Start-Ups.Co interviewed Mr. ‘Andy Papier‘; Media Coordinator at the US (Chicago)-based start-up “BigMarker”.
“BigMarker“ enables anyone to host webinars and video conferences, or join one of the thousands of conversations that are already happening.
Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Papier’ regarding the start-up company “BigMarker”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “BigMarker” is all about?
BigMarker offers a community based management platform for teams, groups and organizations to video conference and collaborate online. Ditch your patchwork subscriptions for video conferencing, file sharing, and member or project management, and put the time and effort spent juggling those half-solutions toward something more worthwhile. As a BigMarker member, your toolkit is instantly simplified into a single, easily accessible solution. Whether you need to better engage your members, drive your team’s productivity, or connect with a new group of people, BigMarker is the place for you. With BigMarker, Any Community can make a visible and lasting mark on the world, classroom, office, or audience.
2. When has “BigMarker” been founded? And what stage is “BigMarker” currently at?
The name ‘BigMarker’ stems from the idea that global connections and collaboration allow communities to make their mark…in a big way. The company was founded in Chicago, IL by Zhu-Song Mei in 2011. From there he sought out capital and is now backed by an angel investor.
Our goal in the near-term is to provide these global connection and collaboration tools in a way that is simple, easy-to-use, affordable, and instantly accessible to all.
In the long-term, our vision is to provide a podium to address the world, one that not only connects people within existing groups, organizations, and communities, but empowers individuals and communities to achieve truly global reach.
At the moment we have 9 team members.
3. What is “BigMarker”‘s business model and how does it work?
We believe that knowledge should be open and accessible to everyone. So Public Communities are always free – to connect you to the world!
If you need more exclusivity or more advanced features, we offer Pro Communities to power internal collaboration, and provide video conferencing that lets 3, 5, 10, or more people host conferences in your Community for the same price the other guys charge you for one.
Join for Free!
Create a free BigMarker account to browse, join, and attend existing Communities and Conferences.
Create a Free Community
+ Unlimited Members + 8GB File Storage
+ Unlimited Public Video Conferencing
50 person Conference Rooms | 3 Hosts to start + 1 for every 50 members
+ Discussion Board
+ Community Calendar
Create a Pro Community (starting at $9/month)
Pro Communities enable you to host public or private conferences, discussions,and files, manage projects and tasks, and organize into groups.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
Zhu-Song Mei | Founder & CEO
As BigMarker’s Founder, Zhu-Song is the driving force behind our vision. Prior to creating BigMarker, Zhu-Song was a Software Architect in Accenture’s R&D group (Where he met team members Dmitriy and Justin). He is a graduate from Northwestern University, where he earned three degrees (one in computer science, and two in engineering). When he’s not improving on BigMarker or dreaming up what’s next, Zhu-Song can be found exploring Chicago.
Bill Gloff | Chief Technology Officer
Bill touches many areas of the product, but primarily focuses on the community aspect of it. He’s also always working to keep us up to date with the best tools and methodologies available. Bill has 12+ years’ experience in software architecture and development. Prior to joining BigMarker, he was a co-founder at the Chicago Groovy User Group and a consultant at CityTech. He holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from DePaul University.
Dmitriy Feferman | Software Architect
Dmitriy (Dima) joined BigMarker from Accenture and spends most of his time perfecting our video conferencing product. His insightful perspective, however, helps the team make all product decisions. Prior to joining BigMarker, Dima was a consultant in Accenture’s R&D group and graduated from Northwestern University, where he studied Computer Science.
Jia-Long Xu | Web Designer
Jia-Long is our lead web designer. With extensive knowledge in design and incredible ability to innovate, he is continuously helping to improve our look. Based in Qingdao, China, Jia-Long is BigMarker’s nighttime creative guru.
Li Jin | Web Developer
Li does development work for our web apps, bringing a breadth of experience including Rails, C, C++, C#, and Java. She holds a Master of Computer Science from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Computer Science from Southern Polytechnic State.
Justin Brown | Chief Operating Officer
Justin leads BigMarker’s day-to-day business activities including business and customer development, product management, marketing, analytics, operations, and finance. Prior to joining BigMarker, he was a management consultant at Accenture, where he helped businesses and governments solve a multitude of strategic and operational issues. He holds degrees in Economics and Marketing from Miami University.
Andy Papier | Media Coordinator
Andy leads BigMarker’s digital marketing, public relations, customer outreach, research, and support activities, focusing on providing BigMarker’s customers with the best experience possible. He also leads the BigMarker Speaker Series, which provides a podium for experts looking to share their knowledge with the world. Andy holds an MBA from Roosevelt University and a BS from Indiana University.
Caryn Wille | Branding and Design Coordinator
As the leader of BigMarker’s brand marketing activities, Caryn is the champion of BigMarker’s mission and brand across all touchpoints with our users, customers, and community! She is also our daytime creative guru, helping the team to package everything into one cohesive design. Caryn is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied Creative Writing.
Joe Yeoman | Director of Partnerships
Joe leads BigMarker’s Partnerships efforts, where he helps organizations such as schools, nonprofits, and businesses achieve greater impact through social collaboration. As the team’s other creative guru, Joe also makes significant contributions to the BigMarker experience. Joe is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, and holds an MFA in Writing from Naropa University.
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?
We try to focus on markets that are overlooked or that can seem to be less attractive to larger more enterprise interested companies. Those markets are small business, non profit, education and faith based.
What we do that’s new is combine multiple tools in one solution (one site). The primary feature being video conferencing that allows for interaction after the meeting or presentation. We also offer a public facing section that allows members and non members alike to attend a conference or meeting that interests them.