Three IE University students, Teiko Wilenius (Dual Degree in BBA and LL.B.), Philipp Nette (BBA) and Benjamin Ranft (BBA), have become entrepreneurs after completing their studies and starting their own company.
Their thrilling startup, ‘Cutnut’, is an all-in-one platform that allows users to produce story content on their devices. They are backed by the Next Media Accelerator premier hub for media innovation in Europe and they have raised 180,000 euros pre-product. Additionally, they have been featured in this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 list for European media and marketing.
We interviewed them to learn more about the company; keep reading to find out more:
What is Cutnut?
Cutnut brings the story format (known from platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat) to companies, by providing the easiest story content creation platform available. With the Story Editor at its core, and the UGC app and embeddable story widget as two useful extensions, Cutnut helps companies to collect, produce and distribute high quality story content for their social media platforms and websites/apps easier, faster and cheaper than ever before.
How did you get your idea or concept for Cutnut?
The idea came to Philipp out of the blue on a warm Sunday afternoon in Segovia. We originally came up with an idea for a social video network during our undergraduate studies in Business Administration at IE University. After being accepted to the Next Media Accelerator program, we quickly pivoted our MVP to a SaaS tool for companies to create vertical stories with ease. The change was mainly influenced by the feedback we received from industry leaders during meetings we had in the past six months.
What do you do at Cutnut and how has the company grown?
We split responsibilities among the three founders as much as possible, given we are working in a startup. Philipp (CEO) takes care of strategy and investor relations; Teiko (CFO) is in charge of our financial and legal issues; and Ben (CPO) is responsible for product development and technical team management. Since the beginning we raised our first investment ourselves, scaled from one product to three and now employ six developers.
What has been the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Our biggest challenge was to identify a real need in the market for our product. Offering the original social video network app to companies and finding a way to monetize it proved very difficult, until we took the companies’ feedback to heart and shifted to a SaaS model with our current set of tools. It was a hard lesson to learn that your wonderful first idea is not necessarily what the market has been waiting for.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
Being an entrepreneur often means that you have to cope with a lot of ups and downs along your startup’s development. The uncertainty around your future demands a lot of courage and endurance. The key is to keep going and find new solutions to your dilemmas every day. For us, entrepreneurship is the unbreakable will to create something, paired with the courage to actually do it.
What is your advice to anyone who is considering a career as an entrepreneur?
Keep your product as lean as possible and test early. We all want to present our clients and/or users with the best possible version of our product, but the reality is that your product is never exactly what the market wants. Never be afraid to share details about your idea. Nobody is interested in stealing it as, in the end, it’s all about execution. Finally, find a team that can build the MVP without the need to raise cash.