Familink Interview

Transcript

Hernán
Hello, I’m Hernán Schmidt and I’m from Familink.
Marcus
Okay, and so tell us about Familink, Hernán.
Hernán
So it’s an online platform for communications to parents from preschools. Right now it takes a lot of time for teachers to communicate with parents, they write things down on paper notes, they have big clipboards with the sheets where they write messages and we want to make it a lot easier for them to communicate with parents. Let parents know what is going on with their children in the day to day.
Marcus
What gave you this idea?
Hernán
My co-founder, he has a child in preschool and that was his problem as a parent. He didn’t know what was going on with his kid, so he is like, why can’t I find out about this through my phone? Why isn’t it there? So, then he, you know, contacted me and we started working together to make where we are now.
Marcus
And what’s your role with the company?
Hernán
I’m a co-founder and developer, main developer, yeah.
Marcus
Okay. Tell us, what tech stack have you used to bring this together?
Hernán
It’s Ruby on Rails in the back end and we’re using Backbone on the front end so it’s very fast, you can click it and it almost feels like a native app, even though it’s Web, so----
Marcus
Can you demo it for us?
Hernán
I can, yeah. I mean the Internet is not that good but----
Marcus
Ah----
Hernán
So, this is the parent’s view here, see this is the photo that they sent—that the teacher sent, you can see all the reports if she’s late, and so on. You can go on to the messages, and you have announcements about private messages so then you can just reply here. You can send a message, whatever you want to say. Here’s a calendar, you can—parents get tasks, so like, hey, you have to bring clay by tomorrow, so then you get this task and you can just check it off.
Marcus
Yeah. I was always terrible about remembering those things.
Hernán
Yeah. Also events, so early pickup next Friday and you can see all the photos. This site Internet is not fast, so it’s not loading, but you can see----
Marcus
Sure. So what’s your revenue model? Who pays for this?
Hernán
Right now the schools are paying per child, so and the parents, for them it’s a service that’s included when they send off the child to the school.
Marcus
Okay. And what’s your background?
Hernán
My background? As in studies?
Marcus
What did you do before you did Familink? And, do you do this full time?
Hernán
Well, right now I’m doing this full time. Before, I was in University; I studied Engineering, Computer Engineering. I’m from Chili actually. I’m not from the US.
Marcus
Okay.
Hernán
So, yeah, I studied there and then I was coming out of University and I was looking for something to do and so then my co-founder came with this idea and we started it up.
Marcus
How long have you known your co-founder?
Hernán
About how old the company is, which is about a year old. Year and a half old, yeah.
Marcus
Okay. What do you think you’d be doing if you didn’t work on Familink?
Hernán
Either making another company of something, I don’t know what, or working at a startup. I’m not really into working at big companies.
Marcus
All right. And if your startup was a Super Hero, what would its super power be?
Hernán
It’s super power? Wow! [Laughing.] Telepathy.
Marcus
Nice!
Hernán
You know, parents would automatically know, as quickly as they wanted, what was going on with their children.
Marcus
Very cool. And what are you guys hoping to get out of Launch Conference?
Hernán
We want to get—we’re looking for clients. We’re looking for new schools that want to take advantage of our platform and start using it.
Marcus
Are you bootstrapped or do you have funding?
Hernán
We have a bit of funding from—on a computer in Chili, IncubaUC it’s called. So that’s funding us through this whole six months that we’re coming here to the US and trying to grow it here.
Marcus
Ah. So do you have clients yet? Do you have preschoolers?
Hernán
Yeah, we do. We’re growing in Chili, like I said we’re from there, so we have about 10 schools there.
Marcus
Uh-huh.
Hernán
We already have one in San Francisco and we have a couple in Guatemala and Puerto Rico, so----
Marcus
Really?
Hernán
Yeah.
Marcus
Is your application or your website internationalized for language then, I assume?
Hernán
It is, yeah. It’s in Spanish and English for now, but I mean we can really easily add another language in case we need it too.
Marcus
Okay. So if everything comes together, where will you guys be in three months?
Hernán
In three months, we’ll have enough clients in the US that will sustain us, basically that’s what we want.
Marcus
And right now how large is the company, just the two of you?
Hernán
We have four people.
Marcus
Four people, all full time?
Hernán
Full time. Four full time people, yeah.
Marcus
That’s great. Is there anything else—I mean as we put this out there, who should—how would we get in contact with you if people are interested in this?
Hernán
Do check out familink.us, .us. That’s our website. Any school that wants to take advantage of our platform, start using it and see what it’s like and just fill out our form, we have a contact form there which can let us know.
Marcus
Great, great. Thank you very much.
Hernán
Thank you.