ITU Startups: Touchlogic
At Touchlogic, they are working full speed to develop apps that can keep up with users and the technology – such as a face-recognising iPad receptionist, Denmark's very first smartwatch app and digital wish lists for Santa Claus – so Santa better have a smartphone.
When Jakob Roed Kierkegaard and Andreas Juul Hirszhorn studied at ITU, the Android software had just emerged, and there were only a handful of app developers on the Danish market. So with their Master’s degree and a few years of work experience on their resumes, they joined forces and started the app development company Touchlogic.
Today, Touchlogic makes a living implementing apps and consulting companies on how to optimise internal processes and campaigns. Their scope reaches far into the virtual world, and employees are experimenting with augmented reality and interaction technologies. The driving force behind the company is a desire to create something great, to be on the forefront of innovation, and the dream of becoming the largest app development company in Denmark.
What prompted you to start your own business?
To have the opportunity to work with cutting edge technology. Touchlogic has been involved with Android, iPhone and iPad development from the start. We have developed the first Danish smartwatch app, worked with Apple and Android TV, and already experimented with Virtual Reality programming.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as entrepreneurs?
Finding resources for auditing, tax regulations and contracts. It’s expensive and time consuming to get acquainted with all the rules and regulations, and it’s difficult to find everything you need, as it is spread out between many different resources.
How has your time at ITU prepared you for the task?
The project-oriented way of working is particularly relevant in app development. App projects are often quite small compared to big portal projects for instance, and resemble the larger projects at ITU in many ways.
What is ITU's greatest strength in relation to entrepreneurship - the students, the teachers or the environment?
The fellow students are the greatest strength. During your studies, you can create a good network with others in a similar situation, and through this, you can get inspiration and collaborate. We are still in contact with fellow students from ITU who have chosen an entrepreneurial path as well. This provides good opportunities for knowledge sharing and learning from each other’s mistakes and successes.
What is ITU good at?
ITU offers courses and education in relevant areas and knows what is happening on the job market and in the industry.
How can ITU become better at supporting entrepreneurs?
By offering counseling to start-ups in regards to finance, taxation and legal regulations. ITU should build a database with various kinds of relevant documents such as employment contracts, customer-focused contracts in the form of IT consultant contracts, fixed-price projects, and other similar documents. One can find many types of contract templates online, but as ITU solely focuses on IT projects, it is possible to produce more specific templates.
What is your best advice for those who are considering starting their own business?
Be realistic about budgets and how many hours of work you can do in week. If the company, like Touchlogic, is founded by programmers, find a good balance between programming, business development, PR and maintaining your network.
Where do you see Touchlogic in five, 10 and 20 years?
In 10 years, Touchlogic is an established player on the European market, working with Android and iOS app development - both for smartphones and tablets, but also other Android and iOS enabled devices. We have expanded the business to the other Scandinavian countries, Germany and perhaps London. We have also delivered our first major, public end-to-end project.