Restopolitan, one of the participating Showcase Startups at the European BizSpark Summit, provides restaurant owners with a table management and marketing system and enables web users to make a free booking real-time. Hear from Restopolitan Founder Stephanie Pelaprat in the below video interview.
The BizSpark startup of the day is Restopolitan, based in France. Below you will find an interview with Stephanie Pelaprat, Founder of Restopolitan. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I’m 26, Restopolitan’s Founder, and I lead daily operations with one goal in mind for Restopolitan: to become the leader of online restaurant business.
What did you do before creating your company?
I’m a self-made entrepreneur who took the big step right after graduating from business school. Previously, I had spent some time with leading Marketing, Publishing and Advertisement firms in Paris and in New York.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
The 3 cornerstones of the Restopolitan System are entirely built on Microsoft Technology. As a founding partner, choosing Microsoft was a commitment so I am as proud to be featured as I am satisfied with my initial choice.
What is your company’s mission?
Restopolitan aims to be the catalyst to restaurants transitioning into the 21st century.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Our platform provides restaurant owners with a table management & marketing system, enabling web users to make a free booking in REAL TIME through www.restopolitan.com and our partners.
How did you get the idea for your company?
Being an entrepreneur was what mattered for me, and as I am part of a century-long lineage of traditional French restaurateurs, I was particularly attached to this industry. In 2005, I lived in New York and amongst the various marvels the Big Apple has to offer, I became a fan of the online bookings of restaurants where I could check live the availability. When I returned to Paris, I discovered that on top of the practical aspects of booking online for web users, there was an incredible opportunity to bring a value added service to the restaurants.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Restopolitan was initially seeded by its founding partners. Rapidly, due to the innovative aspect of the project we were granted awards such as Défi Jeunes, Cré’Acc, Paris Entreprendre and most recently, were selected as one of the few Microsoft IDEE members. Due to its smart cashflow model, Restopolitan has had limited funding needs for its initial progressive expansion. In 2008, a first round of capital was raised, mainly from private individuals. Today, Restopolitan is looking for partners. We want Restopolitan to become the reference and our B2B and B2C growth require funding.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are a team of close to 10 today, among which 2 fulltime developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We are always on the lookout for new talents that could complement our team both on the sales side as well as on the IT.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Desktop Software: .Net / Winforms / SQL Server 2005
Web Based Software: Silverlight 4 / RIA Services, Linq To Entity, SQL Server 2008
Web Site: ASP.NET, Linq To Entity, SQL Server 2008
Since inception, we took the decision to build the Restopolitan solution on strong and reliable foundations. Furthermore we had benchmarked various similar solutions in other industry sectors that had been using successfully these technologies for over 10 years. You do not change a winning team!
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
The Real Time Web is at its genesis right now, especially when looking at services provided in Europe. The opportunities of growth are endless: clearly “sky is the limit” as long as it’s free, instant and accessible everywhere.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
A brilliant program. As indicated in the previous questions, we are looking for partners to grow alongside with and Microsoft is definitely a partner we want on board!
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
I actually would not know where to start especially since I am a young entrepreneur myself. In this context I would only emphasize on the critical importance of choosing the right technology able to translate the market needs. You would not want to under estimate the foundations of your house?
Who’s your role model?
All my clients and partners. I learn from them on a daily basis.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Looking to book a table? www.restopolitan.com, you are just one click away!