We talk a lot about hardware and software startups, but there are many other projects successfully developed and launched. What would you think of if we told you that you can earn money by using your storytelling skill? You can hardly believe it, isn’t? But this is real truth and an Italian startup called Intertwine can prove it.
We spoke to Intertwine’s CEO Gianluca Manca and found out what are the main services provided by Intertwine, what opportunities it gives users, and how this content project is monetized.
What is Intertwine?
Intertwine is a platform where users can create, share and publish collaborative storytelling. They can give birth to stories, throw in new ideas, start new projects or add pieces to existing ones, therefore creating real collaborative works, without any limitations on space or topic.
When and how did you get the idea to create such a project?
I was working in an advertising company 5 years ago, but I felt bad there. I decided had better write a collaborative novel with other authors and, after talking with my friends (2 engineers and 1 designer) we started to make Intertwine.
How do you monetize it?
We sell corporate storytelling campaign, branded content and content strategy for brands.
Do you have any worthy competitors, and how do you deal with them?
Our competitors are Medium.com and Wattpad, but they work on foreign market. We have a focus on Italian market for now.
Is this the first your startup or did you have other ones previously? What are these projects and on what stages they are?
Yes, this is my first startup.
If you do not mind my asking, what was the investment amount for project creation and initial promotion? Was it an investor’s money or your personal savings? If it was an investor’s help, could you tell us how you found him?
The initial investment was in terms of working time, no funds needed for us. But after first steps, we found a Venture innovator, Digital Magics, who invested 110k in Intertwine. We met them in a startup competition, so my suggestion was to share ideas: sharing could be very useful for getting the best in a very early stage.
What experts were indispensable at the stage of creating and launching a project?
Marketing expert, technical expert, communication expert.
What were the challenges during the launch and how did you cope with them?
The real challenge is working without salary, because all of raised funds were invested in product. Another big challenge is the first entry in the market, it is really hard.
How do you promote Intertwine?
With social networks and networking events. Also, the cooperation with startups of territorial ecosystem is a good way.
What are the most effective approaches for your product promotion?
All the ways to promote are good but they have to be organic and not much expensive in the beginning. So, for example, if you have the luck to join a fair or an event for free is a good opportunity to show your project.
What startups do you have a partnership with and how does this help you promote your project?
We work together with some startups that were born with us. Teamworking and ideas sharing are really great.
How to start promoting a young content project in your opinion?
Social networks and events. Something that is not much expensive and could be a part of organic communication.
What of your knowledge and skills were useful while launching the project?
I have a degree in Philosophy and worked in the Marketing area. My best skills are problem solving and management. I think such skills are really important to start a company.
Would you recommend to startuppers to subscribe for the pages of any Internet communities able to provide them with some helpful information? Which ones?
Techcrunch and Crunchbase for sure, Techstars also. But my suggestion is to be curious about the market that you want to join in.
If there were no Intertwine, what another project would you develop?
I don’t know, maybe something about tech food.
How do you see further development of your project?
I hope Intertwine could be the answer to publishing revolution.
What is the most valuable business advice you’ve ever received?
Your colleagues must be people with whom you love take a beer.
*Non-native speakers took part in an interview.
Do you want us to write about your project?