Entrepreneur Insight: Chris Nickless, Vlipsy

For the last eight years of his career, Chris Nickless has been working in the growing “expressive content” space, planning, building and deploying solutions that allow people to represent themselves and communicate more effectively on digital platforms.

Through this work, Nickless realized something important was missing from online communication. When speaking face to face, he often found himself quoting movies and referencing scenes from TV shows, but this element of social interaction has been difficult to carry into the digital word. Until now.

Earlier this year, alongside Co-founder Matt Tew and a team of consumer startup veterans, Nickless founded Vlipsy, a search and sharing app that offers users short, conversational video clips to include in their online communication—similar to the way sites like GIPHY provide looping images known as GIFs. However, Vlipsy’s clips also feature sound, unlike GIFs, which are silent.

Fresh off graduation from Techstars Atlanta, the Canton-based startup recently announced $1.3 million in seed funding from multiple investors—including JumpStart, North Coast Angel Fund, Impact Angel Fund, Flashstarts, Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise (GLIDE) and Cox Enterprises—as well as early distribution partnerships with Skype and Viber.

In the video below, Nickless further describes the inspiration behind Vlipsy and why he believes it is the next generation of communication. He also discusses the impact local business assistance organizations have had on his company and what he and his team have planned for Vlipsy’s future.

This post is part of JumpStart’s “Insight” video series, a monthly feature introducing you to Northeast Ohio investors, entrepreneurs and organizations dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed.