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“We will officially launch the Tribo event platform on the Digital Day”

31.08.2018 14:06

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The launch of Tribo event app will be one of the highlights of the next Swiss Digital Day, due on October 25th accross 12 cities in Switzerland. Startupticker.ch had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Natalia Tsarkova. The Swiss entrepreneur behind the project led her previous venture IConcerts to a successful exit.

Can you present us Tribo app in a few words? What makes it special?

While working in live music and TV space, I always wanted to make a perfect digital companion to events - a tool that would enhance our experience before, during and after any live experience. There are many event apps but they focus on practical information and are frankly not that popular with users. Nowadays no one wants to download yet another app, especially for one-off experience. 

The true digital life of any event takes place on social media: we go to Instagram to share photos, on Twitter to comment, we join events page on Facebook, we watch videos on YouTube. It is common for organizers to hire a community management team to develop a media strategy across these platforms. They invest money to literally gift their community data to Facebook and Google! 

From these two reflections came the idea of Tribo: one platform where any event can create for free its own app by aggregating all content, social feeds and practical info in it. The "out of the box" thought here is that we do not need an app per event - we need to propose one app for all events. This way, users who download the app can follow all events of interest, find friends attending same events, and keep track of the various "tribes" of interest they belong to.

This idea depends of course on events willing to use Tribo platform, and to invite their audience to join it. Our biggest challenge this summer was to prove this assumption and I am happy to say that over 90% of events we approached found the idea exciting and were willing to join.

What led digitalswitzerland to showcase your app in the course of Digital Day on October 25th? 

I met the Digital Day responsible at a conference in Lugano this spring, and she was immediately excited about Tribo. As you might know, this is a very dynamic initiative dedicated to promoting the public dialogue around digital transformation in Switzerland. They liked the idea of working with a Swiss start-up that is proposing an innovative and potentially global product. But I also think that we met a real need: that of providing a mobile tool which can aggregate all relevant stories about this important Day. Tribo will allow Digital Day visitors to plan their visit, by browsing and bookmarking the stands they find interesting. The "Vibe" section will allow everyone to actively participate in writing the story of this exciting initiative and enhance the public dialogue. Moreover, the visitors can get in direct touch with the partners. Tribo will be presented at the Geneva event at the mains station and at many other cities throughout Switzerland. 

As a Swiss entrepreneur based in Geneva, you have already led your IConcerts venture to a successful exit. Can you share some learnings with our readers? What made that success possible? 

iConcerts took almost 8 years to grow. It was both an exhilarating and grueling experience to go from an idea on a paper napkin to an HDTV/VOD platform available in over 100 countries in the world. It was my first start-up, and, not unlike Tribo, it was created to disrupt an existing media space – that of TV and live music rights. I guess the main lesson I’ve learned was to not take NO for an answer and to build your product on a clear vision of the future. When you are introducing a digital innovation within an existing industry, you  are dealing with people who believe that things will always remain the way they are. To deploy a new product which will help them in the future, you have to show the future to them. You have to actively seek out those who understand the change and educate them. You need powerful industry players to help you implement the product, so you have to go and see them despite their immediate skepticism.

Obviously, timing is key here. You don’t want to build a solution for something that will happen in 50 years. You want to prepare for the change that is arriving right now, and if your product is aligned with it, you will find the support you need.

What would you recommend to entrepreneurs launching today their ventures in Switzerland? 

I think Switzerland is a great place to launch a start-up. There is a lot of industrial support, and a real culture of innovation and permanent improvement. It is quite easy to access the community of angel investors and successful entrepreneurs. All main industrial players actively invest in digital innovation  Just one word of warning: if you follow the Lean Start-up and Agile development methodology, and intend on launching an MVP, be very clear that the product is not yet perfect. The standards here are very high, and the tolerance for bugs is low! But I find even this aspect positive, as honest critical feedback helps you come up with a superior product which can then be deployed globally.

What are the next steps for Tribo app?

We will officially launch Tribo platform on the Digital Day (October 25th).  Any organizer of any event in Switzerland will be able to create his app for free and invite his audience to use it.

(ES)

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