This weekend, the determined teams faced the crowning challenge of the MVP pre-acceleration programme: putting their vision to the test by pitching their startups on demo day. inventures.eu caught up with the MVP Academy to find out how the Class of 2015 progressed.
6 months of progress in 7 weeks
Photo credit: MVP academy
During the program, startups fostered relationships with mentors and industry leaders such as Jon Bradford (Managing Director, Techstars UK), Mike Butcher (Senior Editor, TechCrunch Europe), Alex Barrera (Co-Founder, Tech.eu & Press42), Ivan Brezak Brkan (Editor, Netokracija) and others (See the complete mentor list here). Moreover, they reviewed their business plans, challenged their assumptions and demonstrated their potential.
MVP Academy Programme Manager George Dita confirmed that the programme challenged the young teams to take their products to market. “They have pivoted, deployed, started piloting, and even generated their first revenue. It is easy to forget that we only started a few weeks ago, because we manage together to turn what would have otherwise been five to six months of work into seven weeks of progress,” he concluded.
The MVP Academy experience
For Tudor Cobalas, cofounder of SafeDrive, taking part in the MVP Academy was a time investment worth its while. “We’ve learnt where to focus in terms of product and how to maximize each interaction with potential interested parties (either users or investors),” he explained. For SafeDrive, significant progress came in the form of an improved pitch and new found focus on the most valuable aspects of the product. “This is incredibly important since you always face a distributed attention of your audience,” added Cobalas.
Cobalas and his team are working on a mobile app that improves the traffic safety by rewarding the users who don’t use the phone while driving with points that can be converted in products and services. They have already won gold in the Edison Award in the Lifestyle & Social Impact category and showed considerable progress during the intense weeks at the MVP Academy.
The road ahead
Going forward, Dita acknowledges the need for the startups to solidify their presence in their respective markets. “For most of them this means receiving funding, relocating and growing a network, while for others it means just piloting their products with relevant customers in those markets,” he explains.
For SafeDrive as well, the next challenge involves achieving product-market-fit for their app, identify the best acquisition channels and further validating that responsible drivers can be a viable business model. However, an immediate step is applying to an accelerator and securing a seed round.
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