Lukáš Pour found out about the CzechDemo programme on the internet. He was intrigued by its targeted financial support for participation in international events and thus did not hesitate to register his firm.
Statusdroid successfully underwent the assessment process and a few weeks later took part in the world-famous TechCrunch conference in San Francisco, which featured an extensive accompanying programme organised by the government agency CzechInvest and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic.
As Lukáš himself says: “San Francisco and TechCrunch are something that, in our field, opens doors to exclusive contacts and in combination with the accompanying programme, it was a week that gave us the maximum.”
The company originally considered trying out its project on the Czech market and then focus its attention abroad, but at TechCrunch it became apparent that it did not make sense to wait and that Statusdroid should immediately take a global approach with its product. That is one of the results that the company brought back to the Czech Republic and which spared it months of work.
We sat down with Lukáš Pour, founder and chief operating officer of the Czech start-up Statusdroid, and spoke with him not only about TechCrunch, but also about the company’s origins and how explaining what it does is sometimes a complicated matter.
This is the second in a series of interview relating to the article Czech start-ups find success at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
Q1: Lukáš, can you tell us about your company’s origins and describe for us exactly what you’re aiming for?
I’ve been involved with server and computer-network administration for over ten years. During that time, I’ve encountered a lot of hacked and badly set-up websites and their owners often have no idea that they are losing or endangering their customers due to incorrect website settings. So, I began searching for a simple system that would provide regular monitoring of settings and security. However, the systems that I found were overly technical or focused only on monitoring whether a website was running or not. With my colleagues, I therefore decided to make Statusdroid.com – a simple system for monitoring the settings and functionality of websites.
Q2: You launched your service in June of this year after nearly a year of development. How do you see it now, after four months?
Since the beginning of this year, Statusdroid has undergone internal testing among the initial customers and optimisation of the whole system’s performance. The system now has 15 servers around the world eliminating false notifications and increasing overall precision. During June and July, we managed to acquire approximately 50 customers and by mid-October our system was monitoring 700 websites and had 190 customers, almost without any advertising. Based on feedback, we have made several changes in what Statusdroid should be able to do and therefore we are now connecting it to social networks and advertising modules, and we are expanding the public status page. Statusdroid will not only report that something is wrong, but it can also make repairs and minimise the consequences of a website failure.
Q3: CzechDemo (financial aid from EU funds) covered a large part of the costs of travelling to San Francisco and your participation in the programme there. Looking back, how do you rate it? Was it a good choice for you?
The trip to TechCrunch in San Francisco was a tremendous experience that I would recommend to every start-up. We got an opportunity to present our project to investors and to other start-ups and, mainly, to gain a large number of contacts both in the Czech Republic and abroad. We also got some important feedback, foreign customers’ views on our product and new ideas for improving Statusdroid. The whole event and accompanying programmes were very well organised and we would therefore gladly use other CzechInvest programmes as well.
Q4: Can you tell us what your biggest obstacle is at this time?
I would say that our biggest obstacle is the small budget that we can expend on development and a lack of experience with global marketing. We are working on everything and we hope that we will have the planned 1,000 monitored websites by the end of the year.
Thank you very much and good luck!