This is a guest post by Florian Gschwandtner, co-founder and CEO of runtastic.
An excerpt from his diary, during a few days of February. Visiting MWC, interviewing with a German tv-channel, drinking “enough” and lack of sleep would be the summary. Or in his words: “Work hard, play hard.”
Day Zero – 13th of February
On Sunday 13th I, Christian, Stefan and Lin started our trip to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With a packed calendar and immense expectations we arrived on Sunday evening. After a few beers we went to bed in our two-star-motel, not very fancy but close to the venue.
Day One – 14th of February
We started at 7AM.
A tough day. Two lectures by Nokia and WAC and about 3 meetings planned.
In the evening a great dinner with some startup colleagues from Madrid, working on busuu.com. It was a pleasure to meet these guys, awesome people.
The Spanish wine is really strong. Lesson learnt.
Went to bed at 3:00AM.
Day Two - 15th of February
The next morning (with a touch of a headache) another interesting day begun with a breakfast meeting. This day was the hardest and until 6PM we’d had about 6 meetings.
Ended the day with a walk down the tourist street called “Rambla” – finding a nice restaurant with Sangria discount. Good stuff.
Day Three - 16th of February
Hard getting up, the first meeting at 10AM. Fortunately our partner had also had a hard and long night… so the meeting was relaxed.
After a last successful day at the MWC we spent a few minutes in the port of Barcelona, ice tea and snacks.
We left Barcelona by airplane at 8:30PM and arrived in Vienna at two hours later. Got home and fell asleep at 1AM.
Day Four - 17th of February
Normally I would have liked to sleep till 10AM after these three hardcore days in Barcelona, but Focus Tv had called a few days before to arrange an interview about runtastic…
“Dear Mr. Gschwandtner, is February 17th in Munich okay for the interview?”
“Sure, it´s no problem”
Looking back, not the best reply.
Clock set to 4:30 in the morning. Got up, hopped on the train to Munich. Life as an entrepreneur can be hard.
We had a great interview; me with small eyes and a crappy voice. Oh and it turned out it was not just an interview – it was a full day movie session and I came back to Austria around 8PM. Fell asleep within a minute.
A tough week. But in my words – “Work hard, play hard”.
Florian Gschwandtner – runtastic
He who waits for something good… Often waits far too long and misses the window of opportunity. *booyah!!*
The fact that we have received so many requests shows that smart people get the fact that a startup communities need to start from the grass roots – with the people that actually DO stuff instead of just talking about what needs to change.
Welcome to an exciting spring with STARTup Lives in 3 locations in Austria and beyond (the beyond thing is being worked out as I write this line, another event or two may pop up).
We are SO not up to lying on our couches this spring. Most of us have even sold theirs (that’s how boot strappy we are!) and are now resting our tired backs on concrete floors of our office.
Ok that was exaggerated and so totally not true. But we will keep busy.
The upcoming events for spring 2011 are….
The Live Vienna event will also be integrated into the STARTup Week Vienna 2011 which we are organizing together with Initial Factor and TechCrunch EU. Smack! We’re proud. These critters are amazing and are now our partners.
Need to learn more about the events? Then simply take a look at the roundups from the last ones.
Update on our companies
This guy has been kicking it with us since STARTup Live Vienna #4 in November 2010. Actually we loved it so much that we keep in touch on a weekly basis and help him optimize presentations and concept. Wanted to hook up with him this week, but this guy had too many meetings with business angels. Have to postpone it That’s awesome news. Awesome
Qriously is going to London! These guys pitched at STARTup Live Vienna #3, learnt alot and then doubled down. Now A LOT has happened. A LOT. Sorry about caps. But a lot has happened. I’ll stop saying that now.
Chris went to DLD and wrote a bit about it on our blog - advice for your trip.
Rico is now working with one of the business angels in our network on refining her concept and researching the market to find her niche. The concept has been redesigned and is moving in an interesting direction.
There are many more, but we don’t have that much of your time do we?
More? Yes, more!
We’re going to Berlin!
Thanks to Maria Dagwerker of DOKA, STARTeurope’s CEO Andy was invited to present at the Front End of Innovation Europe conference. We’re proud of this. This is one of the leading conferences on innovation in Europe, where among others the CEO of Virgin Galactic speaks. And us. Flo from runtastic, one of the first startups which we helped, is there with us to show the world how a couple of guys with the right attitude and passion get things moving.
We still start to snicker when we look at the speaker list. See that? STARTeurope is 6 steps above VA. Sure, it’s alphabetically ordered, but hell. 6 steps We are all fans of Branson, who isn’t…? Jürgen would probably not be able to decide what to do first: hug him or give him a biz card.
As STARTeurope started out, we wanted to change the world. What started as a passion has grown into a business and is now sparring at a level which is… awesome! More is to come and we’ll focus on that, don’t worry. But every now and then we need to gloat.
Visitors from overseas and the formation of an eco-system
On January 21st Michael Klein of Canaan Partners and JT Buffmire of Plug and Play Tech Center visited Sektor 5 in Vienna and our community had the opportunity to get to know these guys. Nice peeps.
It inspired us to write a few more lines on what we are doing and why we do so… In short. Entrepreneurship doesn’t start top-down, it builds bottom-up.
Read it here
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This article was written by Chris Kahler of qriously.com, winners of STARTup Live Vienna #3 and a good friend of ours.
The DLD Conference is one of the most esteemed tech/life/design meetups around and pulls together interesting people from all over the world for talks, parties, presentations and demos. Here you can meet people like Paulo Coelho (author), Dennis Crowley (foursquare), Mike Butcher (TC EU), Jason Calacanis (Mahalo, #twist), Stefan Glänzer (White Bear Yard), Reid Hoffman (linkedIn) and so on and on and on… Simply put: cool people.
My take on DLD
The most awesome thing about DLD is obviously meeting incredible people. The talks are really cool, but it’s ultimately all about the face-time you get with people you only normally read about. I personally find that this results in one of 2 things:
1. The person you meet is actually totally ‘normal’ (which happens most of the time), which is great.
2. The person is a douchebag and you become disenchanted with them, which is also cool because it’s healthy to purge yourself of misplaced adulation.
The business opportunities are also awesome: there are many decision makers there that will give you a few minutes to pitch your stuff, which can greatly reduce the agony in ‘getting in’ with a certain company or person. This goes the other way as well: there are many people who approach you who might otherwise have found it very difficult. There is a sense of reciprocation at DLD to entertain people both ‘above’ and ‘below’ you (to hazard sounding superficial and arrogant) that I personally got high off.
My advice to anyone who hasn’t been before:
1. Study the list of speakers and determine ahead of time who you want to speak with. You’ll be overwhelmed if you don’t have meeting goals.
2. Talk to everyone, irrespective of who they are, but especially if you are intimidated. You’ll otherwise miss the chance of getting along with someone who might be instrumental in defining your future, and talking to people you’re scared of (for whatever reason – there are many) is always good.
3. Print DLD-specific business cards. We had Qriously cards printed saying ‘we met at DLD’ which got me great face-time with Robert Scoble (and a few seconds of twitter hype), but more importantly will help the hundreds of people you meet remember where they met you.
4. The line to the coat room at the end of the conference is a freaking gold mine: it will score you about 15 inestimable minutes of personal meeting time with whomever you want if you queue strategically
5. You will get shut down by some people. Have a whole psychological fanny pack of “who gives a fuck” and move on.
My best encounters: