We are proud to announce iCatapult.co -- the new technology and business development accelerator, co-founded by Digital Natives and Primus Capital. The aim of this firm is to gather the best talents and product ideas and help them grow as fast as possible in the global market.
Since our beginning in 2006, we have continued to fall in love with new, innovative technology. One of our biggest misconceptions at the beginning was that it is good enough to create a good product; we erroneously believed that the market would automatically care about us. The probability that this will happen is about one in a million, and we found that this was especially the case in Hungary.
So it was with several technologies we worked on: a motion capture software for museums; a video search and observer engine with speech recognition; a QR code-based campaign management tool; and an ad revenue share software for online content providers. After we pumped big amounts of money into these products, saw the technology succeed and the businesses fail, we had two choices:
a) we speed up the learning curve and we drastically change our approach, or
b) we continue this and repeat it about 999.995 times, until we became the lucky one-in-a-million.
We selected answer a).
The first step was to switch to agile development methods (Scrum, eXtreme Programming), which we did in 2009. This included adopting lean startup methodology, and the result was that our efficiency rapidly increased.
The second step was that we initiated a new programme, called Digital Natives Incubation, in 2010. The aim of this programme is to turn our ideas into successfull products. The model is that we develop the initial prototype at Digital Natives, and if the market loves what we do, we establish a spin-off company as a second step. We invest a few weeks in the prototype development through a Google-like model; we set aside dedicated time for these products during official working hours of our employees. When the prototype passes initial market testing and is selected for official launch, we establish a new firm together with the business' co-founders and investors who help to grow the company.
Here's an example:
Our lead developer, Mike, has bad taste in music. Mike always listened to jungle music in the office, but another lead developer, Lucas, liked rock -- so you can imagine their never-ending war. But seriously, if Mike had listened to more humanoid music, MIXGAR may have never born! MIXGAR is a social jukebox app, which helps to influence the music in a pub, house party, festival, office, or any place. You use your mobile device to vote for tracks on the playlist you like and we stream music that your whole community likes. MIXGAR won the prestigious IDCEE award in 2011, and got mentions by TechCrunch, Wired, and The New York Times. Pepsi, Jagermeister and Nescafé chose MIXGAR to improve their sponsored events at live venues throughout Europe in 2012.
Despite the fact that Digital Natives' original business model now functions like a well-oiled machine and we helped clients from all around the world with tech and startup knowledge this past year, and despite the success of MIXGAR and others, we still felt we lacked expertise in market entry and the ability to really reach global markets. So we sought out new partners and friends, talked to global entrepreneurs and did some soul searching ourselves...
Stay tuned! We are about to introduce you to iCatapult.co, our answer to this very challenge.
If you want to work on great startups, join our team.