Montag, 10. Oktober 2011

startupweek2011: the four winners

the startupweek 2011 - a new startup conference including a startup competition held in vienna - had four winners: the conference hosts, the startup region vienna, mysugr & mysugr. and this is why.
for the first time ever a significant startup-conference was organized this very week (3. - 7. oct. 2011) in vienna. besides the startup competitions at leweb and europas the startupweek left a serious mark in the european internet startup scene.

empowered by the success of their startuplive events, the conference organizer STARTeurope , supported by initial factor, mixed four ingredients for their success. their very own entrepreneurial spirit, the professional network of inital factor with the announcement of their new fund speedinvest & the involvement of techcrunchUK, aka mike butcher (find his coverage here).

being overbooked with max. 1.300 paritcipants allowed, including 100 speakers, 500 startup applications with 50 invited startups from all over europe, STARTeurope delivered a professional managed conference.  the cross over of the monarchy style location with the future of european internet startups just added to the success.
while vienna is recognized for the quality of living, it does not have  the label as being a startup city -  like london, paris or berlin. quite to the contrary, there are some austrian startups which stated in private discussions, that they should have started their business directly in london and not in vienna/austria. one main reason being the lack of venture capital funding.
luckily for the growing vienna startup scene, speedinvest offeres now a initial funding source. one must not overlook though, that follow up investments will still require the startups to look abroad. with only one local private early-stage investor, startups in vienna do face a local monopoly. thanks to the mobility of new startups like egoarchive, which recently moved to copenhagen, this can be only considered as a problem for those not willing to follow the money. 
therefore combining quality of living, a growing ecosystems of startups with new funding possibilites, vienna just upgraded itself in the european startup landscape.

and then there is mysugr. their startup idea born out of their own personal experience with diabetes, the founders frank westermann and fredrik debong (also co-founder of STARTeurope) won the hearts and the wits of the jury and the audience. 

mysugr makes logging the daily diet easy and provides help for the diabetic on how to manage his daily nutrition with the help of their mobile app. unlike competitors like "on track diabetes" the app and the services around are a "medical device" grade. mysugr is in alpha mode, but take applications here. see also a video where fredrik explains what mysugr does here.
so why is mysugr a two time winner? 
not because they won both prices (€30.000, 3 weeks in silicon valley) of the startup competition. not because the rocked the audience to standing ovations including a champaign shower for mike butcher - the outstanding host of the startup competition finale. 
but (one) because the showed that it is worth to bring one´s very own startup idea to live and fight it through. and (secondly) for the exposure they generated by inspiring the audience & the jury at the pitching competition. this will turbo-boost them in their next steps towards customers, investors and industry cooperations. 

while the future of mysugr looks promising many challenges lay ahead of them. the same holds for the startupweek2012, as the organizers set their own bars high. being a startup by themselves, that will however only encourage them to make it even better in 2012.