Startup of the Day – Calinda Software

The BizSpark startup of the day is Calinda Software, based in France. You will find below an interview with Alex Mermod, CEO of Calinda Software. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!


Interview with Alex Mermod, CEO of Calinda Software

Tell us who you are and your role in the company:

I’m Alex Mermod and I’m the CEO of Calinda Software. I co-founded the company to make team collaboration natural and efficient. I manage the company with our incredible CTO Seb Bassompierre and our experienced Sales Manager Ray Bouchet.

What did you do before creating your company?

I hold a diploma from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and I previously was the Engineering Director of Bee Ware, a manager at BMC Software and an Engineer at Sun Microsystems in California. Seb is an expert software developer and Ray has been selling software for 15 years, at Software AG, CA, Platinum, and more.

How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?

Proud, and committed to keep the promise!

What is your company’s mission?

Calinda Software’s mission is to make team collaboration natural and efficient.

In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:

Calinda Software makes team collaboration natural by automatically mapping e-mail discussions and docs visually into a SharePoint mail space.

How did you get the idea for your company?

I had the original idea of visually mapping e-mail exchanges while working for Sun in California, to solve the difficulties my fellow engineers were having by being overloaded with information from every part, with no mean to prioritize and make good use of it. Seb saw the potential of this idea and we started Calinda to make it real.

Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?

We raised funds from business angels in 2008 and plan to raise $3m-5m of VC money in 2010 to finance our international development.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

We have 5 employees and 2 developers.

Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?

Calinda Software hires 2 Microsoft .NET/SharePoint 2010 developers for working on MindUP, the SharePoint mail space. They will be involved in some direct collaboration with the Microsoft SharePoint team. We’re also hiring a senior sales manager at our Paris office.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

SharePoint is of course the bedrock of our flagship product MindUP for SharePoint, the SharePoint mail space we created because SharePoint is the collaboration platform most of our customers use. Therefore we also rely on .NET, Visual Studio and SQL Server. We also generate Office Word documents that summarize a complete e-mail discussion and links to all attachments automatically. Last but not least, we provide a plug-in that adds convenient features to Outlook users such as creating personal folders reflecting the SharePoint sites they use, and automatically sorting incoming e-mails in the corresponding folders as they arrive.

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

In helping businesses put to work the huge amount of information and knowledge they share every day.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

Simple, useful, smart.

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

Go see customers, code, iterate. Build the best team.

Who’s your role model?

A mix between Steve Jobs, Ray Ozzie and Winston Churchill. Challenging, huh?

What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?

How much value does your business get from e-mail exchanges?

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