September 24, 2014

Get in the Ring with the best start-ups in the world

Starting October 2014, you can join the an original pitching experience, by enrolling for the national finals of Get in the Ring competition (enrollment until Wednesday, 8th of October). Get in the Ring is a unique pitching challenge, with two startups at a time competing in 5 rounds, in a championship format.  Winners of the Romanian national finals will receive a ticket to the regional finals in Sofia (17 of November) and a spot in the Catalyst startup support program developed by SoftLayer. The global finals in Rotterdam (21st of November) challenge participants to pitch for up to 1 million EUR and will join winners from 8 regions across the globe after over 60 national finals.  Join the competition by filling in the enrollment form before the 8th of October!
September 23, 2014

Spherik Team: Meet Jen

Hello All, I’ve been told that it is high-time I introduce myself.  So, without further ado, here I am:  Jen.  I moved here last year from California.  The story is long and it is hard to tell where it begins—so we can save that for another day.  What matters now is that I’m here now.  I’ve lived in many cities and travelled quite a bit.  But this one has really touched my heart, and I am proud to call it my new home.  It is a unique place, with great opportunities for life and progress. Watching Liberty Technology Park, which hosts Spherik Accelerator, growing into a thriving community has impressed upon me even more the strong technical talent that Romania, and especially Cluj, boasts. As we bring on-board international collaborators, a lot of people have asked me “What’s it like living in Romania?  In Cluj?  What’s so special about it that you now call it home?” So, I present to you:  5 things I love about Cluj: 1)  The biodiversity:  there is no point trying to hide it.  Everyone I meet eventually learns, I love birds and trees, snakes and frogs, and everything in between.  Except spiders.  And mosquitoes.  And ticks.  Essentially any blood sucking insect is not on my friend list. When I first came to Romania to visit, some 3 years ago, I traveled all around Romania, from the Carpathians to the Delta the Black Sea.  Everywhere I went there was amazing wildlife.  Traveling the Transalpina I found donkeys.  In the Delta, my breath was taken away by all the birds.  I also met some donkeys there. (I’m a big fan of donkeys.)  Almost every weekend I find myself exploring the beautiful ecosystems around Cluj, from forest, to prairie, to mountain, to river, and everything in between.  Even […]
September 3, 2014

The hidden part of the crowdfunding statistics

The world funded its first potato-salad this July, asking Zack Brown from Ohio to add over 2000 ingredients to it and have 500 backers assisting in his kitchen. Some say $50.000 for a potato salad is too much, but how about $13m for the coolest cooler? With headlines like these popping up every week, one might think that crowdfunding is a matter of large numbers, with thousands of people from all over the world aligning for pre-sale offers and jumping on stretch goals. A closer look at the crunched statistics reveals some small print. Did you know that 72% of all the successful projects in the history of Kickstarter are ended at $10.000 or less and have under 100 backers? 85% of the projects hosted on Indiegogo have the same characteristics (raw data here). The statistics for smaller European platforms are similar according to a recent report, with the average project value at 12.500 EUR and 82 backers. Many successful Romanian projects featured on crestemidei.ro also have 100 backers or less. Both international and local platforms, with or without built-in marketing tools, are dominated by small projects. Could all these people have raised funds on their own? You need roughly 100 backers and 30 days in many countries to raise $10.000. Reaching to complete strangers gives you a safe conversion rate of 1%, while talking to formerly known people can make the conversion rate as high as 20%. This means you have to contact from 500 to 10.000 people for a successful campaign. Reaching out to everyone you know and using some basic selling techniques can get you the needed 100 backers. We believe in the power of big crowdfunding platforms, strong predictive algorithms, or one-click-away marketing tools and rely on these as secret ingredients to our resounding success. A […]