The BizSpark startup of the day is Shidonni, based in Israel. Below you will find an interview with Nachshon Peled, CTO and Co-founder of Shidonni. 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:
My name is Nachshon Peled and I am the CTO and Co-founder of Shidonni.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are honored to be recognized by Microsoft as the most promising startup of the day. Shidonni is based on the Silverlight platform and we believe it is the best platform for our multi-faceted applications. Getting Microsoft recognition is exciting and inspiring.
What is your company’s mission?
Shidonni‘s mission is to create a safe, online world for children, where they can foster creativity, imagination and self expression.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Shidonni is a virtual world for children where they can draw pets, and those pets “come to life” as our technology animates them and lets kids feed, dress, play with and create worlds around their creations. In Shidonni you can share your creations - virtual pets and worlds - with your friends in a safe social network, as well as create a Shidonni One-of-a-kind – a toy made from the child’s own drawing! Shidonni has many advantages for children, such as fostering creativity, allowing room for expressing imagination, building computer literacy, teaching responsibility and most of all – its fun!
How did you get the idea for your company?
Virtual worlds develop the imagination and allow children to play and experiment with ideas, work and other experiences, create their own avatar and allow them to learn about themselves. Having kids of our own, we looked for a safe and creative virtual world which allows children to create their own players and scenarios of the game, instead of “copy/paste” predetermined features. After creating Shidonni we have realized the kids are looking for a real toy, which keeps the bond between their virtual and “every day” activities. Coming up with “one of kind” feature, creating a plash doll out of the child’s drawing, has taken Shidonni to a higher & unique level of games and social activity.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
The initial investment was funded by a group of private multinational investors. Today, two years after establishment, having users worldwide, we are finalizing a funding process for future development of Shidonni.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 13 employees.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We are not hiring at the moment.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Shidonni is based on Silverlight. More than two years ago, when we started the development of the product we chose Silverlight thanks to its being the best platform for developing complexed algorithms such as our own.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
The games and virtual worlds for kids provide exciting and interesting opportunities in the internet arena. However, parents today look for safe and educational environment in which they believe their child can interact and explore. We believe Shidonni provides a unique internet solution for boosting creativity in an exciting virtual surrounding.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
The BizSpark program is an excellent initiative. Thanks to this program start- up companies can benefit from the benchmark provided on the platform, and exchange ideas, perceptions and advises with other players in the market. On the tough road towards success the BizSpark social network helped us to exchange ideas and questions among the start up community.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
I think on the practical side I would recommend the entrepreneurs to focus on 2 main objectives: Determination and Open mildness. If you have an idea you believe in – be determined and go all the way with the efforts to make it happen. Nevertheless, always be open minded for inputs, changes, opportunities and threats.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Sit down with your son or daughter and start drawing together: www.shidonni.com.