New Jersey Startup: Hublished Is The Virtual Convention Connection INTERVIEW

Webinars have quickly become a new and great way to continue education and get large groups of people to view and hear presentations that they may not otherwise get a chance to attend. Major brands, educational firms, consultants and business development experts have all turned to the webinar format.

One of the main problems with the webinar format though is without a marquee speaker or presenter it’s hard to distinguish the junk and hacks from good quality content. You can sometimes make a safe assumption that various organizations would only put their stamp of approval on the best webinar speakers, however, as many have found out the hard way, that’s not always the case. Once you’ve committed yourself to an hour, three hour or even five hour webinar, the time is gone.

Hublished is a startup based in New Brunswick New Jersey and New York that aims to take the pain out of webinar presentation and discovery. They hope to become the go-to place for webinar content that’s been vetted and reviewed so that your webinar experience is educational and great quality.

Hublished has two customers the publishers and the end-users. The publishers now have a place to go to place all their upcoming webinars. They can also archive their old webinars on hublished.

We got a chance to interview the Hublished team, check out the interview below.

What is Hublished?

In short, Hublished is the next generation virtual convention.  It’s a social networking platform that enables brands and experts to promote and present live, recent, and upcoming content, from eBooks to webinars, to professionals in various industries.  The site’s mission is to reverse the paradigm of reaching consumers from one that involves excessive spending on disruptive advertising to one that relies on establishing expertise and delivering value in marketing.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
We have quite a large founding team, of which we are quite proud.  Having a large team makes it impossible to be susceptible to groupthink, and guarantees there are multiple opinions to choose from about everything.
The concept of the site was originally conceived by Nis Frome, Yair Aviner, and Benjamin Borodach.  Nis and Yair had a web development company, and Hublished was really the result of continuously experiencing a reoccurring obstacle with their clients’ content marketing initiatives.  Ben was working on sales for one of their clients, and the three joined together to create Hublished.
The three then added Ryan Kuhel and Alex Topchishvili for community outreach.  Ryan is the founder of a social cooking experience in the city which had a hit dinner this spring at Tumblr’s headquarters.   Alex has experience with cross-cultural marketing and community management.And of course, Hublished would be nothing without the founding engineers, led by Carlos Ospina and Alex Lau, and supported by Chris Dilks and Kyle Byrne.  Carlos and Alex both have years of experience in private industry, and Chris and Kyle are co-founders of the up and coming Rutgers University Mobile App Development club, which has already competed in several national competitions.
Where are you based?
Well that’s a loaded question.  We are dispersed between New York City and New Brunswick, NJ, as our team, other than Carlos and Alex L, are undergraduates either at New York University or Rutgers University.  We all work remotely with the indispensable help of Google+.
What’s the startup culture/scene like in your area?
Well there’s no doubt there’s an incredible atmosphere for startups both in New York City and in New Brunswick at Rutgers University.  In fact, the Masters of Business and Science at Rutgers has been crucial toward our development, often providing space for our meetings and presentations, and even helping us recruit engineers.  New York University has also been very helpful, with numerous resources and competitions to help student entrepreneurship.
What is the problem that Hublished solves?
Hublished solves two problems, for the two different types of users that will be on the site.  For experts and brands, whom we call Publishers, Hublished is a central location they can promote upcoming webinars and upload recent ones, in order to reach new consumers and generate leads.  For professionals and industry enthusiasts, whom we call Peers, Hublished provides a discovery and curation platform that helps them separate the hacks from the experts when it comes to cutting-edge information and continuing education.
What’s your secret sauce?
Our secret is without a doubt attention to detail.  We constantly speak with industry experts in an effort to highlight subtle commonalities in order to tailor our product to best meet industry needs and solve industry obstacles.  We don’t cut corners and never consider any tasks completely finished.  We value the ability to notice errors or shortcomings, and put a heavy emphasis on improvements.
Who is your target user?
Our target Publisher is a brand or individual that is really the best in their respective industry, although they might not have the advertising budget to flaunt it.  From capital management firms to self-help authors, we want to attract anyone who is the best in their field and is looking to educate consumers in order to gain new customers.
Our target Peer is any professional or individual who makes it an effort to purchase products and use services of the highest value.  These are typically trendsetters and early adopters who pride themselves by being well-informed about innovative technologies and breakthroughs.
What is one startup dilemma you have or you have had?
Like all startups, we face incomplete information and industry volatility.  There is very little data out there about webinar usage and software preferences, which makes it very difficult for us to be able to interface with all the popular technologies.
What’s next for Hublished?
That’s easy – we are going to continue developing our site and plan to have a private alpha launch in November, with a more public launch sometime in early 2013.  We already have some big name Publishers who will be testing the site in November, but the more the merrier so we’ll also be working on attracting more testers.
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