Vinay: Hello and Welcome to YourFirstInvestor.com interviews.Today i have ALFONSO and DAMIAN ,They are the co-founders of Yotako.io.Alfonso is the co-founder and ceo and demian is the ceo of the company.Alfonso is from madrid, spain and demian is from luxembourg and together yotako was the part of the first edition of the FIT4START program in luxembourg.Hi guys welcome again and thank you again for coming on our show to share your accelerator experience
Damian:Hi ,thank you for receiving us
Alfonso: thank you
Vinay:Great! So guys tell the listeners a bit about what yotako is .Its an awesome name by the way
Alfonso:yes, so basically what we really tackle is helps developers from the developers to go easily Trauma from the side to code so basically instead of translating all the designs or your photo service case files of their this will be staffed by hand into go into Android or web or whatever you don't have to do that automatically back only indeed means ACTA Optica listen in Japanese so when you are Italian Liotta Corin Tucker to help you to translate it designing to go
Vinay:Awesome! demian why don't you just tell us a bit about your team and yourself
Damian: Yeah well myself i met the alfonso it was almost two years ago and he had wonderful technology at that time.so we get on well on hydra.On border on his team to go built a startup out of that technology and yeah ,basically we start like in the end of 2015 and we get accepted to the Fit4Start accelerator program and it was really a big help force and currently the team is composed of five people all based here in luxembourg and we are still hiring to find two more people to join the team hopefully in september
Vinay:Awesome! So you said you started the program in 2015.How did you guys come to know about this program and luxembourg the luxinnovation FIT4START program
Alfonso:Yes, so basically at the time i was looking for a co-founder so i spent a quite bit of time you know going to all the meet-ups all day.You know events around the startups. I meet Damian in one of this office meetups because Luxembourg is so small and you know in this meetups you also find people well-connected also the ….. with Lux Innovation and unwitnessed expand his kind of. Visitations we quickly knew about the Fit4Start program, and they also had really good publicity still have really good publicity about the program.We just had to apply its you know considered if several countries to where to settle the company after being accepted to the program and all the different advantages of doing it in Luxembourg compared to the different countries. We consider the time we decided to settle here and Luxembourg take benefit also for the other cluster of the conditions about the accelerator.
Vinay:That’s great did you also evaluate other accelerators and other programs may be in different cities before you zeroed in on the Luxembourg program?
Damian:Yeah, we did we were basically we would just put it in the internet. What was going on in the startup ecosystem some the other countries in Europe, and it was kind of logical for us as we met in Luxembourg to jump in the Fit4Start accelerator program as it was starting just in the in the right time the perfect timing for us, but yes, we did consider all the accelerators as well.
Alfonso:Yeah, it's also a question of other external conditions so for instance we have as we said we are both burjuman of Spanish, and so we evaluated.Also you know taxes aspects and different countries, so we also persistence different countries that adequate. We already had here in Luxembourg and at the end. We just had to go here.
Vinay:That’s Great I think that's logical decision to make did you have to move from Madrid to Luxembourg? How was the experience of this whole process?
Alfonso:So in my personal case I was in France because I did my PhD in computer science in France and then I was working here already Luxembourg as as a researcher in in a research center.I was living in France and at the time now finally moved to Luxembourg, so it was you know a natural decision for me to come here.
Vinay:Oh cool. Do you guys remember? How rigorous was the application process and the evaluation after the application process.
Damian:well basically the form that you had to fill in online does the first part of the process can of regular business model and a few questions about what your product you're Market Etc really kind of the common questions you always have and then when you are selected to go to the pitch that sessions, so there is approximately twenty startups that are selected to go to those pitch and there you have finally the opportunity to pitch in front of a jury of Experts of entrepreneurs, and the coaches as well and to tell them well why yotako should get accepted and take part in this program. And out of those twenty startups that pitched they selected five companies to join the program
Vinay:Wow so you went through what like from hundreds of companies to 20 companies and then five companies finally in the program
Alfonso: Yeah, sadly, so you basically fill out your application and they select from hundreds of companies are very short list that when a pitch here physically in Luxembourg, and so you got companies from all over the world so the last Edition for instance you got company from the US from Israel from India also from Belgium.It's a very traditional program, and so you passed this dispersed filter, and then you pitch in front of the jury and if you got selected usually they select 5 out of this twenty or twenty something. I don't know for every promotion
Vinay: Got it, so the program is giving you a equity free funds the program is giving you mentors, and they program is giving you a lot of help to establish a business, so how is this impacted on yotako?
