29. August 2012–
The three energetic young founders of Epiclist – Stan Bugaev, Olga Reingen and Philipp Ständer – embody their catch phrase "making dreams happen" and possess the same aspirational qualities that drive their site. Freshly launched, Epiclist is like a Facebook for goals and dreams, where people write their aims and receive support through their social networks to reach them – from climbing Mount Everest to learning to bake a cake.
I caught up with Bugaev to discover more about the startup and to get a peek at what we can find on their own Epiclists..
Epiclist inspires people to have a more exciting and memorable life by providing a simple way to visualise and share personal dreams and goals. Epiclist breaks the process down into Action Steps and uses social media to connect you with your friends and supporters to actually make sure your dreams happen.
We're still in the beginning stages as we've just launched a simple MVP [minimum viable product] and received great feedback. We've also launched the Achiever Series, where people share their dreams and their Action Steps to achieve them.
For example Melvin Tan, a pro runner, has shared his way of preparing for and running a marathon. We know how great the feeling of achieving something is so we encourage people to share!
What inspired you to create Epiclist?
Everyone has dreams and goals and things they've always wanted to do. How often do you hear someone say "I've always wanted to do this...but..." Things like going on an adventure, learning a new language, acquiring a skill or taking a dream holiday. We ourselves noticed that we were talking more about our dreams than doing them and that's where the idea was born. We couldn't find a place for us to share our dreams and map the achievement path from start to end and connect with social media. That's why we created Epiclist, as a place of action and a community connecting doers and achievers.
Who are the founders and how did you find each other?
Behind Epiclist is Olga (CEO), an avid traveller and surfer, Philipp (CTO), the coding ninja and musician, and Stan (CMO), life-adventurer and life-learner. After we finished our studies and backpacked around south-east Asia, we had no idea what to do next. Though we all had good job opportunities, we wanted to start something ourselves. And as we've always valued unique experiences and moments that last a lifetime above everything we decided to follow Richard Branson's wise words and say “screw it, let's do it!”
So we packed our bags, took Olga's dad's old car and moved to Berlin in February. In the last three months we moved again to join the accelerator Startup Wise Guys in Estonia. Now we're really excited to be back in Berlin!
What makes you different from the competition?
There are several good players out there, like Lift and Everest, who haven't launched yet. As our concept combines planning tools with social encouragement we can be there for our users on a weekly or even daily basis, making Epiclist a really simple but very powerful app. And we've put a value on the fun factor, challenging people to dream and be inspired by the dreams of others and learn from the Action Steps they are taking.
What's your business model?
From the user experience at Epiclist we can already see that people are mostly dreaming about big adventures and life-time experiences, as well as travelling and learning. This market is huge, with 150 million adventure trips taken every year.
Our business model is based on partnerships with brands and startups in the adventure, travel and lifestyle sectors. We want to offer them engagement with audiences by integrating promotions into users' achievement paths. We're also thinking about social gifting models, so your friends finally know what to get you for your birthday.
Who's financing you?
The Startup Wise Guys invested in the pre-seed round. After the demo day in London, we've received great feedback, so currently we are looking for angels and investors for the seed round.
Is there something that you're missing? An employee, an investor or an office?
It's getting really exciting and fast right now, so we are looking for another technical co-founder who will lead mobile development and work on an epic project!
Who would you like to have lunch with and what would you talk about?
Well, it might sound cheesy as so many people have this answer, but I'd have to say Richard Branson. We feel really inspired by his attitude of turning ideas into great things. He rocks! And then we can get him to be a part of Epiclist!
Any advice for fellow startups?
Currently we are more in the learning stage, we're not quite at the point where we can give much advice. But in the last months we've had some really challenging times and we have to say that everything serial entrepreneurs tells you is true. The entrepreneurship path is a consistent roller coaster with ups and downs and you can only move on if you do something you are really passionate about. Focus on that passion and just do it!
Where will you be in a year's time?
In a year, we really want to establish a successful startup with a great spirit that will help thousands of people live their dreams.
What would you put as your number-one dream on Epiclist?
You'll have to check out our Epiclists (Olga, Philipp and Stan). Olga's is to become a surfer girl and Philipp wants to travel around Asia. I've always dreamt of crossing the US on a motorbike, but I'm starting with another dream: freerunning in 100 different cities. I'm learning the advanced basics now so if you want to join me for some training in Berlin, you know how to find me!