The start-up rocket to success has taken off
16 companies, over 20 experts and investors and only 3 minutes to bring the jury round to your idea! Wednesday, 13 January, saw the pitch contest to conclude the Preparation Camp, the qualifying meeting of the Starter Rocket acceleration programme organised by STARTER, the Gdańsk Business Incubator. The jury selected 9 start-ups which will have a chance to participate in a 5-month acceleration. The selected projects include, among others, an application for the deaf, a platform which enables the family of a hospice patient to communicate with doctors or an application which makes it easier to collect funds for the product of one’s dreams. The finalists of the several-months-long Starter Rocket programme will be announced at the end of January.
During the Preparation Camp numerous experts, with the Belgian Simon McDermott at the forefront, chose 9 unique projects based on new technologies and answering to various needs. At the end of January they will fight for the final place in the acceleration. The Preparation Camp finalists are:
• arHOME – a start-up which solves the problem of physically experiencing a product before purchasing it on the Internet, with the help of the augmented reality technology
• CheckTech – software which will provide aid to HR departments and recruiters in verifying candidates’ skills
• Five App – an application for Sign Language users, helping the deaf or the hard-of-hearing to communicate
• FOOTSTEPS – a tourist community which allows you to get to know urban trails created by social groups close to the user
• GoForSport – CRM cloud-based software, created to manage sport venues
• HospiCare – mobile application to monitor the everyday work with patients of children’s hospices across Poland
• iNeoSyte – mobile application which helps professionals in the building trade such as supervisors or managers in creating daily building reports
• iWisher – an application which allows users to collect funds among their friends and family for the products of their dreams
• TagToSell.It – a solution which connects shops and producers with bloggers; thanks to this cooperation sales increase and bloggers receive commission.
The selected Preparation Camp projects include those which are already selling their solutions, as well as mere beginners.
“We have taken part in a pitch contest for the first time. We are happy to have been able to present ourselves,” argues Paula Rettinger-Wietoszko from HospiCare. “During those invaluable three days in Gdańsk we received plenty of opinions and advice. The knowledge gained here will stay with us for the rest of our lives,” adds the start-up co-creator Eliza Kugler.
During the three days of the Preparation Camp, the start-ups were accompanied by experienced and successful start-ups, investors and business mentors who assessed their business ideas in sessions, meetings or during the event’s finals:
“Some of the ideas presented have a chance to be transformed into an interesting product or service. There are a few projects which are already running and generating income. Starter Rocket will provide individuals with support to turn their ideas into something valuable. What is most important at the early stage is not the money but the time devoted to consultation and thinking the project over. Money does not guarantee success without a good business plan,” argues Stanisław Leśniak, jury member and representative of PwC, Starter Rocket’s strategic partner.
What challenges await the selected start-ups? As stressed by Anna Wylężek from STARTER, the Gdańsk Business Incubator, this is just a beginning of the development of their projects under the wings of the Gdańsk incubator:
“At the end of the month (21-23 January) STARTER is going to hold the first workshops which will lead to the selection of the final start-up group, which in turn will take part in a five-month acceleration programme and receive an investment to the value of 30,000 zl. We would like a wider group to take part in the upcoming workshops before we take the final decision,” she adds.
All things considered, the members of the project will take part in seven training sessions i.e. a total of over 100 hours of business and mentor meetings and training. The best project has a chance of receiving a 180,000 zl subsidy from STARTER and a possible further 800,000 from Polish and foreign investors. The finals of the Starter Rocket acceleration programme will be held in May, during the infoShare conference.