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I have recently written about the launch of Bulgarian startup ecosystem, and one of the country’s newly formed seed accelerators Launchub has just announced the names of its first teams.
Launchub’s managing partner Lyuben Belov is a long time Bulgarian private equity and venture investor in Bulgaria. I must say that even by pan-European standards, 30,000 Euro accelerator-level investment is pretty generous, and it is good to see Launchub partnering with Seedcamp.
The selection process included application reviews, personal meetings with 40 teams and a weekend event where 16 teams competed to be accepted into the program.
Amongst the selected teams I recognized one name: it is Croatian Habbits which I saw pitching at the HackFwd Pitch in Berlin in March this year. Habbits aims to teach kids complete tasks in a tamagotchi-style environment. Habbit is a character, which is assigned to a particular task (a bear and a bunny are free, whilst other characters can be purchased). One can play with it in a Talking Tom style (you say something to the character, and it repeats it back to you). Once the task is completed, the Habbit matures. Habbit is already available in the Appstore, but I am sure there will be new releases with more interesting animation. I suppose the team will also need accelerator’s support with the marketing efforts. With a sheer amount of various apps for kids this will not be easy.
Here is a shorter overview of other startups that joined the program.
Bulgarian AZ 4CAST will provide a business analytics software as a service to help marketers in industries such as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) predict market demand.
Croatian Cinematic aims to create a mobile social network for movie fans that will also enable them to see reviews, get personalized recommendations and buy movie tickets. Marketing dollars will be needed for this one, especially since European cinema chains (e.g. German Cinemaxx) already have mobile apps that do some of those things.
Bulgarian Deed will create a platform where people can set up challenges and contests.
Bulgarian ID2Doc is a solution to speed up capturing IDs from ID cards and passports by using a scanner.
Bulgarian KBLE is a patent-pending search technology that helps improve user experience for image and video search, browsing and sharing.
Bulgarian Уча се is an online educational video platform for schools, which is already up and running in Bulgarian.
Bulgarian Useful At Night aims to become a social network to find the best parties. It reminded me of Croatian Spotie, and US-based About Last Night, whose co-founder Derek Dodge I met at the Polish Bitspiration conference.
The teams will graduate over the period of 3 to 12 months, and the Croatian startups will be invited to stay in Sofia, Bulgaria for a one to two months to go through the acceleration process which will including mentoring, courses, and meetings.
The best teams will also get further seed funding of up to 200,000 Euro upon successful completion of the program and presentation at the demo day.
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