Innovator of the Week
Founder & CEO of Fliq
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
Every day, the number of online social networks and methods for communicating with each other is growing. The world is becoming ever more connected, but the ability to connect two people in a room is becoming more and more disjointed. When two people meet or a group get together, it takes far too long and it is too complicated to “Friend”, “Follow”, “Pin”, “Connect”, send work e-mails, social e-mails, G+, photos, new stories, and phone numbers. FLiQ will change that.
FliQ uses a mobile app to transfer contact and social network information quickly and securely without the need for wifi or cell data. By using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a fun user interface, and giving users the choice of what to send and accept, FliQ takes all of the effort out of connecting. As adoption increases, it also creates value for business owners and the opportunity for partnerships as we add beacon technology and other ways to interact with each other. We will change the way that we connect. Check us out at www.fliqapp.com!
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network. The DEN is more than just a space, but a great networking tool that helped us take our idea and turn it into a reality. My co-founder, Orestis, and I met at a start-up weekend held at the DEN, we have refined our pitches at Pitch Clinics, and have learned from the best entrepreneurs in New Hampshire through their 6 to start up series. A highlight was pitching for Steve Case at the “Rise of the Rest” competition in Manchester a few months ago, something that was only made possible due to the DEN’s mentorship and guidance.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
Taking that first step and turning an idea into a prototype into a reality. Specifically, there was a learning curve in iOS (iPhone operating system) to overcome since we had never worked in that language before. We put in a lot of hard work to develop the app and we outsourced the user interface to accelerate the first Alpha version. There is no better way to learn than by doing and Orestis and I have both come a long way.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Just do it. The lean start-up methodology, especially for software and app companies, is very useful in testing assumptions and hypothesis and just getting a prototype into the field to see how it does. Jamie Coughlin preaches Lean startup and it is super helpful for any startup. Just asking “what is the actual minimal viable product” and then creating.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
The trees, mountains, and active lifestyle that is 5 minutes from any city. My wife and I love to hike with the dogs or go Camping. It helps clear the brain and is a great way to take a quick break.
What does the future look like for your company?
We are still in the very early days. We look forward to getting feedback from our BETA release later this winter and iterating and adding features to meet customer demands. Our app will be going live on iTunes and Google Play very soon! You can sign up for updates at www.fliqapp.com/contact and learn more about what we are working on and when the apps are available for download. We are in a very fun stage and cannot wait to hear and learn from users across NH!