Vlipsy—a new video clip search engine that lets users quickly find and share quotes and scenes from their favorite internet videos—is one of the newest companies to join the Innovation Fund portfolio. Here’s what CEO and co-founder, Chris Nickless, had to say about why he and Matt Tew started the business, what sets it apart, and what he thinks it takes to be successful in Northeast Ohio’s startup scene.
Q | How did the idea for Vlipsy come about?
For the past 8 years, we’ve been creating consumer products that help users communicate. We landed on this idea a couple years back when a group of friends would chat on Skype every day and try to reference movie clips in conversation by finding the video on YouTube and sharing it back into the conversation. It was really challenging to find the right clip and share it before the conversation moved on, and on top of that, the video was never trimmed correctly so the punchline we were going for was often missed. As time went on we realized we weren’t alone on there being a market need for a solution and we thought, “Who better to build this than us?”
Q| What makes your technology different than anything else out there?
We’re really focused on the quality of our library. Our goal is to build up trust in the Vlipsy brand as a service that unlocks a better way to communicate. It’s easy to get carried away grabbing any phrase ever recorded on video, but our approach is way more on quality over quantity. We have a team of editors focused on curating trending content and are committed to making short form video content available wherever you communicate online.
Q | What is it like growing a startup within Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?
It’s exciting. There’s tremendous support in the area and we all feel bonded together for a common goal of making this area’s ecosystem a big success. I’ve been humbled and incredibly encouraged by the outpouring support from the area. There’s always been a wealth of technical talent in the area, and the vision for building big ideas in this area is a common goal for so many in this region.
Q| What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?
Grit. You must absolutely believe in yourself and what you’re doing. Everyone will tell you that being an entrepreneur means you’ll be on an endless rollercoaster of the upswings and downswings, but the confidence you have in your abilities will carry you through anything.
Q | What do you love about leading a startup?
I love the ability to stretch yourself and learn. You are constantly out of your comfort zone and there’s no backup beyond yourself and your will to win. Every day you are maximizing your abilities and growing intellectually and personally. I’ve always been a fan of puzzles, and that’s what a startup is – one big puzzle. Each day is a chance to uncover the next piece and inch closer to completing the bigger picture. It’s fun, as an entrepreneur you’re not just daydreaming, you’re living it out, chasing the dream and writing your own story with every hour of every day.