A person who says his opinion and shares his thoughts, no matter if the other party is the CEO or just a friend. That’s the kind of words you hear from young & passionate entrepreneurs like Raphael Baumann. It’s not about money, it’s not about power, it’s just about following your own ideals and thoughts in order to live from what you feel passionate about.
Hey Raphael, what’s up? So, who are you? Everyone wants to know!
Hey Alex, I’m doing all fine! So, my name is Raphael and I am 24 years old. I am originally from Munich/Germany but I am currently located in Barcelona, working for my first own Startup called Appics.
Besides my startup, I will finish my Bachelor’s degree of Business and Economics in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to finish it. As I said, right now I am living and enjoying the life of Barcelona, so I am having quite a good and especially interesting time as we are right before our product launch!
Wow! So you are combining studies, your startup and beach volley in Barcelona at the same time? Are you sponsored by Redbull?
Haha, I’d love to be sponsored by Red Bull! But unfortunately I am not. I started my studies in 2012 in Vienna at the University of Economics and Business, and over the last year I got accepted for an Exchange program at ESADE Business School, so that’s how I came to Barcelona. The exchange semester was actually my last semester and I am only missing my Bachelor thesis, so it was always the plan to extend my stay in Barcelona after the exchange program and combine it with an internship/work at a Startup.
So I moved to Barcelona last September and met the Startup QBXNet, which had their headquarters here at this time. I got to know the five co-founders at my third day through a friend as they offered me a couch for the first two weeks until I found a flat, so that’s how we connected. Then I started to work for them right away besides doing my exchange program. I am a person that takes his opportunities, so I literally had no choice than to combine everything.
Of course, sometimes it really gets tough with my startup and the rest of my Bachelor. However, it has been going quite well so far and combining someone’s passions in this case startups, beach volleyball, surfing as well as the Barcelona lifestyle is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my young life.
Super cool! So no more suspense! Tell us what is your startup about! We are curious
So, Appics basically is a photo sharing app that focuses on collaborative albums. It’s all about creating photo albums and exchanging pictures in full quality with either just your friends, on a private base, or with people from all around the world. So Appics consists of two parts, the private side and the public side, while our main focus is on the public side. There, users will be able to either create or simply join public albums from all kind of events like music festivals, concerts, conferences as well as albums created for a special interest or purpose.
We try to make exchanging pictures in full resolution much easier and want people not just to find the photos e.g. from a festival’s photographer. Instead, as mostly everybody uses a smartphone and thus takes great pictures all the time, we want people to create e.g. location based albums and share these pictures with the crowd, in order to keep these memories. So that is why Appics is — one place for many stories!
Sounds cool! Is the versión beta already out? Did you launch it alone?
We launched the beta version with the private side under the name ePic 1,5 months ago and our official launch will be in a couple of days, which is very exciting! Regarding the launch, we are still working closely with the Startup QBXNet, which is a company builder focusing on VR software as well as smartphone applications.
QBXNet has been set up 2,5 years ago by five super cool guys from the SIM Master program at the University of St. Gallen. They founded a subsidiary in Lahore, Pakistan, with a team of 40 senior developers. So by the time I joined QBXNet, I met Nino (Nikolas Jaeger) a good friend of these guys and after a few weeks we started with this app project and created a development team in Pakistan through QBX of 3 senior software engineers.
Tell us about what motivated you to be an entrepreneur
After my graduation from High School, I took a gap year in order to find out what interested me and what I wanted to do in my life. So I went to Cape Town for 6 months to work for a self-employed architect, which I got offered from a friend of my family. And Jackson (the architect, very successful by the way) basically showed me how to live a life of doing what you really love and I realized how important this actually is and what it also means, not just for the success, but also for myself.
After my stay, I returned to Munich and decided to go to Vienna to study business and economics, as I knew with these studies I could still go into every industry and combine my passion and work. Then over the years of studying in Vienna I found myself more and more interested in all kind of startups and had already lot of ideas which I didn’t start, as I kept focusing on having good grades and working for my CV. However, as I started working for QBX, I recognized that this is what I am gonna do because having new ideas and creating new stuff is what I am really good at and what I love working for.
Additionally, I am a person who says his opinion and shares his thoughts, no matter if the other party is the CEO or just a friend. So, I also realized during my work experience that this attitude doesn’t really work well with big companies ^^
– Great stuff Raphael! And I totally agree with you on the last part haha I see myself as a pretty honest person as well and I value this asset in persons a lot.
Same goes for me
One last question, I’m curious about knowing any curious situation you’ve had as an entrepreneur. You know, the kind of situation that takes out the “wtf” expression.
Well, honestly there were not so many negative situations of this kind yet (luckily), so let me go with a positive one.
Unfortunately, I can’t name the Startup involved in this but I talked to these guys pretty much in the beginning of my Barcelona time when I started with Appics and they told me that they just got an acquisition offer for a really really f***** huge amount of money, something which no entrepreneur would consider as a “realistic offer”. However, this was a moment where I was really like “WTF”. But after a few days, I also realized that everything is possible in life, and especially in the startup sector!
– Ha! True that. Hey man, thank you very much for your time!
Guys if you are feeling curious about Appics style, you should check out their brand new interface with a cool feature to connect people with hot topics coming out every week. I really like the chosen topic for the launching, as I love basketball! Raphael explains below:
“Each week we will have a special topic for which we create a special album. As the Appics Team love Basketball, our Topic of the week: „ThankYouKobe#24“ — Become part of something special and let’s create one last album for one of the best basketball players on earth by sharing your best moments with Kobe Bryant. We will never forget what you have done for Basketball for the last 20 years, ThankYouKobe!”
Original article from http://magazine.pickandpow.com/blending-studies-a-startup-beach-volley-in-barcelona/