Frank Haubenschild

Frank Haubenschild

Thursday, 13 December 2018 08:27

Curated and crowd based developer platform

Curated and crowd based developer platform

Seeking for one or two persons (at least one additional developer) who are motivated to work  on a curated and crowd based developer platform as a side project. This project is not ment to work on a full day startup - it is a side project where every team member could contribute as much as the person is willing to spend. The most important thing is having fun at coding something new to create an online platform which people likes to use.

It would be cool if we could build up a group of a maximum of three people. One person with an hand for a nice & clean UI interface would be a perfect match.

Already started with some coding. VueJs for the frontend, express for the Service API. But open for other frameworks, languages. It's up to you to convice me.

The new online platform will tell you where and how to take amazing and stunning photos around the world. Just a GPS position of a location is mostly not sufficient for taking great photos. Depending of the location you need to know a little bit more - i.e. when is the best time/best light in the year - is it just a five minutes walk or is it a three hours hike, are special permits necessary to go there or maybe you just wanna know if you can visit that spot with your kids. Taking amazing photos is not a matter of having the most expensive camera - everybody can shoot stunning pictures with just the right piece of information.


Do you have a strong background in Web Development (Ninja level within VueJs would be great;-), an eye for details and you like to travell and spotting amazing photo locations? If so, then we have a lot in common and should have a talk.


About me:  I’m also a software developer and photography is my passion.

Monday, 06 May 2013 23:00

Linkody - Backlink Checker SEO Tool

Linkody is a complete backlink management and monitoring application in the cloud for SEO agencies and site owners. Backlinks are incoming links to your website and search engines are using them as one of the most important ranking factor. The more quality backlinks you have and the higher your rank. One of the most important parts of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to acquire backlinks, an activity called linkbuilding. Linkody is an SEO tool that offer backlink management, 24/7 monitoring, SEO metrics and link analytics to make linkbuilding more efficient and less time-consuming. We had the opportunity to interview Linkody founder François-Louis Mommens.

What problem do you solve with your startup?
If you are not monitoring your backlinks, they can disappear without you noticing it. Backlinks can be removed intentionally (by an untrustworthy partner), or unintentionally (a page content is changed, a URL returns a 404, a website goes down...) Linkody checks your backlinks every 24h and notifies you if any of them disappears or changes (for instance, losing the follow attribute or pointing to the wrong page on your site). Because you are quickly notified, you can react and contact the linking site and ask the webmaster to correct the issue before search engines notice the disappearance of the link. People were used to managing their backlinks with desktop applications or spreadsheets. But neither were well-suited for that task.

screenshot linkody
With Linkody, your database of links is in the cloud and you can access it from anywhere. You don't need to launch your application or open you spreadsheet:link checking is done on our servers and not on your computer. You don't even need to login as you receive email reports on the status of your links.

When did you start working on your startup?
A first minimal viable product was release in February 2011. But we started working seriously on it only one year later. We launched a much better and professional looking version with a paying model in October 2012. Since then we have made constant incremental improvements in a lean way.

How did you come up with the idea?
Linkody is not my first startup. Several years ago I launched a product comparison engine that had paying and free customers. The free customers were allowed to advertise their products in exchange of a backlink. I needed to be alerted if any of these backlinks were removed. So I looked for a simple and easy to use tool but was surprised to find none. That's how I decided to develop Linkody.

How big is the market? Are you already making revenue?
The SEO market is huge and can only follow the growth of the Internet. Search engines are the entry point of the Internet and as the competition for traffic becomes fiercer, there are nearly no web businesses that can survive without SEO. To give a number, SeoMoz, which is one of the big players in the SEO tools market has made $11.4 in revenue in 2011. We have a growing number of paying customers and because all of them are very satisfied with our tool, our churn rate is near to 0%. So each new customer is a long term customer.

Do you have a co-founder and if so how did you meet?
Tom Dibaja and I co-founded Linkody. We worked together for a real estate search engine in 2008 and 2009. He was the product director and I was the CTO. Tom is not at his first startup either, he's built Lovehabibi, a dating and meeting website. Tom is originally a product manager but he learned everything about coding and developed Lovehabibi all by himself. He's a very talented and smart person.

What are the plans for the next 3 or 6 months?
We have a big todo list of new features and improvements. But now that the product is mature enough we are switching our focus on customer acquisition. We are also going to launch a bigger plan very soon for customers that need to monitor a very big volume of backlinks.

Special offer only for Founder2be users:
Linkody is giving a 50% link quota increase to every user that opt-in for a paying plan and use the coupon 'founder2be'.
Steps to follow to take advantage of the offer:
1. Register at Linkody and choose a premium plan (Webmaster, Pro, or Agency).
2. Go to your Account page
3. Enter 'founder2be' in the 'Have an coupon?' section and click 'Redeem'.

