The startups that were selected to convene in the top secret 500 startups lair in Mountain View California this fall were revealed today. Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups along with Paul Singh have assembled another cohort of ass kicking, startup crushers, including Australian startup Kickfolio.
The rare breed of talent chosen to undergo the top secret 500 startups program come from all facets of the tech world. There are publishing startups, web tools, integrated browser plugins, analytical startups and even developer resources. That’s the category that Kickfolio fits in.
McClure and his team pick startups for a variety of reasons, undoubtedly the fact that this team has a co-founder named Diesel, must play into the flavor of startup monsters McClure is currently working on. Couple that with the fact that these Aussie founders swear Kickfolio is the best way for developers to test iOS apps and you have a recipe for startup inhalation.
We got a chance to talk with that particular founder, yes the one who goes by Diesel. Check out our interview with Diesel Laws below.
What is Kickfolio?
Kickfolio allows you to test drive your iOS apps in any browser, on any device. There are no downloads and no UDIDs needed. Just a simple testing page in the browser featuring your live, interactive app.
With Kickfolio, developers will be able to simply upload their test builds and share a link with their testers and clients. Kickfolio streamlines the feedback loop, and allows developers to iterate faster and ship quicker.
We also help brands promote their iPhone apps. Instead of screenshots or movies, brands can embed their live, interactive apps on any web page. This is a great way to engage users and encourage them to download your app.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds
In the founding team we have Edward Dowling, Chris Nolet and Diesel Laws.
Edward Dowling is a hacker and a hustler. Ed is a lightening-fast coder who is quick to implement crazy new product ideas and MVP new features.
Chris Nolet is a hacker and a hustler. Chris is responsible for getting the last 20% of the product over the line, closing deals and making sure the company fulfils on its vision.
Diesel Laws is a designer and hustler. Diesel adds edge and visual finesse and also has a remarkable talent for randomly meeting (read: having drinks with) future partners.
Where are you based?
Kickfolio is currently based out of Mountain View, California. We recently moved from Melbourne, Australia to join 500 Startups.
What is the startup culture like where you are based?
Back in Melbourne Australia, the startup culture is growing. It’s still in its infancy yet the young network encourages solid connections and is rapidly expanding to facilitate the new waves of entrepreneurs that are coming through. Although we have only been in California for a short time, we have seen the same level of passion on a much larger (and more developed) playing field.
What problem does your startup solve?
Testing iOS apps is often a time-consuming and painful experience. Clients will often have to work through many steps and download multiple applications just to see the latest changes. We solve this problem by allowing clients and testers the ability to test their apps directly in the browser – with no downloads and no UDIDs. With a simple link to one page, clients can test the app live and leave direct feedback for developers on each screen.
For marketing purposes, screenshots and pre-recorded videos don’t offer an engaging, interactive experience. We focus on increasing engagement while providing users with an interactive experience. Kickfolio’s live interactive apps also offer an embed function, which can be embedded into any website (just like a YouTube video).
What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?
Learning how to use our geographic isolation to our advantage. In Melbourne Australia, it’s a very strong network yet still growing. So to make the most of the smaller network we reached out over the internet and also in person to many networks outside of Australia – namely Silicon Valley. This helped us secure various meetings with established companies, experienced mentors and powerful incubators. These connections led to us joining 500 Startups and moving across to Mountain View for the program.
Who are your mentors and role models?
We have a wide variety of great mentors we work with across the 500 Startups network and externally. Our role models include various founders such as Jack Dorsey (Twitter/Square), Steve Jobs (RIP – Apple), Jony Ive (Apple) & Gabe Newell (Valve) among others.
Whats one thing the world doesn’t know about you or your startup?
During the early stages of our company, we were looking to acquire another company – before we had any revenue or secured funding ourselves.
What’s next for your Kickfolio?
We’re in the process of rolling out a new redesign and focus for the coming months. During that time we will be working closely with private beta testers to iterate the product quickly. We are working with a few companies to partner with to expand our reach amongst the scene and will release the public beta by mid November. We’re also opening a fundraising round during that time for 500K to 1M.