Interviews with Impact Incubator Winners

On Tuesday night, the final pitch event of Impact Hub’s Impact Incubator supported by Nadačný fond Telekom took place, and the winners of the 3-months program were announced.

It has been a month since the Progress Pitch evening where 13 of initial 22 projects were selected to continue in the program. We reported on the event here. All the teams that made it to the next round attended several workshops, lectures and sessions with top experts from business and other respective fields. Šimon and Lucia Šicko from Pixel Federation advised on gaming and gamification topics, Kenneth Ryan from KPMG and Startup Studio shared his experience with growing business, Pavol Magic from Sygic mentored the participants on product management. Jan Cifra from WebSupport, Tatiana Švrčková from Nadačný fond Telekom, Sergej Kára from Dobre&Dobré were among the mentors as well.

Impact Incubator

Impact Incubator Final Pitch

 

On November 15th, these 13 teams tried to convince the jury consisting of Juraj Palovič and Branislav Šmidt from Impact Hub along with Matej Ďuriš from Telekom, Profit Editor-in-Chief Vladimíra Bukerová and Limerock Advisory founder Roman Čmelík. They had a tough time to make the final decision as there could be only one winner for each of the two categories. In addition, a special Impact Hub prize was given to one of the projects.

The winners are:

United Colors (Social Business Category)

COrvus (Technology For Good Category)

Zelený bicykel (Special prize).

You can find more details about the winners and interviews with them below.

The winners are going to split the prize of 12 000 EUR in total consisting both of cash as well as benefits and business services. What is, however, more important, all the projects got an opportunity to pitch their ideas and attract potential investors and customers and become part of the whole Impact Hub’s network. And that sometimes means much more than only the money.

Social Business: United Colors

United Colors is a multifunctional community centre in the central Slovakia. It has established social business and sheltered workshop to employ people from socially challenging environment and from the Association of Young Roma.

What 1,2,3 hints would you give to a young entrepreneur in a stage of idea, with the knowledge and experience you have today, after those 3 months in Impact Incubator?

Every entrepreneur has to be first of all an effective communicator towards all the stakeholders and all the potentially interested groups around the field. The journey of successful entrepreneurship is mixed-up with rises and falls, and it is no shame to fall on the ground, shame is to stay there.

How much has your product changed over the course of the Impact Incubator?

Our product has been “trimmed and tailored” throughout the last few months, but what changed us the most was our way of sharing its existence and our vision behind it with other people. We are touched by the fact how fast can others relate to and share their ideas on even further improvement and putting “our puzzle” together.

What has been the most useful advice you were given?

The ability to learn is one of the most important skills to have in life, let alone in entrepreneurship. So we keep playing and learning every day.

Impact Incubator

Impact Incubator Final Pitch Jury

Technology for Good: COrvus

COrvus is an innovative technology for Android smartphones which enables blind and visually impaired people to fully use touch devices. The solution is based on a specifically designed sounded environment. (Along with Karmadilo a Startup Awards contestant.)

What 1,2,3 hints would you give to a young entrepreneur in a stage of idea, with the knowledge and experience you have today, after those 3 months in Impact Incubator?

Our hint no. 1 is to be ready that everything at early stage will take much more than you expect it to take. Thus, be patient. Then, be aware that to raise money for your project development can be tricky, especially when you try to involve social aspects in your project. But DO NOT give up. At last, there are just three things you will need: good team, good presentation and also good English 🙂

How much has your product changed over the course of the Impact Incubator?

Quite a lot, at least in our thoughts. We would like to implement them very soon in order to approach wider range of end customers. Without this change, we wouldn’t probably be able to keep our project sustainable.

What has been the most useful advice you were given?

A lot of good advice and sharing of experience. The best one? Focus on your team which keeps you on your way. Team is your value.

Impact Incubator

Impact Incubator – COrvus

Special Impact Hub Prize: Zeleny bicykel

Zeleny bicykel (“Green Bike”) is the first commercial bike sharing initiative launched in Prievidza, now aiming to spread to other cities.

What 1,2,3 hints would you give to a young entrepreneur in a stage of idea, with the knowledge and experience you have today, after those 3 months in Impact Incubator?

Don’t lie to yourself and be honest with yourself as much as possible. Focus on time management – be effective and set up realistic daily goals. And don’t go to sleep until you fulfill them.

How much has your service changed over the course of Impact Incubator?

The project idea didn’t change much but our thinking has been challenged a lot. We’ve learnt that we have to catch every opportunity which is around us. And that a fruitful business needs a fertile ground. We’ve changed many of our opinions and views which wouldn’t be possible without getting out of our “box” and comfort zone. Thanks to all the challenges, which Impact Hub brought to us, we are able to continue building stronger and more stable company.

What has been the most useful advice you were given?

Follow the numbers and calculations – meaning stick to your financial goals and plan. Don’t be afraid to ask somebody who is more experienced.


Photos: Impact Hub / Special thanks to Baška Klimek for the support with the interviews.

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