The Secret to Success

the secret to success ljubljana





Few years ago I watched Eric Thomas on Youtube, and his words made a lasting impact on me. When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. Wow… Don’t let nothing stop you!

I enjoyed Eric’s book The Secret to Success, and while I was in Ljubljana, Slovenia I was able to record my 5 takeaways. When I first started doing these videos I would freak out when I saw that somebody is about to walk by me while I was filming, and I would be anxious… But I want to stay true to my cause, valuable takeaways from a great book with a significant background. In this video I could sense the progress I’ve made with my confidence since I was standing in the middle of the a square in downtown Ljubljana with two buses of tourists just coming out. And here are was filming my 5 takeaways! Haha! If someone told me this couple months ago I wouldn’t believe it.

I know which book I am reading, but where do we make the next video?

The Power Of Broke

The Power Of Broke





New book, new city, new video, new post!
This time I was listening to an audiobook by Daymond John, The Power of broke. I liked the book, and I had no problem finding 5 takeaways, and I am looking forward to integrating them into my business. If you are a fan of Shark Tank like me, Daymond John doesn’t need an intro. If you are not, then suffice it to say Daymond John is the founder of Fubu a billion dollar clothing company, investor to dozens of startups and an advisor to US president Obama.

As for the recording of this video, I was able to make some progress by buying a cable extension for my microphone, so finally the microphone is under the shirt, not flying around (finally!)! Since my first video I couldn’t have imagined standing on a square with so many people and recording a video, but I am getting more and more comfortable in front of the camera (while people are walking by). This helps with the recording, takes less time and I am able to say what I actually intend to say. Also I am seeing progress with not reading so much of the screen. Earlier I was using my iPad as a clutch for reading, now my old iPhone does the trick.

I also changed the YouTube thumbnail just a little bit. For this video (and perhaps future videos as well) I’ve decided to start with the title and put my company’s logo at the bottom with a “sponsored by” tagline instead of just a dash. Here’s the video!

Change Your Thinking Change Your Life

Change Your Thinking Change Your Life





I just published a new video, this time I recorded my 5 takeaways from Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Brian Tracy. I was in Moscenicka Draga, I often go there because of a beautiful beach.

Anyway, I made some progress again. I dropped the sunglasses,I mention WhoAPI at the end, and I’ve added custom thumbnails to all my videos. This was one of the most difficult videos to record so far. I was interrupted several times, it was very hot, and I changed the intro sequence to which I was just getting used to…

Next I am thinking about hiding the mic wire under my shirt (OMG can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner) I just hope the wire is long enough. I would like to read less from my notes. Also, perhaps try using a tripod and record with a back camera to get better video quality. But both of this could/would involve some editing, and/or help from a second person.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living





Next book on my reading list was: “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. This was on my list for a long time, and I noticed it after reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Look like he specialized in long “how to” titles :). But nevertheless, his both books are all timers, and you can still learn a lot from them even after all those years.

The video below is a compilation of 5 takeaways that stood out to me personally, and I hope it helps you as well. This video was recorded in Fuzine, in front of lake Bajer.

5 top takeaways from Driven





Today I published my 7th book review on my Youtube channel. Changes I’ve made / noticed since my first video:
– Bought a small mic
– Bought a selfie stick
– Thinking about using a tripod (because of image shaking, and front iPhone camera), but this won’t allow me to show different angles (I don’t want to spend time editing the videos, yet)
– I don’t freak out (as much) in front of the camera
– I should memorize at least the first part of the video
– I should do at least 2 takes, and then pick the winner (I did this with only two videos)
– This is actually the first video I can watch without cringing

5 key takeaways from ReWork at Bacvice Split





I started video blogging. I was watching some educational material on sales and marketing, and without wasting time on telling the entire story, I decided to make the leap and record my first video.

As you will see on the video, it’s a merger of two of my passions. Books and traveling. So basically the gist of the idea is that I will record a brief video about the latest book that I read (or listened to) while visiting a certain noteworthy place.

