From an overwhelming 125 applicants, six got the chance to present their projects at Colabs' Demo Day on May 30, showing off the many sides of the startup ecosystem. By the time the presenters stepped on the podium, they also gathered a total of HUF 100 million seed capital.
As a closing event of the Colabs seed incubation program, Demo Day aimed to present what can be achieved in three months' time with a bunch of enthusiastic people and their ideas waiting to become a reality. From mobile apps to manufacturing, 125 startups applied and six of them were selected for further elaboration of their projects.
Colabs take upon itself the money hunting and the selection process, provided the seven mentors for the 15-week seed program and the seven investors to pitch the projects to on the Demo Day. "We stood for value creation, a mediator between companies and investors, before a commitment – this is a new model on the Hungarian market," said Zoltán Kovács of Kirowski, one of the mentors said in his opening speech.
So here are the six to watch for a success story in the near future:
Founded by a developer and musician Péter Fabók, Bandalizer brings Google-like analytics to the masses of startup bands. Fabók started out wishing his favorite online music promoting and vendor site Bandcamp could provide statistics in a format that created an actual user experience – and ended with developing it himself. Bandalizer creates easy-to-handle analytics of visitors, purchases for the 500k+ users of bandcamp and has already won a $10,000 seed funding from Colabs in February, 2011. The application has gathered 1,000+ users itself and it hopes to reach 30,000 users in the year to come, mainly by adding more channels (like YouTube and Soundcloud) and more services.
Tamás Schleer and his team targets a field that has been quite abandoned by the youth of today: future planning. While talent hunting is getting more and more serious every day and in some sectors, even freshmen are fought for, students are usually lost among opportunities or not aware of the full spectrum. Google searches don't provide specific answers and future employers often busy with fire-fighting and push communication instead of being really interactive. Internfish, on the other hand, gives room for an early planning by starting out with a one-minute survey and sketching a dashboard by individual desires and preferences. We are always there to give crutches for the students,” Schleer said. The site currently operates in a freemium model and in English, but plans to adapt to local languages soon, as well as with an iPhone and iPad app in the pipeline.
A „miracle button” that brings more business opportunities than a like – this is the essential of Kacheeng and its Deal button. In Kacheeng's model, online vendors of any products can embed a Deal button next to the products that visitors can click on and share with friends. This way, a buying group is created, where those that share they shopping can receive discounts and vendors are selling things people actually need - unlike social shopping sites. The Kacheeng team believes that in these hard economic times, sellers must focus on getting closer to costumers, but without spending a lot on social media experts. And while they need a channel a to reach time, they also need to focus on building their own brands and not the agent's.
One of the most refreshing and tangible projects of the day, Protoblox presented a system of circuit modules, interconnects, and back plane system that allows manufacturers to quickly and reliably prototype new plastic tool design at half of the costs and at a fraction of time. Instead of a usual 8-week process, Protoblox can present a prototype in only two days by using the fact that most models have repetitive features. The three members of the team have a total 25 years of plastic manufacturing experience and have already tested their product in real production situation at a Swedish bus manufacturer's. Protoblox targets industrial giants where many plastic parts are needed and production processes should be shortened, and is competing with traditional tool makers in speed and new ventures with their selection materials and by the piece produced. They are looking for investors and an amount of HUF 100 million, in order to reach a number of 10,000 available blocks from the current 1,000, CEO Gergely Lipóczi told the BBJ.
The Extended Wardrobe (abbreviated xwabe) is to offer a solution to a typically, but not exclusively girls' problem: the wardrobe that never includes the outfit most suitable for the day to come. In fact, the idea of xwabe was born in two men's minds and then complemented the team with a textile designer. With xwabe, users can upload photos of their wardrobes (or the items they want to make available) and friends than can sort, borrow or even by them through the social space. What many people don't realize is that they have an average HUF 500,000 to HUF 3 million worth of clothes in their closets and too many of these are not even worn, while auction sites are too crowded and confusing when trying to find or sell outfits. Xwabe, that has just launched its Facebook page and the beta version of their website, started out with the borrowing features to move on to adding a marketplace to the services in about six months, where they would charge a 6-10% fee from sellers.
Another project for the hands as well: Zinemath is a combined hardware and software solution supporting post-production tool for video experts. With the opening of a new recording channel on the cameras, 3D spatial data is recorded besides the regular 2D pictures and that is easy to retrieve hereinafter from any software managing digital objects. The solution opens new opportunities for the film industry, the company claims, by cutting on time and work on the usual post-production processes. This way, experts can concentrate on the creative side of their work instead of the long-drawn preparations.
Demo Day featured thus featured the six selected startups plus one called Agentbird, winner of the Startup Weekend two months ago and presenter at the recent SeedCamp Berlin event. Agentbird is working on a mobile app for real estate agents, currently in the very last phase of development before real life testing. The team discovered that agents are still using paper notes and outdated CRM applications to register property data and that the market has only moved from current CRM developers trying to adapt to mobiles. Agentbird decided to go the other way round, starting from the mobile perspective and creating an application keeping mobile workflow in focus. The soon-to-be launched service will work in a freemium model and is said to be charging €30 per agent per month.