SnapABug – the story of a TechStars incubation

Jerome Breche of Huntville, Alabama based web statup SnapABug recently reached out to Techvibes for a little coverage of some new product features. Since Huntsville isn’t one of the 13 cities Techvibes currently covers, I was ready to pass on his news.

Fortunately in his email he mentioned that he and co-founder Jerome Mouton had been selected by TechStars to spend the summer of 2009 in Boulder. Intrigued to hear more about his experience, I asked him to comment on his time with Brad Feld and crew.

When we left our day jobs in March 2009, TimZon’s goal was to provide a solution to facilitate collaboration with remote development teams through recorded video and whiteboarding. After a fast month at Techstars in Boulder and with the rapid feedback from all TechStars mentors we quickly realized that getting tech people to adopt video for asynchronous communication was going to be a huge challenge.

We’d created most of the solution but decided to adapt our technology to solve the inefficiency generated by misunderstanding in the outbound customer support process. Like a fair percentage of TechStars’ companies we changed our idea during the program. But little did we know that we would change it again a few months later, thanks to everything we’ve learned from the TechStars community.

During the summer in Boulder and after the end of TechStars we kept receiving feature request for a tool that wasn’t designed for that. Finally sometime in September, we decided to follow our users’ feedback instead of the initial vision and started coding again to create SnapABug.

SnapABug is a widget that can be installed on any website and provide support teams with a screen capture of the webpage seen by their visitor when they are requesting support. SnapABug is already helping thousands of websites to streamline their customer support process and improve overall customer satisfaction.

We are very proud today to announce the addition of SnapABug live chat. While still helping customer care departments see what their visitors are seeing, we are now adding the ability for them to chat with their visitors from their existing instant messaging client or mobile device. Providing a way to improve customer satisfaction and ultimately sell better.

Reflecting on our TechStars experience and now that we are about to officially shutdown TimZon to focus 100% on SnapABug, we realize that without the amazing network of TechStars mentors and their valuable feedback, we wouldn’t have been able to create a product that is saving time and money without creating new problems.

TechStars is now in Boulder, Boston and Seattle, I highly recommend applying to anyone looking to start a successful Internet business.

With seed-stage incubators modelled after Y Combinator and TechStars popping up in almost every city – yesterday i/o Ventures launched in San Francisco – it looks like this will be THE WAY to start a web-based business in 2010.