This is the first one so feel free to critise give me feedback. 😀

Follow these 5 steps to connect with any keynote speaker superstar

Goran Duskic with Werner Vogels CTO of Amazon





Let’s say you are eyeballing a particular high-profile executive. Whatever you would like him to invest in your startup, become your client, business partner or if you just want to work for him. Point of the matter is, you are probably nowhere near him, and you don’t have any mutual acquaintances that can provide a quality introduction. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Richard Branson, Tony Robbins or Guy Kawasaki. At one point that person will be a speaker at a conference, and there’s your chance to start a snowball effect on him. He won’t even know what hit him, and I’ll introduce those simple steps to you.

Step 1. Q&A time

Goran Duskic from WhoAPI and Matt Mullenweg from WordPressFind a conference where the high-profile executive will speak. Preferably there’s a free entrance, or you can get in as press, or if you know one of the organizers. Just be creative. I remember how once I got a free pass to a conference where I met the founder of WordPress! Anyway, prepare a question you will ask that individual during the Q&A part. You can do that before the conference, but then you have to find out what the person will speak about (the title of his presentation). Contact the organizers if you have to. Otherwise, prepare 3 questions based on the history of this individual or just listen carefully during the keynote, and prepare 3 questions. They don’t have to be great, or provocative, but I am also not saying that you ask the guy “How he is doing”. Number one thing to do is to ask the question. So, go to that conference, raise your arm during the Q&A part, introduce yourself and ask your question. If you have to stand up right away as soon as the organizer or the speaker asks if there are any questions do that! This is your only chance, and if you fail here, it gets harder later. While the speaker is replying to your question, take notes or record the speaker’s response.

Asking a question so publicly is also a great trick in beating the fear of public speaking, something I wrote about in one of the earlier posts – “3 Easy Tricks how to Beat Fear of Public Speaking“. It’s also great that your peers see you talk with such a high-profile individual publicly. It definitely helps your personal brand, your self-esteem, and it might even help with the opposite sex. One thing is for sure, during that brief moment of asking the question, you will stand out from the crowd, and that’s what it’s all about. If you have to, read the question of the paper (to ignore the crowd). Whatever you do, have in mind that even if you fail miserably the first 3 times, I am almost 100% sure, that your next 100 attempts will be great. What I am saying is, don’t worry about your first failed attempts, think about the next 100 that will be great. Exchanging 3 lousy “borrowing the spotlights” as I call them, for 100 good ones, is a good bargain, and I would take it if I were you.

Step 2. Photoshoot

After you ask the question and that entire part is over, locate the individual and follow up on his answer or your question. When you are talking with this high-profile individual, politely ask if someone may take a photo of you two for your blog post. Naturally, the superstars have no objection to that, and they are used to it. It’s a nice compliment for them, and a great tool for you. In the end of your brief conversation (less than 5 minutes), excuse yourself, and thank the superstar for their valuable time. Before you leave ask if you might get their business card so that you may further follow up on the topic you were just talking about. While you are saying that, offer your business card also. It’s important that you start leaving first because then you have the upper hand, and have the other side wanting to hear more. Even if it’s Mark Cuban on the other side. “The sale” will happen later.
If the other person says they don’t have any business cards, ask for an email or a phone number or anything really. If they don’t give you anything (which will happen only if you totally messed up the first step, and the first part of the second step) you will have two options:

1. Completely cross off this superstar in your plans (not exactly what I would recommend)

2. Try finding the address or contact info that has access to his secretary. Use Google, Whois, forums and ask your connections who has the most connections (they will probably know someone that can help you out)

Step 3. Interact on social media

Assuming you managed to get their business card, let’s proceed with step three. When you are back at the office the next day, add that individual on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Whatever feels appropriate. If you have to unfollow / follow on Twitter, do it. If it’s a Facebook page, you don’t have to like it, because it doesn’t really matter, unless you know for sure that he is updating it himself. Then it’s a good idea to interact on that page. The point is that the other side needs to interact with you, or at least see that you are trying to interact with them, so a friend request on Facebook and/or LinkedIn connection is best because of personal interaction.

