What is the name of the company and/or product?
The name of our company is RoundTable.
What problem does this solve?
Finding team members with the right expertise when starting a project is difficult. RoundTable is a website that makes it easy to find the right team members. Users are able to share project ideas, build a collaborative team, and accomplish the project idea’s objective. A project’s focus can range from technological innovations to raising awareness about socially responsible causes. By creating a project page on RoundTable, users can include a description of their idea, communicate via the project’s discussion board, and post vital team member roles. Other users can then apply for these roles, and if accepted, begin participating as a member of that project’s team. Ultimately, RoundTable reduces the friction associated with getting an idea off the ground.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
The full launch is planned for the end of May. Currently, we have a functioning minimum viable product that we are user-testing, which is undergoing minor changes and enhancements.
Who is on the team?
Patrick Stahl – Marketing and Strategy
Scott Gschneidner – Finance and Accounting
Jon Hadden – UX Design and Front-End Developer
Tony Collen – Back-End Developer
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies that makes this run? Is there any IP?
The application is built with custom HTML, CSS, & JS, leaning on Twitter’s Bootstrap framework, on top of a Rails driven API.
The next version will feature a complete front-end overhaul, built with a mobile-first, responsibly responsive UI. The API gives us the freedom to distribute our content to the various devices we are planning on supporting the RoundTable service.
Is there a revenue model? How big is the market and how will you scale?
When there is sufficient volume, RoundTable will utilize a diversified revenue model, where cash is generated through the sale of advertising and freemiums. Understanding that not all users and projects are the same, RoundTable will offer a variety of affordable freemiums focused on delivering an enhanced user experience. The Social Media market is massive – in 2012 it generated revenues of nearly $5 billion spread across roughly 3,400 businesses, with well over a billion users.
We will scale our operation by promoting the site locally within the Twin Cities network of 26 technical colleges and universities. We will also work to establish a growing presence within the local entrepreneurial community.
What is your greatest strength?
We have a very talented design and development team. Jon and Tony allow the team to make beneficial decisions while keeping the user experience and site’s functionality in mind. Their methodical approach and effective communication makes it easy for those not versed in web development to understand the logic behind their design and development practices.
What is your biggest weakness?
We are inexperienced with online marketing. Our current method involves canvassing social media outlets (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WordPress) but we recognize the importance of having a defined and structured online marketing campaign.
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
More funding. Though our current funding situation is sustainable, we would like to find an investor who believes in RoundTable’s vision and is willing to help fund the next steps. Primary items we would implement with additional funding include a more robust marketing campaign as well as including people and project data and functionality from LinkedIn, Kickstarter, Basecamp, and Harvest’s robust API’s. With the integration of these applications, we believe RoundTable will be the one stop shop for all things project development.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We created RoundTable because; (1) Not everyone has a large network or the resources necessary to get their idea off the ground and, (2) We believe that ideas stand to benefit when the right people contribute. There are lots of people with good ideas, and a good idea is a bad thing to waste.