Startup of the Week: Statusdroid CEO Lukas Pour

Statusdroid is a Czech startup which makes an easy and simple way to monitor the functionality and security of the websites. I tried to have an interview with Lukas Pour, he is founder and CEO of Satusdroid.

Tun Tun: Firstly, can you tell me what is your background and how did you get the idea to start statusdroid?

Lukas: Prior to launching Statusdroid, we were fully focused on our IT services company, Lukapo. While providing maintenance and consultancy to our clients, it occurred to us they all faced rather similar problems with their websites. We needed to put together some sort of a checklist of everything that makes a website run smoothly and decreases the possibility of outages and other problems. Statusdroid became this checklist, so we basically launched it just for ourselves. It wasn’t until a few months later that we first thought hey, maybe we’re not the only ones to find this helpful!

Tun Tun: Statusdroid is an AI-powered website monitoring platform. What technology stack do you use?

Lukas: Statusdroid is proudly built on Python—we use Django to render Web UI,  Celery and Kombu communicate with RabbitMQ and coordinate servers all around the World. Docker and AWS are hidden in the background—they provide us with a secure way to quickly deploy of all bugfixes and improvements. We save our data to multiple database backends—we use MySQL for persistent data, Redis for the rapidly changing values and ElasticSearch to compute statistics of monitored websites.

Tun Tun: Can you explain Statusdroid’s service features?

Lukas: We started Statusdroid as a website monitoring tool. This was just fine for a while; however, we felt the urge to do more. It was nice to have something that tells you how your website is doing, but wouldn’t it be even better if it could solve some of the problems it detects? So the next step became automation, and with it came the recently launched features like pausing your AdWords and Facebook ads when your website is down or posting an update on your public status page when an outage occurs.

Tun Tun: How does PPC Ads management feature work?

Lukas: The moment Statusdroid finds out your website isn’t running like it should be, it automatically pauses all your active ads in Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, preventing you from wasting money and losing your reputation among customers. Once the problem is resolved and your website is up and running again, Statusdroid makes all the ads active again. PPC Ads is available for all users with a Pro plan. New users can give it a test drive while in their 15-day free trial.

Tun Tun: What is your future plan for Statusdroid?

Lukas: There’s a list of features we’ll be launching in the upcoming months, one of them for example will be antivirus website monitoring. From a broader perspective the goal and our ambition is to become a complex insurance for website owners and admins. We aim to help them not just know about what’s going on with their website but also solve any problem they might experience while running it.

Tun Tun: Thanks a lot, Lukas for sharing about your company.

Want to Sleep Better for a Healthier & Productive Life? : Interview with Jöran Albers, Co-founder and Managing Director of Shleep

Founded in 2016, Shleep is a digital sleep coaching Dutch startup.

Hi Jöran, I am really excited to do an interview your startup. I am reading a book called, “The Sleep Revolution” written by Arianna Huffington. Because I am really interested in the science of sleep. OK, let start our interview.

Tun Tun: My first question is how did you get the idea to create the Shleep app?

Jöran: Research shows that we are in the middle of a global sleep deprivation epidemic:

  • 35% sleep less than six hours, while 7-9 hours are needed (Less than 1% are able to survive without significant implications for performance health on six hours or less).
  • 48% have difficulty falling asleep or going through sleep at least once a week.
  • So more than 2 billion people worldwide are not sleeping enough.

My co-founder Els had spent her entire academic career focusing on sleep, first in the Netherlands, then at Harvard and finally at UC Berkeley, where she got her Ph.D.

After a short time as a consultant, she realized that outside the academic world, very few people knew about, how important sleep was and decided to change that.

When I met Els, she had started giving sleep workshops but wanted to have more impact. We started talking about a way to make the sleep knowledge accessible to more people and then thought quickly about an app.

There is currently no app available on the market that gives tailormade sleep advice to users on their smartphone, delivered in a playful and encouraging manner. The sleep trackers have long claimed to solve the sleep crisis, but for a number of reasons they’ve failed.

Firstly, none of them accurately measure sleep: the best ones only match 70% of the gold standard (EEG). But even if they did (lots of people working on that), they don’t provide actionable advice to users beyond showing graphs and stating the obvious. The “so what?” is missing for users. The most comparable substitute right now is seeing a sleep psychologist which easily costs hundreds of dollars an hour. Ill-suited substitutes are sleep medications (ineffective, addictive, side effects), reading a book about sleep (not personalized to your situation, not engaging and too time-consuming) or googling ‘the 5 best tips to help you sleep better’.

Therefore, we want to become the best digital sleep enhancement platform out there, with the best algorithms and the best coaching that knows exactly what advice to give whom at precisely the right time.

Tun Tun: How it works?

Jöran: Our app is your personalized sleep coaching app. It
1. gets smart about you
2. shows you your weak spots and then
3. coaches you to improve your sleep

You start with the Shleep Scan:

  • There is no one size fits all in sleep, in the scan we’re getting smart about you
  • It’s been designed as a chat to give back info to make it more interesting for the user
  • After having answered all the questions in the scan, our proprietary algorithm analyzes your answers and recommends topics for you to work on

After the scan, you get your personal Shleep score that is broken down into different sub-scores to show you your weak spots to improve upon.

