We caught up with a previous winner of the Impact acceleration programme, Marzban Cooper, CEO, Notegraphy to quiz him on his experience with the programme and how the programme has had an impact on his company since. Here is what he had to say….
“Notegraphy was born inside the startup incubator at Herraiz Soto & Co, one of Spain’s leading interactive creative agencies. Notegraphy is the fifth startup to come out of the incubator and the first to raise external funds from VCs and angel investors.
In 2014, Notegraphy was launched to solve a problem that we noticed within social networks:
We write and share text more than ever because we want to be loved and respected. But today most of it is just plain black and white and lifeless.
Suddenly, we realised a gap in the market. Notegraphy is a mobile application that rethinks the way we write and how we share text online. It offers a new standard of quality in design that makes everything you write look better than ever before.
‘Like Instagram, but for text’
It has been likened to Instagram, but for text with pre-designed filters to make whatever you write and share on social networks look beautiful.
One of the many reasons why we applied to Impact’s acceleration programme was the equity-free cash that they were offering. As an entrepreneur it is always welcome!
In addition, we were particularly interested in getting access to the pool of mentors and professors on the programme because of their wealth of knowledge and experience, many of whom had already successfully launched startups in the past.
The application process was quite lengthy so I recommend applicants to not leave their submission to the last-minute. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to work on the application properly and answer the questions as fully as possible.
‘We had access to amazing mentors who work for companies like Telefonica, airbnb and Grupo Prisa’
Apart from the equity-free cash, we had access to amazing mentors who work for companies like Telefonica, airbnb and Grupo Prisa. The training programme is especially useful for entrepreneurs who do not have experience in launching or managing startups.
Impact organises digital missions to the UK and US as well as helping startups to attend events of interest. Startups selected by Impact as part of their programme, can apply to participate at certain events and have all their expenses paid for, as long as you can justify why it would be beneficial for your company to attend.
‘We had the opportunity to connect with CEO’s of 4 companies that we had been previously (and unsuccessfully) trying to contact’
Last year we attended South Summit in Lisbon and had the opportunity to connect with the CEO’s of 4 companies that we had been previously (and unsuccessfully) trying to contact. Without Impact paying for us to be there, we would never have got the opportunity to approach them face-to-face after their keynote speeches. We gave them each a demo of our product and exchanged business cards.
‘We are also extremely excited as we are talking to a number of companies who want to incorporate the technology into their product’
Having completed the acceleration programme, we are currently in growth phase and about to launch a completely redesigned version of Notegraphy. We are also extremely excited as we are talking to a number of companies who want to incorporate the technology into their product. We continuously pivot and our latest addition to the family is the MOOD keyboard which allows you to create customised graphical text messages in real-time to send in messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage in a fun way.
To be honest, if you are a startup with a winning concept and in growth phase, you would be stupid not to apply to the programme, however make sure your application stands out from the rest if you want to get the attention of the jury.
‘Make your application stand out from the rest’
There are very few accelerators out there that offer the same conditions with access to world-class mentors, top-notch training as well as digital missions around the world. They want you to succeed and will do everything possible to help you make it.
My experience with the Impact acceleration programme has been extremely positive. I am very happy with the programme, the networking, the training and the mentors and would encourage any entrepreneur to go for it and take a leap of faith!”
The Impact acceleration programme is looking for startups until 9 May. They can offer your startup €100,000 without taking equity in return. The best performing startups will have a chance to win up to an additional €150,000 equity free.
If you have a solution that fits within the following areas: Smart Cities, Smart Content, Smart AgriFood, Smart Manufacturing then apply today!