The joint “Globes” and Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) Smartup2 program is coming to an end five months after it began. Since May, “Globes” has written in both its hard copy and online editions about the three companies that won the start-up competition out of the 100 candidates. Since early June, the newspaper has closely followed the three winners from various aspects of every new start-up.
We examined ways to find the right investor, the weaknesses in founders’ agreements, the right way to market a start-up, why networking is important, how to attract and retain outstanding employees, how to properly manage time, how to give the best pitch, and how to break into global markets.
The competition’s three winners GreenIQ Ltd., HopOn Ltd., and Zeekit Ltd. - listened and learned during the process and with close assistance, and have now reached the summation stage to see what they have learned from the technology incubators and experts participating in the program and which tips are also useable by other new start-ups.
“The program gave us exposure to the relevant parties operating to some degree in the high-tech world,” says HopOn co-founder David Mezuman. The developer of a mobile payment app for public transport obtained advice from 8200 EISP managers. “Through the program, we met experts, such as lawyers and accountants, who usually only work with later-stage start-ups, compared with the stage we are at now. This gave us recognition you don’t necessarily encounter on a daily basis.” He adds, “The informal meetings with the various people enabled us to discuss things that we would never have raised in a formal meeting to present our company.
HopOn co-founder Ofer Sinai adds, “The organizations also felt free and did not focus on marketing their services, but to see what we were doing right and what we were doing wrong.”
Commenting on the decision to participate in the “Globes”-Bank Hapoalim competition, Mezuman said, “We deliberated whether to apply, like to any competition, because every competition requires a lot of attention and time to prepare. You can’t arrive without being fully prepared. Every start-up has to carefully choose what to focus on and what exposure it will obtain from each place.”
Zeekit makes it possible to see how clothes fit before buying them. Co-founder and CEO Yael Wiesel says, “The program describes the path a start-up takes and the challenges it faces. It unquestionably helps entrepreneurs at similar stages and those interested in joining the entrepreneurship arena who are seeking to learn about the processes up close.”
GreenIQ has developed an application for smart control of garden irrigation systems, saving water and money. “The program was a respectable stage for the participating start-ups. Exposure in the in the in-depth articles and the assistance we received reminded people of our name and raised awareness of our company. This is great exposure that any start-up would be happy to obtain,” says GreenIQ founder and CEO Udi Dahan.
Dahan adds that the assistance GreenIQ received from Explore.Dream.Discover included the creation of in-depth relations between the sides, which laid the basis for future collaboration.
The assistance that Zeekit received from Nielsen Innovate also had an impact. “Meeting Esther (Barak-Landes, the incubator’s CEO), both personally and professionally is a huge prize in and of itself. Her analytical skills, tips along the way and at intersections contributed to our fascinating, intensive journey that is chock full of developments. I would be happy to keep in touch with her and with the Nielsen Innovate’s other partners, a relationship that I think will only draw closer,” said Wiesel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 1, 2014
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