The 23rd participant is 3eep

3eep - is a social media enterprise. It delivers technology and commercial services to clients who want to establish their own social media businesses and create social networks in their communities. 3eep’s focus is on local sports communities. Let us learn more about 3eep and the people behind it:

• Who are the founders behind this and how it started?
Who are the founders behind this and how it started.
The founders of 3eep are Rob Antulov, CEO, who was the former head of strategy at Fairfax, and Nick Gonios, COO and Head of Community Development, who has spent time with HotHouse Interactive, Microsoft and Fujitsu.

• How long it took before it was up and running?
From our initial thoughts about building a sports-oriented social network to launching our first beta version took about six months. We launched our partner Platform product within 4 months of that.

• What stage of your start-up is, stealth mode, beta mode or fully functional?
3eep is still in an early stage of development, but we have three Platform partners in place, one in Australia, one in Canada and one in Germany. Although internally we regard our business as being in permanent beta, we are live in multiple geographies with our services.

• What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
To enable local sporting communities to move their real-world conversations into an online space.

• What services it provides for consumer or customers?
Social media services – enabling the creation of social networks and user-generated content for the local communities.

• What is unique about your venture?
Leading provider of white-labelled sports-oriented social media technology platform.

• What market segment verticals you are targeting for?
Local and amateur sports communities.

• What type of customers you are targeting
Sports players, fans, coaches, administrators and parents.

• What age group of people will benefit most?
All ages who participate in sports either as a player or fan or administrator

• How many users are using your services?

• What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word?
For 3eep, we are doing very little marketing at the moment, relying on our reference sites to generate interest in what we are doing.
Our partners employ a combination of :
  • (a) mass media marketing,
  • (b) email, SEO and SEM,
  • (c) relationship marketing with sports administrators,
  • (d) field marketing and
  • (e) viral marketing
•How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are there any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
Success is measured by many factors – but the simplest for us is the number of partners using our services, the total number of members they have using their services, and the revenues being generated on the sites.

• What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is there any new model, which is being tried?
The primary revenue model for 3eep is in the provision of technology and commercial services. The primary revenue model for our partners is advertising and sponsorship.

• Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment? What are the main technologies used behind this start-up?
No other providers in the same space, but other companies deliver software which enables local sports teams to manage their clubs and competitions.

• What has been the easiest to use, out of the box and helpful technology?
We are using Ruby on Rails methodology, and open source software for core social media components.

• Are you using a lot of open-source tool sets for this?

• What is your operating environment (operating system) and what type of database you are using?
We are running on Linux OS with Ruby on Rails as the application development framework. The database is MySQL.

• How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up. Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
Once a month

• How much money is needed upfront to start a venture?
It depends

• What are the main barriers in general for people to start their venture in Australia?
Funding and willingness for commercial partners to use these new services (Australian corporations are generally conservative in their uptake of new services, preferring to wait to see if others are using them)

• What are your thoughts on the future trends of your service and the market segment you are in?
Strong growth

• Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture?
Don’t run out of money during the start-up phase

Thanks to the founders of 3eep, Rob and Nick, for sharing their thoughts. We look forward to hearing from them in future on the progress of 3eep. All the best for 3eep and the competition in this carnival.