At home in digital entertainment
In conversation with Hendrik Rump, CEO of Quantumfrog GmbH.
Digital web development plus gaming know how
Companies are increasingly asking about using gaming concepts in digital business – Quantumfrog offers complex web technolgies and App development for this, and expands them into gaming fields.
Mr Rump, what went particularly well during the start-up phase of your business?
We were able to turn our first big idea into reality through the ‘eXist’ start-up funding award; our first product, the trading card game ‘Nanofights’ gathered a lot of followers and admiration fast, and this motivated us to devise more ideas and concepts, and also to establish the business field that we understand as ‘digital entertainment’ as an important part of our work. We got additional support and encouragement from the ‘Gründerstipendium Niedersachsen’ start-up fund and above all in the early stages from nordmedia.
How did that happen – who gave the decisive support?
Early on we sought contact with the gaming industry – like at the GamesCom fair in Cologne, which we visited two years running and then the following year were well represented with our own area at the nordmedia shared stand. Furthermore, nordmedia supported us, especially through the growth phase, with funding advances for our gaming projects. At our founding location in Oldenburg we found above all support and advice from the Chair for Entrepreneurship at the start-up university Oldenburg on all sorts of matters. And we were also helped by the team at Oldenburg start-up centre (GIZ).
What would be the most important advice that you’d give other start-ups for the initial phases?
You should have a very sharply focused business model, and keep to it. Don't make the project too big to start with, and be sure to factor in the necessary resources, especially in setting up the team and the finances.
Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
We wouldn’t have started with such a big project as Nanofights – probably not, at any rate. You should choose the technology to apply very carefully, and be able to judge how it’ll develop as well as possible.
What’s special about your products and services, and what kind of clients do you particularly appeal to?
With games development on the one hand and App and web technology development on the other we’re offering services in two different but interlaced areas. We appeal to customers who need modern solutions for their digital content, and at the same time our credibility is enhanced by expertise in games development, for example in the fields of serious gaming and gamification.
For instance, we’re currently developing a gamified App- and web-based solution with digital tools to integrate learning and experience in the construction trades, as part of a research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In cooperation with Germany’s largest educational publisher with headquarters in Niedersachsen we’re devising an innovative vocabulary learning game that’s going to revolutionise the way pupils learn various foreign languages – playfully. Also, we’re familiar with the technologies in the fields of augmented reality and virtual reality and have, for instance, a working virtual reality 3-D prototype with which one can move almost completely freely in the space and control the 3-D world just with gestures – without a controller. With all these solutions, several areas usually overlap, and so we are just as much at home with complex web technologies as with App developments, and often enhance them with gaming.
Also, various companies that, for instance, need a gaming concept for advertising are among our clients. This combination is something special in that it taps into all our wide-ranging competences in digital business – through to digital entertainment.
What do you particularly appreciate about Niedersachsen as a business location?
Regional networking in Niedersachsen is especially lively, so we can make lots of important contacts, build on and maintain them. Networking among Oldenburg and other Niedersachsen companies and partners is very neighbourly. We feel very much at home in Oldenburg, and we’re often in Bremen, Hannover or Braunschweig with our partners in Niedersachsen and roundabout – and further afield too, working in Hamburg, Cologne, even Munich. In Oldenburg we appreciate the solid support from the city’s business promotion agency, or the bank for instance.
What are you especially proud of?
What really makes us proud is the positive feedback we get about our projects from clients, network partners and colleagues in the region and beyond. When the passion that we work with is seen and appreciated, that pushes us forward to be even better and to invest even more. Moreover, we’re proud of our team, that’s come a long way in just under six years from two founders. Our employees are strongly motivated and are all an important part of von our Quantumfrog GmbH.
What challenges do you see coming your way?
As in almost any start-up or young company, the year-on-year financing and realising our many ideas and projects is an issue that concerns us deeply. We’re constantly putting a shape on our specialisations, and building up long-term projects and partnerships. We look very closely at how to position ourselves in emerging areas such as virtual reality before we decide whether it fits in with the Quantumfrog GmbH business model.
Do foreign markets play a part in devising your product range? Which countries are particularly interesting?
Games are a worldwide market, so we have to be well set up internationally. The same goes for the App market with stores all over the world. Our digital business models are always prepared with scaling effects, for instance to go international. With our entry this year in the GTR Accelerator Programme, for instance, we’ll be expanding our network especially to include worldwide games publishers (marketers) – the Asian market above all is thus open to us.
Where do you see the market for your company in five or ten years from now?
The market for our company is already internationally oriented. We’re working a lot with our Niedersachsen partners and clients, and also much further afield – and this doesn’t stop at the German border. Our home is in digital business, in digital entertainment – and this is a world market. Way back, five years ago, our first game ‘Nanofights’ had gamers in Brazil, Russia and Asia. Strong international contacts, for instance a very close partnership with Microsoft, enables us to take our developments into markets worldwide, and that’s what we’re already doing, every day.
Mr Rump, thank you for the interview.