Window Shop Through Your Friends’ Lives With Chicago Startup flik

flik,Chicago startup,startups, vine, pinterest, yelp

Chicago-based husband and wife team Chris and Tracy Hayes have launched flik, a new startup that promises to bring the best of Vine, Pinterest, and Yelp into one unique experience.

Using your iOS device’s camera, flik captures short video clips between 5-8 seconds. Then they are instantly shared across your social channels. But unlike Vine, the clips are full clips rather than snippets of video looped together. Flik is designed for users to create original content around the products and places they love. Nothing says review better than a quick video.

While the company is just now launching, flik had a very interesting set of beta testers. Hayes used his network of professional baseball players in both the minor leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB) and their wives to test out the new app. They all reportedly loved it.

Hayes has been a career baseball player since graduating college from Northwestern University. Hayes started his minor league career with the Burlington Bees, an A league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in 2005. At age 29 in 2012 he played with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League.

While other players talk shop, watch tape, and goof off while traveling, Hayes took it upon himself to learn how to code.

He handled all of the coding for flik, while the business operations, marketing, and “everything else” was done by Tracy. Tracy also attended Northwestern, but a few years earlier than her husband.


EEBOTHDiscountWhat does your company do?

flik is an iPhone app that allows users to upload short videos showing products and places they love.


Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?

The co-founders of flik are a married couple, Chris and Tracy Hayes. Chris is a professional baseball player who has a degree in Computer Science from Northwestern University who coded several web and iOS apps during his days as a ball player. He was the weirdo sitting at his locker, working on his computer in the clubhouse and on buses and planes. He is self-taught in iOS, but incredibly anal retentive when it comes to coding. His engineering brain is a nice complement to his wife, Tracy, who is much more of a big picture, out of the box thinker. Tracy also went to Northwestern, but she robbed the cradle a little bit, so they never met in college. Tracy has worked in Research & Information at McKinsey & Company and ran a successful consulting business before launching flik. Tracy and Chris equally came up with the idea for flik (but when asked separately, they would each tell you that they came up with the idea on their own and the other person had nothing to do with it), but Chris does all the coding, Tracy does everything else (including writing this Q&A … in the third person, of course).


Where are you based?

flik is based out of Chicago, but has been lucky enough to have a team of people all over the country (West Coast, Midwest and East Coast — with a special shout out to the app’s beta users in the South. Thanks y’all!).


What problem do you solve?

flik solves a problem for both consumers and for businesses. Oprah isn’t the only one who has a list of favorite things and, until flik, there hasn’t been an appropriate place for regular people to share the things they actually have and love with their social network. For businesses, there really hasn’t been a great way to get truthful, real-time feedback from their customers.


Why does it matter?

The video space is hot right now and users are craving purposeful videos that are also easy to create. There are a lot of really amazing apps out there that allow people to share aspirational things they love, but users aren’t posting their own stuff on those platforms because it can be intimidating to create professional-looking content. The awesome thing about flik is it’s not asking its users for artsy-fartsy, it’s looking for REAL. flik is an app for real people who use real stuff in their real lives and that’s what sets it apart. It’s a jeans and t-shirt kind of app — casual and laid-back, allowing people to connect through things they love and places they go. At the same time, flik is your favorite jeans and t-shirt kind of app — not some crappy t-shirt you got when you signed up for that airline rewards credit card. So the content on flik is real and its real-ness invites users to post original content, AND at the same time, it’s all cool stuff–stuff flik users love. Don’t care who you are, that matters, right there.


What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

The flik team has been lucky enough to beta launch within the Major League Baseball community of players and wives and get key feedback from people who travel a ton, have cool stuff, and are on social media all the time. flik’s users have viewed fliks over 20,000 times (the flik team thinks that’s pretty impressive for a small beta group!) and flik has just launched a pretty awesome new website and cool video. Also, within a day of our public announcement, we began receiving emails about being pre-approved to become Nigerian millionaires if we just send a small check to some random address. So, it looks like things are moving along smoothly.


What are your next milestones?

flik is looking to build out its website to be a fully functional web platform and release an Android version of the app as well as bring on a few pretty awesome fliksperts, (experts in a particular area) to share their favorite things. There may be a trip to Nigeria in there as well.


Where can people find out more?

flik’s new website is pretty awesome – the video is worth watching, especially the hair dryer who says, “Tell them how hot I get”. Here’s flik’s website:, our social media: @flikketyflik and

When you say Jump, this Florida startup literally asks you, how high? 