Step 4. Blog + share

About a week or 2 weeks after step three, write a blog post about that entire experience (going to a conference, asking the question, photo with the keynote speaker). Share this blog post on social media and tag that individual. You can also share the post on websites like Hacker News, Digg, Reddit, Stumble upon so that you get more hits.

Step 5. Interview

Contact the individual (using the details on the business card) even a phone call if you have to, and share the fact you blogged about the topic you talked about that day. Ask the individual if he might be interested in doing a short interview about a particular topic close to him. Have the questions ready just in case the person accept to do the interview right away. By now this high-profile superstar will have remembered your name, and it’s a good foundation to start a sales process or whatever it is you feel would be best suited.

So there you go, a proven recipe that will get you under the skin of any high-profile rock star. The key is not to give up until you have your dream investor, partner, client, boss. Choose wisely because if it’s not worth fighting for, you will give up before you even start.

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26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

The story behind pitching Dave McClure and getting into 500 startups. From Croatia.





This is a story about how I pitched one of the most prominent VC’s in SiliconValley, and therefore perhaps in the world, and how that got us into one of the top 3 accelerators in the World. In my opinion, the top 3 being Y combinator, TechStars, and 500 startups. There could be a big post and a debate of the criteria of these two statements, but I barely have time for this post, so I will leave this for you reader, in the comment section.

How did GOAP end up in Croatia anyway? Well Matija from Farmeron who is #500strong, was rooting for Croatia, but Poland was also a contender. So they decided to have a tweetoff between the two countries. We were all tweeting how Croatia has cool startups, and how Nikola Tesla was born here. At some point Croatian president Josipovic jumped on his Facebook page and invited McClure to come here. How epic is that? I’ve told this story a dozen of times to startups around the world, and every single time people said our president is soooo cool. You hear that Croatians? People from outside Croatia think our president is cool.

McClure's reaction to the invite (too bad the URL isn't live anymore)

McClure’s reaction to the invite (too bad the URL isn’t live anymore)

The morning

It’s been 6 months since I started to take cold showers. I’ve read about it in two books, including Timothy Ferriss’s “Four hour body”. Since I thought there was absolutely no way for me to take cold showers, I asked myself how bad do I really want it. So I gave it a shot. On a side note, don’t do what the smartest or wealthiest person tells you to do, do what works for you best!

However, that morning I decided I’d go for a hot shower. I said to myself I am going to be a winner today. I felt goose bumps just by visualizing my victory. I kissed my girlfriend who was ill and couldn’t go, and I was on my way. I was pumping myself up, listening to Social Network soundtrack because I know this worked in the past. Man, I was never wired that much. I never felt so ready in my entire life.

4 weeks earlier

I was talking with my Croatian investor about this Dave McClure character. I mean, who does he think he is with his “sh*t/fu*k” language, publicly saying how other VC’s are crap. I am not working with this guy even if he wanted to invest. I watched some presentations, read a few articles – last time I judged a person like that.

After pitch

Goran Duskic and Dave McClure, as you can see it was love at first sight :D

Goran Duskic and Dave McClure, as you can see it was love at first sight 😀

After all the pitches, Matija Kopic from Farmeron came running, and told me that Dave McClure is interested in WhoAPI and that he wants to sit down. Holly cow! I got goose bumps just by writing this! After having lunch with Dave I changed my opinion about him a 100%, 180 degrees. I met a guy who is totally humble, extremely smart and insanely connected!

About 30 minutes later my world was turned upside down. Every 5 minutes I got more news, and I was running back and forward between Edi my partner, and Mihovil my investor. I found out we actually won the event, and that we had to decide on the spot if we want to take Dave’s investment and go to 500 startups. Terms were emailed, and that was that. It felt like flying a jet at Mach 5. I couldn’t believe what was happening and I had one of those out of body experiences like it was happening to someone else.

