Seedcamp Warsaw seeks out the Eastern startups

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Seedcamp Warsaw wrapped up yesterday after a day of startup pitches and mentoring. It’s becoming apparent that there are gradually more startups appearing in the region – rather clumsily known as “Central and Eastern Europe”. The region is also well known for its strength in outsourcing companies who often work with Western European and US-based startups and I’m still here in Krakow finding out about a bunch of companies who do just that, many of whom appear to be Ruby On Rails gurus, including Lunar Logic, Applicake, Codesprinters, as well as Respectance, IIZT and Infinite Loop.

But without further ado, here are the Seedcamp winners.

HumanWay.pl: This is a “job applicant tracking system 2.0”. I liked this idea, assuming it can do everything it claims. It’s a working product already, which helps companies deal with the massive amounts of incoming material from jobs applicants – an increasing issue in these straightened times. HumanWay is a simple tool to create and distribute job requisitions and collect and manage applications. It screens applicants across social networks (it says here – sounds like a tough job) and generally take the heavy lifting out of recruiting. In all honesty? It sounds like may be trying to do too much and indeed, one of the judges criticisms was that some of the teams lacked focus. Still, something is working – HumanWay has already launched with 20 companies and so weren’t looking for money so much as sales and advisors / partners.

Joobili.com: Budapest based Joobili allows events and festivals organisers to input events. Then when you want inspiration for a holiday you work out what is on when. There appeared also to be a solcial element to it, in that you could see which of your friends were going to an event. The business model would include paid-for enhanced listings, affiiate sales etc. The famed Esther Dyson is a Seed investor and Mentor apparently. Since the public beta launched a month ago they have 1,000 European events in the database and a few partnerships signed.

MyPolitiq: This site works out which politicians match to your political views – though right now it’s just for Lithuania. Call it a”smart voting” site. At laast they freely admitted that they had no idea if the site had a business model or not, though – as the founders said – there are lots of EU government funds for this! They are looking to strenghten partnerships in Poland and have built a Poish version – Glosuje.com.pl. I believe the judges went for this as the team itself it pretty good and there are lots of ways to scale this across borders I think, in terms of a web app that gauges you political leanings.

SkryBot.pl: It turned out this was speech recognition software mainly targeted at consumer aplications like dictation, or navigation applications. However they saw it working in search engines, TV, GPS etc. The licenses are EUR 10,000. Perhaps rightly so this appeared to be a desktop application which didn’t have a lot of place being in a competition geared towards Internet startups, but if the software is as good as it’s supposed to be it feels like there’s scope for this to morph into a web app.

  • http://www.twidox.com Nicholas

    Joobili sounds interesting and having just tried it, had a good database of events. They should also partner with the likes of amiando, Seatwave etc to get even more smaller events, but good site.

    Good luck!

  • http://www.paulklipp.com Paul Klipp

    Very nice summary. There were some really sharp people at SeedCamp Warsaw and a few great ideas. Thanks, also, for mentioning Krakow, the Ruby capital of Central Europe.

  • http://www.codesprinters.com/ Andy Brandy

    Great summary, was interesting meeting you. Thanks for mentioning Krakow, which is indeed not only the Ruby CEE capital but also a place with vibrant IT community with lots of IT companies from largest multinationals to small, agile companies like us – to freelancers.

    • http://www.codesprinters.com/ Andy Brandt

      Too quick in commenting… :)

  • Ray

    MypolitIQ sounds very interesting. Would be great if it then ranked politicians by number of ‘followers’ and more generally by their views in relation to populist opinion. An interesting way to qualify the opinions of those in power. So long as they can prevent gaming, I could see this kind of app being very powerful.

    Maybe they should consider some kind of psychometic test which provides more robust ‘opinions’ that don’t change with the weather.

    That way it can be used to compare and contrast political thinking across countries, districts, towns,etc.

    If done right and with the advice of experienced psychoanalists, it could be ground-breaking.

  • http://humanway.pl jacek wysocki / humanway

    @ Mike -> regarding HumanWay you say “It screens applicants across social networks (it says here – sounds like a tough job)”

    well it would have been a tough job if we wanted to do it ourselves. But we don’t do that in-house, we’ve been integrating here with last year’s Seedcamp finalist Szuku.pl (people search engine) and all the tough job has already been done at their side.

    greetings, Jacek

  • http://jan.rychter.com/ Jan Rychter

    Mike,

    Good observation about the clumsy region naming. “Central and Eastern European” countries have little to do with each other, apart from the fact that they are all economically behind Western Europe because of the communism scourge. People really need to start looking at countries here.

    Aside from that, great summary. It was a good event.

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    Jane – Thanks – got any ideas about what we call this region instead?

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  • http://www.mypolitiq.eu Robert T Kowalski

    Mike,
    appreciate your description of MyPolitIQ it pretty much neatly and briefly catches the basics behind our start-up and idea.

    Event was great, and we look forward to TechCrunch running an event in Warsaw, Vilnius or the area in the near future!
    best,
    RK

  • http://www.joobili.com Jared Salter

    @nicholas thanks for checking out Joobili. Glad you found plenty of cool events, but actually we are just getting started in terms of the event content we will provide. Keep an eye on us.
    @mike good call on the regional naming fiasco. Eastern europeans call themselves “central europeans” or even better “New Europe”. Bit of a stretch for me still even though I live in Hungary, so I’ll stick with “CEE region” for now.

  • http://jan.rychter.com/enblog/2009/3/20/warsaw-seedcamp-event-impressions.html Blog [EN]

    Warsaw SeedCamp Event Impressions …

    During the Warsaw Mini-Seedcamp event a round of 20 startups from across the region had a chance to display their work, get critiqued, get advice and apply for funding. It was a good event and some ……

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