Then we have your personal Shleep plan ready

  • In the plan, we order all topics by relevance for you
  • Topics typically consist of ~ 10 sessions
  • Each session has a knowledge video to provide a science background as well as an exercise video to act upon
  • For example: in the first snoozing video, Els explains, why snoozing is a bad idea and what’s the science behind it? In the exercise, she will then give you a short exercise (get up for only one minute) to start changing your habit of snoozing
  • We have different types of users – from people with severe insomnia to people, who just don’t sleep enough to people, who want to optimize their performance or health – and we have topics for all of them

Furthermore, the app offers you

1. An option to track your sleep under “My Journey” as well as
2. receiving notifications (sleep tips, sleep habit reminders, and checkins) under “My Rituals”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0OAyo3Zzd4

Tun Tun: What about your corporate program?

Jöran: Sleep deprivation is a major factor for poor performance, safety, and health in the workplace.

This is very costly: The cost to US organizations alone is over 400 billion dollars a year. For
an average Fortune 500 company, the costs are over $80 million a year. And these estimates don’t even factor in effects on the work floor, such as lower engagement and presenteeism, less social cohesion and decreased creativity and innovation.

For our B2B channel, we have the unique value proposition of understanding the science of sleep and joining it with a deep understanding of corporates and how to change their cultures based on our consulting experience. Our combination of business knowledge combined with deep sleep science expertise makes us uniquely suited to offer the best sleep coaching for any type of sleeper and sell it to large organizations.

We at Shleep understand clinical sleep problems (insomnia and other sleep disorders) as well as the sleep challenges faced by regular people in busy jobs who aren’t necessarily dealing with a full-blown sleep problem. Also we understand large organizations due to both Els’ and my background in Management consulting at McKinsey and Bain.

Due to this unique combination, we have been able to gain extensive experience with this target group: we have trained and coached more than 4,000 people in business – and our results have been stellar.

[See the below slides for some of our results:]

Tun Tun: Why is sleep important for us?

Jöran: What if I told you that there is a wonder drug? A drug that improves concentration, memory, mood and physical attractiveness. A drug that prevents weight gain, reduces rates of cancer, dementia, stroke and heart disease. A drug without side effects, in fact, you’d enjoy taking it! A drug available everywhere, all the time and it’s free! That drug is no science fiction. It’s real. It’s sleep!

Sleep deprivation has severe consequences:

  • First, it hurts your physical and mental health: It increases chances of a depression,
    burnout, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer − to name just a few
  • Second, it affects your safety: When someone is fatigued, the risk of an accident
    increases by 70%. In the US more people are killed by drowsy driving than drunk driving.
  • And third, your productivity suffers: Poor sleep leads to lower engagement, worse decisions and kills creativity (see above).

Sleep is the foundation for almost everything in your life. Don’t start cutting time out of your day on the wrong end!

Tun Tun: In closing, would you like to add anything?

Jöran: Yes, please sleep more 😉 If you are well rested, you will achieve levels of productivity, health and happiness, you’ll have never dreamed of before!

If you want to support with sleep for your organization, please reach out to [email protected] And if you wanna sleep better yourself, download our app.

Tun Tun: Thank you so much, Jöran for sharing about your company.

A B2B Marketplace for 20 Million European Companies: Interview with Gabriel Delpech, CEO and Founder of Europe Factory

I had an interview with Gabriel Delpech. He is CEO and founder of Europe Factory. Europe Factory is a B2B marketplace, dedicated to worldwide professional buyers, and suppliers of the European Union. It was founded in 2015, in Paris, France.

Techlist: First of all, please tell me about the story of Europe Factory. How did you the idea to start it? What is your mission for Europe Factory?

GabrielEurope Factory has been founded by myself, Gabriel Delpech, current CEO. I’ve been working for 10 years for French distribution as a professional Buyer for electrical goods. This experience taught me that finding a supplier in China is easy, as there is a lot of local sourcing companies and B2B marketplaces such as Alibaba that make quite easy to find one or more suppliers for any kind of products.

Then, as a French and European citizen, I told myself “why is there no such thing for Europe?”, while we have 28 countries (European Union speaking) and more than 20 million companies – mainly small ones. Moreover, it really makes sense for EU companies to trade between them when we list all the advantages: no duties, same currency for most of the countries, the geographical proximity which makes easier to meet and reduces cost and delays for delivery… It also makes sense for B2B Buyers outside of the EU, as European companies are known for delivering better quality products.

Then, the idea was to create the “European Alibaba”, as it is a B2B marketplace where only EU based companies can join as suppliers, while on Buyers side, it is opened to all countries. Our mission is to promote EU companies and help them to increase their sales.

Techlist: How it works and its business models?

