The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
Startups from our portfolio will be presented in front of investors from Los Angeles and San Francisco.Irena Chaushevska, NewMans Business Accelerator
The participating startups have been part of the NewMansBA – SmartUP Center programme for the past three months and already enjoyed mentoring sessions, business and entrepreneurship trainings as well as coaching. During this period they were able to develop all aspects of their ideas, increased the capacity of their teams, created their basic branding identity and built business plans and MVPs of their products and services.
While nine of the SmartUP Cenre startups were from Macedonia, also other CEE countries were represented on stage: four from Slovenia, one from Serbia and one from Croatia. Each of them got only four minutes to pitch and another four for Q&A. “We did prepare a lot for this moment. Overall we think this is an excellent experience and from here we can only do better,” said Hristina Mladenovska, Chief Marketing Officer at Modular who kicked off the pitching session.
Modular went on stage to present their customised contemporary art and design products that aim to turn emotions into light, followed by the eight further Macedonian teams. The Off Switch showcased their mobile app that tends to kill the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) on social media and challenges your friends to switch off social networks and enjoy the time you are spending together.
Next in line was FridgeCheck from Skopje that helps you decide what to cook. Simply type in the ingredients you have in your fridge and get recipes for your next meal. This presentation came with a clever trick: whoever wanted to try out the sandwiches they brought at DemoDay had to install the application first. Then it was Take An Ad's turn. The team came up with the idea for a service that simplifies creating facebook ads on the go.
Last Hope, who have already presented their project at SWSkoje, have been working hard on their zombie apocalypse game and are preparing to take over Kickstarter soon. It's not hard to guess what the team of Challenger is up to: their service allows you and your friends to accept sports, diet, learning or any kind of challenge for a minimum of 30 days. The team of Plus One, on the other hand, made it their goal to become your one stop platform for event management.
We did prepare a lot for this moment. Overall we think this is an excellent experience and from here we can only do better.Hristina Mladenovska, Modular
Then is was time for the innovative cloud service of KnowBook. Their platform and a mobile app aim to enhance professional knowledge and growth management. At the moment they are still in closed beta phase but they will include certification as soon as they launch. With Monetium there was also a solution for managing personal finances on stage. Their mobile app aims to help you make wiser financial decisions.
The next team came form Croatia and created a unique fantasy card game that combines strategy with luck of dice under the name of Velos.
Next, four Slovenian entered the stage of Demo Day. While Lushna glamping strive to combine the best of two worlds (nature camping with five star hotel experience) Safe Cover lets you enjoy the benefits of hygienic drinking with their innovative can protector. Yet another project, CoolingInno, wants to change the way of indoor heating by storing heat during the day and releasing it during night time and with NervTech, a live driving simulator for traffic safety education aimed to convince the mentors and investors in the audience.
Last but not least, Veriter form Serbia presented their work in progress: a social media monitoring platform.
Photo credit: NewMansBA, Irena Chaushevska
Having finished their presentations on stage, selected teams got the chance to discuss further steps with potential investors in one-on-one sessions. The overall impression from the investors was positive, but they also noticed that there is still room for improvement regarding research, promotional and financials.
Having managed Demo Day successfully, there is yet another challenge waiting for the teams at the end of the eight months programme, said Irena Chaushevska, CEO, cofounder and coowner of NewMans Business Accelerator. “During June 2015 all startups from our portfolio that generate substantional traction for their products will be presented in front of investors from Los Angeles and San Francisco where our US partners reside. During the stay in the Bay Area, our startups will get familiar with the Silicon Valley Eco-system and will get better sence for the US market.”
The Macedonian startup community is growing each day. Even if events like this are very rare there is a great motivation for meetings where startup founders can interact with VC funds, investors, business angels, and entrepreneurs.
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