- Thursday, 13.08.20, 18:00 - 21:00 Uhr
- STARTPLATZ, Im Mediapark 5, 50670 Köln
- Wolfgang Kierdorf
12. September 2019, 16:18 :: Accelerator
Autor: Bianca Kuehn
Quidtree founders Nick and David want to revolutionize the market by providing a data transfer solution that is easy to use and saves valuable time and money. With their innovative solution, Quidtree made it to the second phase of Batch #19 of STARTPLATZ Accelerator alongside four other teams. This interview with Nick marks the start of our five-row Accelerator series that is supposed to give you insights into the world of founding and the experiences of the Early-Stage Accelerator Teams.
What problem is your startup solving? Can you give an example?
„We are revolutionizing data connectivity by providing an out-of-the-box import and export button that can be embedded onto any platform. The problem we’re solving is that every SaaS company – every marketplace – really any B2B service out there – has to develop their own API connections, if they want to provide direct connections on their platform – with the added problem that these API connections are a complete black-box to the end-user and non-technical workers at that company.
For example, Facebook – a huge company that in theory has all the resources needed to provide any direct connection to any shop system necessary – provides merely seven in the Facebook Business Manager. They have a roadmap and are planning to add more, but even with their size it’s taking too long and I’m getting impatient. And what about all of the smaller services that don’t have the resources like Facebook? How long is it going to take them to add direct connections – and how much money are they going to waste on developing them from scratch and maintaining them? This is what we offer a configurable, embeddable import and export button. The second problem I talked about was the black-box that API connections create. This makes customization harder is very prone to errors, because every user is different and has different data. Our button opens the black box, letting any non-technical configure these settings that used to be exclusively things that the IT could handle. We aren’t a tech product or an API library. We’re a SaaS that provides an embed solution for the non-technical users and account managers within a B2B service.“
What is your educational background? Did you always see yourself starting your own business?
„I’m a career IT product owner, having worked mostly in B2B automation projects, also projects with a strong MarTech relevance. I met my co-founder at a development agency, where we both worked at. He was the former CTO and later became COO because his social and people skills just weren’t being utilized. I’m a first-founder and have envisioned myself being an entrepreneur and David is a serial entrepreneur having started and contributed to multiple ventures.“
What was your inspiration for your startup?
„Every data-intensive development project always had the same first steps, and the aspect of just getting the data became a really big, expensive project. I couldn’t stand this redundancy.“
What was the first obstacle you faced and how did you overcome it?
„Investment Seeking. Since our inception, we’ve been looking for investors and have not found any that are as passionate about this is as we are. So this summer we stopped actively looking, and are now pursuing a bootstrap strategy. This means we can’t grow as fast as we would have ideally liked, but the amount of time we save not having to actively seek out investors lets us finally focus on what we’re really trying to do.“
What is the next milestone for your startup?
„Up until now, we’ve been working very closely with our customers. You can imagine that the slogan ‘Import everything. Export everything. Do it anywhere’ can’t be built overnight. As of 2020, we believe we will have most of the use cases covered for our target vertical with enough data sources, business rules, and configuration logic to start promoting our solution at scale. Our first online marketing campaign will definitely be a great milestone.“
What are some short term and especially long term goals of yours?
„These past few months we have been very devoted to our customers and direct sales and hiring and just lots of day-to-day operations. Next month we want to carve out a bit of time to focus on online presence. Right now we have a website because it is necessary – but as of next year, sales will be less networking and more online-focused. So website along with some automated updates is something we’re thinking about the short term. Long term, we’re excited to use AI to get rid of the last manual steps when it comes to Data Normalization. The global impact this would have – especially in the eCommerce world, but really in any industry, is something that excites us.“
If you could start over again, what would you do differently?
„We built first and then started with sales. I really thought at the beginning I need to have something in order to sell it. It turns out that’s not the case. It would have been better to have customers from the very beginning, instead of just start with sales now.“
Why did you choose STARTPLATZ Accelerator?
„Honestly, STARTPLATZ chose us and we are very thankful they did because it has been a great experience thus far.“
What and who has helped you the most outside and inside STARTPLATZ to getting you on the road?
„I would like to give a shoutout to all of the free and very inexpensive tools available – from Figma to Google, or slack, or Hubspot, or Github, or Jira – from drone to NGINX, etc. These tools make it possible for a startup to compete with companies that have vast resources. I’m just really thankful, that so much of our processes can be automated or optimized. This lets us keep control our burn and without all of these affordable options, we couldn’t survive. STARTPLATZ does the same. Their STARTPLATZ Connect visualizes their mentor database and allows you to easily connect with anyone you need.“
If you could give another startup a tip, what would it be? Any words of advice?
„Start small, dream big – and ideally, do it together with a customer straight off the bat.“