As you can tell from our articles about projects like About.me or Mokk.me, we love startups try to help them as much as we can. One of those efforts is our domain Development program where you can get a unique .me domain for your startup and the other is supporting events such as How to Web Belgrade which took place today in Serbia.
How to Web Community events are a spin-off of the How to Web web conference which takes place once a year in Romania. So 140 web designers, developers, entrepreneurs, investors and geeks converted on this one event to hear the stories of successful regional projects such as activeCollab and Vox.io: How to Web Belgrade.
Tomaz Stolfa, the founder of Vox.io, talked about how local startup ecosystems helped them develop their project. Stolfa spent about 4 years working in the web technology space with the help of the local community i Ljubljana, where they found inspiration in other startups such as Zemanta, a blogger content discovery tool.
When Vox.io made it into the startup incubator Seedcamp, they got the chance to talk to world renowned investors such as Fred Wilson and meet their peers that were working both in startups and companies such as Google.
Pivot ‘till You Drop
On the other hand, Luka Abrus from ShoutEm explained what you can do when your first idea doesn’t work out. ShoutEm had to change their focus (or “pivot) two times: once to chance their overall technological focus and the second time to tweak their business model from creating mobile social networks to creating mobile apps for the iPhone and Android. The interesting fact is that they didn’t change their codebase in the second pivot, just their branding and the way they presented the project.
Katy Turner from Eden Ventures is on the other side of the fence, as some see it. She works for the venture investment fund Eden Ventures and explained how you should talk to and present your project to investors like her. The bottom line is: follow their blogs and Twitter profiles and meet investors that who make sense for your startup. Use other people to introduce you to the investors you need, maybe even entrepreneurs from their portfolio companies.
Invest $20,000 and Make It Back in 4 Days
While everyone was talking about investments, Ilija Studen from activeCollab went on stage and said that they are profitable… and bootstrapped. Ilija and his co-founder invested $20,000 of their own money and spent 6 months converting his open source project to a commercial project. When it went out, the customers were already waiting and they made their money back in just 4 days of launch. He said that its really important to see that there’s a market that is waiting for your projec…erm product!
How to Web Belgrade was a really special event where you could really feel the energy of everyone involved: the organizers, the attendees and the speakers. They want to build their projects and with events such as this they’re on a good track to do so. As for .Me, we’ll always try to support them!