CoolIris CEO, Soujanya Bhumkar, has taken several recent trips to Seoul and I had the pleasure of catching up with him to find out more about what he has been up to during his visits. I had expected a press interview, with Soujanya explaining more about CoolIris’ new products, but he was much more interested in discussing the rise of entrepreneurship in Korea. He was clearly excited about the potential for Korean startups and, as a result of the incredible mobile infrastructure in Korea, the opportunities in the digital media space, in which CoolIris operates.
When I approached the topic of him speaking at beLAUNCH, to share his experiences as an Asian entrepreneur cracking the Silicon Valley code, he was delighted to be given the opportunity to help Asian entrepreneurs find fulfillment in their dreams.
Soujanya has spent much of the last few weeks in Asia, spreading the good word about the new ‘endless discovery’ photo app from his established startup, based in Silicon Valley. He believes that there exists no shortage of talent in Korea’s ecosystem and the entrepreneurial outlook is incredibly positive for Korean students, either by founding their own enterprise or by joining one of the multitude of startups that are springing up in Korea these days, many of which will showcase at beLAUNCH 2013.
Particularly for those in the mobile and digital space his advice is “what are you waiting for – I think it is more risky NOT to jump in.” He went on to explain how the ease of setting up a digital startup has opened the flood gates, and he expects to see new vitality in the Korean and Asian ecosystem.
For those thinking of taking the plunge into entrepreneurship he broke down the technical elements, that may put many off, demonstrating clearly that now has never been a better time to consider a mobile startup: “Inbuilt OS takes care of the technical aspects – its easy to set up an app. In app purchases take care of the monetization issues. As for distribution: Just put the app in the app store. Promoting is the hard part, but that’s where your marketing genius can shine.” Of course he didn’t belittle the hard work that is required and was honest about the chances of a first big hit: Not great. But his philosophy on failure can teach young entrepreneurs something about how to succeed: “In the student mindset there is still too much focus on what I don’t know, and not enough on what I can do with what I know now.” He believes that failure is part and parcel of the entrepreneurial experience, and rather than seeing failure as something that prevents you from achieving your ambitions, it is something that can educate and make you stronger for the next stage of the journey.
CoolIris went through a tough time last year, when the dramatic shift in the market from PC to mobile resulted in a change of focus that, while difficult, demonstrated the resilience of his team and his ability to inspire, even when things are not going to plan. CoolIris has now emerged from difficulty, to achieve massive user take-up and a highly engaged and satisfied user-base with their new service.
To hear Soujanya speak about his journey at beLAUNCH on May 1st & 2nd, you can still get tickets through our portal here.
More about CoolIris & Soujanya Bhumkar: Cooliris is a leader in creating immersive and media-centric experiences for mobile and web consumers. With over 50 million downloads of the Cooliris 3D Wall and over 100,000 daily activations of the Android Gallery application, Cooliris ranks in comScore’s Top 10 Smartphone Properties as measured by Total Unique Visitors. The company’s core consumer product is the Cooliris mobile app launched in July 2012, which provides a beautiful way to experience photos from multiple sources all in one place, and selectively share them with close groups of friends.
Soujanya is the CEO and co-founder of Cooliris. Cooliris is Soujanya’s 3rd start-up and he is passionate about building great teams that build real products to contribute awesomeness to the world.