Showing posts with label startup2.0. Show all posts
Showing posts with label startup2.0. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Story of Colnect


Lately it seemed that one thing was missing in the Colnect story, and that is Colnect itself telling it. Colnect’s active and beautiful community is always telling the story of what Colnect is, but the time has come to type down some official version of how it came to be. So here it goes.
Amir and Frognector climbing the Triund trail at Dharamsala, India


Beginning - The Idea and IPD
or “How an idea, a family and a community grew together”

From son to father, from father to son, from son to brother. It all started when Amir's younger brother, Uri, started collecting phone cards. Soon enough their father, Avi, trying to help out his son with his new hobby, got hooked too. Avi Wald became an avid and dedicated collector. In 2002, Amir's older brother Ofer decided to create a website for their father to encourage him to use the internet more. That is how “Islands Phonecards Database” (IPD) was created. The word of the site spread around to other collectors and they began frequenting it. Amir, coming back from his world travels near the end of 2007, decided to take it on, from a hobby into a serious undertaking.

Amir Wald has made his first steps as a developer at the age of 8. Amir had solely written from scratch a shelf product for an educational company before he turned 18. Amir was involved in numerous software projects of various fields (educational, financial, military, and more) and was thus well-versed in facing new challenges in unknown environments.

The most important changes Amir began with were allowing collectors to directly contribute phonecard information and translate the site online. This approach created a huge potential to exponentially expand the catalog's and site's scope. It proved very effective as more collectors from around the world joined and helped by contributing more collectible card information. Many collectors that joined IPD are today coordinators on Colnect, contributing their time, knowledge and effort to the Colnect catalogs for the benefit of all collectors. Collectors such as Vadym Sulimenko, Ignacio F Lopes Vico, Jens Bruno Wittek stayed with Amir and helped it all happen. Today the list of contributors is growing as well and we owe each and every one of them a big thank you for contributing to the community.


Amir and Frognector are ready for action in Rishikesh, India
Building Colnect - A Chain Reaction

IPD was gaining popularity fast. It wasn't long before it quadrupled the number of its active collectors and continued doubling on. Its collectible phone cards database increased in size and more collectors managed to easily swap cards with collectors from other countries. The success of IPD has motivated Amir to create Colnect.com. Colnect, (Collect + Connect), was created to open up to embrace all collectors of all collectibles everywhere.

Colnect gathered a large, active, attentive, loyal and kind natured community around it. More and more collectible categories were added, from Stamps and Coins, to Tea Bags and Drink Labels.

Avi Wald, 1949-2010
As Colnect grew into a name in the collectors community, it naturally also grew a new face. Frognector, the frog collector, has risen from his humble beginning as Amir’s nephew’s toy, to stardom as Colnect’s beloved green mascot. Frognector was born in 2009, making his first appearance in the StartUp20 competition in Bilbao, Spain, where Colnect won 1st prize. From there on Colnect has gone on to win more competitions such as the TechAviv Peer Awards.

In 2010, Avi Wald, Amir’s father, passed away. He was a devoted collector whose spirit and enthusiasm has inspired and brought about Colnect’s existence. His honest and kind ways will always be remembered, among others, by the many collectors he has gotten to know and exchange with on Colnect. His love and appreciation for knowledge and for the collecting spirit manifests and continues on in the community and workings of Colnect.

Frognector visiting a Buddhist temple in Kunming, China
Colnect Today

Today Colnect is translated into more than 60 languages, visited by over 300,000 unique visitors a month, has over 40,000 registered collectors, has nearly 1 million items cataloged on its 19 online collectible categories, has over 50 million items marked in member's collections and counting. There are always new categories in the works, contributors uploading information and collectors joining from across the globe, from beginners to experienced collecting veterans. The goal is to eventually cover and include the entire collectible world.

In 2011 Amir, as always both the driving power behind Colnect and the fast typing hands operating it, has decided to take himself, Colnect and Frognector with him on the road. Amir has been traveling around the world, all the while developing Colnect, meeting up with collectors, visiting collectors fairs, markets , exhibitions and writing about his experiences.



Frognector getting a kiss at a fountain in Pattaya, Thailand
Looking Forward - The Future of Colnect

The enormous progress Colnect has made so far has only inspired its creator to take it further. The long and prosperous way the Colnect community has made together so far goes to show that Colnect succeeds not only for it's idea or the one who executed it, but also because it is useful. It responds to a need, and it has the ability to fill that need because it is made with and for the community it serves. Colnect is on it’s way to making itself smoother, more comfortable and much more available.

Among the additions in the works are the Colnect MarketPlace, Colnect Applications and Products and Upgrading Colnect’s features and system. Ideas a little further along the way include Colnect Wiki, Colnect Social communications and more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Colnect's Founder Speaks With Leadel.NET

This interview has been done a couple of months ago and published yesterday. At the time, Colnect had ~4,200 collectors and today we are nearly 7,000 strong. There are a lot of references to Colnect's winning the Startup2.0 competition but it also goes over what Colnect is and is trying to achieve.

You're welcomed to comment here or on YouTube. Enjoy :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

How Colnect's Winning Pitch Was Made

Colnect had surprisingly won the Startup2.0 competition in Bilbao, Spain. Out of ~160 companies, 11 made it to the finals where each company had 3 minutes to pitch and 4 more minutes for Q&A. This post will describe what I consider the key points that have made Colnect's pitch stand out and perhaps one of the reasons for Colnect winning the competition.

