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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Exclusive: Chatting with Xinaps' Victoria Manolova

A little while back I had the pleasure of Skyping with Victoria Manolova, Marketing Executive for Xinaps.

Xinaps is a company based in The Netherlands that, according to their website, "creates smart building checking tools within design software because [they] believe the building design process needs to be simplified and optimized."

Here on Revit Add-ons, we've frequently posted about their unique and innovative products, first under Vabi International and later under Xinaps, including:
  • Xinaps Artificial Lighting Organizer
  • Xinaps Daylight Ratio Evaluator
  • Xinaps Financial Simulator
  • Xinaps Thermal Comfort Optimizer
  • Xinaps Spatial Requirements Assistant

Speaking of the new name, Manolova said, "The idea behind the Xinaps name is integrated apps, because we are all about integration. That is why our logo is a 3D building –  it represents an early design-stage model. We tried to implement as much as possible our mission and our vision and tie them into our logo and our name.

"'X' stands for extreme integration in the apps."

Interestingly, Manolova revealed that, while most Americans pronounce Xinaps similar to how they pronounce Xerox, or "zin-apps", in The Netherlands they pronounce it "ka-seen-apps".

In describing the evolution of Xinaps, Manolova stated: "Well, to get back to the very beginning, Vabi International was founded in May, 2015, and it was founded as a spinoff of the Dutch company Vabi. Those guys are really big – they're 95% of the market [in The Netherlands]. They're specialists in dynamic building simulation modeling, which is the energy sector really.

"So they decided, 'We are so successful in The Netherlands, let's internationalize.' And they did the market research. But in that research they discovered that the market is quite mature and it has become very difficult to roll out something 'good enough' to start selling.

"But, thanks to that research, they also discovered that, in the BIM workflow, there is a niche to help enrich the design tools, to help Architects to design faster and easier and to automate some things that they are doing in very tedious ways right now. So then they decided to focus on Architecture specifically instead of MEP.

Manolova also revealed, "I was the first employee officially of the startup in June last year, and have been trying very hard to reach out to many Architects and put our products in front of interested people who would like to help us improve what we are doing."

Victoria Manolova, Marketing Executive for Xinaps

When asked about the change in the name of the company, from Vabi International to Xinaps, Manolova replied, "Because of the change of the target group, from engineers to architects, we had to split up fully the focus from the Dutch company and the international company – because they are also two separate legal entities, and you really have to make that distinction."

When asked what new products Xinaps has coming out this year, Manolova replied, "We plan to release 2 new apps. One of them is Accessibility Evaluator; you can see that one on our new website, Xinaps.com. In this app we're talking about overall building accessibility, which means you create an accessibility grade for a pedestrian or a person in a wheelchair, or with a cart in a supermarket – all kinds of accessibility grades – and you can define different widths of the corridors, and the stairs, and the slopes in the parking lot; all kinds of things that are relevant for determining the accessibility grade.

"The other app we are working heavily on but we are not ready to release details yet."

Manolova would like Revit Add-ons readers to know, "First of all that Xinaps is out there. Because one of our difficulties is really to get it out there – to let as many people as possible know that we exist and that we are trying to improve, first of all, the tools' competency. Because we do speak to a lot of people on a daily basis, but we try to implement new things, things that other people haven't done, as quickly as possible. Which means we need a bigger customer base to use the trial version even and say what they like and what they don't like so we can really make it as good as possible.

"We work closely with a couple of innovative architectural practices around the world. They are our Lighthouse Community.  They get first-hand experience with our software, and provide us with feedback in return."

It was a pleasure meeting with Victoria virtually, and in getting to put a face to the name – I don't think, especially in this digital age, that the importance of the human factor can ever be overstated. Victoria's a bright young person who casts herself and her company in a very positive light. Lovely, really.

If you'd like to become a member of Xinaps' Lighthouse Community, please contact them here.

If you'd like more information about their products, please visit the Xinaps website.

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