Entrepreneurship Series – Featuring Rustem and his Robo Wunderkind

I came upon something truly inspiring. As usual I check few interesting startups each week. Lately I do it mostly in the IoT, B2B SaaS and Ecommerce/marketplaces space. It is not easy, with all the rest going on, so is really a matter of discipline to stay relevant and follow the trends.

During one of these sessions I met Rustem. This guy told me his story and it blew my mind.

Rustem and his team built this (see picture below).

robo wunderkind

Simply said, Robo Wunderkind is a robotics kit that allows you to build your own robot, so that kids also pick up basic coding skills along the way.

It is essentially a set of blocks which you can use to build all kinds of functional robots. Connecting the cubes is as simple as putting building blocks together — there is no wire or magnet.

robo wunderkind bricks

Then comes the 2nd fun factor. Kids can learn how to code by playing with the app’s visual programming interface which is super intuitive: kids with no previous exposure to coding will easily figure out how to program in the app.

robo wunderkind app

Here are some things that Robo Wunderkind can do:

  • drive around while avoiding obstacles
  • play a recorded sound when somebody enters the room
  • react to claps and other noises
  • play music when somebody picks it up
  • record and play voice messages
  • …and much, much more!

The idea was born end of 2013.

first robo wunderkind prototype

After building his prototype and putting his star team together, Rustem and Anna did something unexpected.

In 2014 they moved to Shenzhen, China to pursue their dream. There they learned all around hardware manufacturing.

That took a year and it mid 2015 came their Kickstarter campaign. Which ended up raising more than 3x the amount initially planned.

In this month, July 2016, almost 3 years after the idea was born and a ton of awards and pitches later, Rustem and team will start delivering their product to their 1 169 backers.

In simple words entrepreneurship is about dedication, patience and believe in what you do, and Robo Wunderkind is a true example of what it takes.

Go Robo Wunderkind Team!

 

First reads for 2016

It has been busy two months of the new year so my compilation of reads comes relatively late. Hope you will discover something  interesting for you too:

Enjoy the reads!

How to build global companies, fast? Talking about Blitzscaling.

Just watched a great video and want to share it with you. Reid Hoffman gave an interview for Bloomberg which for me is an insightful sneak peak into global growth strategies and challenges of tech giants like AirBNB and Uber. Take the time to watch the 5 min snippet, it is totally worth it.

If you like the video you can watch the full sessions on Youtube.

Credit goes to Fred Wilson for sharing.

P.S. Just curious whether Blitzscaling could be related to another Blitz reference from few years ago. This will probably stay unanswered.

First Techstars Demo Day in Berlin

The first Techstars demo day in Berlin was something! I know it is Sunday, I will be quick I promise. 🙂

Techstars Demo Day 2015

Hosted in Hebbel-Theater in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district Jens Lapinski and his team presented their first batch of startups. The gorgeous Art Nouveau styled building was built in 1907/1908 and was the early and unique work of the famous architect Oskar Kaufmann. It was the breakthrough that shot him to fame. Let’s wish the same to the first Techstars batch!

The startups pitched in 2 batches of 5 and the presentations all looked super well done – for me this means crisp, elaborated and well timed. Founders walked to the stage accompanied by the thundering tunes of charging music pieces and presented with a sleek looking deck of slides outlining market opportunities, user growth, expansion plans. The best part though is that at least 2 of the companies have secured funding during the programme – 1x Seed and 1x Series A. You could feel that some founders are still fundraising and pretty nervous. Yet, I am confident that more news is coming soon.  I have seen the products of these companies 3 months ago and am amazed by the progress they have achieved.

Jens has closed the demo session with some kind words to all involved but I would like to share one of his slides summarising the Techstars values.

Techstars principles

 

Powerful message – nothing to add!

That was not all though. The event moved on in the Factory Berlin and continued with networking first and last but not least – an afterparty .

It was a well spent day 🙂

Good luck to all teams, and keep sending me updates. Looking forward to hear from you!

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Have a great rest of the weekend.