De cate ori am mers pe strada si ai vazut o persoana cu un brat sau picior amputat? De cate ori te-ai gandit ca e posibil sa fie ajutati cumva, insa poate nu ai stiut cum? Ei uite ca nu departe de noi, in Bulgaria, exista un startup care s-a axat pe rezolvarea acestei probleme.
Am stat de vorba cu Ivaylo Yankov, co-fondatorul ChipoLabs, la How to Web 2013 si am fost foarte impresionat de ideea lor de startup si de posibilele efecte pe care aceasta o va avea in viitor. Urmariti mai jos raspunsurile lor (in engleza):
What are your core values?
To improve the life of disabled people through advanced high tech prosthetics, while keeping the price affordable even for 3rd world countries.
How big is your team, and how big do you want it to be in a year?
Co-founders of ChipoLabs are Georgi Chipov, Dimitar Konev and Ivaylo Yankov, but our team consist of specialist in different spheres – law, mechanics, robotics etc…
How are you funded?
We have won 1st place for extraordinary young entrepreneurs by Empower foundation, where the price was 25 000 euro. With this capital we have managed to develop a working prototype. At this time we are funding the project by investing personal money in it. We have also started a subsidiary of Chipo Labs – print3d.bg, which became a number 1 in 3d prototyping and printing in Bulgaria – basically all the money that we earn from that, we are investing back in r&d. Currently in Bulgaria there are two acceleration funds – LAUNCHuband Eleven. However none of them show interest in our company – the only thing that seems interesting to them are apps and other software projects. We are currently looking for opportunities like angel investors or other accelerators abroad.
What’s the biggest factor slowing growth?
R&D is expensive, and the biggest factor slowing growth are the money. Since everything we invest in the company comes from inside the company slow us down.
Who do you see as your biggest competitor?
Currently we recognize three companies that produce similar products to Smart Hand – Touch bionics, RSLSTEEPER and Ottobock. However, the products that they produce are targeted only at developed countries, who could afford them. Actually our plans are to produce products that are even better in terms of functionality, comfort, quality, but in the same time affordable for the developing countries and 3rd world.
What’s the five-year plan? Ten-year plan?
In five-year we are planning to mass produce our first product and sell it all over the world. In ten years we have many interesting and innovative project that we will be developing and hopefully commercialize.
What’s the market like for your service?
Smart Hand maker size in US is around 50 million dollars, while combined together with all developed countries it is 150 million dollars. However we do not have numbers for the developing countries and 3rd world, where we plan to sell our product. It is strange that even in Bulgaria there is no official statistics for this market.
E cu siguranta un proiect de urmarit.