Luka Sučić left his position in Product Development at Hrvatski Telekom to join the team at hub:raum Krakow as a Business Development Manager. That’s his official title. Unofficially, he’s an Evangelist and he and the team in Krakow are spreading the word.
As an Evangelist, Sučić is one of the key players behind WARP: the culmination of a drive to recruit as many innovative startups as possible from across Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. Together with other members of the team, he travelled through four countries for one solid week visiting other incubators and startup communities. On his trip, two things struck him most: “Talking to big companies is not something that is in your typical startup’s DNA and the fact that not one of them knew what we as a telecommunications company can offer them,” he explained. Both are points he and the team at hub:raum are helping with.
hub:raum has far more to offer startups than money Unlike other incubators and potential investors, hub:raum has far more to offer startups than money. As part of the Deutsche Telekom Group, hub:raum Krakow offers startups access to potentially its entire customer base as well as a wealth of knowledge from experts in more than just technology. “Our experts in Marketing and Sales not only help them market themselves and win new customers, but also support them in retaining the customers they win,” he explains. Why is that important? Sučić compares the startup journey to that of a roller coaster – and he is speaking from experience. Just out of university, he had his own startup. He now uses what he learned then to relate to the startups they are working with.
“When we approach entrepreneurs, we tell them we are a launch pad for their ideas. For a rocket launch to be successful, hundreds of systems and thousands of components have to work together in perfect harmony. When that happens, not even the sky is the limit,” he says, explaining that going from a roller coaster to a rocket is a metaphor that most entrepreneurs can relate to.
Can cross-border support really work? The WARP turbo accelerator saw 15 startups from 10 countries come together to learn and work on their pitches. Their goal: to come into the top three and get pre-seed capital and join the hub:raum incubator. But they weren’t just working for themselves. “They are working together, supporting each other, making friends and expanding their professional networks,” said Sučić. The participants were even trading hours: programmers from Slovakia, for instance, traded an hour of programming for an hour of support by a designer from Bulgaria to improve their website’s look and feel.
After WARP, the team hopes that the startups will keep in touch and keep supporting each other. “If a sort of international alumni community of entrepreneurs could emerge, then that would be a great benefit to Eastern Europe as a whole and of course, for us,” he says. The idea being that anyone coming through hub:raum, whether a winner from WARP or otherwise, no matter what happens, stays connected: the startups with hub:raum and, of course, the startups with each other.