© Nils Lucas
What inspired you to found your startup?
We met while working together on a big data research project at TU-Berlin. The technology we developed eventually became the Apache Flink software that we open sourced to make it available to others. We realized that the technology was highly applicable to many important and significant business use cases, and the best way to get the technology in the hands of users was to create a company, so that’s what we did.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
We’ve always worked hard to make sure the products we build are breaking new ground technologically and enabling our customers to build things that were never before possible–being leaders in our field technically while also building products that are useful to our customers is important to us.
What problem does your product solve?
Apache Flink is a software framework for developers that enables businesses to build real-time products for their end users, both generating insights from data and responding to those insights in real-time.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
We’re excited to keep pushing the envelope with technology while building a best-in-class business along the way. We’ll be building out all functions on our team in the coming years, especially those responsible for distributing and supporting our product to a growing (and global) customer base.
How are you different?
Apache Flink allows our customers to build real-time applications that accelerates their business goals, in a way that’s cost-effective and easy to manage. We strive to build tools that developers love to work with but that also solve a new set of high-impact problems. Real-time software tools from previous generations left a lot of important questions unanswered, and it’s our goal to build the most complete solution on the market.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
There are a range of examples, and here are a couple: organizations like Alibaba use Flink to personalise search results in real-time and more relevant search results drive more revenue; and ING uses Flink to provide better fraud detection to its banking customers which decreases cost and improves customer service.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
To build on our previous answer, I think most people would find it surprising the extent to which end users are impacted by significant improvements in data infrastructure. Companies are able to provide their customers with more relevant experiences and are able to communicate with them, when it’s important to do so, in real-time.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The Berlin ecosystem has matured significantly in the past few years, and we’ve seen a number of startup success stories in the city. That’s helped a lot for attracting new talent, venture capital investment, and the availability of good mentors. It’s exciting to see the progress.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
There are loads of talented people in Berlin, and it’s a great place to build a team. Our customers are located globally, including the San Francisco Bay Area and major cities where financial services companies are concentrated, so we find ourselves flying around the world on a regular basis. It’s exciting to work with such a diverse user base, but of course the travel requires a lot of time and energy.
Data Artisans was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.