Bio: Tassos Papantoniou is an enthusiastic young entrepreneur, investor and founder of game changing start up ConnectID, an innovative contact management platform that reinvents the way people exchange, update and manage their most important contact details. Though this is his first tech startup, at the same time he is building businesses with some great clients in luxury yachting and sailing, being a partner at Torrance Yachts. Studied history in US and shipping trade and finance management at Cass Business School UK. Hobbies and interests revolve around yoga, boxing, photography and cooking.
What triggered ConnectiD’s creation?
As a Yachtbroker and young person on the London social scene, I would go to different boat shows or social events, where I would give out so many business cards, and get around two or three hundred in return. By the end of the event you can’t remember anyone and you are left with a pile of cards to ad-minister and transfer to your address book if they are to be of use in the future! Information is scattered everywhere with all the social networks we have today and we end up having the same person in 4-5 different places (emails, mobile, WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn to name but a few). This is how I came up with the idea for ConnectID, I wanted to create something that would enable you to share a full set of details quickly and digitally and a single place where one can connect all of their ID’s together – hence the name! ConnectiD is the smartest address book that will help you tidy up your contact list and that will keep everyone up to date as details change. We think this might be the first true meta network which is exciting for us!
Any emerging industry trends?
There is lots of consolidation in the contacts management Industry happening at the moment. Brewster was acqui-hired by Burger King and then subsequently the product was acquired by Full Contact who seem to be the dominant player with the most acquisitions in the industry today. Humin and Knock-Knock which had origi-nally received support from Richard Branson and Will-i-am was acqui-hired by Tinder at the end of March 2016 in a deal that indicates Tinder may want to go beyond dating with its neat swipe to like or dislike product.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
There are hundreds of potential use cases for ConnectiD including secure back up in the cloud for your personal contacts, an up to date team contact list or potentially in the future a cost effective permission based customer database for a brand. The latest technological trends have massively impacted the way people interact with each other, consume and use media. This has triggered the topic of Big Data at the epicentre of today’s digital world.
As a businessman, entrepreneur or young graduate you need to have a fully integrated approach to managing your information and contacts across all these platforms. Some may argue that if people are interested in connecting they will find you on LinkedIn. This platform can make a lot of sense in the business world, however, how useful is LinkedIn in for friends and family or indeed keeping your ad-dress book up to date?
Monty Munford explains in this Forbes article WHY ConnectID May Finally Be The Business Social Network That LinkedIn Should Have Been.
“Accessing phone numbers on Facebook and Gmail is still annoying and latest contact information feels as outdated as the stack of business cards in my office that I refuse to throw away. People on LinkedIn only seem to update their information when they’re after a new job […]” Monty Munford, Forbes, Apr 22nd 2016
ConnectiD gets even more interesting once an organisation you are part of uses the product too. Estab-lishing CRM and optimising a database requires time and investment, and it is one of the biggest, most costly challenges companies face nowadays. ConnectiD can be easily integrated with your existing business practices providing a new channel to cleanse personal data and opens up new functionality for a user that already has the app on their device. If you are part of an organisation that uses ConnectiD, you can then also see what information they hold on you, and update it, plus you can connect and col-laborate with others members of the organisation to exchange a full set of details and you can receive notifications from the organisation direct to your own mobile device. ConnectiD can be a very valuable tool for business, members networks or professional groups to help manage their database and drive long-term value for their stakeholders and clients through up-to-date information.
How can ConnectiD help me organise my life, and your vision for the Business?
Imagine never having to maintain your address book again because all of your contacts do it for you…that’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Imagine all the things you could do with your time instead…
ConnectiD has a vision to organise the worlds contact information and give you back control of your own details like no other app out there. In addition, we aim to become the most trusted, cloud-based, contacts app on the market promising never to mess up your address book or spam your contacts, which is where many of our predecessors have failed. We also want to earn your respect by placing ‘user control’ at the heart of our strategy in that you can control who has access to what from your in-formation.
The immediate goal for ConnectiD is to deliver the world’s smartest address book, which allows you to access, share and automatically update contact information without barely lifting a finger!
What does ConnectiD actually do?
◦ ConnectiD looks for everyone you have in your native contacts who is on the service and automati-cally connects you to them – just like Whatsapp only we do this on multiple email addresses and phone numbers
◦ If anyone changes a single field that you hold you will automatically receive the updated information in real time
◦ It enables you to share more i.e. a full set of information including social and messaging IDs to those you already know or indeed communicate a change of any information like a new mobile number or address when moving house via the app to some or all of your contacts.
◦ You can share your details with people you meet via airdrop / email or SMS and via QR code and NFC soon
◦ ConnectiD also has time zone awareness so you can avoid unwanted calls in the middle of the night if you are travelling or working within international teams.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We have been running an exciting tech-conference marathon over the past six months attending Web-Summit in Dublin and Tech-Crunch Disrupt in London in 2015, then going to Wolves Summit, Business Rocks and TNW in Amsterdam in 2016. We built our first few versions of ConnectiD and we have now validated the concept with real users and are planning to scale the product and launch our first enterprise implementations over the next six months.
What would be the single biggest indicator to you that you are doing the right thing?
Seeing people move away from old-fashioned ways of sharing contact details by tapping them into their phone or sharing a business card. Neither of which rewards you with up to date contact details forever more. We want people to “think contact details….think ConnectiD” and form a new habit. This is all about taking control of your own contact information instead of investing your time updating everyone else’s!
Your most difficult moment at the Business?
We initially started with a fully responsive web app that worked across all devices. However, whilst this was good for accessibility the user experience was not good enough. We quickly pivoted using early feedback from customers and chose to focus on native iOS and Android for our initial launch. Your ad-dress book is predominantly managed and maintained on your smartphone these days, which has an ad-dress book that we can begin to bring up to date. Incorporating patented technology to keep your con-tact list up to date always has been tough, but we have taken it in our stride…Check your address book and see for yourself once you have the app installed.
Do you have any tips for those who are about to embark on their own start-up journey?
The only tip I have for others is don’t give up on your idea and get the app out as fast as possible, don’t ponder every move for days. Essentially you have to create a minimum viable product, rather a basic ver-sion to release to the wild as quickly as possible and then iterate it. Be ready to listen to people’s feed-back and experience along the way, as they will help your product grow and evolve.