Empowering Swiss Startups to Internationalize.
Qipp Cares For Your Stuff So You Can Enjoy It
Claudio Büttler is a jock. A sports guy. At home in Basel, Switzerland, he plays volleyball and intercrosse, which is similar to lacrosse. When he came to California in May to work with swissnex San Francisco’s Startup Services team as the CMO of qipp, he made sure to survey local sporting events including the Giants baseball and Golden State Warriors basketball home games, noting, “It’s not just sports here, but always entertainment too.”
Büttler’s company, qipp, wants to save you the hassle of keeping track of your things. He knows a lot about things. Büttler studied economics at the University of Basel in 2004 when he founded his first company, PRIMECUT, with three classmates. Still in existence, PRIMECUT manufactures and sells fashion accessories including belts and bags. And Büttler is quite an extraordinary amateur photographer with a host of photography related gadgets and accessories. A Canon 40D and matching L-series lenses are his favorite tools.
After his studies, Büttler got a job at a PR consultancy with a focus on social media, and then later joined the team at synesix, a company led by Stefan Zanetti that specializes in consulting for insurance companies. He quickly rose from a mainly accounting and human resources position to a leader on product teams. Today, he’s Co-CEO of another company Zanetti founded, called careware, which brings real world items to the insurance business. Their smoke detectors—originally used by insurance reps as props—are now sold through online shops directly from utility companies and energy efficiency sites. Büttler was behind that.
Since starting at synesix, Büttler had the kernel of an idea for a tool that could help deal with all the stuff of everyday life—a mix of his social media background and the product insights he’s picked up over the years. That kernel is now qipp, which Zanetti and Büttler founded together in December of 2012.
qipp is a web application that takes care of your products. Imagine if you never had to save and file your receipts, keep track of manuals, or remember when your warranty is up. That’s what qipp has in mind and more, using easy tagging and scanning and an online interface.
“We all know we should have a binder of receipts and warranties filed away, but we don’t do the work because it’s boring,” Büttler says. qipp will also go beyond this to alert you to sales promotions, provide a platform to share recommendations and ratings, and facilitate product sales and swaps.
Büttler’s goals for working with swissnex San Francisco’s Startup Services team and spending time in the Silicon Valley were to get an overview of best practices with regard to user acquisition and retention, and to work on qipp’s pre-launch communication. On all counts, he succeeded.
“San Francisco is the most important place in the world for startups,” Büttler says. “It’s the perfect place to get connected to other entrepreneurs.”
He adds, “I had a list of what I wanted and swissnex made it happen. I was able to get out and meet people from day 1; it would have taken me much longer on my own. Staying here was like a mind shift. It reinforced that you can get your idea out and then test it. You don’t have to wait until it is perfect. We know that’s the model for lean startups, but it is good to see that’s how others really do it.”
Before Büttler returned to Switzerland, he did manage to catch a couple of women’s lacrosse games. And he bought his own lacrosse stick to take home. If only he had something that could help him manage this new gear…
That could be coming soon.
“Actually, sports equipment could be an important category for qipp,” he says.