We are proud to introduce Guestviews, the first recipient of the Museum Rocket Award! After a whole day of networking, keynotes and roundtables at the first edition of Museum Rocket, the culture and entrepreneurship fair, giving the award to this French startup founded by Camille Caubrière and Alizée Doumerc really was a high-point. They were chosen among all the amazing Museum Rocket startups by a jury headed by Martijn Pronk, Head of Digital and Publishing at the Rijksmuseum, and composed of Anca Nuta, Identity and Communication Director of our partner UniCredit Bank Romania, Kalam Ali, startups and innovation advisors at European Pioneers, and Diane Drubay and Claire Solery, respectively Founder and Director of We Are Museums.
The award rewards cultural entrepreneurs for the originality of their idea, the progress of their project, their potential and the quality of their pitch during the Museum Rocket pitch session.
When Alizée Doumerc and Camille Caubrière met, they soon discovered they both loved not only museums, but museum guestbooks, too. So they started looking for a smart way to use and analyze the data that a guestbook can offer to a museum. And that is the main idea behind Guestviews. Since 2013, Alizée and Camille leverage the visitors' voice to understand their needs better and improve CRM and return rate.
How do they do that? Thanks to a fully customizable app that brings your guestbook to a tablet and allows visitors to answer your questions and leave their opinion. They already work with several major museums in France, Belgium, and soon in Switzerland. Maybe your museum is next!
To help you to know Alizée, Camille and Guestviews better and understand what being the first recipient of the Museum Rocket Award means to them, we asked them some questions. Read their answer to discover what they're up to next.
WAM: Why did you decide to take part in Museum Rocket?
Guestviews: Because we like challenges! We often take part in French competitions, but we wanted to go further and test ourselves on an international level. What we liked about Museum Rocket is that it’s not only about startups, and not only about museums; it links both worlds together and shows that cultural entrepreneurs exist, too. We were also excited to meet cultural entrepreneurs from other countries and to benefit from advice given by top museum professionals from across Europe.
WAM: What was you biggest challenge as entrepreneurs in the cultural field and when did you know you were on the right track?
Guestviews: Our biggest challenge was to convince museums that our product was useful and could help them in their digital strategy. It hasn’t been easy, but things are starting to change: in the past years, we’ve had a lot of museums coming directly to us and wanting to implement the tool in their museums. We’d always known the product was useful, but this has confirmed what we thought!
We’re also starting to have more and more competitors - sure, that’s annoying, but it’s also the sign of a healthy business because it proves the idea is good and there is a real problem to solve.
WAM: Beyond the award, why was Museum Rocket a valuable experience for Guestviews?
Guestviews: It was incredibly enriching to talk with startups from other countries. We all work in the same field and with the same actors, and yet we’ve all come up with different ideas. It was helpful to talk about our work methods and to confront our visions of the years to come. It was also reassuring to see that we all face the same problems everywhere! We came back from Bucharest with a lot of new ideas and new perspectives.
WAM: What are the next steps to grow and develop Guestviews?
Guestviews: Big step ahead: we’re starting to expand abroad. We have been in Belgium for a few months already, and will be placing our first guestbook in Switzerland in September. We hope to keep on expanding in Europe and beyond.
We’re also starting to look at other markets: for instance our tool could easily adapt to the retail or hotel business. That’s a real challenge, because it implies adapting the guestbook to meet new needs and meeting a whole lot of new influencers in new sectors.