This time the two-month incubation program was aimed primarily at a quality business case, an effective marketing strategy and overall sustainability of the projects. Hours of individual mentoring and consultations with experienced business mentors helped to solve key business challenges of the teams, and 9 out of 17 semi-finalists made it to the finals.
“The quality of the projects and solutions grows every year. The positive thing is the fact that an increasingly advanced stage of projects with a history and a quality product is being introduced. Participants, thus, come up with the specific problems and challenges they need to address. This is a good prerequisite for a successful incubation,” says Branislav Šmidt, the Impact HUB Bratislava co-founder.
The third Impact Incubator was realized by Impact HUB Bratislava thanks to the support of the Nadačný fond Telekom and ZSE. The main media partner of the third year event was Profit, along with the media partners Slovak STARTUP and Startitup.
The Final Pitch
All the projects have done a lot of great work, and on June 7th, at the Final Pitch event, they presented the results of their two-month effort. Five projects in Technology for Good and four in Social Business category took part at the final evening. The expert committee composed of the partners of the Incubator, people from business sphere, and Impact HUB Bratislava founders, had a demanding task of selecting the winners.
Besides the four awarded projects, these additional teams have gone through the whole incubation program up to the finals:
- BESER.IO, a simple big data-based tool for immediate customer communication with a restaurant staff and ambition to deliver advanced analytics including a beneficial dimension.
- EMA, a system that controls power consumption of your household and helps you optimize the costs.
- FEEDBACKER, the simplest online feedback tool that helps to improve customer service, processes, and satisfaction for various commercial and non-commercial organizations using advanced analytics.
- KNOYD, which helps to use client’s data efficiently and provides quality and affordable data science solutions to businesses, startups, and non-profits that can’t afford expensive consulting firms.
- WAKIVAKY, simple and practical hand-made bags from Slovakia, produced from recycled materials. They are based on the quality of workmanship and modern design, as well as on cooperation with several Slovak designers.
The award in the Social Business category went to the young creative company Pure Junk. Pure Junk combines hand-made approach, custom design and eco-friendly way in the production of waste wood furniture. One of their socially beneficial goals is to increase the share of recycled waste in Slovakia. During the Incubator, they managed to restructure the business model, define the main segments more clearly and discover new sales and scaling opportunities. Pure Junk also focused on improving the communication of the company’s mission towards the public.
Victory in Technology for Good category belongs to Storyteller, a software project aiming to increase the interest of children and the young generation in reading books. Storyteller is a chatbot platform for FB Messenger, through which you can chat with your favorite book hero. On the one hand, the project helps to create children´s relationship to reading and book content, on the other hand, it is a unique channel for promotion and book selling. During the incubation process, they focused mainly on validation, setting up the internal processes, and gaining partners for further development.
Additionally awarded projects
Besides the winners of both categories, the jury also awarded two special prizes. The first one was the project called Noša, a team that came out of the introductory Idea Camp. From the basic idea of an ergonomic and ecological school bag, they created a prototype and started preparations for the launch of production. Their bags will be made from biodegradable materials, and your kid will get a lighter and more functional bag that you can compost afterwards.
The second special award went to Včelí kRaj, a project which supports beginners and disadvantaged beekeepers in the regions of Gemer, Malohont, and Novohrad. Through apiculture courses and social entrepreneurship, Včelí kRaj makes beekeeping available to everyone. Dávid Turčáni considers the direct feedback from the consultants as the greatest benefit. “During the Incubator, we managed to increase the capacity of the courses and, thus, increase the profit for the region: for schools and the unemployed. We also increased sales and developed a number of new products, for example we would like to offer meaningful team building activities for businesses.”
Awarded projects received financial rewards and benefits worth more than € 10,000. The collaboration with successful projects continues via individual mentoring and consulting even after the Incubator has finished. Selected projects will get the chance to continue in other Impact HUB programs to increase their chances for a long-term success.
“We believe we will hear about the finalists of this Impact Incubator a lot in the future. We are happy that the quality as well as the quantity of social startups has an increasing trend. We strive to make as much as possible successful, innovative and sustainable examples in the future, ” Juraj Palovič, the co-founder of the Impact HUB Bratislava, concludes.
Stay tuned for the interviews with the winners!