CI Hub was one of the first start-ups to become part of the MTH Accelerator programme at the beginning of 2019, and thus part of our portfolio. Since then, they have closed a seven-figure financing round, built up a team in Potsdam and are an integral part of the MediaTech Hub. Founders Jörg Seidler and Andreas Michalski (plus Jasper Ullrich) tell us more about their story and what they’re up to in the June issue of MTH Unboxing.
1. What did you do before CI HUB?
Andreas: Before CI HUB, I worked in marketing automation for 15 years. I owned a company, which I then sold to a French group. Our product iBrams (Integrated Brand Management Solution) allowed primarily international or decentralized companies to create marketing materials without the help of advertising agencies. Marketing materials customization is a multi-billion dollar market. So we were already working on the predecessor of CI HUB.
Jörg: I graduated with a degree in automation and data processing (which feels like it happened 100 years ago!), and since then I have gained more than 25 years of professional experience in the fields of marketing, internet, and software development. I met my co-founders at iBrams, where I worked with Andreas and Jasper for many years as Key Account Director.
2. What are you doing now (when you are not working at CI HUB)?
Andreas: Well, every founder knows the situation: when you build an idea from almost zero, there is not much time left for anything else. CI HUB simply needs a lot of attention. We have very ambitious goals and a global market to reach. That takes up a lot of my time. But for balance—which you need of course—my son and our dog keep me busy. And I collect old sports cars. That’s a hobby that can be pursued even in COVID times.
Jörg: I agree with Andreas. At the moment, there’s not much outside distraction for me neither, mainly because we‘re not allowed to do anything in these COVID times. But in normal times, I like to sometimes play basketball with my crew or go mountain biking in the forest.
3. What is CI HUB?
CI HUB is a platform that massively simplifies the work of any person who creates designs or artwork using Adobe or Microsoft programs. CI HUB does this by providing the images and graphics that are currently stored in different systems such as DAM (Digital Asset Management), MAM (Media Asset Management) or PIM (Product Information Management). This means users no longer have to search for images. Additionally, CI HUB can automatically adapt these images and graphics with the help of artificial intelligence, and this saves users a lot of work.
4. Why did you apply to the MTH Accelerator?
It was great that we could become part of the MediaTech Hub Accelerator network when we started CI HUB. The team supported us in many ways, sharing their contacts and experience to steer us on the right course.
It was so helpful for us to have access to their coaching to prepare our pitches. Without it, we would not have been able to find really great investors so easily. That was much easier with the MTH Accelerator team.
5. Why CI HUB?
We have 15 years of experience in marketing automation and brand management. We have learned first hand what users are missing to work easier and faster. We used this experience to build CI HUB. As a start-up founder, it’s great feeling to build on so much experience and market access. It’s incredibly fun!
6. What is your mission?
We want to change the many manual processes within marketing. Only by reducing or even eliminating manual processes is it possible to serve the ever increasing number of channels with increasingly personalized content.
About MTH Unboxing
The MTH Accelerator portfolio is growing and growing. But what exactly do the teams do and, above all, what did they do before they became entrepreneurs? In MTH Unboxing, our new interview series, we shed some light on the subject and introduce the teams in more detail. MTH Accelerator Babelsberg is the program for startups and founding teams from the metropolitan region who are looking to explore technologies and digital business models and take their companies to the next level.
Learn more about the program, our latest portfolio startups and events in our newsletter.