The Ukrainian based startup PlagTracker.com is an online plagiarism detection service. Basically it checks for a given text i.e. a PHD thesis if similar text content appears anywhere else in the web. The problem is not the fact that content from other text sources gets used in a thesis with proper quotation to the original document but without. ,,plagiarism is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work.'' [Wikipedia] In the year 2012 and 2013 several highly promoted German politicians had to resign because of plagiarism. Using PlagTracker is quiet easy - upload the text or enter an Url to check. PlagTracker does the rest for you. It returns a list of web pages that contains similar text to your given document. It's that easy.

We had the opportunity to interview Emilia Sukhova, Support representative of PlagTracker.com.

What problems are you solving with your startup?
PlagTracker solves plagiarism problems for multiple audiences. For students it can check their essays for any plagiarism before they turn it in to their instructor. They can rest assured that their grade will not be lowered for any accidental plagiarism nor will they waste any time rewriting their work. For teachers and educators, PlagTracker is great because student’s work can be checked for plagiarism because they have the ability to understand which of their students worked on their own and who used others’ sources. For site owners and webmasters it could be helpful because all search engines are fighting for quality output and are punishing sites with non-unique, stolen content. Therefore, website owners should check their content with PlagTracker before adding it on their site. This way, they know that Google won’t lower their ranking, their site won’t lose traffic, and they will gain revenue.

plagtracker screenshot
When did you start working on your startup?
Work on this startup began in July 2011. It was publicly launched in September 2011.

How did you come up with the idea?
Plagtracker is a startup that evolved from our university graduation project a few years ago. It all started when we were graduating and had to pick something for our graduation project. We thought that a system that was able to check text content matches was going to be something interesting to work with. A few months after the graduation project was completed, we were happy to be graduates while having jumped onto something interesting.

The thing was that our plagiarism checker was in a very poor shape back then. It was literally just raw code with one action button and window with the scanned text. But some students on campus started to use it to check their work for plagiarism. Later on, a few teachers asked us if it would be okay for them to use it as well. This was when we decided to get together and focus on this project.

Later, we researched the plagiarism-checking market and discovered that the niche was not complete yet. There were lots of paid and free services but all of them were outdated services from the 90s with poor designs and demanded lots of required information from the users.

How big is the market? Are you already making revenue?
The plagiarism-checking market is very big. It has several audiences but unfortunately, it is very hard to say how much it’s worth in monetary terms. We only know that in the US there are 55 million students, 3.8 million teachers, and 68 million active WordPress blogs. Yes, PlagTracker already makes money. We have very promising growth and in the next six months, we plan to double our revenue.

Do you have a co-founder and if so, how did you meet?
Svetlana Khimka and Victor Krivenko are co-founders with Alexsandr Shmigeliuk as the CTO and Timur Akhmadov as the CMO. Like I already mentioned earlier, we studied together.

What are the plans for the next 3 or 6 months?
In the next six months, we will work towards improving our product and its marketing. In the nearest future, we plan to launch a teacher’s account (like on TurnItIn) and to aggressively enter with that offer on the market. At the present moment, TurnItIn isn’t available at many colleges and schools because of their high prices. We also plan to do active marketing API for site owners and webmasters plus more general PlagTracker branding.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013 23:00

Tonition – Music Making Gets Social

Music has always been huge on the web. While most start-ups focus on the promotion of recorded music or tickets to the fan base, Berlin based Tonition aims at supporting music making. We had the opportunity to interview Kilian Frank, responsible for the start-up’s strategy and product management to explain to us the details.

tonition landingpage
What is Tonition about?
Tonition is a network for music making. The service enables users to find partners to work with, share resources or offer activities, such as lessons or a recording session. It’s like a fusion of Facebook with a digital version of a billboard, both tailored to the needs of music makers.

When did you start working on your start-up?
We started in the middle of 2012 with first ideas, which we then distilled into a concept. After having checked back with potential users we started the implementation of the first features in Dec 2012.

tonition screenshot
How did you come up with the idea?
All of us are or were connected to music, either as members of a band or as a DJ. A lot of our friends make a living as professional musicians. Both provide valuable insights. The idea itself was born after drinking undefined amounts of alcohol (editor’s note: laughs).

What problem do you solve with your startup?
Music making itself but also the entire music biz is all about social interaction. Find someone to learn from, to recommend you an instrument, to start a band with, to record with, to promote you and so on. Semi and professional musicians are even required to network heavily in order to generate income. Facebook or LinkedIn are ill suited for these purposes, as they are not focused on music making. Services dedicated to music making however seem to be stuck in the web 1.0 age. We thought it was time to change that. 

