Slamby: how to overcame innovation bottlenecks for Budapest startups?
Central Europe is becoming the new hot startup region with Budapest as its hub, the best city to build a startup in this region. More and more successful startups emerge out of Hungary: Prezi, Ustream, LogMeIn, NNG/iGO, TresorIT, and go to IPO, get funded or get acquired as recently SequencelIQ by Hortonworks or IND by Misys. New startups such as Slamby are ready to become the next wave of successful companies. But how do you make it big in the middle of Europe, where local markets are smaller than half of New York City?
According to Slamby, innovation is the key. Slamby is a startup company that provides real time automated smart classifier services. They have developed an independent language, an artificial intelligence to filter big data on the fly for Price Comparison sites, Classified Ad sites and Customer Services. In less than 2.5 years they reached 11 Enterprise customers in 3 countries.
Slamby started when Peter Mezei, the future CEO met with a language professor from a local university and a lead programmer from a successful company. The professor had an innovative theory about the processing of languages that can be fast, language independent, that utilize mathematical statistics and NLP methods. The three of them started to think about where these languages could be used, and they found a niche market. The lead programmer created the software and Peter sold it. They have become profitable company with 7 employees.
One problem is the isolation of innovators. In Central Europe we see a lot of innovation, but the problem is the way they are utilized. Most of the innovation comes from universities, but the these are quite isolated. Not many innovators get a chance to find people who can take advantage of such an opportunity. In the case of Slamby, it was a fortunate coincidence.
Another barrier unknown in the US is the size of the market. When you start to build a company in the US, you have a 300 million market. But when you build a startup in Central Europe, in Hungary, you have a 10 million market. Of course you want to open, and go to the US to grow, but first there are some obstacles you must overcome: visa, language disparities and disadvantages, poor networking, cultural differences etc.
Central European companies have to jump at good opportunities and open to the US and other, international markets. That is why Slamby is participating in the Visegrad Fund startup contest: We4startups. Slamby is going to pitch with 11 other startups from the Visegrad Countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) in front of US investors. If you want to meet with these innovative startups, feel welcome to register here: http://we4startups.com/