With the end of the year in sight, it’s time to take a look back at what 2016 had to offer. What’s clear is that the startup industry is still flourishing, with many young entrepreneurs that have plenty of innovative, disruptive ideas for the future. The following days we will be looking back at the startups that stood out to us particularly, and ask them about 2016 and their plans for the future. Today: social video Q&A app Qanda.
Grabbing the attention
To stand out at The Next Web conference, you can take two approaches. A very big, loud, shiny booth where you hand out swag or free drinks. Or you can have a very good idea for a business. Qanda was hanging around at a small table with a little card with their name on it, yet they effortlessly drew our attention. The French/Dutch startup is tired of everyone shouting their unwanted opinion on social media. Their mobile video app is designed to ask questions and actually listen to the answer.
The Qanda app allows the user to send a question to a specific person. This person is then prompted to use the camera in their phone to record the answer. Viewers of Dutch television will recognize the popular ‘Babbelbox’ from tv-show Man Bijt Hond. Except this is all mobile, and made to share on all social platforms. This idea did not only attract our eyeballs. At the end of the conference, Qanda went home as the winners of the TNW Boost competition.
During the silence
After that, Qanda fell a bit silent for us. Luckily, this was because they decided to put their head down and build on the summer success of TNW. “We’ve been working on an Android app and we’ve built a tool to ask questions online”, says CEO and founder Martin Verpaalen. “This was our first full year and everything went super fast. Besides attending TNW and winning the Boost Competition, we’ve been working on the product behind the scenes, and build some strong relationships with our partners.”
V1, launching soon
The biggest step the company made did also not take place in the spotlights of the international startupworld. Qanda was spending most of 2016 back in their lab. Verpaalen: “The biggest accomplishment is, without a doubt, the creation of the ‘V1’ of Qanda. We’ll be launching in the start of 2017. Our role as a company is to bring questions and answers together. I’m convinced we’ve found the right way to do so.”
Getting out there
With the launch of their new, first product, 2017 is going to be a big year for the young startup. “And it is going to be completely different than 2016”, says Verpaalen. “This year we’ve been focused on building, 2017 will be the year where we are going to make ourselves known. So we have a busy schedule and it is going to be an exciting year!”