Dave McClure wants you... - Courtesy of www.dianahlevnjak.com

Dave McClure wants you… – Courtesy of www.dianahlevnjak.com

“And the winner of the GOAP eastern Europe Zagreb is WhoAPI!” said Ivan Brezak Brkan. He also said something about me being one of the biggest hustlers he knows, but everything else was sort of blurry. Some of my friends jumped out of surprise and joy, some screamed while Edi and me were getting up to walk to the podium for another out of body experience. Everybody was clapping and cheering. I don’t think I was ever more proud in my entire life. Silly things came through my mind, so I also felt relived towards some startups in the crowd because I was mentoring them a month ago. (I wrote about it here.) I felt so relived because they saw I wasn’t giving them crap advice about pitching and startups. I showed them that it’s not science fiction, and that you could actually get funding in Croatia from an American investor. Something that was a far fetched dream a year ago, after a string of events, became a reality.

I can’t emphasize enough what a major role CRANE and Farmeron had in this! People like Sasa Cvetojevic, Mihovil Barancic, Ivo Spigel and Matija Kopic are in many ways the driving force of the entire startup scene in Croatia. I am sure I forgot someone, especially those dedicated workers who beleive in the vision that startups can flourish in Croatia!

For what was to follow, Dave McClure took the mic. He said how great the entire event was, how pitches and startups were awesome. Also, he announced that they 500 startups have decided to invest in WhoAPI. Again the crowd erupted.

You work so hard, for so long, for that few minutes that somehow repay every single second. Stuff I went through with both of my parents unemployed, and perhaps with no place to live if I didn’t have great friends like Nevio Vesic. There are no words that can explain what was going through my mind.

Dave with president of Croatia

Dave with president of Croatia

Week after that I think we had around 2-3 interviews per day, and every notable media in Croatia covered our story. At one point I started to turn them down because they were taking to much time. Since the president invited Dave McClure, they visited him at “his white house”. At some point my investor was explaining to the president how WhoAPI is pronounced, and after that Dave talked with the president. Pinch me, pinch me, pinch me.

As soon as we landed in San Francisco it was all over. No one was calling us, no one here thought we were spectacular. You are in Silicon Valley baby! It was back to the trenches. You gotta love the trenches.

P.S.
I don’t think that we got all this based on one pitch, but I think it played an important role. So if anyone wants me to explain the pitch please let me know.

[EDIT 22nd, August, 2014] If you liked this blog post, perhaps you will like the ebook]

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

26 Fundraising Questions for Startups

I never go on a 1 week vacation, but when I do, I mentor 22 startups

Startupcamp Vis





Last week was one of the best weeks in my life, hands down. Why? First of all, thanks to Stevica Kuharski I was invited to come to Vis for free for a week. I asked what’s the catch? He said I have to do what I love, help startups and act as a mentor. I had absolutely no problem with that, and after talking with my investor (who was also coming as a mentor) and my partner (Edi, the other WhoAPI co-founder) I was on my way.

However, I wouldn’t be on my way if the whole camp wasn’t funded by the U.S. embassy! Now if that wasn’t cool I don’t know what is… Also, most of the images and video used here are from U.S. embassy’s in Zagreb facebook page.

Goran Duskic

Goran Duskic

On startupcamp Vis there were 22 startups, and top 3 already got coverage. Just to show you the quality of ideas and startups there I decided to interview co-founders of my three favorite startups there. Some may think why focus on the losers? Well here’s where they are wrong. I see them as winners. They were winners because they showed up on Vis, they were winners because they made profound progress from first pitch on day 1 to last pitch on day 3. And in my eyes, they are winners because they show passion and commitment to do what it takes to succeed. Perhaps there are projects at later stage or with better ideas. This doesn’t matter because these people are ready for overnight success, they are willing to work overnight. They will finish their projects, and if necessary find better ideas.

