Edmundas Balcikonis, CEO of TrackDuck, explains what is the startup ecosystem like in Vilnius, Lithuania. There is a startup accelerator called Startup Highway, which is bringing entrepreneurs from different European countries. Balcikonis also explains that there are two big local VC funds doing one investment per month and several tech events and pitching competitions. Accel, Index Ventures and Intel Capital have also invested in Lithuanian startups. (This interview was recorded in Jersey)
Joseba Mendivil is one of the three cofounders of express delivery app Jinn, which is based in London but started up 6 months ago in Newcastle. They charge £5.95 plus 10% of the price for every item they deliver, with the help of freelance couriers, in the London metro area.
Menuveo was launched last year by Bilbao’s entrepreneur Jon Maurolagoitia in order to help restaurants publishing their menus on the Internet and specially on social networks. It currently works with more than 100 restaurants, most of them medium end ones, and some of them are starting to pay for some extra services. Maurolagoitia has no competitors so far in Spain and plans to launch its site in foreign countries.
Most people think of Silicon Valley in the United States when they think about technology and entrepreneurs – the European Commission wants young Europeans to be inspired by home-grown entrepreneurs, so their bright ideas start and stay in Europe. With help from the creators of Spotify, Angry Birds, Tuenti, Skype, SeedCamp, HackFwd, London’s Tech City and TheNextWeb, the Commission is creating a platform for star entrepreneurs to tell their stories of inspirations and frustration, to wake-up young Europeans and leaders to the potential of entrepreneurial careers.
Another success for startups competing in Startup 2.0. 2011 edition’s Mobitto has been invested by football player Cristiano Ronaldo. This is a mobile app founded by Jose Simoes in Lisbon which helps local shops and brands to increase loyalty from its customers. Its main difference with FourSquare is that mayors in Mobitto (called ambassadors) have to be paying customers and active users who refer the shop to their friends.
This is our interview with Simoes:
Boletus is a deals marketplace for Android and iPhone which has been launched in Bilbao and is rapidly expanding to other cities in Spain. Kepa Apraiz, the founder of this startup, is an engineer who got quite successful investing in real estate and is now transferring his commercial know-how to the Internet. Boletus provides a clear service to merchants and mobile users who want to find the best hotels or restaurantes while travelling.
TicketBis is a 3 year old startup that leads retail ticketing buy-sales in Southern Europe and Latin America. It gets 25% of all operations taking place in its marketplace and last year its revenues totaled 13.5 million euros. Is is expanding to new countries and has even opened a shop in the US, where it allows North American customers to buy and sell tickets for concerts or soccer matches in Europe.
Fab.com is a great place to buy flashy furniture, but it’s not easy to find regular decoration stuff on the Internet. This lack of information is what Decoramus wants to fill with its online community and marketplace for furniture. “We make it easy for furniture shoppers and we charge shops a monthly fee and commissions by click, lead or order. We also sell coupons which you can redeem in stores”, explains Ruth Guerrero, founder and CEO of Decoramus.
Do you want to become a professional in-company trainer? If you have a high knowledge of a certain field and want to train people in companies, you can use iTrain Global‘s web platform in order to offer your services. “It’s a very quick way for companies to find the trainers that they need”, explains Carmen Muñoz, founder of this Internet startup which is applying the sharing economy to education.
Iñaki Bartolomé, CEO of Ideable, is the man behind Eldersarea, a platform for tablets designed specifically for elderly people. Based on Android, it has big buttons and simple functionalities and it’s designed to videoconference and share photos, videos and music. “A tablet is the best device for elderly people”, explains Bartolomé, who came out with the idea while trying to connect his parents with a brother who lives far away from them. The next step is to sell it all around the world and open the platform to other developers.