Thursday, December 12, 2013

Krakow's hub:raum getting ready to lift off in their new location with their Warp Accelerator Program

By: Paul Chen

This past weekend Krakow's hub:raum ended their Warp Accelerator program with a bang by holding a Demo Day that was streamed on the internet. 15 teams from Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Montenegro, Austria and Ukraine took part in the eight-day workshop organized by the hub: raum Krakow. Three startups, which CollarPocket of Poland, Omnipaste from Romania from Montenegro, were invited to the incubator. The projects chosen by a jury, which included mentors hub: raum Krakow and experts from Deutsche Telekom.  This program is the first in their new location in the Zablocie district of Krakow.

In addition, the accelerator program announced an investment of Krakow's center of innovation. Excalibur, a solution for user authentication using cells on various websites such as Facebook or self-service systems of telecommunications operators. Such an approach will also play a big role in the industry for internet-of-things. It is also this year's winner of the Telekom Innovation Contest in Berlin. It is the first startup in the portfolio of hub:raum Krakow.

"This project will revolutionize the perception of people and change their trust in the digital world. Excalibur has created a solution to make authentication a user in different sites online in a safe manner. This groundbreaking idea solves a big problem that we face now. That is why I am glad that Excalibur is with us - it's a good start in the future. " adds Mr. Probola.

During the eight days, the teams took part in free workshops and lectures by more than 50 experts from all over the world. As a result, they have gained a broad knowledge of the financing, development of customer base, project management and ability to present their ideas in front of an audience.

"Warp was a great success mainly because we could share the experience with young entrepreneurs. I hope that now the participants will share the acquired knowledge with local communities and be an example to them, how to be effective startups. Their passion and willingness to learn is proof that it is worth to organize these types of programs. I hope that all the teams develop their ideas into great businesses and enter foreign markets. Our doors are always for them wide open to help refine and develop the concept. As a hub: raum Krakow will do everything to help them succeed. "- Says Jakub Probola, the manager of hub: raum Krakow.

The main objective of the initiative was to establish lasting relationships with entrepreneurs from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. During an eight days of meetings, the participants had the opportunity to work with experienced people, including Professor Piotr Płoszajskim, Robert Luke, Michael Leopold Kuropatwiński and Andrew Popadiuk. The workshop focused on the idea of entrepreneurship, ways to gain investor, and business ethics. Anything to be able to develop ideas into a scalable business.

The accelerator program was also supported by mentors hub: raum Krakow, among others, Marvin Liao, Jaroslaw Sygitowicz, Ivana Brezak Brkana, Stefan Bielau, Agnieszka Angelic, Filip Drimalka, and Arthur Kurasiński. They conducted individual meetings and additional sessions AMA (Ask Me Anything ) about marketing, entrepreneurship, skills presenting the idea and story-telling, which were further injection of knowledge on product development. T-Mobile, Telekom Innovation Laboratories (abbreviated T-Labs), Mandarine Project Management, Innovatika and Pitch Doctors also took part in the program. Experts teach young entrepreneurs how to present their ideas, as well as to manage the project and to create the best product.

During the last day of the program, there was a Demo Day. The jury, consisting of mentors hub: raum Krakow and experts from Deutsche Telekom, chose three teams that were invited to the incubator program: Poland's CollarPocket, Omnipaste from Romania and of Montenegro. Collar Pocket allows you to take better care of the animals – a collar module collects data such as temperature, heart rate and location of the animal and send them to mobile applications.

Omnipaste terminal provides opportunities to integrate applications running on your phone, among others, copying and pasting text between devices, use the camera phone to Skype calls and gyroscope to control the computer. In turn, is an online store that sells aggregates and guided tours, and helps users to find, compare and book the best deals. Teams were invited to further discussions with the incubator of innovation.
Ecoisme (provides monitoring service for your home appliances to help you save on energy costs) from the Ukraine and (mobile app service connecting people based on business interests and location) from Croatia were invited for further talks.

The winner will receive up to 80,000 Euros in pre-seed funding, access to a modern coworking space, mentoring from experts of Deutsche Telekom, and possible access to the 200 million Deutsche Telekom users. All hub:raum asks for is between 10-30 % equity in the startup.

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