I published their answers in alphabetic order – I love them equally and if I was an investor I would do some serious due diligence in order to give them seed funding. This post is for them, and I am hoping to help them once again!

Oh yea, it’s ON, Croatia’s got startups!

Goran: Stevica, you an Saša Cvetojević from Croatian angel network were the two conspirators in the master plan called Startup Camp Vis. Can you tell my readears how did you get to this idea, and what was the crucial turning point when you realized that this is actually going to happen?

This idea crossed my mind while we were in Barcelona. Four of us, Sasa, Damir Sabol and Marjan Zitnik were living for 6 days together, which looked like a camp. Then I’ve realized that having a camp for startups would be blast. Participating a panel organized by US Embassy, I’ve expressed this idea to audience. Sita from US Embassy asked few questions and approached me after the panel asking “Were you serious about that camp?”. I’ve sad that I was. “OK, we’d like to pay for it”, she concluded.

Goran: You played a key role in organising the event, to which I personally thank you. I really think we made a difference. Can you tell me what was the most rewarding thing you saw in Startup Camp Vis. Obviously we all had to bail out from our offices to make this happen.

The most rewarding thing was seeing students changing their pitches and presentations. They have made tremendous progress during just two days. I still feel warm around my heart thinking of it.

Stevica Kuharski

Stevica Kuharski

Goran: Do you think that camps like this can make a real difference in the croatian economy, and what needs to happen on larger scale for this camps to occur more often?

Yes, in the long run it could make a difference. Pitched projects now need to grow more and to mature. Only then they will be able to attract foreign investors. For sure we would need more serious young entrepreneurs to have camps more often, not just in Croatia, but in the whole region as well.

Goran: In your oppinion, what was the thing that was missing? More mentors, more time, better ideas, more keyotes, something else? Can this be provided in perhaps next camp?

We’ve missed one more day. For the next camp we’ll squeeze it in and provide students lectures about dilution of ownership, how to create their pitches and basics of investments.

Allmyconferences.com

Goran: What makes your startup so special and why do you think you were invited to come to
Seedcamp, and this week’s Startup Camp on Vis? What exactly does your startup do, and tell us a
little bit about your team (age, background, qualities, etc)?

Ilona Spajic and Matea Torcic

Ilona Spajic and Matea Torcic

What makes us special are basically two things- firstly the team whose energy is unstoppable, and secondly the idea behind it. These two made us pass to the competition part in Vis, work all day and night there (literally) and get much more than we’ve expected (and we expected A LOT).

Our idea is to connect organizers of all kinds of non-formal educational events and their prospect users (attendees) by their previously chosen criteria. The reality is they sometimes just can’t seem to find each other. We want to provide them an ultimate place to meet and make their search and life much easier.

Our team for now consists of us two, Matea (22) and Ilona (24), we’re specialized in Marketing, Business and Finance fields, however we are on the search for the development partner, equally enthusiastic in this as we are. We both come from entrepreneurial families and, therefore, have the insight of all processes needed for something to succeed. And that’s exactly what we have in mind with this project.




Goran: Whats the most valuable thing you got during the Startup Camp Vis? Do you think camps like
this should happen more often, and should perhaps the Croatian government fund such an event/
camp? In general, what can you say about the Startup Camp Vis?

The most important thing we’ve learned in Vis was that we ought to share, comment, ask, criticize and pitch our idea as much as possible. That’s different from the usual Croatian mindset, but you just can’t progress alone, in your room, holding jealously your idea to yourself. Startups need to be dynamic, flexible and fast. With that in mind, Startup Camp Vis was the best place to be this year.

Things like SCVis should most definitely happen more often, and it would be great if the Government would fund them, but somehow we think it will continue to depend on the enthusiastic and crazy people who do it out of the pure belief in young people and their ideas. They were the ones who made Camp flawlessly organized, filled with awesome energy and people.

It’s really a great thing in every sense of that word for them to do it and, without any cliché, make the world a bit better place.

