#14: Web Summit 2023: Interview with Benjamin Buthmann, Co-founder and CEO of Whyzzer

December 13, 2023 / 6 min. read

Grilled by TechBBQ #14

Exclusive interview with Benjamin Buthmann, Co-founder & CEO of Whyzzer

Web Summit connects people & ideas that change the world.

I attended Web Summit, one of the world’s largest tech conferences, representing TechBBQ and Danish media.

Thanks to its size and profile, Web Summit attracts some of the biggest names in the technology sphere. I had the opportunity to interview some of these speakers, who kindly took time from their busy schedules to share insights from their lives and experiences.

In 2023, November 13-16, the conference had over 70,000 attendees from 153 countries.

"GRILLED by TechBBQ" aims to inspire and connect Nordic audiences with voices from the global tech scene.

Benjamin Buthmann, Co-founder and CEO of Whyzzer, on centre stage at Altice arena in Lisbon, Portugal, with Hollywood celebrity and tech investor Kelly Rutherford. Interview by Alexandra Sternlicht, tech reporter at Fortune. Photo: Web Summit / PR

Exclusive interview with Benjamin Buthmann:

»We want to build a platform that is fitting for multiple niches. In terms of topics, we want to be as broad as possible. Most importantly, professionals are welcome, but the platform is for everyone, including beginners.«

Interview with Benjamin Buthmann:

Keyvan Thomsen Bamdej:
»A pleasure to see you again! We met at TechBBQ earlier this year.«

Benjamin Buthmann:
»Yes. Good to see you too.«

Keyvan:
»You and the team are at Web Summit to talk about Whyzzer. What is the specific topic?«

Benjamin:
»The session on centre stage with Kelly [Kelly Rutherford] is called "Meaningful content? Paving the way for a new definition of content creators."«

Keyvan:
»Can you elaborate a bit on that for us?«

Benjamin:
»Sure! Social Media is not going to go away. So, we spoke about how Whyzzer can help creators utilize content best online, and how to best get their messages across to like-minded communities. At the same time, we publicly launched our 'Whyzzer Talks' feature, which is an easy, more fun, and interactive way to consume and create educational content.«

Keyvan:
»Exciting! What else is new?«

Benjamin:
»We are in the process of setting up a creator program, bringing creators close to the company, to promote them on the Whyzzer platform, and have them and the community help us shape our product offering so that we can build the best app possible for our users, based on their individual needs.«

Benjamin Buthmann, Co-founder and CEO of Whyzzer, explains how their tech app can help content creators share their knowledge to a community. Photo: Web Summit / PR

Keyvan:
»To achieve this, how important is it for you to attend tech conferences such as TechBBQ and Web Summit?«

Benjamin:
»For us, it's not only a huge chance to promote the Whyzzer app itself and get so-called "eyeballs" (number of views). Events are a vehicle to get more fundraising and to make incredibly useful connections at global events like this.«

Keyvan:
»What are some of the crucial next steps the company is facing currently?«

Benjamin:
»We, of course, have tons of ideas on how to improve the app further. We generate ideas ourselves but receive them from the community on our platform. However, decision-making is the biggest challenge: In which order should we go about it? Which feature should be implemented first, and so on? These decisions impact the app, so we need to choose our direction carefully.«

Keyvan:
»Are there any specific target groups you'd like to empower on the platform? Any content creators specifically?«

Benjamin:
»We want to build a platform that is fitting for multiple niches. In terms of topics, we want to be as broad as possible. Most importantly, professionals are welcome, but the platform is for everyone, including beginners. Basically, we want to encourage and empower everyone to use the platform to create a voice and fanbase for themselves.«

Keyvan:
»Interesting. Please elaborate.«

Benjamin:
»Whyzzer is an inclusive space where content creators should feel they can share their knowledge about a specific topic in a safe environment. We recommend users connect to learn, inspire, and pass on knowledge to help create a bigger impact within their industry and following fanbase.«

Benjamin Buthmann, Co-founder & CEO of Whyzzer, on centre stage in Altice Arena to talk about "Meaningful content? Paving the way for a new definition of content creators." Photo: Web Summit / PR

Keyvan:
»Whyzzer is, obviously, a digital app. But are there any physical events that you are planning to host to bring the community of content creators together?«

Benjamin:
»I think that's an awesome idea! As mentioned, we are developing a creator program so that our community, derived from different industries such as sports, tech, business, and so on, can hang out, interact, and stay connected. But yeah, we should consider throwing our own "Whyzzer Summit" at some point.«

Keyvan:
»That would be cool!«

Benjamin:
»For us, the most crucial aspect is to stay very closely connected to our audience and community.«

Keyvan:
»How does the community grow? Is it the effect of word of mouth, or what does it take?«

Benjamin:
»Well, it's relatively easy! Any creator within the community can invite a new person or a group of persons onto the platform, and the community can grow organically from joining the platform. The strength of Whyzzer is the collective knowledge and willingness to share insights with others.«

Benjamin Buthmann and Kelly Rutherford on centre stage in the Altice Arena to talk about Whyzzer. Photo: Web Summit / PR

Keyvan:
»So easy!«

Benjamin:
»Yes, that's the best thing. Whyzzer is for every creator out there!«

Keyvan:
»What happens next for you?«

Benjamin:
»Well, we want to keep growing the user base. In 2024, we want to build monetization streams so that users can capitalize on their knowledge and start making a living from using the platform.«

Keyvan:
»Is that the ultimate goal?«

Benjamin:
»Sort of. But it's a delicate balance of giving everyone in the content creator space access to get involved while not excluding anyone who can't afford even a small subscription fee. But we want to build premium features within the app so we can offer extra value to the paying users.«

Keyvan:
»What are some of the topics that you'd be able to find on Whyzzer?«

Benjamin:
» Initially, it mainly was Ph.D. students sharing knowledge about their thesis and conversations around academia. But today, the discussion is broad, consisting of topics like venture capital, female investing, fundraising, how to get viral online, and so on.«

Web Summit 2023:

Benjamin Buthmann was on centre stage together with Kelly Rutherford to talk about the latest news around "Whyzzer".

About Whyzzer:

Whyzzer is an EdTech on-demand video platform where industry experts can share their knowledge with a community of like-minded people. Content creators can join and share topics of their interests and help make the world wiser. In 2022, actress Kelly Rutherford joined the Hamburg-based Whyzzer team, who, according to their website: "travels the world to create the education of tomorrow, building globally available database of knowledge, experience, and expertise".

"Why meaningful content is a tool for growth":

Wiktoria Wójcik (Co-founder of inStreamly), Benjamin Buthmann (Co-founder & CEO of Whyzzer), and Eric-Niclas Garsleitner (Co-founder of Whyzzer) discussed "Why meaningful content is the new tool for growth".

Jim Louderback from "Inside the Creator Economy" was the moderator for this panel.

About Kelly Rutherford:

Hollywood actress and tech investor Kelly Rutherford, best known for her roles in hit shows like "Gossip Girl" and "Melrose Place," explains how she got involved in the tech community and made her first startup-related investment in Whyzzer in front of a packed audience at Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Rutherford is interviewed by freelance tech journalist and moderator Jared Lindzon, who is based in Toronto, Canada.

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