Is six months enough to scale?

With the 4th edition of PwC Startup Collider barely at the beginning and the closing Demo Day still approximately half a year ahead of the startups participating in the 2020 edition, we ask ourselves: is six months enough time? Enough to scale to new markets and industries? Enough to implement pilot projects or multiply the number of clients? Who better to answer these questions than the alumni of the previous edition. The floor is theirs!

Back in October 2019, we asked our newest alumni if anything changed since April 2019 when they had started scaling as part of the program. Now is the time to reveal what feedback on Startup Collider we received from representatives of Pricely, Zonifero, Ufleet, Dynamic Pricing AI and Sotrender.

“Having been accepted to Startup Collider, we participated in several negotiations with investment funds. In September, we even signed an agreement with SPINAKER alfa. We also completed the implementation of our solution in our first retail chain with another one in the works, and our team grew,” told us Marcin Dobek, co-founder and COO at Pricely. “And we have ambitious plans for the future. Over the next months we intend to further develop the promotional price recommendation module. And sometime in mid-2020, we’re considering another financing round.”

Łukasz Muszyński, Chief Product Office at Zonifero, emphasized the expertise of the program’s mentors: “A major benefit for a company as ours was the knowhow that we were given access to and we appreciate it very much. PwC’s experts helped us remodel and reevaluate our operations. They taught us a better way to reach our clients and basically how to talk to them. Together we had several meetings with very interesting partner’s of their and these contact will surely be highly beneficial to us in the future.” He was right: in January 2020, Zonifero published a handbook on proptech “Smart Real Estate and Proptech 4.0” together with PwC and Microsoft. You can download it right here.

“PwC served as an entrance for us to the Polish market making it our third market where we operate apart from Bulgaria and Germany. I would also say that the program was a door opener, because as Collidees we had easy access to big corporations, whereas startups usually have to work really hard to get there,” said Atanas Sechkov, Ufleet founder. When we asked him about the company’s plans for the future he told us that he wanted the company to expand in Poland and have even more presence in Germany. “We’re also looking at the US market.” Fingers crossed!

“We were able to scale to two new markets, so now we are present on five, our team grew by half, we have four more customers, one of them in a new vertical – and that’s in only six months,” said Simeon Lukov, DynamiPricing AI CEO. “We managed to close one of the deals in two weeks and that was the shortest period we ever needed. Also, for the first time we signed a contract with an international distributor. Another interesting topic for Dynamic Pricing AI is a demo project with a German consumer electronics company implemented in collaboration with a German partner. A lot has happened, even more is happening.”

And they weren’t the only busy bees. Most of our Collidees are hardworking visionaries and innovators who devote their skills and expertise to disruption. And sometime also to science.

“The last few months have been very intense at Sotrender. First of all, we have introduced a new module to our product – moderation, to boost effective customer service on Facebook. This tool is primarily addressed to moderators and community managers from marketing agencies or e-commerce companies. That’s business-wise, however, we also deal with science,” explained Sotrender’s founder and CEO Jan Zając. “We are focusing on development of our AI-powered solutions that make use of natural language processing and image recognition. And over the last few months, we have also completed several interesting research projects concerning, among others, data from Google Maps and information on targeting ads on Facebook. Part of the research met with great media interest, for instance, our analysis of political party expenses on advertising in social media, carried out in cooperation with the Panoptykon Foundation and the ePaństwo Foundation.”

This is what our Collidees were able to achieve within the six-month-long period of scaling with PwC Startup Collider. International expansion, product development, new employees, contribution to science – the alumni of our program like to have their hands full and we admire them for that. We often stress that the end of the program is never the end of our cooperation with the innovators who chose to scale with us. On the contrary, it’s the beginning of a partnership as equals and already now we’re looking forward to the future achievements of startups participating in the 2020 edition.

“Our task as mentors is to help startups reach the next level and expand into new industries and new markets, with emphasis of course on Central-Eastern European markets. In my view, we have succeeded at it thus far. Our alumni have become major players in their respective fields of innovation, they thrive and flourish, some of their accomplishments are even widely publicized by the media. I believe this is why innovators choose our program and I, together with my colleagues, promise to provide them with the best help and assistance we can offer,” pledges Jolanta Kokosińska, PwC Startup Collider Leader.

Follow us on social media where we’re presenting each startup one-by-one and stay tuned for video interviews that we will publish beginning in April 2020.

The Startup Collider Team

Contact us

Magdalena Kwoska

Magdalena Kwoska

Project Manager, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 519 507 697

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