This is a guest post by Martin Grüner. He is an Estonian entrepreneur and hacker, co-founder of game studio Aplefly games. He spent last summer in US, where he had to learn to say no to people who wanted him to be their technical co-founder. The post was originally published at Martin's own blog. You can follow him on twitter through @MartinGryner.
Hackers are becoming more and more like VCs, they often have to say “no”. Last summer, just before the 500 demo day I attended an event which required me to fill in “company” on name tag. As I was there just to help out Zerply for less than 2 months I didn’t feel adequate enough use their name. I didn’t bother to write my consulting companies either as obviously it wouldn’t have said anything. I decided to go for “Hacker”. I don’t think I would have been forced to listen to as many pitches had I chosen “writing checks”.
Every week I get approached by someone with a “game changing” idea. All they need is someone to execute it. “Hey, I’ve heard you are good at IT stuff, let’s start up!”. Well, no.
Zerply has announced it has raised €600 000 (€456 000) to expand their development team and establish an office in Tallinn, Estonia. Investors in the round include Dave McClure / 500 Startups, Quotidan Ventures, EchoVC, and others. With the funding round, Zerply is also launching Zerply Converse, a conversation tool, and two new integrations where you can show off your skills.
Zerply operates on the idea that while resumes might still be the credentials of choice for fortune 500 companies, the creative class are better served through portfolios that demonstrate their talents. Online there's not a great place to go, and certainly LinkedIn's format doesn't best express a designer's talents.
We reviewed Zerply a few months back, calling it the next generation professional network. We weren’t wrong as the recent flare in its usage has been immense, maybe we are following all those who are part of Zerply, but we see the name more often in our timeline. The professional network is beginning to monetize its platform and has taken another step towards it with its premium themes.
Its growing catalog added themes from Mike Kus, a renowned web designer and another one by Kyle Steed. The theme by Mike Kus is sleek and offers a quick overview of your social links and contact information on the top. In short where it matters the most.
The next generation professional network (to be), Zerply is going beyond its private beta and coming out for the public. And while this news is worthwhile another one is of Zerply heading over to 500Startups. This means they will be a part of the 500 Startups accelerator program in the Valley, bringing them closer to the big names in the region along with accelerating their learning during their 4 months.
We talked about Zerply, a California based startup with roots in Northern Europe that aims at letting you present yourself in a more professional way with profile pages that integrate with numerous other social profile that you already have. The startup announced the release of their endorsement widget. The widget lets you display your tags on any website so visitors can get an idea on who you are and more easily endorse you.