With fewer than 50 days until launch, we where lucky enough to have a Q&A session with Citibuddies, for The Startup Magazine.
Citibuddies is a website that connects people and events in cities. Citibuddies wants to be the No.1 source for “What to do? Where to go? And who to meet?” in your city or any other city that you travel to, according to your tastes and likes.
Citibuddies are passionate about urban life, technology, traveling, connection and sharing authentic experiences. Citibuddies believes that in the future, all these elements need to come together. Citibuddies are creating a platform that offers the possibilities to explore every city through the eyes of a local and at the same time brings the city closer to its citizens. With this project Citibuddies want to connect the visitors of cities to locals, create shared and authentic experiences, maximize the experiential potential of cities, and at the same time reduce the costs related to exploring of cities. Citibuddies wants to be the door to our cities. For locals, visitors, local business partners, legal authorities. In every city. Worldwide.
2) Where did the inspiration for Citibuddies come from?
The inspiration for citibuddies come from our own life experiences. Over the years we built up highly international and reliable networks by living in several different countries. We noticed that good experiences are always shared and that most relevant information doesn’t come from Google, but rather from personal contacts we have. Most of the times we made new friends and useful acquaintances by being recommended through other friends. The only way to build up sustainable relationships that are crucial not only for satisfying travel experiences, but for everyday life in highly complex urban environment is sharing. Sharing ideas, interests, information, experiences. We provide the platform for that.
3) Who is the team behind Citibuddies?
The team behind citibuddies is very international and after living abroad and traveling for many years developed good networks in different places all over the world.
We’ve got quite different professional backgrounds.
Aidan finished his Masters in International Economics and Business and has solid experience in Marketing & Sales, as well as PR and communications in US and EU. He is passionate about networking (on- and offline), innovation, discovering and exploring new things and places. Darja is finishing her PhD in Management with focus on “creativity under pressure” and is an organizational psychologist with experience in consulting companies in the design, media and automotive industries. She has a strong focus on creativity/innovation & future research and worked for companies, such as BMW Group, EPLUS (KPN Germany), Otto Group (online and mailorder giant) and OC&C Strategy Consultants. She is passionate about urban life, travel and every technology that connects people.
We both are fully devoted and courageous to develop something that in the beginning only existed in our minds and people tend to see as an interesting, “sexy”, but high-risk project.
We decided. We will make citibuddies happen. And we discovered along the way that more and more people started to believe in our idea and that is one of the best feelings ever.
4) How long have you been working on Citibuddies?
So far we have been working on it for 4 months very intensively.
5) What has been your biggest challenge so far with Citibuddies?
As presumably all our entrepreneurial peers, we face challenges everyday, but we love them. By mastering each of them we develop confidence, belief and see our product and company building up to something that in the beginning purely existed in our heads. That is a very exciting & satisfying process.
The biggest challenges probably so far was to find the first early stage investor to believe in our idea. “Who gives money for social networks nowadays?” we were asked. And we thought, if there is one person that would, then we’ll find that person and convince them. And we did so by staying persistent and passionate about what we do.
6) In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with Citibuddies?
We would like to gain the necessary critical mass, welcome new passionate team members among us, develop the product in accordance to our users’ needs and launch new, additional products that help us to come closer our vision and successfully complete a series A round of funding by the end of 2012.
7) If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Listen to your instincts. Many people will tell you you are crazy and few will support you. However, trust and believe in your team and yourself. Surround yourself with people that believe in your idea. Stay persistent, don’t lose focus, create and pursue the opportunities ahead of you!
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