04 October 2008

Easy - Central Europe Investment Marketplace Prague Conference

I have visited Easy conference in Prague yesterday. There were 30 selected startups with their stands and 15 of them were presenting.

For me it was good experience, where I have seen how other EU startups present their projects. If I can compare it with USA startups and pitches I have seen at TC40 conference last year, American level of presenting is much better than European. It's sad, but true.
At the conference, there were about 5 medical/biotech companies presenting. For me, it was sort of funny, because I had no idea, what they were talking about. So now I understand that in my presentation about Wirenode, slide called "Technology" was not useful at all. Non IT people could not get what I was talking about.

To the ITC startups from the conference, I will write only about the ones I liked at least a little bit.:

GuardSec - (camera to phone/web streaming used for protecting the houses/offices). This is a startup which belongs to the Naveed Gill, former director of Tiscali Czech Republic. I have been talking with Naveed, if he could help us and get us in contact with anybody, who might be interested in licensing our platform, but we did not agreed on cooperation yet.
His latest startup idea makes sense, but I don’t know how he will compete with software, which camera makers are bundling with Pc camera sales. The software is very similar to what he does.

eVision - They are making some SW on top of Microsoft SharePoint and they have a lot of customers between governments and banks. I don’t know why they want investment. From my perspective, they are good SW company oriented on business sector and they need a good sales person and not investment.

OnTheRoad - Service for travelers. It can create "travel blog" from your posts you are doing during your trip. The site web site has really nice design. The CEO is a former CTO of the Czech second biggest internet portal.

Renzoo - They are creating Mobile marketing platform similar to ours. Good news for us is that we are about a year ahead in development than they are. After I talked with the CEO, I think our companies might cooperate together, at lease share some info about what ideas customer likes and which not.

Locify - Mobile application, which works with your location and adds it to different mobile or internet services. Their website is nice, I have also seen how the application work and it works ok, but I think it will be difficult to get revenue stream.

BuzzMedia - It's a Czech version of Federated Media company. They cooperate with Czech top bloggers. The owner, Pavel Neuman is the Czech premium blogger about startups, aka Czech Techcrunch ;-)

Its hard to tell, who will be a "winner" in two years, but all of them have a chance and are "playing".

About money and valuation:
Each company has to present a slide about they revenue forecast. For me, it was a sad moment, because about a year ago, I made the same hockey stick chart about Wirenode. Almost all presenting companies were at zero revenues in 2007 and they are planning to have about Euro 2.000.000, - in revenues in 2011. I wish them luck, but after my experience, I think no one will be able to achieve this.

About presenters:
Some of the CEO presenting were trying to impress investors with their track record and CV. From my perspective, why somebody with a 17 years expertise in project management starts a crazy company? I don’t know. The crazy ideas don’t look crazy to a person, who creates them.
One particular presenter were telling us, that he was pitching his startup to Adobe, and they did not wanted to buy it, but wanted to employ him and Google did not wanted to buy his startup but they wanted to employ him too. He presented this as his success.
Anyway, good luck to all Easy startups. It was a good event.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thomas,

A salary at Google, but more, a Senior Management Position at Google have in EMEA region a salary as of $95/hour ($193,000 / year).

This is already a success.
If you don't consider it, keep it as your own oppinion.

An investment as of 300k - 400k as the majority ask, is the salary of such people on 2 years or less.

Valuable WORLDWIDE People have big salaries, so don't play with afirmations based on East Europe situation.
Google knows this and this is the reason of holding 70% of the total market share as worldwide search engine - Using valuable people !

FYI: A successful sales director can cost (total, with all taxes) more than EUR 100k / year.

...
(we can talk more in private, if you want, and I will show you relevant information I based this affirmations).

Tomas Zeman said...

Dear anonymous,

I know that salary of a valuable person can be big.
I also know that it’s a success to work in Google. That’s why a lot of people want to work there and it’s hard to get there. I have spoken with director of Czech Google about how hard it it.
But there is difference between actually working at Google and saying
"Google wanted from me to work there, but I refused because I want to work in my startup."

That’s not a success or heroism. It’s also something that it hard to check if that’s true. Maybe he would not get the job after the interview. So my opinion is, that sense: “Adobe and Google offered me to work there.” Shows absolutely nothing if the person doesn’t give more info or reference with whom he was talking etc…

It’s the same, if a ITC/programmer person is saying, that he could programm dig.com or delicious over the weekend. It’s usually not true.

Please send me more info if you can, I am interested in it.

Pavel Neuman said...

Thanks 4 mention us, Tomas. Hope we can work out some kind of Wirenode/BuzzMedia biz coop.

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