In late January, Kathrin and André Kistner, co-founders of Qualitze, and their entire team attended the Hamburg Startups Mixer – SXSW Edition for a make or break elevator pitch in Hamburg’s betahaus. There, the dynamic husband and wife founders honed their presentation skills and convinced the audience of their business idea in just 60 seconds. Then, they were subjected to the Austin Stress Test, which examined their reaction in a talk and during funny but tough situations, and won over the audience again. Their win includes tickets, flights and accommodation in Texas during the 31st SXSW underway from March 9-18, 2018. Qualitze has turned customer surveys digital using touchpad terminals in retail, doctors’ practices and banks. Now hopes of “catching new impulses, ideas and more catalysts of innovation” in Austin are high, Kathrin Kistner told Hamburg News.
Touchpad terminals for client feedback
Founded in 2013, Qualitize employs 12 staff. In 2015, their business idea won the Hamburger Gründerpreis – as the year’s most successful start-up. The feedback system is being hailed as a market innovation. The terminals replace traditional surveys that used paper questionnaires and test buyers. Positioned in entrances, brief questions are asked as part of the surveys. The interviewees reply with a smiley. The results are evaluated in real time and can be used for optimisation measures. Kathrin Kistner explained: “Meanwhile, we have interviewed over 12 million customers with our feedback terminal.”
Honoured to represent Hamburg
Qualitize now has over 500 clients including large chain stores like s.Oliver, Globetrotter and Peek & Cloppenburg. The Hamburger Sparkasse used the terminal to ask clients about less informal dress codes for their staff. The results were mainly positive and the dress code is now in place. Asked about representing Hamburg as an economic and start-up location at SXSW, Kistner said excitedly: “We are very proud to be allowed represent Hamburg in Austin. The Hanse city of Hamburg with it’s long tradition as a city of merchants and family companies has thrived on sustainable management. That’s why we, a self-funded start-up, feel honoured to represent Hamburg.”
Driver of innovation in digital era
Kathrin and André Kistner have set themselves clear goals for Austin: “We are in a very exciting era. All of our clients are focusing on digitalisation. Topics such as machine learning and semantic intelligence are very deep-rooted in our system. That’s where we want to link up and continue to be drivers of innovation. Naturally, we also want to make new contacts and hold inspiring talks.” The pair hopes to bring the spirit of Austin and ideas gained there back to Hamburg. Qualitize is already planning an SXSW roundtable with select customers and partners to discuss the latest digital trends.