Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2012, 4:20 pm

New high-tech Q-C company has big ambitions

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By Jonathan Turner,

Photo: Submitted
Kim Furness is the new production coordinator and casting director for FliXpress, a Davenport-based multimedia company. Behind her, from left, are computer programmer Izzy Fernando; co-founder and chief technology officer Andrey Arkhipov, and his wife, Eleanor, finance manager.
Photo: Submitted
Andrey Arkhipov, of FliXpress, films a commercial on location in LeClaire Park, Davenport.
FliXpress, a new Davenport-based business, is working with customers worldwide to offer Web-based video templates to create low-cost, customized advertising, promotion or other multimedia tools.

"You don't need any hardware, any software. You just go online from any browser," company co-founder and chief technology officer Andrey Arkhipov said of his site, "We try to make it as easy as possible, where you do minimum work for maximum results."

"We developed a world-class technology that allows anybody to log in and create videos. People can type in text, upload their photos, choose music," he said, adding that 300,000 people have used the service over the past year, including half from outside the U.S.

Most of the animated templates on FliXpress cost $3 to $25 per video. The user-friendly service allows the final product to be used as TV ads, Web videos and promos, product promotion, company presentations, digital billboards, animated intros for shows and live events, and even as personal photo galleries and video e-cards, Mr. Arkhipov said.

"By utilizing animated templates, we've made high-end media production much more affordable and accessible for individuals and companies," said Sev Hrywnak, a Chicago-based co-founder and chief financial officer of FliXpress.

"Anyone can create high-end, broadcast-quality media for just a few dollars in only minutes by using FliXpress -- something that traditionally would have cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and would have taken several days to produce."

Mr. Arkhipov, a 31-year-old native of Ukraine (with a background in digital multimedia and film production), graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio, and formed FliXpress with Mr. Hrywnak in Chicago in 2009. They opened the business at 1910 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport, in September.

He moved to the Quad-Cities in 2004 because he had friends here, and because of the low cost of living. He met his wife, Eleanor (who works for the business in finance), here and they married in 2009.

"Companies of all sizes will greatly benefit from our custom media automation option," Mr. Arkhipov said, noting that he is focusing on smaller businesses. "We can design media specifically for their brand, which can then be customized from any browser in minutes."

Mel Foster Co. -- a major real estate company in the Quad-Cities --worked with FliXpress on an internal company video and wants to do more, said Kris Ratigan, Mel Foster's director of corporate marketing.

"It was quick and easy," she said. "You can select whatever photos you want, music you want and drop it in. There are tons of graphics available. We could look at using it for agents to possibly show the listings and promote themselves."

She said it's another advertising option they can use. "It's a growing tool -- people love to watch videos, look at YouTube. You can send an email with a link to that video.I think it stands out, the value they're offering, what it can do. They're trying to make it very easy. It was pretty cool."

Kim Furness, a local actress who heads Curtainbox Theatre Company, has filmed spots for FliXpress and works part-time for them as production coordinator and casting director.

The company also uses state-of-the-art equipment to create TV and online ads, as well as voice-overs. FliXpress has hired other local actors to make spots.

"Working for them is great because not only are they savvy business people and incredibly technology savvy, they're all incredibly creative people as well," Ms. Furness said. "And it's so easy. Somebody like me, who is a computer idiot -- truly a computer idiot -- I took that template, I've made myself a reel to promote myself. So actors can use it to promote themselves.

"I can take this, once I've done it, I can download it onto my computer; I can put it on Facebook, different social-media sites. I can email it to agents," she said, adding that if she had to pay someone else to do that, it would cost $800, and she paid less than $10.

"This looks more professional. It looks like I am an accomplished actress and I can afford to put this together," Ms. Furness said. "It looks slick. This is so much easier. It's like being able to carry a video business card with you wherever you go."

Mr. Arkhipov said there are just four employees In Davenport so far, but there are plans to grow.

He said future videos will create ads, donor solicitations or "thank-you" messages customized to each person.

Using publicly available information, each video is addressed to a specific person and their interests, Mr. Arkhipov said.

"That is pretty much the future of personal media. Nonprofits can thank donors individually. Advertising and marketing, if you receive this video, it's everything about you."