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Startmate winners: Noosbox

Wednesday, 12 January 2011 | By Oliver Milman

Noosbox

Last week, StartupSmart reported on the unveiling of the five tech start-ups that will be taking part in the inaugural Startmate program.

 

The scheme provides $25,000 in funding to each start-up along with ongoing mentorship from the likes of Mike Cannon-Brooks and Simon Baker.

 

StartupSmart speaks to four of the successful applicants, minus a publicity-shy fifth start-up, to get the lowdown on their ideas, what they hope to get out of the program and their lofty ambitions.

 

4. Andrew Jessup, co-founder, Noosbox 

 

Can you please explain what Noosbox is?


Noosbox is a 'social CRM' that helps organisations make sense of the incredible amount of valuable information trapped inside the email messages they send and receive every day.

 

By providing a platform that couples some natural language smarts with tools that help employees easily share the conversations they are having with important contacts, organisations can understand and work with their customers better.

 

It's a web-based service that will be available for purchase in the Google Apps marketplace for businesses that work with Google Apps customers, with other markets to follow.

 

Can you explain how you came up with the idea for Noosbox?


My co-founder Phil Lee and I tried a few ideas and put them in front of customers and there was a real market acceptance of this. The idea really stuck.

 

Customer management is an old problem and there are a lot of tools out there. Databases often take a lot of rigorous training and sales people aren’t motivated to use it and all the data gets lost.

 

We can create a privacy framework which shows which emails can be shared for use and which ones are private. The system can be monitored easily, it’s not a chore to use. You just hook it into your email and you’re away. It doesn’t take much training and it’s not hard to introduce it to a company.

 

Why did you get involved in Startmate?


Funding wasn’t the major motivation as we had money saved, it was the mentorship. It really focuses you when you have access to people like Mike Cannon-Brooks and Phil Morle who can go through your processes and help you pitch to other investors.

 

It was a very valuable process and a fantastic competition. We went through the workshops and there were some great ideas and business models out there.

 

What was your biggest challenge in starting up?


The biggest hurdle before Startmate was focus. When you have a lot of potential but no pressure, that’s a bad situation to be in. Startmate really allows you to focus and get down to the hard work.

 

 

What are your ambitions for the company?


We need to prove we have something that people want to buy, which will take some time. We are optimistic, but we are realistic too.

 

We want to build a great team and a great culture. Not many companies focus on great engineering and we want to do that. We’ll put the investment money towards marketing and server costs.

Startmate Winner Profiles:

 

1. IRL Gaming 2. Bug Herd
3. Chorus 4. Noosbox