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Exposing the guts, wits and kicks of startups in CEE


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Riga-based startup one of Lativia’s most funded projects on Kickstarter

AirDog takes off with $1.3M for drone technology

Riga-based startup Helico Aerospace Industries has smashed its 200.000 dollar-target goal within four days for its autonomous video drone project AirDog, eventually raising 1.368.117 dollars by the end of its Kickstarter campaign last Saturday. With over six times the original amount pledged by 1357 backers, AirDog becomes one of the most successful Latvian projects on the crowdfunding platform.


Plus4 develops format for early stage concepts

Austrian TV channel with two startup formats

You have got a business concept and stage fright is a foreign word to you? Then you are right at Puls 4’s second round of “2 Minuten 2 Millionen”. The startup show provides an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas not only to five investors but to a broad TV audience (read more about the first edition here and here). „Already the on air presence […] in the primetime programme is a big marketing push,” project manager Caroline Klinger is certain.


Startup Pick


When just starting to work out, sports is only about conquering one’s weaker self. But soon you will find some motivation in realising that you are getting better each time. Bulgarian startup Stepsss wants to promote this ambition and came up with an idea of a smart pair of insoles. The embedded sensors collect data about your activity and help you improve by providing statistics and visualisation of achievements through a mobile app. Meet the team that aims to make you run faster and safer in this week’s Startup Pick.


Great feedback for two-months pre-accelerator programme

Premiere of How to Web MVP Academy in Bucharest

The first edition of How to Web MVP Academy has been designed to have both an educational and a practical component, with intensive workshops and mentoring sessions. A little reminder: MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, summing up the organisers’ vision of recruiting startups that meet the criterion of having an actual MVP, which they can improve upon and develop.


Vera Brandes, founder of Sanoson

The many powers of music

Vera Brandes maybe is one of the best examples for the fact that you never know where life will take you. The German used to be a successful record owner, festival organiser and millionaire by the age 27 back in the 80s before a traumatic experience not only changed her life completely but also led to the founding of Austrian healthcare startup Sanoson.


Austrian SeaLife is addressing 21st century health concerns

First success with new antibiotic class from under the sea

Biotech startup SeaLife registered first promising results with their drug against multi-resistant bacteria. Components discovered in the sea, the novel antibiotic class (SLP0905) was tested in laboratory and proved effective against dangerous pathogens such as like MRSA, Streptococcus or Enterococci. In the future, this drug could be an alternative to conventional antibiotics with the advantage of fighting even superbugs.


Startup in interview: “Robotics is integrating into our everyday life … and we don't even notice.”

The future of robotics is now

Can you imagine getting served a cold cocktail while bathing in the sun from your robot butler or get from one place to the other in your fully automatic car? Besides the futuristic notions about an electronic golem, it seems that robots are not a long way off anymore. Some even claim they are among us already.

How to...

How to deal with copycats - A guest post by CEO Timo Rein of Estonian Pipedrive

What to do when someone steals your idea?

Last time we wrote about Estonian startup Pipedrive, they had secured a 2,4-million-dollar investment (read more about here) and were going strong. Today, the latter seems to continue to hold true, so we’re sharing their experience on a topic that quite a few competitive startups may have to deal with at some point in their existence: copycats.


Slovak Andrej Kiska to open Presidential residence as a coworking space

President elect turns Palace into coworking space

Presidential elections took place in Slovakia 30 March, where philanthropist and former entrepreneur Andrej Kiska succeeded over Robert Fico with about 60% of all the votes. On late Monday night, news came in that the newly elected president, who is actively involved in social responsibility initiatives such as “Dobry Anjel” (good angel), supporting families with ill children financially, will open the famous Palais Grassalkovich in Bratislava as a coworking space for young entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups.


5 things you should know about the Slovenian scene

"The startup community is awesome"

For a small country, Slovenia has quite a number of success stories to tell. This is an interesting fact for a peaceful nation that somewhere in history decided poets and writers should be its national heroes, rather than warriors and politicians. But there is something exceptional about the Slovenian culture that adopted the German way of working and the Balkan way of relaxing, since in the past few years, the Slovenian startup scene became one of the most vibrant in South-East Europe.


Matei Pavel, CEO of Konkurs, Cautareduceri & AndroidMakeup

The exit of the one-man show

Matei Pavel (25) believes that the real evolution of a market is based on creating fresh projects, and he is taking it very seriously: In his early 20s, he started his first company - at that time Romania's only directory of contests, sweepstakes and giveaways. Later, he launched Romania’s first daily-deal aggregator, which, in turn, was followed by a mobile application. And if this weren't enough, he is now working on his first international project. sat down with him to find out more about his philosophy and motivations.


A story on how a protest is transforming Romania

'It taught us what togetherness feels like'

We, at inventures, are all under 30 and know what it feels like to be young and to want to take things in your hands. We also have an idea of how other young people feel about it, as we talk to 20- and 30-something entrepreneurs on a daily basis (it’s in our job description, after all). Yet, you don’t need to be in a startup to make a change. As part of Romanian Week, we took a current event from the country and looked at it through the eyes of the young. Below is what we found out.


A babysitter matching platform, analytics solution and more

StartupYard Demo Day Prague

The third StartupYard Demo Day was held Tuesday night at the übercool Meet Factory in Prague. Six startups fresh from the three-month mentoring phase with the accelerator went head to head to be the best from the class of 2013.


The team has won the inventures challenge at the Founders Battle

impetuz fashion combines design with culture

One of the things we are always interested to explore in our stories is the impulse that drives a founder from an idea to an actual venture. We’ve seen them come as a one-man show, as a couple, and as a team solving a somewhat unusual problem. At inventures, we like to support initiatives that have the potential to become a trigger.


Ventures from five countries join the Prague-based accelerator

StartupYard presents new batch of seven

Prague-based accelerator StartupYard recently announced the names of the teams in their spring 2014 mentoring programme. During the past month, seven startups from different countries have met entrepreneurs, professionals and CEOs to learn about realistic business plans, effective presentations and how to meet the needs of their customers. Now the teams are ready for the real world and will continue to work on their ideas and products on their own account. On 18 June, StartupYard will organise a Demo Day where all teams will present their startups and products – some of them already launching. Here you can find a short outline of the seven chosen startups from Romania, Czech Republic, Kosovo/Albania, Serbia and Kazakhstan.


The Ukrainian startup brings its product closer to the CEE market

GigMngr expands to Poland

Let`s face it, we all get tired from watching the same bands perform year after year at the private events and celebrations held in our area. So why not change it a little bit and make it more interesting? Ukrainian GigMngr came up with an idea and created an online marketplace for booking artists for private events and parties with a new approach to the entertainment industry. A plethora of bands, different genres and direct communication is just some of the USP’s of this startup (read more about GigMngr here). Not only have they been present in their homeland, Ukraine, but also in Russia and most recently in Poland as well.


CEO Leo Sauermann talks about experience and lessons learned

Refinder closes down

Vienna-based Refinder is ready to end its journey today, 6 December. Founded in 2009, the company has been developing a tool for collaborative information management. We caught up with co-founder Leo Sauermann to find out about the story behind the cloud app startup and the ups and downs they encountered during their years on the market. In the following Q&A, Sauermann also told us about what they learned from this experience and what they would recommend to other startups.