Meet StartupYard’s New Teams

Meet 2 More of Our Incoming Teams

We closed our application process earlier this month, and we’re excited to announce that we have invited 6 teams to join the next round of acceleration, beginning in April 2014. 

As we mentioned last week, 6+ teams have been accepted and invited to Prague. We’ve collected their answers to our “getting to know you” questionnaire, and we’re sharing those answers here.

Teams to join StartupYard range from cloud based consumer services, location based mobile apps, and news aggregators, to search engines and data mining tools. The breadth of these projects is tremendous, and the potential we see in these teams, as well as their ideas, is really exciting.

How did you find out about StartpYard, and why did you decide to apply?

Václav Formánek

Team From: Czech Republic

Project Area: Gamification/Education

Nikola Todorovic

Team From: Serbia

Project Area: Cloud Based Consumer Service 

As we are startup from the Czech republic, I think, we know all accelerators from here. There are not so many:) StartupYard combines three things we need very much – very good mentorship, contacts and money. Offices in Techsquare are a great bonus.  

Well, I think I saw the StartupYard application on f6.com first. But also saw a post about you on netocratic.com. I have been in Prague two years ago for a couple of days and instantly fell in love with the city. This is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and I’ve been in many countries and cities in Europe. I had a thought back then that it would be great to live here for awhile. So when I saw this application I googled around to find out more about the program and accelerator in general and I loved what I read. So here we are…

What attracted you to the idea of an accelerator, rather than bootstrapping or other sources of income (going directly to investors, crowd funding, etc)?

Actually, we started our project more than two years ago, so we have already tried all of these sources. We started as a kind of crowdsourcing project with more than 100 contributors – developers, designers and authors of educational content, who invested their time to the project. Then we realized that it is very ineffective to manage so many coworkers, so some of us became founders and we have started to work as a smaller team and pay ourselves for work. We have already had appointments with potential investors, but we have had different visions, so we didn´t come to an agreement.

Bootstrapping is fine. But you simply have to commit yourself full time to some project to try to make some business out of it. And if you get some investment you get the opportunity to do so. By joining accelerator you get some initial funding and a chance to use full potential that one good accelerator offers – access to mentors, a wide range of investors and so on… By bootstraping you do things slower and by accelerator much faster and the speed is of great importance.

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How did your team come together? How did you meet your cofounders?

Ondřej (CTO) and me (CEO), we have been best friends for more than 13 years. We have discussed the vision of our product with hundreds of different people. Most of them liked it a lot. More than 100 people have been somehow participating in development of our project. The ones who remain, are the toughest ones.

Svetislav and I studied the same faculty in Serbia. It is practically the best school for learning software development in Serbia. And Marko, the third cofounder worked as a designer on some projects with Svetislav for one company.

Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years after StartupYard?

If I look in the list of our planned features and ideas, I think we have plans for more than 5 years from now.

We would like our platform to be the best and most popular place where people can use gamification to share their knowledge. We would like it to run as sustainable as possible, so we can move to other projects, where we will use gamification and data analysis to make the world a little better place.

We want to build a global, successful company. We believe we entered a great and prospective market, the numbers are great and if we do our job in the best possible way then that goal is achievable.

 What are you looking forward to most in Prague, both in the accelerator, and in the city? What are you nervous about?

All of us have been living in Prague for a long time. We are really looking forward to meeting great mentors and other teams.

The city is wonderful as I said and it would be a great pleasure to live in it. Also, we are great beer lovers and Czech beers are one of the best in the world. We can’t wait to try them all 🙂 But also we have to think about our company primarily so the focus is on the business. We are hoping that we can get the most out of this program, to meet great people who can help us build great company and of course, raise more money at the end of the program. We are not nervous – we are excited.

How old are the members of your team, and what are their levels of education and professional experience?

Vašek, CEO, 27,  I will get my Master degree in International Politics and Diplomacy (University od Economics in Prague) in few weeks, I have a Bachelor degree in International Trade.  Since 2002 I have created, developed and succesfully finished many different projects in education (www.educon.cz/) and gaming, I am author of two theatre plays, and director of the documentary “Slumdog 50 cent.  I was one of the founders of NGO “Stop tunelům”, which achieved significant success in decreasing corruption in Usti nad Labem.

Ondřej, CTO,  29,  Master degree in IT (Czech Technical University in Prague) For more than two years (2011 – 2013) he participated in developing of groundbreaking education game called “Czechoslovakia 1938 – 1989” as a backend developer. Before that, he worked in Czech consultation and technology company Trask solutions for five years, where he achieved Senior java developer position.

Petr, 35, High school (High school of Art and Graphic in Jihlava) . Petr has been working as a freelance graphic and UX designer since 2005.

27, 29, 30 years old chaps – I think the best age for starting a company. Svetislav and I each have 5 years of experience building various database applications, web applications, mobile applications and Marko has more then 5 years experience in designing for web and mobile applications. Svetislav and I also have a master degree in Electrical Engineering.

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