Interview With New Jersey Startup: Clipix, Pinterest For Everything

Bookmarklets are nothing new, however Pinterest turned the concept of bookmarkletting into a world wide phenomenon. Pinterest has turned itself into a company with an astronomical valuation and no direct revenue, by simply bookmarkletting “Pinning” photos on interest boards. Heck even President Obama and Mitt Romney are doing it.

But what if you wanted to go beyond just pictures. What if you wanted to pin websites, articles, heck even word documents and pdfs? Well you would turn to Fort Lee, NJ based startup Clipix. The company, founded earlier this year has already attracted the attention of both TechCrunch and Mashable and now we’ve had the chance to interview them.

For starters they’re very very feature rich and the features don’t just sound great they work great. One of their most popular features is “Price Drop”. Clipix knows when you’ve clipped something that’s from a retail website and notifies you at set variables when they price either drops by percentage or to a certain dollar amount. Sure there are other services that do this but it’s all in one.

The other big feature is the ability to clip things from documents and pdf’s which can come in handy later on. Then you can view the items you’ve clipped via mobile device. It’s actually rather amazing.

You’ll see in the interview below, why Clipix is considered the “Pinterest for the real world”.

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Lithuanian Startup: GigBasket Moves To US To Launch Job Pinning Site INTERVIEW

The two Lithuanian co-founders behind startup GigBasket have moved to the United States to launch their job “pinning” platform. GigBasket allows users to save job openings to a users GigBasket account from virtually any site in the world.

If you’re familiar with Pinterest and the “pinning” concept of being able to go to any website and “pin” something which then posts that something to Pinterest, then you will automatically understand how GigBasket does the same thing for jobs.

The platform works in two different ways you can add a job manually that you may have seen online, or you can add the bookmarklet to your browser by simply dragging it to your bookmarks bar and then hit the GigBasket button anytime you see a job you find worthy of applying for.

GigBasket allows you to create your own profile after logging in using your linked in account. GigBasket also pulls through data from your LinkedIn account to make keywords for your job search.

Rounding out the simple, but feature packed site are an interview calendar and a dashboard that shows you what jobs you’re “tracking” and what jobs you’ve “applied to”. It makes it extremely easy to remove a job if you’ve either lost interest or the job has been filled.

We got a chance to speak with Eddy Balcikonis, co-founder and CEO of GigBasket in the interview below. He tells us about the GigBasket platform and why he and his co-founder Eugene, moved to America to launch this very useful startup.

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Portland Startup: Interview With ShopMyPin, Winner Of Portland’s Startup Weekend

Vanessa VanPetten, Shopmypins, Startupweekend portland

26 year old Vanessa VanPetten emerged from the chaotic Portland Startup Weekend as the winner with shopmypins (photo: V. VanPetten)

Portland’s sixth startup weekend will go down in history as one of the craziest startup weekend’s ever. If you were checking up on Nibletz over the weekend you would have read this story about a man who was asked to leave Portland’s startup weekend. After he left he started tweeting that he was going to come back with explosives and guns. The organizers of the event increased security and had the event on a near lockdown for the rest of the weekend.

26 year old Vanessa VanPetten emerged from the action packed weekend as the winner with her new startup idea “Shop My Pins”. It wasn’t easy for VanPetten though, even with the disruption on Saturday she was still pitted against 16 other teams.

Game it up, a startup geared at teaching kids coding for video games won the award for “Outstanding Customer Validation”. “Outstanding Business Opportunity/Business Model” went to Matchable, which is a cell phone dating app. “Outstanding Execution” went to 15 year old Jackson Gariety for HashTraffic, a cross platform hashtag maker.

The Williamette Week reports that 15 year old Gariety and his HashTraffic were big hits and that Game It Up had already talked to Nintendo, Electronic Arts and IBM who had already started showing interest.

More after the break
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Dallas Startup: Qwiqq Check Into The Things You Love And Buy; Is Great For Merchants Too

In 2012 using your mobile smartphone you can check into almost everything. You can check into venues, concerts, stores, malls, the music you like and the tv shows you love. Now you can check into the things you buy and love with Dallas’ Qwikk.

The Dallas startup, founded by John Phan and Jack Wrigley, launched in 2010, right as another startup focusing on things people like was starting to bubble. Yes I am referring to Pinterest. But here’s the deal. I’m a 30 something year old man and while I have a Pinterest account, I feel out of place on the network that is admittedly geared towards women.

