Alex Naydenov (Co-Founder, CMO) and André Gaul (Co-Founder, CEO) © Nils Lucas
What inspired you to found your startup?
The idea about PaperHive emerged during André’s work as a researcher at the Technical University of Berlin. As a mathematics PhD, he experienced the negative consequences of inefficient or sometimes non-existent communication about scientific concepts. So, he decided to solve the problem he and his fellow researchers had.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
Success is having users and customers who are so happy with your existing product that they start asking you: “We also have this other problem. Can you build a product to solve it, too?”
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Be even leaner in our product development and marketing activities.
What problem does your product solve?
Researchers read between 12 and 25 hours a week. However, they cannot easily exchange opinions about the complex concepts in academic books and articles. Time is wasted by repeating others’ mistakes and tackling problems others have already solved. Similarly, students often read in isolation, do not share lecture notes and quickly lose motivation to study without the support of their peers.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
In 1 year, we will be working with the world’s largest academic publishers and universities. In 5 years, we will be the leading platform where researchers and students read, discuss and review academic texts.
How are you different?
We are enabling real-time communication in the margins of millions of publications. Groups and communities of researchers can now finally collaborate during the process of reading and reviewing academic texts.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
Researchers spend between 25% and 50% of their time reading, so PaperHive is used on a daily basis.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
PaperHive is helping some of the smartest people in the world to focus on their research and not waste time on unproductive activities. Moreover, we make learning a more motivating process, so students have drastically improved learning outcomes.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The startup scene has become a key employment engine for the city. It offers jobs to anyone willing to risk and makes hard work almost as appealing as vacation.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Anyone can feel at home in Berlin. It is welcoming, well-connected and full of talented and ambitious professionals.
It can definitely benefit from less bureaucracy.
PaperHive was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.