The BizSpark startup of the day is MyWebCareer, based in the US. Below you will find an interview with Greg Coyle, Co-founder of MyWebCareer. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Greg Coyle, co-founder and Director of Product Development.
What did you do before creating your company?
Prior to MyWebCareer, I spent the 10 years managing product development teams delivering information services solutions to the Federal and State & Local law enforcement markets. Prior to MyWebCareer, I was Vice President of Product Development in the Government Services Division at Thomson Reuters.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Excited! It’s great to have our company and the service we provide recognized by Microsoft.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission at MyWebCareer is to provide individuals with innovative and effective online tools that enable them to easily monitor, evaluate and manage their online brand.
Work colleagues, business partners and employers are using ever more sophisticated Internet search engines to uncover your digital footprint and to gain insight about you. At MyWeCareer, we provide a free online service that enables our users to discover and keep track of their digital footprint and get guidance on how to strengthen their online brand.
How did you get the idea for your company?
Our three founders all have backgrounds in developing search and analytical tools for the Law Enforcement, Intelligence and forensics markets. Organizations in this sector have long made use of sophisticated federated search, entity extraction and visualization technologies to extract actionable intelligence from vast amounts of structured and unstructured data. We saw an opportunity to take some of these tried and tested methods and technologies and to apply them in helping people uncover, improve and leverage their online brand.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Since inception, we have been self-funded. We anticipate closing our first round of funding early in 2012.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have five employees, three developers.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
We are not currently hiring but expect to start building out the team in the next couple of months.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Our platform is completely Microsoft centric. We develop using Visual Studio in ASP.NET, MVC and SQL Azure. The solution is deployed through Azure. This combination works very well for us as it’s a fully integrated, end-to-end environment that provides all the tools we need to get our product developed and deployed with a minimum of hassle.
Also, given the complexity of our product and it’s interaction with numerous third party data sources and deep analytics, Windows Azure gives us the ability to spin up resources on demand and essentially compete with much larger organizations.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
Online reputation and influence is one of the top technology trends going into 2012. Chances are, whether you know it or not, you may already have an online reputation or influence score. It’s also likely that your data and score are available to third parties seeking to gain insight into your online behavior, professional qualifications and your likes or dislikes.
We see opportunities in this market for trusted and independent solutions that enable individuals to take control of their online brand and leverage it to their advantage.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
For a self-funded startup such as us, it’s invaluable.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Stay lean! Consider the Lean Startup approach. Prototype your product vision and get customer feedback as early as possible then adapt and revise continuously.
Who’s your role model?
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn. LinkedIn have built an amazingly successful business, growing from a startup operating out of Hoffman’s living room in 2002 to over 100 million users today while maintaining and growing a solid market position as Social Networks grew up around them.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Your digital footprint is becoming an increasingly important factor in how people perceive and evaluate you. Take the time to build and maintain a strong online brand.