Meet the startups in Area 31: tiiim.co -by Imagine Through Software-

Escrito el 6 noviembre 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

Author: Jon Pittaluga

tiimTiiim is a Madrid based startup which helps video and creative professionals to deliver a better service for their clients with a simple collaboration tool. Our vision is to help professionals boost their productivity by simplifying the way they gain and share insights, building a place where creatives and executives have joint understanding.

The most relevant tags to position our startup are: SaaS – B2B – Productivity – Cloud

Why do creative professionals need your solution?

Collaboration is crucial in every creative production, from a corporate video to an ad campaign people need to exchange information constantly. This is especially important when reviewing and approving proposals, where it’s hard to avoid misunderstandings. Media files and insights are spread across different places and it’s very easy to get lost in translation (it often feels that creatives and executives don’t speak the same language!).

Getting feedback and sharing creative insights should be simpler for everyone involved in a video/media production. We provide the tools for sharing insights and media files in a same place, accelerating iteration times and improving team’s productivity. This means gaining time, saving money and, most importantly, improving happiness.

Where did you get the idea?

Miguel Calderón, my co-founder, and I have been working in video and creative spaces since we first met at the university. We’re partners in a creative agency www.santacc.es and I have also founded a video production company www.patitopro.es. For too long we had been suffering with the problems of miscommunication and slow iterations… losing time and money frequently. At first we tried to solve some of these problems by building an artificial intelligence tool. Despite some initial success (we managed to code some amazing algorithms which may be re-used in the future), we pivoted to a simpler and more achievable solution.

We made this pivot from within the Area 31 incubator, which has been a splendid place to learn, connect with people and create a smarter project.

How does your product work?

Put simply, users upload their media filestiim2 and invite people to form a discussion. Invites are generated through private links and once received, allow everyone to collaborate by adding timestamped comments, drawings, voice notes and chats directly over their video, photo or audio projects.

Furthermore you can make to-do lists, add new versions, invite more people…

What is your business model?

As a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) startup, we sell subscriptions with different plans from freelancers to medium sized teams or corporate clients. We also expect some alternative revenues from access to our API.

What kinds of investors does the company have?

Apart from the founders, for the moment we just have some friends and funding from our previous small business. Formally we’ll start a seed round in the coming weeks.

Any help, tips or advice is always welcome!

What is the stage of project now?

As we speak, we are launching a private beta version which is almost customer ready. We’re currently running tests and private demos with potential customers like production companies, broadcasters, creative agencies and all sort of creative freelancers, in order to refine the solution and learn how to build the best customer support infrastructure. We are also partnering with some of the biggest software vendors in the creative space in order to develop a marketing strategy through integration.

In terms of our team we are looking for a Head of Marketing as well as an intern. Anyone interested in these positions please contact us (jon@tiiim.co).

How many people are in the team?

Today we are four members strong, with one intern and one full time freelancer. I hold the position of CEO and manage business development, marketing and supervise product design. Miguel is our CTO, based in UK, he is responsible for the software production (both desktop and web applications) and the API programming. Carlos is head of desktop programming (for MacOS and Windows) and Gonzalo is our designer, he also manages all the testing. Additionally we have one intern, Martin, who helps in communication and market research and Pavel, a freelance front end developer.

Among our shareholders we have brilliant minds like Mario López de Ávila (IE professor, consultant, entrepreneur and natural born mentor), Luis de Velasco (financing and operations) and James Ogden (development).

What have you learned from your experience as entrepreneurs?

Well… the truth is we have been starting up our own companies since we left the school. This is my fifth company (three of them still operating) and Miguel’s third project (two of them working). Our previous projects were not so scalable and the approach was completely different: now we are aiming to build a global company, which becomes a productivity titan, targeting creative industries but also adjacent markets from e-learning to engineering.

In this sense we are lucky being part of Area 31 and all the IE Business School community, where you meet a lot of inspiring talented people. We are learning a lot from all those people, from building a company, to recruiting, finding investors… It is a true master in global entrepreneurship.

What are you most excited about the project at the moment?

Regarding the product finally we are close to the release of a new iteration and we are ready to get real feedback and metrics. No matter how lean you are, it is the real product which customers can buy that will provide true validation. So now we will be out of the building, ready to sell, close partnerships and hopefully grow fast.

This will help us to be prepared ready to start raising funds from professional investors … which is also one of our next big milestones. As such, we face a lot of exciting challenges now!

What are the most difficult challenges of entrepreneurship?

This is a hard question. Everything is a challenge when you are building a startup. In our case I think the hardest part was understanding our own weaknesses, which was the basis of the pivot we made at the beginning of this year. Also balancing between your expectations and the facts is also difficult, but this is part of the entrepreneur’s journey. You have to switch from the vision to the facts, enjoy everything you can and try to learn from your failures, as it’s the only way to succeed

Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you had the chance?

Yes. A lot of things… We should have started building a strong, flexible and resilient team, rather than focusing solely on out product. Team first, idea second.

What advice would you like to give to potential entrepreneurs?

Again, team first, idea second. If you have a great team and a market you know that challenges you… just keep failing and you’ll find the Happy Idea. You will probably spend three to five years of your life with a lot of hard times, probably losing money and failing your expectations. So enjoy your co-founders, teammates and the market you are targeting, they are your biggest reward, plus the knowledge and experience that will make you STRONGER and SMARTER.

What would you ask to the IE community?

Now we need a few things from students, professors or alumni:

For customer development:

Contacts worldwide in the video and advertising industries. From students to senior pros, every contact may be helpful.

Contacts in universities with communications/film/media departments. Alumni, we need your networking super-powers!

For customer discovery: We will start very soon to make problem interviews in the engineering and architecture industries.

And of course… we need you to try our beta and give us some feedback. Sign ups here www.tiiim.co


Email: jon@tiiim.co

Twitter: @jonpittaluga

Skype: jon.pittaluga


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