interactive features to their site and today we have leaped into creating an easy to use yet powerful site builder that gives non technical users the ability to develop and maintain their web presence.

3. What is “Easy WebContent”‘s business model and how does it work?

We are currently a premium model. We offer a full version of our tools for a 14 day trial period where users can take advantage of all features and capabilities of system with the option to subscribe to use the system as an ongoing service. Easy WebContent is a cloud based system; giving us the ability to scale and serve our users growing needs deploying regular upgrades and features to users without the need to manually update or pay upgrade fees for new version releases.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

Our team comes from different walks of life. I would say that we are extremely diverse both in culture and skill. It’s a great cohesion with each member and whenever we conduct meetings it’s always a creative mission.

We have members that work in the Easy WebContent office and some that work from the comforts of their home, so communication is key to our functionality and success.

We use a few different modes of communication depending on the task at hand. Design oriented tasks are often done in person between our design team; while development oriented tasks are handled through our CRM system, email and sometimes skype or chat. We’re quite open and flexible and open to all communication means; whichever best serves the purpose.

5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?

Our slogan is “It’s just that easy!” Our goal is not to give users every possible feature you can imagine. It’s about giving them features and capabilities that most users need in a easy to use and user friendly manner. Additionally although some users want out of the box solutions, we find that many also want to have a certain level of control and flexibility. For example you may like a certain theme we offer but you want to make it your own by changing colors, graphics and even minute adjustment such as border, spacing and margins. Our offering give you these abilities while eliminating the headache of any coding and design experience.

[Read more…]

Brian Zuercher Of VenueSeen On Social Media Photography And Managing Customer Relationships

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We present to you below a very interesting interview conducted by the folks at KillerStartups.com with Mr. ‘Brian Zuercher'; Co-Founder and CEO of the US (Dublin / Ohio)-based start-up “Venueseen”; A company that helps brands utilize visual marketing to build relationships with customers.

Brian Zuercher had a precocious interest in business for a boy from the Buckeye State. He likes his sports, too, but ever since the days of running the school store, the entrepreneurial path has beckoned him to take a road less obvious. That’s not to say his travels as a startup CEO and founder have always gone smoothly or that his vision of the journey has always been clear. But what would there be to learn–where would the satisfaction be–if an entrepreneur’s life was straightforward or easy.

Zuercher’s latest company, VenueSeen, is a toolkit for recognizing customers and interacting with them. VenueSeen collects and organizes location-specific photos shared via social media–Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare, Foodspotting, and more. Access to this content allows businesses and marketers to better engage with customers as well as take a more active role in shaping social identity.

At the crossroads of tradition and innovation, big brands and small startups, high-tech and down-to-earth, Zuercher steered KillerStartups to this peculiar Midwestern intersection and talked about how his startup emerged to coordinate photo traffic.

How did you go about starting your company? How did the idea first come to you?

VenueSeen has been in evolution as many companies are. It wasn’t the original kernel of an idea that we had. Originally, we had a product that we built called FlyMuch. That product was in the consumer travel industry and was designed to let people more seamlessly make recommendations on places to go and visit while they were traveling, and to then store and share those recommendations in the future.

As we went down that path, one of the things we started to explore closely was how to overlap a lot of the location data being generated through photography, check-ins and different things, along with the ability to transfer it via email and what not. And we started publishing quite a bit of the data. We took Instagram and mashed up location databases, and we published places like a restaurant and all of the recent photos taken inside of it.

We started doing that and we began receiving calls from some of the businesses themselves asking where we’d gotten the photos, what they could do with them, where the could share or track or do all these kind of things. At that point, we realized quickly that the person who had the most value for the product was likely to end up being the business, and honestly it had a better revenue model for us, for our infrastructure that we had here.

So, we took the feedback of people that started coming along, and then we made the decision to put FlyMuch on the back burner and go full force at delivering VenueSeen as a B to B product.

Did you find it exciting to pivot from your initial idea or was it frustrating to embrace change?

