Miigle up! | Interview with Luc Berlin Founder/CEO & Netrepreneur

Nov 05, 2012 • Entrepreneurship
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MIIGLE is a LA-based social network for entrepreneurs and  innovators that recently launched its Beta version. The platform enhances the process of turning ideas into entrepreneurial ventures and growing startups through social collaboration.

So Luc, you call yourself a ‘Netrepreneur’ and social entrepreneur. What does that refer to exactly?

The concept of entrepreneurship is extremely broad; it’s like marketing. In terms of entrepreneurship, what has attracted me is social entrepreneurship: building and designing products that benefit society and have a positive impact in the world. Essentially, building a company that can potentially change laws in different countries and push people to change the way they think about things. The term ‘Netrepreneur’ is using the internet to achieve that.

Tell me about Miigle. How did you come up with the idea?

The idea of Miigle was born when trying to solve two problems:

1) How can the process of turning ideas into something concrete be made easier and quicker?

2) How can we leverage resources as a community (by community, I mean a global community of people with different talents and interests) to help entrepreneurs grow their startups?

Coming up with an idea is relatively, easy. Anyone can do it. On the other hand, executing on one can be difficult, time consuming, and frustrating, most of it needlessly so. I want to change that.

What Miigle does is make it easier for entrepreneurs to grow their ideas and startups by connecting them with people including other entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, potential product users who share their interests and want to help.  Making these connections with the right audience is key to an entrepreneur’s success. In the real world it could take you months if not years, but Miigle makes it happen automatically, quite literally in seconds, thus making the process much simpler and faster.

It starts with recognizing that nurturing an idea requires more than just money and that people who can’t be financial investors may still have a lot to offer to an entrepreneur or startups. When people look at ways to introduce their ideas to the world, they think of investors and mentors, and rarely ask the general public for their feedback and ideas. Never mind that these are the people you expect to be using your product, yet they are the most neglected. And when I say neglected, it’s not so much in terms of ‘how can I make these products better so you can buy it? ’ No. You don’t address them that as potential consumers, but rather as peers, people who have ideas of their own. This can be done through Miigle.

 How did you come up with the name Miigle?

Miigle is a platform where innovators from around the world can meet, discover, and collaborate on cool ideas and startups. The name Miigle comes from the words “mingle” and “ideas”.

Because a lot of the process is based around discussions and exchange of ideas, essentially people mingling, I thought the name Miigle was perfect. Some people find it cute too, so that works for me.

Have you been funded yet? Why or why not? How do you expect to get funded?

No, because we have not sought for it yet. It hasn’t been a priority for me. So far, we’ve been a bootstrapped project funded entirely with my own money and the sweat and ideas of other people who have been attracted to what we are doing. I’m a fan of building projects in a more organic way. It helps us prioritize on things that really add value to our work.

Sure, it makes the process go a bit slower, but I’ve had people from Brazil, Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world write me saying how they loved the idea of Miigle and have been looking for such an ecosystem. The current version of Miigle is not even at 25% of our vision – the slightly frustrating part of course has been not being able to truly show them now how the platform at 100% would benefit them. We are getting there.

In terms of how we expect to get funded, we’re actually wrapping up our UI redesign, which is really cool. Once that’s completed we’ll look at our options – most likely reach out to Angel Investors and Incubator programs.

Have you ever thought about giving up on developing Miigle?

I’ve never thought about giving up on Miigle. Most of my thoughts are on how to improve not just the platform, but my approach as well. Miigle is a concept that is greater than me. I would be fine if someone else was building it right now. Creating Miigle was never something to contribute to my personal glory. I saw a need and didn’t feel anyone was properly addressing, so I started working on it.

I’ve had people come to me and say “I love the concept but what if someone else steals my idea?” I usually tell them “find a way to make it better!” I think a true winner is defined by who he wants to compete with. If you are true winner, you want to compete with the best, and you actually don’t allow yourself to compete with no one but the best. I think this mindset is well-conveyed through the Miigle platform.

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