October 26, 2014
Put simply, data companies are hot these days. Having the ability to know exactly what your users are doing, where they’re doing it, and to what end, is a near-priceless commodity in the tech ecosystem.
When Kishan Gupta co-founded UXcam, he didn’t know he was going to be ultimately getting into 500 Startups, but rather wanted to solve a need he saw in the community. UXcam captures a wide array of data about app users, like face video, on-screen video, gesture inputs, and geo-location data.
All of this data is exportable into an excel CVS format, and UXcam conducts an analysis via a web app interface. The interaction data collected is then stored into a session with each imput type already classified and visualized along with relevant statistics.
It has an incredibly small footprint on both app performance and network bandwidth, using less than 1MB of bandwidth per minute of video. The best part is that any developer can drop UXcam into their app with one line of code.
I sat down with Gupta to talk about how 500 Startups helped them solidify their ideas and stay on track as they made some crucial startup moves.
Tech Cocktail: What was your journey getting to 500 Startup like?
Kishan Gupta: Our company was originally based in England. My co-founder and I were both working on different app projects, and we were using a lot of tools to test. It was working fine for quantitative testing. But when it came to qualitative testing we had to bring people into our labs and use cameras to record them. It was highly inefficient and expensive – it cost over $1 million to set up the lab alone.
Seeing as how we both had developer backgrounds, we thought that there had to be a better way to do this. So we started working on UXcam, and not long after we had an enterprise buy some licenses for it. It was doing fine and well in England, and there are plenty of enterprise companies around. However, if you really want to be successful, Silicon Valley is the place to be.
We had wanted to move, but the problem was that we wouldn’t know anybody there and that would be really hard. That’s when we decided to apply for 500 Startups, and we were selected. The catch was we only had 2 days before the program started to move from England to Silicon Valley!
Tech Cocktail: What was your 500 Startups experience like?
Gupta: The biggest thing for us was the people. All of us were going through the same problems, and being able to talk with these other entrepreneurs and discuss everything was great. For example, I needed help with a contract I was working on and I didn’t want to pay for a lawyer. There was another entrepreneur who had experience in the field and helped me figure it all out.
Tech Cocktail: What are you doing post-500 Startups?
Gupta: What we decided is that we’re going to have our product team remain based in London and the rest of the team, like the marketing and UX, stay in San Francisco. Being able to talk with our customers in person and market directly to them is a big part of that decision.
Tech Cocktail: What advice might you offer to entrepreneurs looking to get into an accelerator?
Gupta: I would say if it’s your first company, I would highly recommend you go to an accelerator versus somebody who might be a second or third time entrepreneur. There’s so many things I wish I knew 6 months ago when I was starting up: I made plenty of mistakes and I would have done a lot of things differently. It would have saved me a lot of money and time. As a first time entrepreneur you can get a lot out of it.
Also, you have to realize that being an entrepreneur means you’re also part of a culture focused on giving back. If a startup can keep that mentality in the forefront of their mind, it helps further down the line. Giving back to people is super important.
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