The BizSpark startup of the day is Hop-Cube, based in France. You will find below an interview with Romain Vailleux, COO and Co-Founder of Hop-Cube. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!

Website: www.hop-cube.com.

Interview with Romain Vailleux, COO and Co-Founder of Hop-Cube

Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

I’m a computer engineer, just leaving school with my diploma. I’m passionate about high-tech and web businesses. Currently, I’m COO of Hop-Cube. I founded the company with Thomas Albisser, a former schoolmate.

What did you do before creating your company?

I was a student at EFREI, a well known engineering school in Paris, France. I was involved in many students clubs, particularly the EFREI Microsoft Student Club.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?

I feel great and a bit proud of that! It’s a surprise for us. I’m sure we are going to celebrate tonight!

What is your company’s mission?

Hop-Cube’s mission is to make environmental information accessible to people. It includes information about products, services, companies, etc.

Tell us what your company does:

Today, Hop-Cube provides the HopScore service which generates a grade on a ten-point scale, that is based on a product’s eco-friendliness.

How did you get the idea for your company?

We got the idea a few years ago, while participating in the Imagine Cup 2008 competition in the software engineering category. The theme was about how technology enables sustainability. So, our team began to think about solutions to address that problem. The first draft of our project won the 2nd place of the French final and that reward plus the large amount of support we received pushed us to continue.

Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?

Hop-Cube was funded on our own savings. We began with only 10,000 € in Hop-Cube’s capital. But today our activity has grown and we do need to grow our team. So we are looking for private funding to continue our progress.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

There are 5 people working at Hop-Cube; 3 of whom are developers.

Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?

We are looking for people motivated by our sustainability and who want to get involved in this human adventure. We need competences ranging from technical development to marketing, including sustainable development expertise.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

We are building on an hybrid mix of technologies: PHP/MySQL and Microsoft virtualization solutions.

Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?

* I am pretty sure that data management will be the next challenge, and I'm convinced that there are still many improvements that can be made in that domain.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

The BizSpark program provides a real opportunity to benefit from Microsoft’s partners. It provides synergies among BizSpark companies and visibility. Thanks to BizSpark, Hop-Cube got a chance to participate in famous conferences like LIFT in Marseille and Innovation Day in Brussels. And the BizSpark staff is cool!

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

Yes! Do not stay alone! Being a technical expert is not enough to sell software. Try to find a partner specialized in sales; you will not regret it.

Who’s your role model?

Chuck Norris because nothing can stop him!

What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?

Earth is getting worse, it’s time to act! Make the right choice when purchasing products on e-commerce websites by looking at their HopScore!