In this interview, we talk with Jakob Bodenmüller (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jakobbodenmueller/) Co-Founder and CEO of HIGGS (https://higgs.live/). HIGGS is an app, which allows you to not only do live videos but also run a live trivia show for your audience. We talk to him since he was at the time of recording (May 2018) member of the current batch of the German Accelerator (GA) Tech in New York.
About the German Accelerator
One of the places where startups are supported on the ground in New York City, where the GA is located in SoHo on Broadway. The other locations, where GA supports German startups with local programs are in Boston, Silicon Valley and newly in Singapore. The next application deadline is just around the corner. Learn more about the German Accelerator below and apply for the program here: http://bit.ly/2J5uY9a German Accelerator Tech is a three to nine-month growth accelerator empowering high-potential German tech startups to successfully enter the U.S. market with a program tailored to their needs. Through extensive hands-on mentoring, free office space, and immediate access to a top-notch network selected companies are fully immersed in the Silicon Valley or New York City ecosystem right upon arrival. In the world’s capitals for innovation and startup success, they are exposed to a dynamic and international environment. With the support of German Accelerator Tech, startups save precious time and money in building their business in the largest market on earth. German Accelerator Tech was initiated in 2012 and is funded by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs as well as corporate partners. The startups do not provide any equity or pay any fees. More than 150 companies have graduated from the program thus far. German Accelerator also supports young German Life Sciences companies to enter the U.S. market via Boston. Since early 2018, there is also a Singapore office helping German tech startups looking to expand to Southeast Asia.
00:06 Announcer: Welcome to Startuprad.io your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German startup scene with news, interviews and live events.
00:20 Joe: Hello and welcome everybody this is Joe from Startuprad.io here again for you in New York on the rooftop of the building with the German accelerator program. Here live and direct and as you can hear there’s a lot of street noise around, we’re very sorry about it but we do have another carrying startup here from the New York accelerator program of the German accelerator. Can you briefly introduce yourself?
00:43 Jakob: Hi Joe. Sure, I can name is Jakob I’m the co-founder of the startup Higgs. We are building a software for live videos for interactive live videos, we actually came here to New York half a year ago and decided to do…build our startup here as well, yeah.
01:02 Joe: That is pretty nice. Where you are originally from in Germany?
01:05 Jakob: So, actually I come from (unclear 01:07 ) I moved to Neunic to study there and then like after my studies I started Higgs and now came to New York.
01:15 Joe: Okay, let us just to make it a little bit more touchable for the people what is like the interactive life what you’re talking about? Let’s assume we would now make live videos, what could the viewers actually do?
01:29 Jakob: Yeah, so actually maybe to explain that a bit better so what we see is actually that like on social media, on YouTube, on Facebook we had like a lot of short-term… short form videos. Kind of like with Snapchat we kind of had the disappearing videos now, like in the last years live videos started and now the newest trend that we’re seeing is basically interactive live videos. That means like people can not only watch something live, they can actually participate in what they see. So this like here in the US there’s a huge trend for like a trivia show where basically you can watch a trivia show and you can not only watch it like you can answer questions. You can actually do something so you can win money and actually, there’s a second like the super successful company here in the U.S. its Patterson where you can actually have like cycling classes. So you actually do cycling life and it’s like you as a viewer you’re kind of like in the center so you’re actually doing something while watching it. And this is something that we really… that we are really excited about so we really like the idea of having something to do while you’re watching it. And making videos more interactive, so we’re basically providing like brands, companies, and the software to basically produce interactive live videos.
02:50 Joe: That is pretty cool, so with your video capability not right now but at one point in the future you could get in your home on your cycle put on VR glasses and just cycle with some other people through virtual reality.
03:05 Jakob: Yeah, so virtual reality is actually like… it kind of like evolution that could happen to our self as well. We now focus on like more like social media live videos that you see on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter that are not like virtual reality yet. But that could definitely happen at some kind.
03:25 Joe: What are you doing now?
03:28 Jakob: So, now we’re like adding like interactive features to live videos so to stick that was your example. So we have kind of a future for like a good example is a cooking show, so cooking shows nowadays.
03:42 Joe: I love cooking.
03:43 Jakob: Yeah, it is actually my favorite example as well. I really like cooking so in a cooking show nowadays you have a lot of them in T.V like it’s like you can watch them but it’s really like passive. So what we’re doing with our software is basically enable you to turn on your smartphone camera and show what you’re cooking at the same time. So you can have like a shared experience, you can interact with the chef so you can show him what you’re cooking and he can give like feedback. You can see what other people are cooking at the same time, so it’s all happening live right? So you can see what other people are cooking live, you can indicate when you’re done so it kind of becomes like more like shared experience where everybody’s like interacting while watching something.
04:22 Joe: And now one more question to that is it required everybody’s like actively participating or can you have like five people cooking together and twenty thousand watching?
04:34 Jakob: Yeah, that’s a really good question. So actually you can participate but you can also just watch and enjoy so that’s really up to you.
04:43 Joe: And in there like an admin function where someone can actually manage all of that?
04:48 Jakob: Exactly, this is exactly what we’re building. Is actually the control board to like basically…? Yeah, for brands, for content producers to basically control these interactions, control what’s happening in there. Yeah, that’s exactly our software.
05:04 Joe: How far is your product right now?
05:06 Jakob: So we’re going live with the first show next week which is going to be really exciting for us. So yeah we kind of like built a software it’s kind of like from a technical point of view, it’s quite challenging to have like a live video with almost no delay. You know if you’re interacting like you know I’m talking with you now so that’s kind of an interaction, if you receive everything that I’m saying like thirty seconds later. Like an interaction like talking is not really possible so if you want to have like interactive live video you got to have like almost no delay and that’s kind of the challenge that we’re facing. And that’s kind of the problems that we solved with our technology and we kind of like go live like next week probably, yeah.
05:54 Joe: Well at the point this is going online unfortunately you will have already been live but best of luck for that. And just one more geeky question out of curiosity at the end, what would be the most favored recipient you would share on your first cooking show?
06:11 Jakob: Okay, that’s a good question. So, I’d probably share like a really great homemade curry so I like…
06:23 Joe: Curry.
06:23 Jakob: I love Japanese curry actually that’s something I really like. I’ll maybe do something like that so yeah more like healthy food.
06:33 Joe: Well best of luck.
06:35 Jakob: Yeah and can I say one more thing like…?
06:37 Joe: Sure, go ahead.
06:38 Jakob: To everybody that’s maybe listening or watching. Check out our website www.higgs.live to watch like cool live shows in the next weeks and support us there thank you.
06:53 Joe: And everybody who’s curious just go down here in the show notes for the links. You’ll find the website of Higgs and the German accelerator program and an opportunity to apply and come here to do rooftop terrace.
07:06 Jakob: Yeah it’s a great program you should definitely do it.
07:09 Joe: Yes, we hear it. Thank you.
07:11 Jakob: Cool.
07:17 Announcer: That’s all folks find more news, streams, events and interviews at www.startuprad.io. Remember sharing is caring.