This has probably happened to you before. Someone starts up a presentation with Power Point. Five minutes later you are checking your phone. The person seems to be reading from a script. They are saying the same thing that is in the slide decks. Where’s the ingenuity? Where’s the depth? Where’s the subtle strokes of art and the craft of professionalism?
Yossi Pinkas, co-founder of today’s featured startup, MagPointer, wanted to eliminate this problem. So, they set about doing it with this Israel-based startup. We interview Yossi about the solution and its integration with Windows Azure. Their solution is a PowerPoint add-on that allows presenters to highlight, focus or zoom on slide objects in real time, with no preparation in advance. Sounds like an amazing idea. I wonder if they have a version for the audience that let’s us take control!
BizSpark: Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Yossi Pinkas: I am the co-founder of MagPointer and I am responsible for the sales, marketing and business development activities
BizSpark: What did you do before creating your company?
Yossi Pinkas: I founded and run another startup, TakeCare, and prior to that, served as VP Sales & Marketing in several hi-tech companies.
BizSpark: How did you get the idea for your company?
Yossi Pinkas: It was my co-founder’s idea, being frustrated with the limitations imposed on the presenter when using slideshow animation affect prepared in advance. He felt there was a need for a tool that will make presenting more interactive and allow control of certain effects in real-time.
BizSpark: Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Yossi Pinkas: We received a grant from the Israeli Chief Scientist Tnufa program, and currently are not looking for additional funding.
BizSpark: How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Yossi Pinkas: For the time being, it’s just me and my co-founder, who is also the developer.
BizSpark: Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Yossi Pinkas: We are not hiring, but we consider outsourcing some development work.
BizSpark: Which platform are you building on? Why?
Yossi Pinkas: We have developed our product for Microsoft PowerPoint, running on Windows, as PowerPoint is the most popular presentation tool, with hundreds of millions of users. In our front-end we are using C#, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). In our back-end, we are using Windows Azure.
BizSpark: Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
Yossi Pinkas: I believe that the corporate world holds interesting opportunities and that a lot of tools and processes in this world should be reviewed and adapted to the new world of mobile devices, teleworking, ad-hoc teams and outsourcing.
BizSpark: What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
Yossi Pinkas: The BizSpark Program allows us to save money on Microsoft products and Azure services. We find the Windows Azure service very useful but we mainly hope to benefit from the program marketing wise, getting exposure to possible business partners and hopefully also consumer customers.
BizSpark: Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Yossi Pinkas: Don’t be afraid to share your idea, talk with people and get feedback. Launch a Minimum Viable Product as soon as possible. Getting user feedback early can save you both time and money and significantly increase your chances to succeed.
BizSpark: Who’s your role model?
Yossi Pinkas: Don’t really have one. Yet, I strongly believe in Jack Welch’s (former CEO of GE) motto: “Control your destiny or someone else will”.
BizSpark: What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Yossi Pinkas: You don’t necessarily need to change the world or invent the wheel. Sometimes small things have a major effect on users and an add-on to an existing software can be as useful as creating an entirely new software. Consider the following feedback we’ve received: “I basically use Prezi for everything nowadays – but I would definitely consider coming back to PowerPoint for using MagPointer”.