The BizSpark startup of the day is kinkon, based in Germany. You will find below an interview with Peter K. Sanner, Co-Founder and CEO of kinkon. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day
Interview with Peter K. Sanner, Co-Founder and CEO of kinkon
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I am the Co-Founder and CEO of kinkon and responsible for Product Development, Strategy and Marketing.
What did you do before creating your company?
When I turned 18 I started being self-employed and after nine years I decided to work in the industry as business developer in the enterprise search products field. Those two decades taught me a lot about being an entrepreneur, employee, on how to manage teams and customers, and to find “my way” for doing business. Sind 1986, I am a hypertext addict after reading an article about Ted Nelsons “Project Xanadu” – interesting times we had since then.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
It´s fantastic and a great honor not only to be part of the Microsoft supported start-up community but also to be able to present our company at such a prominent level. We are more than surprised about the pragmatic approach of the German BizSpark team, and their ongoing support at all levels. Not only concerning technical issues, but furthermore in promoting our business, getting the word out, and being an advocate for us wherever possible.
What is your company’s mission?
To protect and guide children on the Internet and give families value added services in order to make this experience not only comfortable for them, but also fun.
How did you get the idea for your company?
I have a daughter who told me two years ago that she also wants a computer. Confronted with that challenge I could not find any satisfactory kiddy internet protection in the market, so I came up with a web based, easy to install and easy to use, social bookmarking and social community based solution.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We got our seed funding from a public VC in the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate and a pool of private investors. Our hosting partner SHE NET AG (MS certified partner) also did a strategic investment.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We currently have six full-time employees; three of them are developers, one designer, one business developer and one assistant.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring and where?
Currently, we are not hiring for the next six months. But in 2011, we plan to adapt the staff number according to the company’s development.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We build on MS-SQL as the core database and PHP. It is very nice to see those two worlds work together seamlessly.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet area?
We see a clear opportunity in delivering value added services for the broad basis of end users. The web 2.0 environment is in a phase of maturity and now goes mainstream. With kinkon we focus on delivering such services to the target market: families.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
It´s a great opportunity for startups to keep software licenses costs low, to receive valuable advice from experts and to be able to network online but also offline with other startups under the Microsoft umbrella.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Plan, execute, check, react & adjust plan. It can be very dangerous to stick to an original plan if the environment of your company or market changes. Do this on a biweekly basis, and be disciplined!
Who’s your role model?
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They both influenced the IT industry with not only their companies, but their personality and vision. They stayed authentic all the way!
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Keep going, stick to your vision, but be flexible enough to adjust to new opportunities and market changes!