Goran: Were you satisfied with my performance as a mentor, and have the other mentors deliver what
you expected of them? Did we lack some critical information to your startup, and what would that
information be?

Mentors on startupcamp Vis

Mentors on startupcamp Vis

You were a great mentor, to be honest, one of the toughest but with the constructive critics. It was great to listen to you because were/are a startup yourself. Therefore, you were the only one who gave us opinion with the startup perspective which was very valuable.

All the mentors gave us some great feedback that really helped us, not just for the future, but we literary implemented them right away. It was incredible how none of the teams said for Camp it was “Ok”, or “Good”, we were all thrilled. Time of our lives, really.

Goran: At what stage is your startup, and what are you currently looking for? Is it funding, development
guy, biz guy, mentor, or perhaps clients and partners?

We are merely at the beginning of our project, and the Camp was the best thing that could happen at this moment. Our next steps are to establish the first version of our web site, get the developer, collect some data and get our startup going. Obviously, since we are students with limited budget, it would be great to get funding, but to be honest, not as much for the money part as much as for the mentoring, feedback and partnering part.

Goran: What do you see as your advantage compared to Silicon valley startups, and what’s your next
step in achieving that? What’s your and your teams next step in general?

Well, we are geographically in Croatia which is so much cooler than Silicon Valley 🙂

There’s nowhere in the world so much (stupid) bureaucracy obstacles like here, but we like to see it as a challenge. Like we said, we have a great team to start, but we’ll have to expand it a bit more to optimize our resources, skills and technical knowledge.

As we said, we are just beginning the story we believe it’s going to be big. Our passion for non-formal education drives us to work long hours.

Like Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” And that’s exactly what we’re doing.

You can see allmyconferences.com presentation here.

Just a quick update, I hear the girls have a new name and a logo to replace allmyconferences.com 

Anctu.com
Goran: What makes your startup so special and why do you think you were invited to come to Seedcamp, and this week’s Startup Camp on Vis? What exactly does your startup do, and tell us a little bit about your team (age, background, qualities, etc)?

Marko Pavlovic

Marko Pavlovic

-Why is my startup so special? Well most of all, I think that we as a team make our startup special, not because we are some kind of a geniuses, but because we are very passionate about doing what we do.. simply „We are in love“ with the problem that our startup solves , its really breaking the limits once it comes to social media tools, gives users the ability to create their own environment and gives developers a „hotspot“ for building their social apps. Those are probably the reasons why we where invited on SeedCamp and Startup Camp on Vis.

Team is sustained of my coworker Goran Blazevic and me(Marko Pavlović).

We are building social media marketplace called Anctu. It’s an open platform for developers to have a place where they can build and sell their social apps for users, mostly community managers, so they can choose between a long range of social apps/tools that suits them and their business, this way they will be able to create their own working environment for managing and tracking their social media and finally do it all from one place; Anctu!

There are ton of social media services out there which are mostly broken,useless or even good but their are dying since its hard for them to profit, I think a lot of people will agree with me on that. We are not only trying to unite existing ones, but to create new ones and have it working in a harmony with users on a single platform!




Team is expanding rapidly since recently we met some people that share the same vision as we do. Goran is 5 years experienced frontend developer and graphic designer which comes from Đakovo, Croatia. He is 27 years old and just getting his bachelor’s degree at Electrical Engeenireing, very calm and hard working guy, we have a lot in common (we both love Anctu and rakija, that’s for sure!).

I am 20 years old PHP developer(4 of years exp.). Coming from Vinkovci, where I graduated from high school of economics and trade. I don’t know how I ended up there since I love coding & tech overall, from my 10. I started seriously with one unsuccessful Andriod app and ended up 4 years in freelance waters with dozens of web projects behind me. Curentlly studying on faculty of electrical engineering at Osijek, but I feel „one big“ dropout coming up since Anctu needs me here alot, but anyway I plan to finish it later on. At the moment I’m living at Osijek and Goran is moving here also.