Gabriel: In its first version, Europe Factory is a B2B marketplace that connects Suppliers and Buyers. Through their profiles and their catalog of products, services or savoir-faire, Suppliers can receive RFQ/RFI, and chat with buyers. We are thinking about adding an order management system in V2.

The current business model is based on subscriptions: if Suppliers want to get access to all functions, such as receiving messages, quotations… and publish many more products, they have the choice between monthly and annual subscriptions, starting at 29€. For the buyers, the access is totally free.

Techlist: What are advantages of Europe Factory its competitors?

Gabriel: The main advantage of Europe Factory is, as its name suggests it, that we are offering to the +20M of companies based in the EU a B2B marketplace dedicated to them, that will help them to get noticed and clearly identified as European companies, while on websites such as Alibaba, it is difficult for them to compete and exist.

Techlist: What is your future plan for it?

Gabriel: As previously said, we are working on a V2 that could bring an order management system and many improvements. And for that, we are looking for investors.

Techlist: Thank you Gabriel for sharing about your company.

Data from 1 Year Old Station F

The Station F, the world’s biggest startup campus in Paris, France released a data about its one-year activities.

  • Station F received 11,271 Startup applications in one year.
  • Top 10 countries that applied to join Station F are USA, UK, China, India, Germany, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, and Belgium.
  • The average age of a Station F resident is 30,9 years old.
  • 40% of startups are female-founded.
  • 232 startups raised more than €250 million.
  • 8 Startups were acquired by big companies.

What is the best place in Europe to start a startup?

This is an answer by French online entrepreneur, Lise Slimane on Quora. I asked her permission and posted it here. She launched a website to help freelancers.

Lise: I’m french so I mostly know about French innovative clusters (and would recommend France for its infrastructure, low cost for hiring IT professionals and quality of their training, its quality of life, lower living expenses compared to hubs like London or Munich).
France and several European countries have created incentives for entrepreneurs with subventions, partnerships available with universities, and tax deduction if you invest 15% of your revenue in R&D. You can look up for specialized “clusters” (e.g.: space cluster Europe) and you will have ideas about what exists.
There is a strong advantage about starting in a smaller city (e.g.: Bordeaux): there are less start-ups, hence less difficulties to hire good engineers at a low cost (starts at 40K for a junior web developer), less competition for subventions and entries in incubators.

1. IT: London / Berlin / France (Paris, Sophia-Antipolis, Bordeaux)
2. Finance: London
3. Space: Toulouse, France
4. Robotics: Bordeaux (Aquitaine region in general)
5. Biotechnology: Germany – Bavarian region
6. Mechanical Engineering: Lyon (France), Germany, Belgium (Wallon region)
7. Electrical Engineering: Paris

Interview with Supernova: it can Automatically Convert Designs into Native Mobile Apps

I conducted an interview with a Prague based tech startup, Supernova. It allows to accelerate the app development workflow of mobile designers and developers.

TechList: Firstly, Can you tell me about the founders of Supernova, and their backgrounds? 

Supernova: Jiri Trecak is CEO and CTO of Supernova. He started coding as a 10 year old, developing over 70 mobile apps, games and is an avid open source contributor with few top-trending libraries.

Oskar Koristka is our COO. He has managed campaigns for the main Czech political parties. He also co-founded an endowment fund for nonprofit organizations in the Czech Republic.

Techlist: How does Supernova Work?

Supernova: Supernova is a design to code platform with the mission to accelerate the app development workflow for mobile designers and developers. Supernova Studio allows for flawless conversion of app designs into native iOS, Android and React Native code.

Studio converts Sketch designs within minutes, into native and production components such as buttons, labels, images, tables and more. That’s just the beginning, Studio employs highly advanced heuristics and analytics allowing for automatic export of assets, localizations, animations, code.. and more, without a developer.

Cloud is Supernova’s collaboration platform, where designers and developers can gather feedback directly from their teams or clients, make adjustments and repeat the process until satisfied. Contrary to other collaboration solutions, Supernova Cloud allows users to review real working apps, not prototypes, which are ready to be immediately converted to code, without compromise.

TechList: Why did you build Supernova?

Supernova: Supernova started out of personal frustration as we were tired of the repetitive and tedious tasks of front-end development. All of us have worked with mobile apps, in some capacity, so we’ve seen the possible variations of the same problems. We see Supernova as the game changer to an ever growing range of problems which plague the industry such as repetition, lack of time to truly polish apps or simply the entry level of knowledge required to get into the development (we see Supernova as a great educational tool for beginners).

The high and rising demand for developers. The only way to fulfill this demand is to add automation where it’s missing. Mobile development and the hand-off of designs to developers is a slow, tedious process and defeats innovations.

Supernova automates many of the standard developer tasks (resource export, design creation, responsive layouts) in a seamless way, fitting perfectly into the development process. Supernova produces production-ready code that can be then used to further iterate the app, saving countless hours.

TechList: What will mobile app development look like in next 10 years?

Supernova: We believe automation will be the key to app development in the next 10 years. Whether it be native apps or web apps, much of the time-consuming work will be automated. Designers and developers will focus their time and energy on creativity and innovation.