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This article was published on October 6, 2011

SellAnApp: A new platform that lets you produce, fund and promote your own apps

SellAnApp: A new platform that lets you produce, fund and promote your own apps
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

SellAnApp is a brand new Amsterdam-based platform which aims to be a one-stop-shop for all of your app creating needs, without the need for any design or coding knowledge.

All you need is an idea. You can bring it to SellAnApp’s community and get everything from feedback at the inception phase, to finding a skilled designer, to crowdfunding, and at the final stage, SellAnApp and its partners take over and build the actual app.

Milan Van Den Bovenkamp, one of the co-founders, describes SellAnApp as “Symbid meets Angelist meets Kickstarter meets Agile Scrum”. He goes on to explain:

“We want to build an online service which will change the way that consumers and businesses can create apps.”

Often approached by friends and family who want to create an app, Milan and his partner discovered that there was a gap in the market, a need to bring down the entry barrier, giving anyone the ability to create a professional app of their own.

SellAnApp’s own website and approach is the epitome of the culture and community that they aim to create. Its website is made up of images, videos and widgets which were made possible by the team’s interaction with other designers, developers and members of the vast online tech community throughout the world.

Once launched, SellAnApp could very well become a hub of activity, interaction and creation – where anyone can come to create, design and promote their app.

How it works

So how does it work? SellAnApp’s process is divided into four phases – design, fund, develop and promote. When signing up for an account, you can sign up as one of three types.

A ‘Producer’ is someone who has an idea or concept for an app, but doesn’t necessarily have the funds or skills to create it. Producers post their ideas for apps, get feedback from other users, connect with designers and investors. Milan stresses the importance of Producers putting some investment into their own app:

Producers can invest some of their own money, which is good for trust. It shows that you’re taking it seriously, and makes your revenue share higher.

A ‘Wizard’ is a designer – someone who has the skill and know-how to design an app based on a Producer’s requests and feedback from the community. Wizards should also be a good source for feedback on other apps they aren’t working on. Producers can choose to pay Wizards, or even better, give them a share in the app.

The last type of account is the ‘Investor,’ who of course invests money into the app. Investors can be angel investors, venture capitalists, or even your mom. In fact, SellAnApp makes it possible to invest in an app without signing up for an account at all – making it easy for your friends and family to help you out, without having to get involved in the community if they don’t want to.

If your primary role on SellAnApp will be to invest into apps, it’s best to sign up for this kind of account, and you will receive a share of the earned revenue. SellAnApp as a company will also be selectively investing in apps produced through the platform. Revenue from the app will be shared based on real-life dynamics between producers, designers, developers and investors. Staying true to their model, SellAnApp has even made it possible for anyone to invest in the company through Symbid.

Of course, just because you sign up as a Producer, for example, doesn’t mean you can’t invest in other apps, or vice versa. When signing up, the kind of account you choose is a good way to let other users know what your primary role is on the site.

Turning app ideas into reality

Once you’ve signed up for your account, you can begin to share your concepts, get feedback and eventually take the idea from just that, to a reality.

Milan adds that the platform even provides the tools needed:

“We’re providing a great database of tools. Right now we’re partnering with the most complete iOS designing tool: AppCooker from France.”

Even if you already have an existing mobile app that has already been released in the market, you can still take advantage of SellAnApp’s promotional platform which consists of packages which can be purchased using crowdfunded money. These packages include Google Adwords, banner, and other forms of promotion.

To find out exactly how the process works, watch SellAnApp’s video below:

Milan points out all the different ways that SellAnApp can be used, not just by individuals:

“Small businesses can, via the SellAnApp platform, participate in the mobile world by helping producers fund and promote their app ideas. By doing this, [they are] supporting ideas of their branch and growing their values of the company.”

If you have an idea for an app, signing up for the SellAnApp early bird program could earn you $1,000 worth of funds for the development of your app:

“The early bird program is a very rewarding thing to participate in for early adaptors with great app ideas. The 250 best referrers of pre-subscribers get access to the beta-test program and receive funds of $1,000 available for development of app ideas or investment.

Entrepreneurs with apps that aren’t yet succesful in the app store can jump into the promotion phase and fund money for promoting their existing app with our promotion partners. So there’s a solution for thousands of those 500,000 apps that didn’t make money.”

SellAnApp, as a service, could potentially breathe a new kind of life into an already very busy market. There is certainly no shortage of apps available to mobile users, but the platform with its sense of community could create an interesting eco-system within the market. SellAnApp takes the risk out of creating your own mobile app, and could also potentially improve the quality of the apps because of the interactive nature of the platform. By accepting constructive criticism and additional ideas, Producers stand to create far better apps than if they worked independently.

Apps produced through SellAnApp stand a better chance of standing out not only because of the promotional platform that is provided, but as Milan points out, each investor who put money into the app becomes an ambassador or sales person for the app.

“Giving ideas wings”

SellAnApp also provides an excellent opportunity for small businesses who want to either create an app for their own company and don’t have the means, or want to give back to their own community.

“There are a lot of business that want an app for whatever reason – and we also think that there are a lot of chances for businesses to help consumers with their great app ideas. For example, on Kickstarter, Redbull make investments – it’s the idea that Redbull give ideas wings.”

SellAnApp becomes a way for businesses to fulfill a sense of social responsibility within their communities. Milan gives a personal example:

“I’m a snowboarder and, say I have a great app idea. I want to have the interface designed by myself, but I can ask businesses,  a skateboard webshop for example, to invest in the idea and publish and promote it. That’s a great chance for smaller businesses to jump into the mobile app world.”

On a local level in each country, it also becomes an easy way to do your own small part for the economy.

“Crowdfunding is in. You can create unique products and services with a small amount of money –  crowdfunding  is an easy way to jump into a great adventure or great ideas – we shouldn’t stop creating or making things because other people think there’s a crisis. It’s important that people can contribute a small amount and take small risks to have a fulfilled feeling both when it comes to their wallet and their life. It’s inspiring to help people and give them the tools to make things happen.”

If you want to have a chance at taking part in SellAnApp’s early bird program, be sure to head over to the site and sign up for an account.

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