by Sarah Khogyani
The first StartupMonthly accelerator program comes to an end this week as we are wrapping up with a string of demo days for our startup teams. These five companies have traveled from Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia to participate in our two-month program, and it was our great pleasure to guide them through the web of Silicon Valley.
Alex Zoloratov shares his experience telling us what Silicon Valley and StartupMonthly has provided for his company, MapsWithMe. He claims that what makes Silicon Valley unique is its spirit, explained as a “high concentration of tech companies” that leads to a “high amount of talented people living and working in close proximity.” In other words, networking is the name of the game and the Valley is the best place to do it.
Eddy Balčikonis, CEO of GigBasket, would agree. He says that networking “is a resource and as a startup co-founder, you must know how to capitalize and expand it. People in your network can help you find co-founders, promote your startup, and raise money.”
Alex has been pitching his offline maps app almost everyday he has been here, and even “acquired several new users while printing a big MapsWithMe poster in one of the photocopy shops.”
One thing they both agree on is that accelerators are significantly helpful with plugging into a network. StartupMonthly has provided them with an ecosystem of resources, including seed funding, one-on-one mentorship, access to investors, recruitment, and connections. It has been a rewarding ride for our startup teams, and we wish them the best of luck in their present and future ventures.
These two Lithuanian founders have set out to make the job-searching process much simpler. GigBasket is an application that enables you to “pin” job postings and opportunities into one place. The “basket” is an organizer, complete with a calendar to remind you of application or interview deadlines. This beta-tested site will be releasing a new feature this summer: job suggestions and aggregation of current job postings customized to your preferences.
This startup provides the convenience of full-scale offline maps, geared towards the modern-day traveler. It features offline search capabilities (cities, street names, and other categories), GPS positioning, and a detailed map of the entire globe. Founded by a team of four from Belarus, MapsWithMe focuses on serving cartographic functions better than GoogleMaps, and does it for free.
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