After their pitch stop in Prague, the Startup Rally headed on to their next one: Vienna’s sektor5 on 21 August. The lineup included some familiar faces from the previous round – PixelPin, Portfoleo, VideoLean and Feeligo – and again, we saw some jump-starts, penalties and champions. Here are the five CEE startups that qualified for the lap.
CEE startups on track
The first CEE startup of the evening was Polish Haeroo. Co-founder Krzysztof Parjaszewski presented a drone prototype for the real estate market. Haeroo flies through an apartment at eye level, taking photos, videos and making 3D-scans all at once to give a potential buyer the feeling that he or she is actually on site. The startup is the brainchild of Parjaszweski’s software agency SkyGate, and the team used their own revenue to bootstrap Haeroo. “It was a spontaneous decision to come pitch at Startup Rally,” Parjaszewski told inventures.eu. His main takeaway was the opportunity to network and get feedback from an international community.
Founder and CEO Lukáš Nevosád of Czech startup Tripomatic confidently pitched his online trip planner. With Tripomatic, users choose their destination and in turn, it suggests tours and must-sees, lets them add activities and create daily plans. The trips and memories are stored on the website and shared with the community. Nevosád co-founded Tripomatic together with his wife in January 2012, after already having launched and run several other businesses, including low-cost flights search engine WhichAirline.com. Despite the competitive market Tripomatic operates in, the jury was convinced of the team’s potential and their knowledge of the industry.
Recently launched Slovak startup Sportimea, on the other hand, aims to get rid of all the forms and e-mails required to book sport venues. Athletes can browse their favourite sport, find out about courses and reserve their spot online. CEO Andrej Kečkeš also decided to participate in the Rally spontaneously, mostly because he wanted to network. The jury was unsure about the strength of the business model and suggested clear positioning and market segmentation as the startup’s number-one priority.
The first Austrian startup of the evening was Patio, a mobile app for music enthusiasts that will inform users about the latest releases from their favourite artists. The team are currently prototyping – and have the resources for it, however, they are looking for a 300K-euro investment so they can “quit their day jobs, rent an office at sektor5 and develop a beta version.” Founder and CEO Andreas Mahringer delivered a solid and clean pitch but the jury criticised their narrow target market. Nevertheless, Mahringer’s humour and charm landed him the audience award, voted through Slovak sli.do’s interactive audience app.
The last pitch of the evening came from Austrian startup box planner, whose team led by CEO Mark Kaslatter target crossfitters. Athletes meet and train in boxes, or in other words, basements, empty factories, etc. The trend started in the US and spread over to Europe. During every workout session, crossfit trainers keep track of participants’ progress on a white board. Box planner eliminates this tedious and temporary tracking, and lets users compare their progress online. Although the jury was not sure what the team would use a potential investment of €500K, they were convinced about their commitment – “you guys are crossfitters yourself” – and were impressed with the sharply defined niche.
First, second and third
Box planner seemed to leave a lasting impression on the judges, and was therefore chosen as the winner of the night. Second and third place were taken by VideoLean and Tripomatic, respectively.
For more about the award, go back to our Prague coverage here.