Startup of the Day – spotengine

The company of the day is spotengine, based in the US. spotengine’s mission is creating true ‘connected’ life using realistic component and let people enjoy web using mobile. You will find below an interview with Todd Oh, the founder and project leader of spotengine. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!


Interview with Todd Oh, the founder and project leader of spotengine

Who are you?

My name is Todd Oh; I’m founder and project leader of spotengine. We are developing great web services and mobile environment, applications. Actually, we are ‘currently’ network company- so I’m living in South Korea and other 2 members are living in US.

spotengine is just company name, Stix is our main service. Stix is location based microblog so you can write anything with location information. But one step further- You can organize your geotagged posts and uploaded contents and make virtual book, publish to related box channels. We are focusing on content practical use. We make it easy to put content to practical use, share with everyone, publish to web and enjoy content in everywhere using mobile environment.

Stix is first result of our long-term goal and we’ll keep moving forward to actualize our goal, ‘connected’ world. Plus, we are ‘extraordinary’ teen startup :).

How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?

I’m honored to be the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft. It will recognize us to smart and innovative company- spotengine’s innovation in the location based service (LBS).

What did you do before creating your company?

I founded a company called core pressed, in 2007 while I was in middle school. (It was security software company). But I needed more study to make innovative product, so I closed company. After that, I met Travis Cunningham (he is also founder/leader too) and Neowiz Internet (current our incubator) and I came back to web industry.

How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?

I always want to create innovative network device while I was writing gadget review. I researched and realized web is key point of mobile device. So we started to make innovative web service that can integrate, connect seamlessly with mobile device. I always drawing imaginary ‘connected’ world. And think about detail concept of each ‘imaginary’ component. Detailed component is our service and software. And think. “How to make people want to use our service?” Also Travis (founder)’s service idea is really innovative so we mixed both.

What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?

spotengine’s mission is creating true ‘connected’ life using realistic component and let people enjoy web using mobile. For people, we make connected mobile and web environment.

What is your market?

Teen and 20s mobile users. They can’t live with communication, talk. Also they know what is ‘sharing’. Our main service ‘Stix’ is location based service, user can post notes with media and location info. Exactly focused on teen and 20s ‘frequent’ mobile users.

Any clients? References? Partners?

Neowiz Internet is supporting us since September 2008 (strategy, plan mentoring).

Funding history? VCs? BA?

We do not have any investors as of Aug 2009.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

Me and Travis is founders and project leaders. I’m managing service plan and UI prototype design, Travis is managing service development overall things. And Colum McGaley is UI web development manager.

Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?

Not at this moment.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

We use PHP on Windows Server 2008 . We also use Visual Studio for app development, Windows Server 2008 for server system. They are reliable, fast.

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

We consider geo tag-integrated, synchronized web and mobile device environment is being growth areas.

Looking for funding? If yes, how much?

Yes, we’re looking for Series A or Seed funding of $1~3 million.

What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?

BizSpark program is great for many startups like us. Startup needs enough environments to develop, plan their software or service. Microsoft BizSpark gives enough Microsoft environments to startup. Plus, startup also needs to promote, introduce them/mentor. BizSpark network partner is true solution. We already joined BizSpark program and got useful, helpful things.

Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?

1) Keep the tension. You are not winner. Competitors also want to be a winner, leader. Improve your product continuously.

2) Make ‘difference’. You are not Xerox copy machine.

3) Team communication is important. If you are trying to fight with your team members or co-founder, you must stop and trying to communicate with them and recognize what is your/team problem.

Anything else you’d like to say?

We’ll release our first web service ‘Stix’ soon- this autumn(early). Follow @stixnow, @sweetstartup, then you can get Stix release notice from us. Stix will be the most advanced location-based SNS. Believe, we are teen :).

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