The BizSpark startup of the day is Corvalius, based in Argentina. You will find below an interview with Sebastian Fernandez Quezada, Founder and CEO of Corvalius. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Sebastian Fernandez Quezada, Founder and CEO of Corvalius
Tell us who you are and your role in the company.
I’m founder and CEO.
What did you do before creating your company?
I started as a Visual Basic and HTML developer in 1999. I worked as a .NET developer; I also did some work as Functional Analyst. Lately I had been working as Project Leader and Manager of software development areas. In my 10 years in the IT Industry, I’ve always been involved on Microsoft technologies.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Mhhh, what can I say? It’s great! Since we founded Corvalius 6 months ago, we have been following BizSpark’s announcements very carefully. Today, we are the lucky ones telling our story to the many people like us that follow BizSpark announcements on every channel.
What is your company’s mission?
At Corvalius, we aim to deliver cutting edge technology and knowledge to technology companies focusing on solving problems faced by the mass market. As users ourselves we noticed that we are constantly sharing information and sometimes stepping over each other, that at the end of the day as knowledge workers we spend more time synching with our collaborators than working on the problems we face. We realized that we were part of that mass market, so focused on our mission we built beWeeVee, our flagship technology aimed at the technology companies solving our mass market problems.
beWeeVee is a .NET technology positioned on the segment that some call “live collaboration” but that is more commonly known as real-time collaboration. Other players in the segment are the now defunct Etherpad and Google Wave. beWeeVee is aimed at Desktop and Silverlight applications and it is a native .Net technology that can be incorporated in every application. I wouldn’t be joking if I say that we have heard the “Isn’t that Google Wave?” question hundreds of times. J If you are interested to know the differences we have provided more information at www.beWeeVee.com and at www.corvalius.com/blog.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We were inspired by companies like 3M, Pixar, Research in Motion, Microsoft Live Labs, Apple and other companies that always bet on research and laser focused technology to improve its clients, employees, partners and providers capacity.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We started in May 2008 to define our masterplan, but we started operations one year later in June 2009. Corvalius is a spin off from Huddle Group, a Microsoft Gold Partner at Argentina; and it was funded by the individual founders and Huddle Group. We seed funded it with almost U$S 35.000. We’re now looking for funding to develop beWeeVee for Visual Studio, an add-on that will give developers the chance to write code in the same file with one or more colleagues, at the very same time (peer programming at the extreme).
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Up to date, 4 of our founders (including me) work on daily operations. Each one of us builds source code, eventually.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
We’re not hiring right now, but we hope to do so in a few months, though. It all depends on funding.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We are building beWeeVee in .Net Framework 3.5 and 4, so we are also including Silverlight versions of our technology. The decision was simple, we founded the company to solve real-life problems, .Net allows us to use the best tool for the job at hand. When we need functional programming we have it, when we need niche technologies like industry grade Peer-to-Peer we have it with very nice Windows Communication Foundation adapters, when we need interactivity we have WPF and Silverlight (in my opinion the biggest advance in web interactivity since Flash). If we add to the mix that the combined founders experience in .Net is around 30 years, even though some of them had work in other languages like C++, Php and Java or special purpose languages like Cuda, Cg or Prolog, the decision was a no-brainer.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
In a sense we deliberately choose to go against the trend of building collaboration tools specifically on the web. In our vision, “The Browser Web” is not the entire Internet, and we are betting big on it. We are betting on an Internet that will unify the experience of the browser, the desktop and the mobile technology into a whole new interactive environment, each one designed to efficiently solve real-life problems. We are betting on a future where it would be trivial to care if something is on the desktop or on the browser. The fact is that with Silverlight 3.0 and 4.0 we are starting to see some interesting developments that support that vision: Out-of-browser experience, COM Interoperatibility, Mono on other architectures, the WPF and Silverlight convergence; small steps toward a big, bold and scary goal.
We believe that the biggest opportunities are on approaching the power that we already have at the desktop from the ubiquity and scalability of the internet perspective. On designing our software around the experience, not the technology. Apple was able to do that on the iPhone, Microsoft was able to do that with the Xbox360. We believe the opportunity is on making that the norm, not an outlier.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
It helped us a lot. BizSpark opened us a door in which we found all the software that we already knew was there but with full access to it. Without BizSpark, our initial costs would have been an impediment to fulfilling our plans. I believe that this initiative helps startups to focus in deliver real value to their customers while they become stronger with world class software and resources.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
o Solve someone’s problem.
o Look for help. Even if you can do it by your own, rest assure that you’ll do it better with some help.
o Set a clear vision and trust in it. o Look for partners that may help your business as well as you contribute on theirs.
o Keep an eye on trends and opportunities but keep your heart, your mind and your plans on your vision.
o Believe. If you don’t believe, change things until you do.
Who’s your role model?
I’ve always been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, its work and its passion have been a great inspiration in my life, he “started” its career when he was near 60 years old and changed every concept hold by the architects to that date. Jobs, Catmull and Lasseter were 3 visionaries that simply debunked hundreds of years of misconceptions about the graphic arts. They created a company that inspired generations based on hard working, quality and subtleties. Pixar had many years of strong deficit but that never jeopardize its vision, they maintained their course steady. Finally, Bill Gates, who changed an industry through its vision in which every home would have a PC. A vision that transformed not only the conception of what software should be, but the world itself.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview
I would love to encourage to any person that did not decided yet when to begin with their Startup to do it as soon as possible. Even if things didn’t go like their plans, I guarantee them that will win a lot in the process. We love to help entrepreneurs and we invite everyone to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help them.