How big is the market? 
Well, depending on the source, in Germany alone we have a total of 7 to 10 million music makers. There are more than 1.2 million pupils enrolled at German music schools. Germans spend more than 1.5 billion EUR annually on music instruments and the market for services such as lessons, rentals or recordings is huge. We see a very good potential to build up a solid user base here, but also internationally.

What makes the target group special?
When it comes to resources, musicians don’t mind to share if they can save money. I personally have borrowed dozens of things in my life to make my music, from instruments to recording equipment. You usually only buy, what you need repeatedly. Access is often more important than ownership. As Tonition allows you to borrow, rent or sell on the market place, we generate a huge pool of equipment and other resources musicians can access at low cost or even for free.

Do you have a co-founder and if so how did you meet?
We are three founding partners: Alex the interaction designer, Manuel the developer and I acting as the product manager. This is a good basis to get the product going. Alex and I know each other since childhood. I got to know Manuel during another project. Our interest in music making immediately connected us.

What are the plans for the next 3 or 6 months?
We want to launch the social network’s Beta in the first half of 2013. We welcome dedicated music makers to join the group of test users. The market place features will then be developed in collaboration with the user base. They are far too complex and the risk of developing feature flops is too high to just plan and implement them. 

Another big issue is funding. We seek outside capital to accelerate the service’s ramp-up. First talks with investors have already begun.
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 23:00

CountMeIn - Social Gifting Made Easy

CountMeIn isn't just a regular social gifting platform. This Canadian-based startup aims to fix the current system for organizing gifts and wish lists through a new form of payment system that supports group collaboration.

CountMeInScreenshot
The CountMeIn team began developing the platform a few years back after one of the co-founders experienced a slew of inconveniences while organizing a group gift. A cumbersome BBQ was the beginning of CountMeIn; this gift was painstakingly hard to deliver, and according to the co-founder, he's still waiting for payment from all the parties involved. Since that point, the four co-founders have been attempting to reshape the way we organize gifts with friends and family.

How does it work? Users can choose any gift within CountMeIn's virtual mall and invite other users to “chip-in” on the purchase. These invite links can be sent out publicly via Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook, or can optionally be sent out as a Facebook private message. Leveraging social data from Facebook, CountMeIn's application also reminds users of their friends' birthdays, and milestones, helping gift organizers to stay on top of special occasions. Users must be logged into Facebook in order to create a gift within CountMeIn, however anyone can receive the gift -- even those without Facebook accounts.

Designed to make gift giving as seamless as possible, users are able to organize gifts with friends across the globe, and when the gift has reached full completion the item is shipped out.

Over the next three to six months, CountMeIn will be working to bring on more retailers to its platform, adding to the millions of products already offered within their international mall. Retailers are able to utilize CountMeIn's technology for free until they start selling product, at which point CountMeIn will take a commission on each sale. As it's stated on CountMeIn's site, this platform provides a quick solution for retailers looking for an entry way into the social commerce arena with no upfront cost.

It will be interesting to see how the social gifting space evolves over the next few years, and whether more companies will adopt group collaboration features. What are your thoughts? Would you consider collaborating electronically on gifts? Have a look at CountMeIn ...
Often early-stage startups are in the dark at times, not able to reach a large trusted and expert networks required to improve their initial business model and product especially during he pre-investment stages.This is a massive missing link in the cycle of entrepreneurism and especially among startups. Startup Rocket Launcher aims to blast startups directly to a large pool of early-adopters and business experts ready and willing to give advice and open an ongoing discussion. Joining Startup Rocket Launcher as an early adopter or business expert is as easy as submitting your email address. After you join, you will receive an email each day with a message from a new startup. The message will include a cool perk and a link to the discussion forum to give advice and feedback.

startuprocketlauncher screenshot
Each time an individual gives feedback, they receive one moon buck which can be accumulated to receive additional perks such as a discount towards scheduling a campaign themselves.

Startups can schedule the exact day they wish to send a customized message to the expert community. The startup can ask the community for any kind of feedback or advice relating to their online product or service. Startups are encouraged to include images, business plans, revenue models, pitches, and videos in their message. To schedule a campaign, startups signup here: http://www.startuprocketlauncher.com/schedule

Each campaign opens up a private discussion forum where only the experts that have chosen to give feedback gain access. Here, all the experts can exchange ideas, brainstorm and debate along side the founder(s) to further refine their product or business model.

