This week’s startup story lets us fly through the Atlantic Ocean up to Chile. There is a small team, Opp.io, who has been shortlisted as the only Hungarian contender at Startup Chile. Read the interview with Attila Bujdoso, one of the founders of Opp.io to find out who they are what they do!

How would you briefly introduce yourself? What is your startup all about?

Opp.io is a meeting note taking software with seamless task synchronization to Trello, Asana and other task and project management software tools. It helps managers and team leaders keep team members informed and accountable.

I founded Opp.io with my friend, Gergely Borgulya. We originally met while at architecture school at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. We worked at companies like  Graphisoft and ONL and research facilities like SZTAKI and Kitchen Budapest and both experienced the ineffectiveness of teamwork despite having modern tools and workflows.

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What was the very first idea?

We started to build Opp.io in 2014 as a task messaging protocol and platform, which eventually became what Opp.io is today: an actionable meeting note taking tool.

What were the main milestones that you have reached since 2014?

We launched several beta versions of Opp.io so there was no single “big launch”, we keep iterating and polishing the product while acquiring beta users. The software is retaining users since January 2016. Soon thereafter we launched integrations to Trello and Wunderlist first, then Asana. While originally we planned to develop integrations later, we found out that integration to other productivity software tools is “the” differentiating killer feature that none of our competitors offer.

What are your next goals? And how about the long term plans?

We focus currently on improving the product experience and introducing paid plans. Our aim is to get to breakeven ASAP, because the fundraising landscape doesn’t look very promising at the moment. On the long term we want to challenge our major competitors at the intersection of note taking (Evernote, Google Docs, Microsoft OneNote, Dropbox Paper) and task and project management (Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Podio).

What makes you rocket?

Collaboration. We believe doing things together is just better. Hence, I am most proud that Gergely and I were able to attract a team of such great people who used to work for companies like NNG, Prezi, Evosoft or Unicredit Bank and also a developer from Austria. All our team members are open and empathetic people who we really enjoy working with.

Please, sum up your experience at Startup Chile! What are your plans considering the non-refundable support you’ve got?

Gergely (our CTO) has moved to Chile and participates in the program which offers a lot of mentoring. Many other participating companies are in their earlier stages, which means they still iterate about what products to build and do more experiments. We have a more clear roadmap in front of us, and Startup Chile gives us 6 months of runway to follow that.

What was the biggest difficulty in your business that you had to cope with so far? What are the areas that are the hardest to handle as a startup?

For us it was matching our fundraising efforts with building a team. Just after we built up a really solid team that worked together quite well, started improving our workflows and when our product finally started to retain users… we run out of cash. So we had to let our team members go and now it’s us, the two founders again who push the product further. Well, we knew that raising money for only 6 or 7 months might lead exactly to this unfortunate situation, but we had no better option back then.

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Tell us a little about your professional career. How did you become an entrepreneur?

I have done quite many things so far. I worked as an architect at ONL Hungary on the Bálna Budapest project. I organized PechaKucha Night Budapest which is an event for young architects and designers to show their work in public. I am curator at KÉK Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre which is a grass-root non-profit organisation that has done amazing things in the past 10 years to promote architecture and urbanism within the cultural landscape and public discourse in Budapest and Hungary. I worked at Kitchen Budapest, media and innovation lab funded by Magyar Telekom, where I co-created and coordinated collaborative projects around digital culture: SubMap, Subjective Atlas of Hungary, Datafizz or an interactive installation for the facade of Goethe Institut Budapest, among others. I also led a design research project that studied contemporary formats of cooperation and collaboration; this research will soon be summarized in a book entitled ‘Social Design Cookbook’. I like to explore and work in different disciplines so I can maximize my career for learning. I call this working in the ‘in-between’.

Gergely, similarly, has a wide range of experience spanning from business (he did an MBA) through marketing and programming at Graphisoft to design and arts (he is also a jazz pianist).

I think having such a broad range of professional experience and having a very empathetic attitude towards users—that comes both from our design backgrounds and being very social persons—is a good starting point to develop user friendly and lovable products that help people achieve more together.

We started Opp.io because Gergely and I were looking for an opportunity to work on a project together. We share both values and our ultimate goal: to give better tools to people
 to cooperate and collaborate better 
to build a better world. We strongly believe there is a growing need for such tools, whether social, cultural or technological.

 

 

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