The BizSpark startup of the day is WiseStamp, based in Israel. Below you will find an interview with Josh (Tzvika) Avnery, Co-founder & Marketing Director of WiseStamp. 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 WiseStamp’s Co-founder & Marketing director, along with my partners Orly Izhaki (Co-founder & CEO) Sasha Gimelshtein (CTO) and Tom Piamenta (VP Partnerships).
What did you do before creating your company?
Before WiseStamp I founded TAGADAM - a web marketing consulting firm for startups.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are delighted to be among the featured ‘Startup of the day’ startups at BizSpark. We look forward to continue working with the BizSpark team and develop our solutions with and for Microsoft products.
What is your company’s mission?
To Bridge the gap between email and the social, vibrant and interactive web of today.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
WiseStamp is an Email Apps platform that enables users to utilize their day to day emails with productive, social and engaging Email Apps.
How did you get the idea for your company?
One day Orly and I received an email with a signature that immediately caught our eyes. It was so effective that straight away we wanted to create a similar one of our own. This was an "Eureka" moment - why should we leave such a prominent and noticeable web real-estate untapped? We all send so many emails every day, what if we could easily utilize our emails to promote our personal, business and social needs? Today with more than 1.5 million installs and our current growth, our motivation to solve this need with innovative email apps has just increased.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We have raised our seed round from experienced US and Israeli angel investors.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are currently recruiting our 6th employee, and will have 3 team developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Yes, since we launched our email apps platform our usage and demand have grown rapidly and therefore we are expanding our development team. If you are an exceptional software engineer, located in Israel, and familiar with html5/css3, jquery, python, php, mysql etc..WiseStamp is the place for you. Experience in working and extending Microsoft products (IE, Outlook, etc’) is a big plus.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We use a variety of platforms - for our client-side we developed web browser extensions integrating with all major webmails, and are expanding our solutions to email clients, such as Outlook. Our server side is built mainly on python and php, hosted on Google and Amazon clouds. We made a transition to the cloud platforms after working on our own servers, and being constantly hindered by scalability issues. For development purposes we’re using Windows machines and Visual Studio IDE, but we also use Linux and Mac machines for testing.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
I see great opportunities emerging today in the email market. Email is one of the largest markets on the web - we all use email, but while the web has advanced in so many aspects those major changes are not yet reflected in our emails. We already notice efforts by major webmails as Yahoo! Mail and Live Mail to bridge this gap, and I personally believe that there is a lot to be done in this space.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
We think that BizSpark is a great program - releasing software, technology and fee constrains, from young startups, enables them to focus their efforts on what they do best: developing innovative solutions for real market needs. Microsoft’s ongoing support to startups such as WiseStamp enables us to continue develop and spark web innovation, we look forward to work with the best programs and technologies as well as networking opportunities BizSpark opens to us.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Address and solve a real market need, a pain that also bothers you personally. Constantly test, track, analyze and improve accordingly. Stay close to your users, get to know them and ask for their feedback. Embrace and listen to all genuine criticism, it will help you improve and build a killer app. Eat your own dog food and be passionate about what you are doing.
Who’s your role model?
My team at WiseStamp - they make everything possible!
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Start putting your emails into work, utilize your emails - install WiseStamp now!