On Monday, February 23rd the Startup Sauna local tour kicked off with an event in Budapest at Demola, the BME innovation lab. This somewhat industrial-looking venue filled with a dynamic and innovative spirit set the tone for the day. 

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Startup Sauna at Demola-Budapest  “Industrial-looking venue set the tone”

As reminded by Jakkoo Hynynen from Startup Sauna in the introduction, the purpose of the event is to identify the best local startups and give them a chance to be selected for the one-month accelerator programme in Helsinki. But even for those not selected, it is a great opportunity to meet international investors and test their ideas in front of experienced entrepreneurs and coaches.

After 15 pitches and careful consideration, 3 startups have been designated as the winners:

  • ANGL, the creators of an application that connects creators and viewers through the video
  • ROBSERVER, the developers of a real-time source-selective noise monitoring and mapping system
  • VEBBU, the inventors of a smart thermostat home automation system.

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The 2 hungarian and the 1 croatian companies are therefore on the short list for the Startup Sauna Spring’15 programme. They are now eagerly waiting for the end of the local tour and the announcement of the final participants!

We have interviewed the 3 winners to ask about their experience at Startup Sauna Budapest.

The CEO of Vebbu, Hrvoje Lasic explained that this was his first pitch competition. Vebbu’s objective in participating was to move their startup project to the next level. After 4 years of developing their smart thermostat it is time for the engineer team to „verbalize” what they are doing, and set a business strategy.

IMG_1933„Discussing our project always helps to verbalize what we have been doing and where we are heading to. From the 6 coaches, we received valuable input from various aspects and gained motivation to move forward.” by Hrvoje Lasic, Vebbu

They left with the satisfactory feeling to have received the “push” they were looking for. Angl and RobServer,on the other hand, have participated to various competitions before, but they say that IMG_1941their pitch is never the same. They try to adapt it depending on the event and on previous feedback received. For Angl’s CMO Tamas Katona, the main takeaway from the day was the coaching part, with good feedback and some new ideas received from the coaches.

“The coaching was eye-opening, and the presence of international coaches was a great benefit for our company as we are looking towards openings outside of Hungary.” Gabor Gereb, Development leader at RobServer

“Usually we receive feedback on our pitch, our presentation… but here at Startup Sauna the coaching was focused on business development”, Gabor added. He found it very professional and useful. He’s even gotten back in touch with one of the coaches in order to discuss further about an idea that he was given.

IMG_1904So better watch out, other Startup Sauna local events, the Budapest winners are on the starting blocks and in a good position to make it to the accelerator programme in Helsinki, following the previous record track of the Budapest startups!

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