Please introduce yourself
My name is Andreas Brenner, I'm a 24 years old German living in Zurich, Switzerland. I studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and the University of Hong Kong. I hold an MSc in technology entrepreneurship and innovation from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
During my studies I was reponsible for concept and implementation of a event and workshop registration system for the St. Gallen Symposium, which was implemented with Accenture, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. I headed the STARTglobal entrepreneurship association, co-founded the Synetgies network for entrepreneurial technology enthusiasts, helped the Sandbox Network to build their Singaporean hub and currently serve as their main ambassador in Zurich. I worked for the online storage startup Wuala while it was sold to LaCie and most recently worked at Palisis, a swiss startup which makes ticket systems for tourist transportation businesses.
I left the company to start a venture with my two partners Simon Virlis and Vlad Trifa. We will create "your digital friend who always knows where and what to eat." We don't like the online restaurant experience and we think the industry is ripe for disruption. Talking face-to-face to major investors, owners of more than 50 leading restaurants and several dozens of potential users helped us to refine the concept and confirmed the direction in which we're heading. The next challenge is to build the product and development teams.
Privately I love to ski, snowboard, climb and play golf. I'm grateful to have such caring and supportive girlfriend and family, without which I could never even dream about doing what I do. My favourite read to date is Jim Collins' "Hitting the Wall: Realizing that Vertical Limits Aren't", which should make every entrepreneur start to climb.
Tell us more about the business idea you are working on
The platform we are creating will start as a community for people looking to improve the online restaurant experience. We will provide them with a way to get tailored recommendations where to eat what, both online and through their mobile phone. Recommendations will partially be based on their social environment. Location will play a role but it's not the key factor. People will also be able to find the best places to go for a business lunch, date and other special occasions based on their individual preferences. We're tired of Yelp, Qype, Burrp and all the other "commented listings".
Who are your partners in this venture?
Simon co-founded Switzerland's largest online nightlife community usgang.ch and sold it to the German publishing company Axel Springer, where he currently serves as the CEO of several nightlife portals. Vlad is a founder of the http://webofthings.com community, is a regular speaker and co-organizer at conferences, such as the Internet of Things in Tokyo, the South by Southwest in Austin Texas and the Lift Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. He is pursuing his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and a visiting researcher at MIT's Senseable city lab, where he explores how technology can be used to build smarter cities.
What brings you to India in January?
Since we already have a core team in place, we're currently looking for the best place to build the product and development teams. I will therefore be visiting Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi in January and February to make connections with PHP Zend developers, Django Python Developers, mobile application developers (iPhone, Android and Blackberry), Facebook application developers and web designers.