This week we met up with Tim Buick, CEO of www.streetpin.com an innovative startup that is focusing on providing people with the means to share locally relevant information. Streetpin is a new member on www.dreamstake.net. We want to see more companies like this emerging in Europe.

The Streetpin team is made up of web, mobile and travel enthusiasts. They are London-based but have travelled round the globe. and love to meet the locals. Tim believes that there are a huge amount of situations where it would be great to share thoughts, questions and plans with those around us. They know that in most of the major cities you’d probably get at least a strange look  if you start talking to random people. They want to change that, with Streetpin;

  • They want commuters to be able to discuss their interests, aspirations or alternate travel plans.
  • They want travellers to be able to share stories, travel tips, advice or just a bar stool or two for the evening
  • They want to enable you to start your own local communities anywhere, or join any community, for a minute or a lifetime
  • Most of all They want to provide you with a tool that you feel you can grow with. If there’s something that you don’t think works, or that they could be doing differently, please tell us – hello@streetpin.com

We interviewed Tim and would like to share this with our readers

Tell me a little bit about your background and why you founded Streetpin

Tim Buick is Global Web Manager at a travel company by day, CEO at Proximate Ltd (StreetPin) by night. He has 12 years+ web experience, and a background firmly within the creative build and delivery of online/mobile projects. He also ran several start-up companies including a hospitality and software company, online wedding gift company & alcoholic fruit juice company (product seen on ITV’s Tycoon). Bringing together a lot of learnings, passion and creativity – StreetPin is the culmination of his experience and vision to date.

What is Streetpin all about? What is your vision?

 StreetPin aims to bring people together at any given location, providing tools to explore the immediate vicinity or investigate areas of interest on the other side of the world. We want to provide open communication with a view that every opinion counts and the online community world should not just be restricted to existing contacts. We see the immense value of sharing knowledge, resource and experience with those in the same location rather than each individual doing their own thing. We aim to be the catalyst of local opinion.

How do you monetise? What is the business model?

We have a functional, open revenue stream planned from the outset, whereas Twitter and Facebook integrated adverts post-launch, we incorporate these into the product and tailor for the individual from launch.

Boards are essentially two-tiered – generic (free) boards and branded (paid) boards. We will aim to gain revenue either from the supply of advert-free business boards or via advertising on the generic or free branded boards. These adverts are in turn displayed based on user preferences, reducing irrelevant offers.

Tell me about your team

The current team is made up of web, mobile and travel professionals. We’re London-based but there are few places in the world we haven’t been. Collectively, we have decades of experience in design, development and management across a myriad of softwares & platforms.

What stage are you at with the business and what comes next?

We are just about finalising the business plan and forecasts and are ready to go head long in to the investment process. Our Beta app is functional, but we are faced with a chicken and egg situation – users vs investment. The next round of investment would create big changes to the stickiness, usability and design but in order to get the investment, we probably need more traction. We have opted to ‘softly’ introduce the Beta app, get feedback, plan the next stages and look for the seed stage development in tandem with getting the iPhone and Android apps up to scratch ourselves. There are lots of routes we can now take, and I view this stage as a real crossroads.

We have had initial investment from STA Travel – the biggest global student and youth travel agent, operating with 13 globally owned web sites & attracting more than 2m unique visitors per month. StreetPin is planned to be integrated in to the offering, with a view to increasing customer engagement and retention.

What is the main challenge you face?

Our biggest challenge is attracting and retaining the first few thousand users. The StreetPin apps are only on iPhone and Android, and in Beta at the moment, so we’re not shouting about it quite yet, but lots of usability and sticky additions coming soon. There are lots of social media platforms out there, but we believe that our differentiator will be getting location-based, relevant, real-time interaction right.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

I run long distances, for fun. I completed this year’s London marathon dressed as Snow White, in just under 4 hours. Stockings, dresses, capes and wigs are not necessarily recommended for runners.

Dreamstake is an online super-connector for startups.  We combine data from Linkedin and Crunchbase with other startup related details to provide a startup launch platform. A key feature is advanced profile search which allows entrepreneurs to find resources from across the 6000 members. We also connect entrepreneurs at our regular events and in the workspaces we partner with The Workspace Group. We are also organising #startupprevolution across Europe on 14 July 2012 http://www.dreamstake.net/dreamstake-startup-revolution-july-14th-2012

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