Planning


Perhaps 3 minutes don't seem like a lot of time but consider that some "elevator pitches" last only 40 seconds, so 3 minutes is a lot. In my opinion, a major mistake is to try and showcase all you have in a short amount of time. When time is of the essence the aim is to impress. So the initial plan was to use the 3 minutes to give a basic introduction and impress the audience without getting into any details. Considering the fact that 11 companies were going to display, Colnect would have to stand out.

Promotional Video


If you haven't watched it yet, you should now:



The idea to use puppets for the video came from my brother Ofer and help in creating the video came from my friend Matan and his friend Eric.

Impressive key points were emphasized in the video:
* Colnect's availability in 35 languages.
* Colnect having a great community with over a hundred volunteers.
* Colnect answering a real need for collectors - its target market.

Q&A



Intentionally, I have not answered the most common questions (business model, current status, competition, etc.) in my 3 minutes part. I guessed that it would mean I'd get to be asked these questions rather than (potentially hazardous) unexpected questions or (much worse) no questions. Detailed answers to the common questions were prepared and I could use my "cheat sheet" in answering the jury's questions.

As a minor gimmick, I put on the frog puppet (Frognector) from the video on my hand while the video was being watched and as the video finished showing, I opened with: "Frognector is now available to answer your questions". I actually expected a bit more laughs but I'm sure it attracted attention to myself. Some of the jury members were using their laptops paying half (or less) attention on other presentations. My "bending the rules" a bit ensured more attention. Though I risked being seen as a joker, I believed that the ready made answers would make up for any such impression.

Aftermath



Not that a good presentation would necessarily take you where you want to go but a bad presentation will most likely NEVER take you where you want. Try to think who your target crowd is and how they would look at it. For example: when doing a 1on1 meeting the gimmicks may be completely stupid but when you need to stand out from the rest, they're probably essential.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Colnect wins Startup2.0 competition!!! nonick 2009, Bilbao, Spain

An astounding surprise, Colnect has won Statrup2.0 competition held as a part of the nonick conference in Bilbao, Spain.

Startup2.0 featured ~160 companies from all over Europe, of which 11 companies made it to the finals. All members of the jury unanimously voted for Colnect! The greatness of the achievement is even more vivid in the light of the grave difference between Colnect and most other contenders. Colnect has never received any funding and has been run solely by its single founder, Amir Wald, also writing this post.

Second place went to Genoom from Spain, a social networking platform designed to build private family networks. Third place went to Twidox from Germany, a free, user generated library of ‘quality’ documents that allows individuals and organizations to easily publish, distribute, share, and discover them.

Official announcements are found here and here.

Colnect's new promotional video, created for the competition, was met with spontaneous ovation from the crowd. Here it is:


Colnect's founder, Amir Wald, receiving the award:


More personal notes about the event will soon be published. Thanks to everyone organizing, participating and supporting Colnect.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Colnect got the the finals on Startup 2.0 2009

Colnect was chosen as one of the finalists to compete on Startup 2.0 competition to be held 24-25/April in Bilbao, Spain.

This year, 157 start ups participated, of which 11 were chosen to present in Bilbao. Three of those will win by a jury's decision. Though I believe Colnect is an extremely unique, interesting and useful project, its lack of any external funding may make it a little rough of the edges and so I'm lowering my expectations (though not my enthusiasm) in advance. Not many stay awestruck and drooling when seeing the intelligent special girl walking on the beach, most reserve their saliva for the fit hottie in bikini ;)

From their site: "
Startup2.0 is a competition of European web 2.0 sites whose objectives are to promote and reward the European startups (either created or willing to do so in the future) that work in the field of 2.0 technologies."

UPDATE: The finalists announced here

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Collectible phone cards catalog has passed 100,000 items

Colnect has the world's most extensive collectible phone cards catalog. Just now the milestone of 100,000 listed collectible phone cards has been passed.
A big thanks goes to all contributors who are helping in making Colnect the best resource for phone card information. Colnect is a huge community endeavor that helps in creating a catalog with user assistance. This wiki-style catalog is changing constantly and thus offers collectors the most up-to-date information.

Yesterday another smaller milestone has been passed: over 2,000 collectors are now members of Colnect.

Colnect philately is now under construction and will hopefully revolutionize the philately world as much as it has done in the fusilately world.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Statrup 2.0 competition

colnect.com is participating in a competition called “startup 2.0“.

The reason to go on this competition is to get some exposure but I’m wondering how votes would actually be cast when 141 companies (as of now) participate. Will any person actually review ALL THESE COMPANIES? I doubt it. My assumption is that lobbying is the name of the game and perhaps social networking would provide a useful tool. “Come along and vote for me” campaigns or “get me some 10,000 people from a third world country to vote for me” are most likely to get the companies to the final stage where the judges will have their say.

So, since my limited budget cannot afford 10,000 third-world country votes, I pledge thee “come along and vote for me” :)

colnect.com now blogs

The main reason for starting this blog is promoting my project - colnect.com

The main reason for you to possibly read it would be that perhaps my insights as an entrepreneur of a cool web2.0 project currently under development would be of some service.

I’ll try to keep it interesting.

Link and Search

Did you like reading it? Stay in the loop via RSS. Thanks :)

There was an error in this gadget