Excitement might not be the right word for what happened. [Laughs] You know it was frustrating because you’re ripping a lot of the roots out of something you’ve been working on. The team experiences a lot of resistance and pain. Ultimately, it’s about survival as a company and also delivering a product that has the most value. It was challenging. One of the layers of challenges was the decision to revamp the entire team. It really had nothing to do with many of the members. We decided that a combination of different skill sets and a fresh start was going to be necessary to properly attack the new plan.

It was tough. I will say that our transparency and our openness with everyone–we looked out for everyone, did our best to find jobs for everyone we were transitioning out–from my frame of reference, I think we tried to ease the pain as much as possible. But it’s never fun to go through that, as you might imagine.

What first drew you to technology and entrepreneurship?

I don’t have a family that has any kind of entrepreneurial or engineering background, but I’ve been an experiential kind of person. I’ve been in a lot of situations, courtesy of my parents, where I was forced to solve a problem myself or learn something myself. They were always like, “Your siblings are older, so go.” And they were like ten years older. I wasn’t that close in age to them, so it put me in a lot of situations where I was sort of catching up with everyone else.

Eventually I started my career at GE right out of undergraduate. While I learned a ton there in terms of best practices and all the goodness that comes with a really well-run company, I also really hated not feeling that my impact was super meaningful on a day to day basis.

Simultaneously, I like products, stuff, building stuff, building companies. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with business since I was a kid. I’m it if there’s ever been someone who thinks like, “I want to be in business when I grow up”–it’s not something that kids really think about. I actually did want to do this. It was geeky. I was running the school store and stuff as a kid.

As far as technology itself, it always felt like the possibilities were going to be much greater with newer things. So, I went to Rensselaer [Polytechnic Institute] for my MBA, which is a technology school here. And I took that path sort of contrarian to an MBA, as a way to really dive deep into a technical atmosphere and work mostly with engineers, trying to get a better understanding of how I could fit into that puzzle.

Columbus, Ohio, isn’t an area that we have come up on the radar often. What can you tell us about the startup community there?

It’s evolving. The city does a terrible job of marketing itself. It’s not as small as everyone thinks. There’s a million and a half to two million people in the metro area. We have at any moment the largest university in the country in the middle of the city in Ohio State, the largest private research firm in the world, Battelle. It’s an interesting town.

There’s a great workforce here. It’s a relatively new city in the Midwest, because it was never a manufacturing city. So it’s always been sort of  white collar, with service-based industry. In Columbus, the backbone was not in technology. So it’s sort of in this weird transition from businesses like retail. Express, Abercrombie, Bath and Body Works, The Limited, they’re all headquartered here. They were founded here. So we have a lot of big companies here, but the backbone of technology entrepreneurship is just sort of developing now. Ohio State is opening up, all these places are opening up [to technology]. It has a ways to go, but the infrastructure is generally young and that’s not very common in the Midwest.

Those big companies in the area you mentioned, have they been receptive to VenueSeen? [Read more…]

EzyOnlineBookings.com: An Online Booking System that Allows Businesses to Take Appointment Bookings Right on their Existing Website

http://www.ezyonlinebookings.com/

EzyOnlineBookings.com is an online booking system that allows businesses to take appointment bookings right on their existing website.

Mr. ‘Michael Gol'; Founder of the Australia (Melbourne)-based start-up “EzyOnlineBookings.com”, has been kind enough explaining to us what his company is all about.

According to Mr. ‘Gol'; EzyOnlineBookings.com is an online booking system that allows businesses to take appointment bookings right on their existing website.

The system has been designed to be easy to setup and install, easy for customers to make bookings, yet powerful and flexible enough to work with any kind of appointment based business.

EzyOnlineBookings.com includes many useful features such as full 2-way Google calendar integration, and the ability to accept PayPal payments for bookings.

The setup process consists of a series of easy steps which make setting up and installing the system easy.

The software has been built using the latest Internet technologies, providing a modern and pleasant booking experience. Customers aren’t redirected to a seperate website to make bookings, aren’t forced to create accounts, and you choose what information you collect from your customers at booking time. [Read more…]