The BizSpark startup of the day is Restopolitan, based in France. You will find below an interview with Stephanie Pelaprat, Founder of Restopolitan. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Stephanie Pelaprat, Founder of Restopolitan
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I’m Restopolitan’s Founder. Restopolitan has one goal: to become the leader among online restaurant business sites.
What did you do before creating your company?
I’m a self-made entrepreneur who took the big step right after graduating from business school. Previously, I had spent some time with leading marketing, publishing and advertising firms in Paris and in New York.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
The 3 cornerstones of the Restopolitan System are entirely built on Microsoft Technology. As a founding partner, choosing Microsoft was a commitment, so I am as proud to be featured as I am satisfied with my initial choice.
What is your company’s mission?
Restopolitan aims to be the catalyst for restaurants transitioning into the 21st century.
Tell us what your company does:
Our platform provides restaurant owners with a table management & marketing system, enabling web users to make a free booking in real time through www.restopolitan.com and our partners’ web sites.
How did you get the idea for your company?
Being an entrepreneur was what mattered for me, and as I am part of a century-long lineage of traditional French restaurateurs, I was particularly attracted to this industry. In 2005, I lived in New York and among the various marvels the Big Apple has to offer, I became a fan of the online restaurant bookings. When I returned to Paris, I discovered there was an incredible opportunity to bring online booking to Parisian restaurants.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Restopolitan was initially seeded by its founding partners. Rapidly, due to the innovative aspect of the project we were granted awards such as Défi Jeunes, Cré’Acc, Paris Entreprendre and most recently, were selected as one of the few Microsoft IDEE members. Due to its smart cashflow model, Restopolitan has had limited funding needs. In 2008, a first round of capital was raised, mainly from private individuals. Today, Restopolitan is looking for partners.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are a team of close to 10 today, among which 2 are fulltime developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
We are always on the lookout for new talent that could complement our team both on the sales side as well as on the engineering side.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Desktop Software: .Net / Winforms / SQL Server 2005
Web Based Software: Silverlight 4 / RIA Services, Linq To Entity, SQL Server 2008
Web Site: ASP.NET, Linq To Entity, SQL Server 2008
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
The Real Time Web is at its genesis right now, especially when looking at services provided in Europe. The opportunities for growth are endless: clearly “the sky is the limit” as long as it’s free, instant and accessible everywhere.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
A brilliant program. As indicated in the previous questions, we are looking for partners and Microsoft is definitely a great partner for us!
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
I actually would not know where to start especially since I am a young entrepreneur myself. In this context I would only emphasize the importance of choosing the right technology at the start, something that will scale as you grow. You would not want to under-estimate the foundation of your house!
Who’s your role model?
All my clients and partners. I learn from them on a daily basis.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Looking to book a table? www.restopolitan.com, you are just one click away!