Interview with Lior Maimon, CEO of Stagee.
Web site: http://stagee.com/
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
I am Lior Maimon, CEO of Stagee. I co-founded the company with Ofer Zelig, our CTO. I’ve been in the startup game for quite a while. Love the energy and creative environment and the idea of trying to improve the world around us with innovative ideas.
What did you do before creating your company?
I created other companies and learned a lot along the way.
How do you feel being the most promising “Startup of the Day” per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are extremely proud of this honor because it validates the passion and sweat we have invested over the past year to create something truly innovative.
What is your company’s mission?
Stagee’s mission is to provide a social platform for talent in the entertainment industry that will more effectively help them to promote themselves and their careers.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Stagee makes it easy and fun for talent to reach new audiences and offers an exciting way to discover great entertainment.
How did you get the idea for your company? Actually, at first, I was inspired by reality shows. I was struck by how much some people are driven to catapult themselves into the limelight. On the other side of it, I noticed how much audiences are constantly fascinated by witnessing real time real life success stories of people who from nothing are able to live their dreams. I wanted to recreate this phenomenon and make something similar come to life on the web. The result, which became Stagee, offers talent a valuable social and professional experience online that is specifically for them. We’ve also added the element of discovering professional opportunities by socially connecting with industry pros and insiders.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We received $330K in seed money from angels and are currently looking for our next round of investment.
How many employees do you have?
How many developers?
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Not yet. But soon we will be looking for top notch server and client web developers.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We built Stagee on the latest ASP.NET MVC Version 3, backed by SQL Server 2008 R2. We will soon incorporate a NoSQL database (in addition to the existing SQL) in order to handle the high load we expect. After long years of experience with the old WebForms methodology, MVC is much more robust and straight forward for web development. On the client side, we try to cover all worlds – modern browsers that support HTML5 and older ones (specifically IE 8) that do not. Our client side is very sophisticated and provides a rich and fun experience, and we are very proud of it.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
I see opportunities in social networking, cloud computing, casual gaming, entertainment, and digital media.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
BizSpark is a great jumpstart for startups in their seed stage to help them develop into large and successful companies. This program is making a tremendous contribution to the startup industry.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Believe in yourself and your abilities, and then surround yourself with good people.
Who’s your role model?
Steve Jobs. He had a unique sensitivity and understanding of users. His attention to the user’s experience and the simplicity and innovation he achieved were remarkable. I also respected his ability to always reinvent himself and the companies and products around him. Steve had a knack for knowing how to surprise people again and again; and he did it will style and good taste. He also knew how to connect with people on an emotional level. It’s a lot to live up to, but we’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Steve while developing and designing Stagee.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Well, for starters, we’d love readers to check out the new site, http://stagee.com/. But, also I hope readers will be inspired by the idea that innovation and creativity will always somehow make the world a better place.