Qwiqq isn’t like that. It’s about sharing the deal you just got or the great thing you just bought. Perusing Qwiqq is not about just beautiful dresses and recipes for cupcakes. Qwiqq’s intuitive and easy to navigate user interface allows you to post about anything. Categories include health, food, bar, fashion, beauty, arts and entertainment, sport, tech, pet, home and car. So yes dudes and geekettes can post about their favorite phone, computer or that sweet ride.

More after the break
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Canadian Startup: Wantser Is the Canadian Version Of Pinterest For Wants

Pinterest has caught on like wild fire. We’ve run several stories about Pinterest and it’s crazy valuations. We’ve heard lately that their active users have gone down however it’s still extremely hot. With Pinterest you can “pin” pictures on the internet. It’s been highly adopted by women who pin everything from the latest fashions, to art projects, home interior decorating ideas and even fashion.

Imagine if you will, pinning the things you want and then having access to the ways to get those things. If you see a fancy new purse on Pinterest instead of pinning it, you “want” it. Well that’s the idea behind Canadian startup Wantster.

CEO Ky Joseph and Chris Edelman a Canadian radio sales executive, started Wantster to do just that. You can simply download the Wantster “want” button to your browser, the same way some do with Pinterest, and when you see something you want, “want it”. With Wantster’s mobile app you can take a picture of something you want for later and put it in your “want” list.

More after the break
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Startup Quick Byte: Sworly

For today’s Startup Quick Byte, we take a look at Sworly, think Pinterest meet 80’s/90’s MTV, you know, when MTV was actually watchable with music being played. Sworly takes the confusion of what Pinterest could be and does it all around music.

Why Sworly?

We scour the web to provide you unlimited access to over 20 million songs readily available throughout the web so you don’t have to stress your wallet. You also no longer have to stumble through dozens of mind-numbing fakes on YouTube before finding that coveted song.

Based out of Ottawa, this Startup is one of many specialized Pinterest clones popping up. For music lovers this is perfect as it is just for the music fans to discover new music.


Where to find them





President Obama Joins Pinterest

Although many feel, and statistics are showing, that Pinterest is predominantly for women, one important man has joined the Pinterest Community. That man is our President Barack Obama.

Sure we know that the account is being handled by his social media team, but people who follow Obama on Pinterest will get to see pictures of first dog BO, recipes; like an Obama family recipe for chili and artwork by the first kids.  The great people on Obama’s social media team have already set up pinboards on the President’s account. ObamArt, Obama inspired recipes and “The first family” are all part of Obama’s pinterest feed.

More after the break
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Another Day, Another Possible Black Mark On Pinterest

Another day, another possible black mark on Pinterest. The site that has been marked in the past with Link Baiting, Spam issues, and copyright infringement maybe up to it one more time. Business Insider is reporting that “VC’s” are trying to get a new round of investment valued for the company at around $1 billion dollars. There is just one problem with that, everyone they’ve called to talk to has denied it with no known knowledge of a new round. Nor does Pinterest “want” to raise a new round of funding as of yet they claim. This is also a company that still has no business model for revenue yet as their past one with links didn’t work out.

What they are hearing is VC’s are trying to bribe and are showing up uninvited to Pinterest in hopes of starting those talks.

Could it be a rogue investor trying to drum up more interest as one of the original investors as either bringing more money in or a possible exit plan? Or could it just be that Pinterest is trying to drum up hopes of another round, so that hopefully someone buys them out instead.

Source: Business Insider

And Here Comes The Spam, Pinterest Style


With over 11 Million unique visitors in January alone, it’s no surprise that Spammers have hit Pinterest, our favorite new Social Network that can’t stay out of trouble. While this isn’t anything new that people will post Spam, it’s just another black eye in what has been an interesting 2012 for the newest flavor of the month.

With the growth of the site it was no shock that Spammers would be flocking to it seeing how it gives more hits to sites compared to Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn combined.

The questions is now, how can Pinterest fight this latest issue they are having. They’ve already successfully fought off the other ones so it’ll be interesting how they fair with this.


Source: GigaOm

Pinterest to be already valued at $500 million


Pinterest, the social pinning website that has been public less than two months is to be valued at $500 million, so says private financial data companyPrivCo. Little back story first before we go into why this is what will be proven as the Tech company that causes the bubble to burst in Silicone Valley.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

More after the break

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