Goran: Whats the most valuable thing you got during the Startup Camp Vis? Do you think camps like this should happen more often, and should perhaps the Croatian government fund such an event/camp? In general, what can you say about the Startup Camp Vis?

Most valuable thing I got from Startup Camp Vis is those great people I met there, for god sakes, we became one happy family and that’s awesome! I really felt the bound with all of them there, both teams and mentors! So much positivity, great working atmosphere and crazy fun-times! Startup Camp Vis made me believe in myself even more then I did! What a great experience, it should happen much more often. Croatian government should definitely fund it, especially since this explosion of innovativity is happening on Croatian ground, right?
Startup Camp Vis is connecting people with great ideas and helps them to improve, that’s something great!

Goran: Were you satisfied with my performance as a mentor, and have the other mentors deliver what you expected of them? Did we lack some critical information to your startup, and what would that information be?

You where amazing Goran and same I hear from others! You supported me, advised me, felt my passion and energy about my startup and most of all, you where bloody honest, not only to me but to everyone; that’s exactly how every mentor should be, good job! Every of you mentors where great, some of you had harder time to understand what my startup is actually about, since its pretty deep into social media and development world, but on the end you all got it even better then I expected. This is one thing that almost made me cry: After doing the final pitch, one older mentor came to me and said „I am 70 years old, its really hard for me to understand some tech and social media stuff, but you made me get it all in only 5mins, amazing job, amazing pitch!“. This was my StartupCamp Vis reward, 50 years older person telling me this words. Felt.Stuning! All of you showed interest in my startup, both inside agenda and outside, that’s great!

Goran: At what stage is your startup, and what are you currently looking for? Is it funding, development guy, biz guy, mentor, or perhaps clients and partners?

Anctu logo

Anctu logo

We are at „wrapping up“, we expect our first live beta to be out in a month or so. We are looking for people that have any of those skills and are interested in Anctu, we are looking for people who will share the same vision as we do. Mostly we lack „biz guy“ which would do the sales and keep business connections, but we are also open for all interested clients and partners!

We are looking for funding, but we will turn to that much more seriously once we get the product out, all trough, it would not hurt us if it happens at this point also.

Goran: What do you see as your advantage compared to Silicon valley startups, and what’s your next step in achieving that? What’s your and your teams next step in general?

Silicon Valley atmosphere is much more competitive, here we live in a high-friendly atmosphere, that’s one of the advantages being in smaller communities. For Anctu its just another great location with bunch of good startups, we are not intimidated by it. Our next step is to release the product and get first costumers in.

Get you’r preinvite for Anctu live beta at: www.anctu.com
You can download Anctu presentation here.




Squee.it

Goran: What makes your startup so special and why do you think you were invited to come to this week’s Startup Camp on Vis? What exactly does your startup do, and tell us a little bit about your team (age, background, qualities, etc)?

Ivan Ivankovis, Ivan Kapulica, Krunoslav Klaric

Ivan Ivankovis, Ivan Kapulica, Krunoslav Klaric

What makes us special? That is a hard one. We consider our self different, hmm. That is about it. We believe that we have a good project. That our application has what it takes to become popular not just in Croatia, but with broader public. Squee is a beautiful app that basically allows the user to discover, share and buy an independently developed gadgets directly from your iPhone. Today the Silicon Valley is going through Hardware Renaissance, due to the cheap 3D prototyping and new technologies a lot of small teams make incredible gadgets, they make a prototype in the US, Europe and then they ship it to China, India for “mass” production. A lot of those teams get funded trough www.kickstarter.com. Squee is basically a social hub (mcommerce) for all the gadget creators and lovers.

