Dutch Startup DOT.world Brings Sharing & Organizing Information To A Collaborative Level

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Creating collaborative, expert platforms has convinced investors: with 1M Euros in funding Dutch startup DOT.world is ready to take on the Internet world. We spoke to the founder & CEO to see where the journey will take them & us:

With 1M Euros in funding, the Dutch startup DOT.world is ready to take the Internet world with its collaborative platforms. Their goal, helping people and organizations save time by quickly finding what’s the most valuable information on any topic. Founder & CEO of the platform Wim Korevaar tells us more about how it all started and where it will lead:

Could you tell us a bit more about your company story and how it started?

It all started with the vision to enable powerful expert communities on the Internet, where you can quickly find what’s relevant on a specific topic. After 20 years of having the Internet, there is an overwhelming amount of information, but there is also a lot of noise, and information is often scattered on countless websites. We missed a way to quickly gain an overview of the best content on specific topics. Your time is too precious to search for hours, navigate tens of websites and browse low-quality content. Instead you may want an overview of everything on a specific topic and then quickly see what’s worth your time.

That’s what inspired us to start the design and development of the technology which enables the DOT.world platforms. At first we launched Student.world, a closed-beta platform available for the students at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. On the first night, Student.world got roughly 20,000 page views (similar to Facebook’s initial launch). Our users asked for an open version and dedicated platforms on specific topics. As our job is to live up to the expectations of users, we developed DOT.world, which allows you to create expert platforms, on any topic you love.

We officially launched DOT.world in September 2016 and have now already provided over 100 platforms. Moreover, we are talking with many communities and organizations about providing expert platforms for them.

What problem are you trying to solve with your collaborative platform?

Nowadays, the problem on the Internet, as well as in many organizations, is that valuable information is buried under a pile of noise, there is a lack of overview, and information is scattered on countless websites. This problem is noticeable on virtually any topic and in many organizations and people don’t have time to lose on irrelevant information.

Our goal is to help people and organizations save time by quickly finding what’s the most valuable content/information on any topic. DOT.world empowers all people and organizations to create their own platforms on virtually any topic, and clearly organize and curate the information, so that the best and the most relevant content can be found in a snap.

When it comes to searching information online, there are so many websites, social media or platforms available. What makes DOT.world different from the existing offer?

Search engines are perfect if you know exactly what to look for (e.g. a certain blog post or a certain video). Social media are perfect to stay up-to-date on your network. However, where do you go to find an overview of the best on a certain expert topic, e.g. the best content and insights on Startups, Investments, Food security etc.? DOT.world enables every community and organization to quickly create a relevant world of information on a specific niche topic. All experts can come together and organize and rank the most relevant on that topic, and create an engaging community around it.

There is not one day without a new platform emerging on Internet, what key trends do you identify? What do you believe will tomorrow’s challenges will be for collaborative communities?

There is a growing trend for curation services out there. There are curated lists and newsletters on almost any topic you can think of. However, these services and newsletters are often based on the input of one or a few people. If you combine the opinion of say 100+ people you will get a much better and fairer evaluation of the quality of content. We believe that what’s relevant cannot but judged by a single man, a single algorithm, a single company, but by all of us.

The challenge of collaborative communities is that many people only consume information. The key is to make it very easy, fun and rewarding to share and curate interesting content, and thereby contribute to the platform. We achieve this by enabling anyone to create their own platform, connect their peers and add any content which they find to be worthwhile. Through the engaging, visual appeal, the multi-device accessibility, and gamification elements we empower anyone to create a clear structure of valuable content, on any topic, and potentially become a thought leader on the topics they care about.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building DOT.world? What did you learn in the process?

The technology to enable thousands of people to collaboratively organize and curate information is extremely powerful, but also difficult to design. This has been the major challenge while designing DOT.world, and it took perseverance and dedication as we believe that the more people participate in the process of organizing and curating content, the better the results becomes.

Getting users moving from well-established platforms to yours might be challenging, how did you promote DOT.world until now?

Most of the platform registrations came forth from our recent PR launch. The platforms are mostly focused on niche topics, making them quickly relevant on a global scale. Where else do you find a platform on food security, on growth hacking, or on the Zika virus? Many of the initiators of the platforms already have an audience which they bring to their platform. The more focused the platforms are, the more relevant they are to their audience. Existing users on the platforms can share interesting articles via the conventional social media channels (WA, FB, Twitter) which leads to natural growth of the platforms.

You have raised over 1M Euros in funding, that’s very impressive! Do you have any tips for young entrepreneurs to succeed in funding their startup?

Take your time to discuss your plans with advisors and investors in an early phase to get constructive feedback. That feedback is very useful to iterate and refine your pitch deck and plans. Join investor networks, which can bring you in contact with the right type of investors, which can help your business in the current stage. And don’t forget that it is all about personal relationships. So, get to know your investor(s) on a personal level and drink a beer in the bar.

Can you tell us a bit more about your vision for the company within the next years? What are the next steps?

We are currently focused on providing high-quality expert platforms for organizations and online communities, on a wide variety of topics. Our most important mission is to provide the users the best experience and facilitate the growth of the existing platforms. In the nearby future, we will have expert communities on virtually any topic, so that DOT.world becomes the #1 stop to quickly discover the best on ‘you name it’!

Dutch Startup DOT.world Brings Information Search To A Collaborative Level

Wim Korevaar, CEO & founder

What was your biggest success so far, the most incredible thing you pulled out when building DOT.world?

I am most proud of having our team together, which works so hard to provide the people, organizations and communities on the DOT.world platforms the best experience possible. Personally, I feel very passionate about facilitating platforms on topics like ‘health issues’, ‘poverty’ and ‘climate change’. My hope is that, in one way or another, we make a positive difference in the world by providing fast access to relevant content which provides new insights to a global audience, and ultimately leads to the betterment of people’s lives.

Being an entrepreneur is an amazing adventure, what do you like the most in being your own boss?

The freedom to work with a passionate team on creating the technologies, products and businesses, which make a difference tomorrow! It is a great pleasure to do that on a daily basis.

There are more and more entrepreneurs starting their company, with your experience what advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

First, make sure you test as many assumptions as possible (e.g., with your prospects/users) before spending a lot of time and money on the development of your product/service.

Second, though you may be busy with 101 things, spend enough time on the hiring process. An idea is nothing when there is not an excellent team to work towards the realization of that idea, and building the next unicorn! Good luck!



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