The customized email message a startup delivers to the community is never broadcasted onto any other channels. The startup is featured on the Startup Rocket Launcher website with a screenshot of their site and a short description and also included in a blast to all of Startup Rocket Launchers social media platforms.

Any stage startup can schedule an email campaign blast to the community.

Jason Hamilton-Mascioli, the founder and CTO of Startup Rocket Launcher has been working with early-stage startups for over 10 years and began noticing a theme recently: early-stage startups simply didn't know where to turn for advice. Next steps is to create a full suite of online mentoring services and tools that entrepreneurs can use to boost their business quickly. The Canadian-based Startup Rocket Launcher has been a huge hit within many startup communities and instantly began earning revenue.
whichairline landingpage screenshot
WhichAirline was founded 2010 by the Czech-based entrepreneur couple Barbora Nevosádová and Lukáš Nevosád. The two are enthusiastic travelers who want to make searching for flights easier and faster. Air travel has become pretty common and in the wake of the rapid growth of no-frills airlines and more recently the financial crunch, the demand for cheap tickets is ever greater. WhichAirline addresses the needs of all travelers but in particular those on the outlook for savings.

There are countless search engines for air travel out there, so WhichAirline had to excel in one way or another. The problem with many websites they compete with is that they do not necessarily include low-cost carriers such as Ryanar or Wizzair in search results and thereby do not always offer the cheapest alternatives. Moreover, what is dominant is a heavily text-based interface and somewhat chaotic search results ranging from regular flights to offers that, frankly, no one would book. All this may leave the user confused. And that is where WhichAirline thought there is work to be done - focus on user-friendliness. "It takes way too long to plough through the results. So we thought we would make a new, more pleasant take on air ticket search. First of all, we got rid of spam results. Why display flights no one would even conceive of booking? That is why we introduced what we call a Quality Line dividing the good stuff and flights that are either too expensive or too long (or both). Secondly, all information is visualized so that one can compare price and duration of various flights easily and choose the one that suits ones needs." said Barbora Nevosádová Co-Founder and Marketing Manager of WhichAirline.

whichairline flights listt
Since WhichAirline was launched, the web has been undergoing constant improvements and there are a number of new features which the startup has right now in development. For instance the users will be able to receive automated messages whenever a discounted airfare is available on the route that they are interested in. Furthermore the websites look&feel will be more improved to have an overview showing the best days of air travel on a given route. If you do plan your next flight, have a look at WhichAirline and check it out.
Sunday, 27 January 2013 23:00

Mangatar the social gaming universe

mangatar 1
Mangatar is a social game in the manga universe. Technically it is a collectible card game where people can fight against each other. Players can create customized characters, prepare their game deck, improve their avatars’ skills, collect special cards and powerful items and challenge other users in one-to-one clashes or in group missions.

Mangatar has been online at www.mangatar.net since May 2012 and currently has more than 40,000 registered users from all over the world.

mangatar 2
The team at Mangatar has been working together for over three years - they are five co-founders and one employee who works as a front-end-developer and search engine optimization (SEO). The idea to Mangatar came up because they wanted to work on something that they like. "In our team, we are all fans of manga comics, anime cartoons, video games and movies so, at some point, the choice was quite natural for us: we abandoned the boring B2B software development and we joined the dark side of software: video games :) ." said Raffaele Gaito, co-founder of Mangatar.

mangatar 3
Mangatar just got a seed investment from Italian investors and they are going to release the new version of Mangatar (called “Dengen Chronicles“) in few weeks. This new version will have big changes in game dynamics, graphical interface and development technologies! Furthermore a mobile version for iOS and Android is planned additionally a Facebook integration will be added to go viral.

You can already sign-up for the beta on www.dengenchronicles.com

mangatar 4



rockstart
Rockstart is looking for high-potential startups for its 2013 program. Is your startup interested in €15,000 in seed investment, 6-months office space, mentorship from experts, and a month of immersing in the startup scene in Silicon Valley? For further details, check out: http://rockstart.com/accelerator

Rockstart Accelerator takes you and your startup through two intense programs over 200 days - one in the spring focusing on lean methodology, customer development, pitching, and one in summer with a focus on fundraising and PR, including a one-month program in Silicon Valley. Halfway through, on day 100, you will pitch at Demo Day in front of more than 350 investors, executives, press and the mentors. For a taste of what to expect, check out the video of Demo Day 2012: http://youtu.be/_MV9zsglTZM

Right after finishing the Rockstart Accelerator 2012 program, 5 of the 10 startups had already raised seed funding from investors and others have bootstrapped their growth and are already expanding to Silicon Valley.

If you are serious about taking your startup to the next level apply now. Applications close 20th January 2013.
 http://youtu.be/_MV9zsglTZM