How did it evolve from the time and got into the program to say, maybe till the time it got out of the program.
Damian: Yeah, and well exactly and its kind to big deal because when you are no stage start-up receiving like 50k free money because there is no like you said no equity, so you use your still on board in charge of the company, so this is really a great thing beside the coach.
This is a three to four months coaches, so they are willing dedicated to make you grow as fast as possible during those three to four months, and as you said you have also a place to work together because when you are start up. You are the beginning mean that said the garage mode, so you don't have really a location to an office to work together, so there we had the opportunity here at tech report in Luxembourg to have a place together and to the meetings as well.
Alfonso:Yes, and if I if I may complete. They also you know provide you with a really good Network. I mean you can't feel that how the government Hilux narration. How all the people around you know help young entrepreneurs to do bring their ideas to life to you know the two how they push people to you know try to think about.All the problems and improve things try to you know avoid all the mistakes. They're really good good environment here, and you can feel it yet apart from the government side political point of view, but also here in the ecosystem in Luxembourg.
Vinay: So as a company and as a team. Did you guys grow during the program and what was the kind of growth that you experienced
Alfonso: So not exactly during the program just after the program we got that were personally.
Again, thanks to them today money previously Equity money we got on the program so we were three at a time and in between finish the verification of product that you know different companies test all over the world and so that allowed us to collect some private funding so increase the team and that's why we are now five and looking for two more profiles in the short term
Vinay:wow that's great.That's good impact. So how would you if I ask you to rate you on a scale of one to five one being the lowest and 5 being the highest? How was your overall experience in a number? if you want sum it up for the listener.
Damian:so you ask our overall experience in the accelerator?
Damian: I would say 5 definitely
Alfonso: Yeah definitely
Vinay: Awesome good to hear, so if anybody is applying for the Fit4Start program today. What is it that you want to tell them in terms of tips or something that they should take care of in order to strengthen the chances of getting in anything that you want to tell aspiring startup Founders or trying to get into Lux Innovation or Fit4Start
Alfonso: So I undergo would say that Fit4Start is becoming a very very difficult program to receive a lot of concurrency from different countries and not even countries in Europe as i said.
Either so it's really important to have an idea is good, but you already have some experience on the market point of view or you can do a test some things or you are thinking about or you have maybe even have a pretty prototype only be this kind of things everything helps, so do you need to see yourself that you're in competition with a lot of good entrepreneurs of the world so you definitely need to come with not just an idea so that's the first thing I would say.On the other hand you can evolve very quickly in Luxembourg also because you you know it is a very small country so you can test things see in different level see how everything is scale so if you foresee how? The program can benefit to Europe for a business in particular idea, prototype in particular because the ecosystem here you know is benefits for that you can just you know a small markets, or you have a quick access to different companies of difficulty different profiles or because you are the specific domains that are very well developed here in the country. So you can justify also like that and prove how developing your idea of product in Luxembourg makes sense compared to other different countries
Vinay: Got it.I think those are a lot of great tips especially the path that being prepared before coming and the ability to attack the market and take as much Advantage as possible. Yeah, that's great actually. Yeah, so I think that was great chat folks so where can the listeners go to find out more about your company and maybe connect with you guys
Damian: OK perfect thanks a lot.
Alfonso: Thank you so much.
Vinay: Yeah. So damian can you tell me let's say for example if you have a website address or a Twitter writers, so you can just tell it out.
Damian:Yeah, so they can go to meet us at yotako.io this is the the website and also on Twitter with @yotako_io
Vinay:Cool, there you go folks that was Alfonso and Damian founders of yotako so you can check out yotako at Yotako.io that is Y O T A K O . I O you can also follow the Twitter feed at Y O T A K O_I O.
Please don’t forget to share this with other startup founders. Subscribe or follow us on twitter @Your1stInvestor that is @ Y O U R 1ST INVESTOR to be the first to hear when we upload new interviews with startup founders.
Thank you for tuning in and see you next time.