Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch Showcases Krakow Startups And Invites Investors
In classic Krakow folklore, a terrible Dragon once terrorized the city. The classic methods and individuals that were predicted to destroy the beast were failing. It took an unlikely person with innovative, unconventional thinking to conquer the challenge of the Dragon. Yes, Krakow was saved by a startup mentality and it is this legacy that continues at Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch.
Across the mighty Wisła River from the monumental Wawel Castle beneath which remains the former lair of the Dragon is the brutalist Hotel Forum. In it’s undergrounds is another Dragons Cave. The unique venue sets the scene for Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch. The event is inspired by the „Shark Tank/ Dragons Den” format and creates a stage for six of the most promising early stage startups in Małopolska to pitch in front of potential investors. The larger goal of the event is to promote the Krakow innovation ecosystem, entrepreneurship and invite investment capital to the city. Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch is organized by the Foundation Supporting #OMGKRK with the financial support of the Malopolska Voivodeship. The second edition iof Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch took place on Friday, October 19th 2018 during Krakow Startup Week.
1. Locky: Smart Key Overlay
Going first is never easy, but Mariusz Bajor is part of an experienced Locky team, alumni of Krakow Technology Park’s Scale Up Accelerator Program and Google Launchpad Program and had no issue. Locky is the world’s first smart key overlay that solves the problem of uncertainty whether the door to our home was closed, changing traditional key into the smart key. After successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter platform, Locky is now raising 500,000 – 700,000 USD for a worldwide marketing campaign, the launch of a massive production and further product and technology R&D.
2. Deko Eko: Upcycling Platform
The circular economy is growing and Deko Eko is ready to capitalize on it. Agata Frankiewicz pitched Deko Eko which is an upcycling platform which is changing the way we think about waste. They cooperate with the best designers from all over the world to create high-end consumer products out of waste materials. Deko Eko is raising 350, 000 euros to launch their B2B marketplace and expand into the Benelux Countries. Deko Eko was the audience favorite based on a popular vote.
3. Rent And Lend: Sharing Economy Platform
Most of us have wanted an easy way to borrow something instead of buying it and Rent and Lend solves this problem. After launching in Krakow in September, Rent and Lend already has hundreds of items listed on their platform. With an easy way to make an offer, using automation, geolocation and a special offer for micro-enterprises and NGOs Rent and Lend is ready to scale in Poland and beyond. Leszek Szklarczyk pitched and is looking for 250 000 euros for the part of the team to be able to work on the project full time and launch a user acquisition campaign.
4. myREST: Solution For GastroMarketing
The restaurant industry is ready for innovation and disruption and myREST is ready to bring it. Solving problems around weak GastroMarketing, digitalization of menus, customer feedback and expensive costs of IT infrastructure for restaurants, myREST provides and comprehensive solution with a SmartMenue, Widget, GastroMarketing and analysis feature all in the Admin Panel. One of the best features is the online table reservation. Over 20 restaurants already use this solution. Alina Usyk is raising 600k-1,2mln PLN to expand the developer team, introduce mobile payments and marketing.
5. Piloci Studio: LED Shapes
Today, people are in search of unique experiences especially at events and Piloci Studio’s LED Shapes which were on display in the Dragons Cave make an immense impression. Piloci Studio has already worked with such clients like BMW, Audi and Mastercard along with the most prestigious festivals in Krakow adding a powerful creative component to these marketing campaigns and events, Piloci Studios is ready to pivot from just lending their hardware to also selling it. With all the essentials secured, Hubert Kaszycki is raising 250,000 euros to launch production of LED Shapes.
6. CarryBear: Delivery Platform
We have all order food online. But why stop there? Why not order beer and snacks or anything found in places like Zabka or Orlen gas stations. Middle of the night and don’t want to go out? Or perhaps it is Sunday and the nearest open store is not that near. CarryBear will solve the problem with their delivery platform that will connect you with those small convenience store purchases fast and easy. Konrad Bobko is raising 100,000 pln to build the MVP of CarryBear.
The Wawel Dragons
The startups were given instant and live feedback from four individuals experienced in tech entrepreneurship and investment called Wawel Dragons. Ian Scarffe is an entrepreneur, investor and blockchain expert along with the Co-Founder of Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch event. Also returning for a second time is Jaromir Dzialo, IT Architect and Investor. Joining them was Maciej Gnutek, Investment Associate at Innovation Nest where he was instrumental in their investment in Krakow startup CallPage. Finally, there was Vincent Vergonjeanne, CEO of Lucky Duck Games. Representatives of Cobin Angels and SpeedUp Group were also in the audience. After hearing the 5 minute pitch, the Wawel Dragons asked questions for clarity, pushed back on the weakness of the startups and highlighted their strengths. The consensus was that the quality of the startups were high and several „let’s talk more after the event”exchanges occured. Meanwhile and live audience of over 100 attentively took it all in.
Not Unicorns But Dragon Slayers
Many brave souls perished in the historic fight with the Krakow Dragon until a hero finally emerged. In the 21st century digital economy, the Dragon is the vicious and competitive market that has reigned terror on many an entrepreneur. Then, as now, it will only be the few and the innovative to will be successful. Startupers and especially investors know that only a small percentage of ventures pay off. However, if there is to be a startup worth investing in in Małopolska, there is a strong chance they will be one stage at Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch. At the least, you will see an outstanding collection of young, creative and entrepreneurial leaders who are at the forefront of innovation in Krakow. The Foundation Supporting #OMGKRK is inviting all ambitious startups to apply and all investors to join use for Wawel Dragons Cave Pitch III in October 2019 during Krakow Startup Week. We are not looking for fantasy unicorns but instead for proven Dragon slayers.