Squee iPhone app

Squee iPhone app

Ivan, he is a creative guy, designer (likes to brag with the Squee UX), at the moment he is a proud user of CodeAcademy, earning his badges, learning how to program and having a time of his life, also
he is our blogger. Most of our gadget reviews are coming from him. He is a proven entrepreneur. Ivan has successfully founded and runs the best and most beautiful espresso&wine bar and coffee house
in the city, in his words Rubirosa (the name of the place, named after Porfirio Ariza Rubirosa) is the perfect connection of pleasure and taste. Ivan has initially came up with the idea and now he strongly
believes that he is more cool than Mr. Cool himself, Steve McQueen.

Kruno, where to start with Kruno, hmmm. Lets say he is a adventures type of guy at least. Every one of us knows a guy like him. Example, when the waves are so high, and no one else is on the sea he is the first one to come with the idea to untie his sailing boat, pushing us to come with him. We believe he was brain washed by watching Thomas Crown Affairs and Indiana Jones movies just too many times. Also, he is our rock star marketing guy and strategist. As well, he is constantly harassing indie manufacturers to work with us and he is fiercely explaining to them what we are all about. Not that we are counting but we are pretty sure that he achieved seven restraining orders issued against him so far, talking about persistence :)). Kruno is also a consultant with additional self entrepreneurial
experience trough his whole life.

Squee logo

Squee logo

We have two Ivans in our team, not to be confused; the first one isn’t so in love with himself to write twice about his life :). The second Ivan is insanely focused, doesn’t sleep during day nor night, we still believe that he is a robot, or has a twin brother that we aren’t familiar with :). He is the Christopher Columbo of our team, always knows where we are going and in which direction. He deals with everyday problems and issues. Also he is contacting web portals and blogs around the world to develop mutual endorsement and he is spreading the good word. When other people are watching reruns of Two and a Half Men he is working hard as a community manager pushing info and sourcing gadgets. Ivan is working for 3 years now as a strategy consultant with a high number of successfully
executed projects.

Marin, he is our in house developer. Marin is developing our code and he is crazy good at it. Hence, he developed several iOS apps and successfully launched them. Few of his apps have a fan base of over 10.000 users. He is passionate about what he is doing and we are having a blast with him. The most important thing is that we utterly understand each other, when talking about women and wine
obviously.

Goran: What is the most valuable thing you got during the Startup Camp Vis? Do you think camps like this should happen more often, and should perhaps the Croatian government fund such an event/camp? In general, what can you say about the Startup Camp Vis?

The most valuable thing we got during the #scvis was the mentorship and all the networking with super creative and smart people. We definitely believe that camps like it should happen way more often. First thing on our mind when we came back in Zagreb was the feeling of emptiness, I cannot describe in words how much we wanted to wake up again in our apartment on Vis and start with the pitching, hustling and fast mentoring. We missed the entire crew, all the creative startup teams that became our friends and all the mentors. It is not expected from our government to fund such events, #scvis is something they cannot grasp or think off, and that is a shame.

Goran: Were you satisfied with my performance as a mentor, and have the other mentors deliver what you expected of them? Did we lack some critical information to your startup, and what would that information be?

Honestly, we will be forever grateful for all your help and all of your information and time you gave us. Your mentoring was incredibly helpful for us, thanks again for believing in our team and our project.

Goran: At what stage is your startup, and what are you currently looking for? Is it funding, development guy, biz guy, mentor, or perhaps clients and partners?

At the moment our startup is in seed stage. What do we mean by that? We are in a prototype phase and pushing hard to launch our app on the App store. We are looking for a in house developer and
funding.

Goran: What do you see as your advantage compared to Silicon Valley startups, and what’s your next step in achieving that? What’s your and your team’s next step in general?

Silicon Valley is full of large companies and great startups that are hunting for talented young people, so that is maybe the advantage compared to SV, here in Croatia you have a lot of talented people.
Hence, you can more easily gather a good team in the beginning. One big difference is the funding. Silicon Valley is fool of angel investors and VC-s, so startups in Silicon Valley can more easily get funded. Our next step is to push our application to MVP (minimum viable product) and launch it until the end of the year. Also, we are hoping to get funded.

You can download Squee presentation here.