Startup of the Day – Zeeyoo

The BizSpark startup of the day is Zeeyoo, based in Switzerland. You will find below an interview with Roger Gygli, founder and CEO of Zeeyoo. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!


Interview with Roger Gygli, founder and CEO of Zeeyoo

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

I am the founder and CEO of Zeeyoo.

What did you do before creating your company?

I was an executive at the public traffic authority in Zurich.

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

It’s definitely a great honor for me and for my team, a reward for the hard work of the last 18 months and a motivation for the challenges ahead.

What is your company’s mission?

Manage meeting madness. We want to become the leading online tool for online scheduling and meeting efficiency. We position ourselves between very simple scheduling tools and very complex online collaboration solutions. Based on extensive and often painful past experiences of our team, we know that this position is a sweet spot where companies can save a lot of money by accelerating the process of meeting coordination and, most importantly, driving teams to more efficient meetings. Zeeyoo integrates with most calendar systems. Our latest release aims at corporate customers and offers a seamless integration with Microsoft Exchange.

How did you get the idea for your company?

In 2008, the European soccer championships (EURO2008) were held in Switzerland and Austria. Zurich was one of the host cities and I was in charge of the project that made sure that traffic would not break down in the city and the region during the tournament. The project was very demanding. I had to coordinate well over 1’000 people, most of which never had to work together before. I do not know how many meetings I had to organize and manage – but I realized that it took by far too much time and effort. So I decided to quit my job in the public service, become a startup entrepreneur and build a solution that would help other people to “manage meeting madness”.

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

We had a successful seed round in the summer of 2009. We plan to have an additional round around September this year.

How many employees do you have? How many developers?

Currently, we are a core team of 4 people, two of which focus on platform development. Additionally, we rely on a wide network of excellent freelancers.

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

We are looking for additional developers to work for our Zurich office. Additionally, we are looking for channel partners around the world who would like to offer our corporate solution to their customers.

Which platform are you building on? Why?

Zeeyoo is a pure Microsoft .Net 3.5 application. We use XHtml and Javascript (mainly jQuery) on the client and .Net 3.5 as Server technology. Zeeyoo runs within an IIS 7 on a virtualized Windows 2008 R2 Core Server. We use SQL Server 2008 as database engine and a series of .Net based Services to do asynchronous jobs. The platform runs on IBM Blades and uses a highly redundant SAN for data storage. This decision was mainly based on three factors: 1. Our development team has a lot of knowledge in C# and the .Net Framework. 2. Visual Studio and SQL Server are very powerful and yet easy to use. 3. The tight integration of .Net, Visual Studio, SQL-Server and IIS lets us focus on the development itself instead of having to setup a working environment - for production as well as for development.

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

This space still offers vast opportunities as more and more users are not only moving online but also mobile. Users are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications that are available. We therefore believe that the biggest opportunity comes from bundling services and making them easier to use.

What do you think about the BizSpark Program?

We liked the BizSpark Program from the beginning. Microsoft offers a lot to startups and is very open in granting access to the program. It certainly made our technology decision easier.

Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?

My most important advice to Software entrepreneurs would be: Make sure to find the right balance between utility and usability. Software engineers tend to focus too much on functionality and pay less attention to the fact that tools have to be easy to use – or else the functionality will never reach the user.

Who’s your role model?

I am still looking for a very successful entrepreneur that started his career as a civil engineer in the public service.

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

Obviously, I would like to invite everybody to give a try – because it makes the live of a knowledge worker that has several meetings every week much easier.

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