Youhan Lee is the CO-CEO of COLLABEE, Speaking to Speaking to Celsa Sorbonne (Paris&Co.) about his innovative start-up and the value it provides to businesses
“Nowadays Business teams, small or big, are using a lot of tools to communicate their work, they are using emails to communicate externally, different team messengers to communicate internally as well as several separate tools to manage their tasks, projects, scheduling and files. Workflow is being fragmented throughout many different channels, this means that teams might be using five different tools for managing their work, so they are here and there, spending more time managing these tools instead of working on their main jobs”.
Collabee is that one communication tool that brings as many of these functionalities into one tool, enabling teams to follow the natural progression of how collaboration occurs by organizing discussions by each issue being addressed. Therefore, instead of having to flip through chats or different tools to find out the full story of what is going on, you just open one window where you can see everything from start to finish.
Lee says that at Collabee, they are trying to make work a lot smoother so teams can spend more time doing their job instead of communicating and wasting time, in managing all these different tools. His Co-founder, used to work at the number one search portal of Korea and he was analyzing the communication problems for face to face communications, meetings and phone calls to find out what the problem was and try to find solutions for that. As for Lee, he used to work at one of the biggest accounting and audit firms, he worked on ERP system, audits and design implementation, so they had the expertise needed as a team to start up and develop this business idea, especially that they understand how communication has been always a problem, Lee said.
Lee confirms that Europe is a cluster of great countries that need better communication tools. It has the strongest adoptions to tools like this, right now the strongest growth rates for cloud collaboration is in Europe so it is one of the first markets they would like to come to and start their global expansion from, focusing on other start-up, small-medium size businesses, who have started to feel the importance and need to spend more time on working instead of getting interrupted and wasting time communicating.
“Spending one month in a European country and joining this huge event is a great opportunity for me to learn more about our customers and understand their needs so we can better plan our strategy in coming to Europe”
As he cited, they have faced a lot of challenges while working on Collabee, especially that they are all first-time founders for a company, so they made a great solution, put it out there expecting people to just start using it, and that was not the case. “For a tool like this, you have to understand your customers, you have to understand the process, you need to help them understand the value of using such a tool and describe how it will improve their work. It is important to know that customers are number one at any business and it is essential to find more and more ways to talk to them, learn about them and understand their needs”
Lee concludes with basic but important recommendation to any person who would like to set up his own business “Don’t be scared to talk to your customers, don’t be scared to get an advice and try to get feedback, that’s how you improve. In the beginning, we were talking to our customers every now and then but now we talk to them every day. Feedback of our customers is driving the way that our solution is going to and I am sure it going to help you make a better product no matter what the feedback is”.
Interview conducted by Alix Philippot Student and Natalie Haberlich, international advisor at CELSA Paris-Sorbonne