AllStartup in Minsk: "I got here because the guy from the Demium advertisement in Facebook was looking a lot like me."

What does AllStartup mean and why everyone who wants to launch their own startup should participate in it? Demium Minsk told and we clarified with participants, if it is true.

Demium is the largest incubation platform in Europe with a network of hubs from Lisbon to Minsk, first launched in NowBeato co-coworking, next to Blessed’s Creative Hub in Valencia. Demium is a group of professional business consultants with rich experience in implementing startup projects into real life. By combining their knowledge and experience, they help launch startups from the ideation. Today, the total value of companies created with their help has already exceeded the mark of 130 million euros.

What is #AllStartup?

AllStartup is Demium's key event, the final phase of startup selection. The process begins with the range of applications from technicians, marketers and enthusiasts with business skills. There are usually two or three hundred of them. Based on the talents, personal characteristics and motivation level of each applicant, we select about 60 people for preliminary meetings, 20-30 of them are invited to participate in AllStartup. There, our team works closely with each participant to see their entrepreneurial potential and help them create a balanced team. Over the weekend, formed teams work on one of the ten proposed business areas.

On Sunday, teams are presenting their work to business experts. The jury selects the winning team, which will be immediately included in the Demium incubation program. We also chose individual participants who were able to prove themselves during the event. As early as Monday, winners and some participants start working with Demium on a full-time.

What is the situation in Minsk?

In February 2020 the fifth AllStartup was held in Minsk! Each meetup is a new world of talent and enthusiasm, where brilliant ideas, great presentations to the public, laugh, joy and most importantly — innovation are taking its place. AllStartup manages to solve challenging tasks in record time with ideas with a long-playing perspective.

But this is best explained by the finalists, who have passed the selection and are working on their products.

Take5 Founders Alik Krinitsky / Gleb Braverman: "Helping HR specialists to treat the "sore spots" of their teams"

What brought you to Demium?

Alick: I worked for more than 13 years in creative marketing, and one day, I realized that I’m standing still. In advertising, I had no feeling of freedom, because working for the employer is a routine that I always wanted to avoid. Life turned in such a way, that I was an often guest in all kinda startup events, I even tried to develop some products. I ended up here because the guy from the Demium ad at FB was a hell of a lot like me. It seemed like a great starting point to me, so I applied.

Gleb: I’ve known about Demium for quite a lot of time, because of my extensive connections in the startup industry: one of the investors who sponsored my project was also an investor in Demium. Following his advice, I went to Barcelona for AllStartup. The next event I went to was AllStartup in Minsk, and I can assure you that this event can beat Spanish.

How was the idea of Take5 born?

Alik: We were interested in the topic. This is a category of products to solve problems related to psychological health, such as "emotional burnout" in small and large companies.

The second problem we were interested in is weak networking within large companies, where there is freelance, distant work, people from different countries and different offices.

And we have an objective question: where to find the "glue" that will unite all employees in a single company? At this stage of human society development, more and more processes go online. Still, we, in our turn, decided to bet on the opposite: to bring more offline activities into the life of corporate employees.

Very often, newcomers are shy about approaching someone, just calling for coffee or consulting on work-related issues.

Take5 is a holistic, adaptable ecosystem with offline quests, tasks and games that are designed to bring together shy people at work.

The product itself is very creative; it has opened up a new world of "intra-corporate Instagrams and TikToks".

What is the main feature of Take5?

Alick: Take5 is an integral, adaptable ecosystem that takes into account the specifics of the company, the psychotypes of each employee, and collects analytical data to help HR specialists "treat" the weaknesses of their teams.

What is the atmosphere of AllStartup, and what is its primary value?

Gleb: I can assure you that it was a perfectly organized event in all aspects. I’m 26 years old, and I have been able to visit quite a large number of hackathons and similar events in different parts of the world. The most important thing that Demium specialists managed to achieve is to create a comfortable environment. In the majority of European events, you always feel the competition. Here I did not feel anything like that: there was a feeling that the organizers from Demium and the participants are on the same page. It was unity before a tremendous common goal: innovation.

Alik: Specialists from Demium created such an atmosphere that even the most asocial person would feel great. Literally, in a couple of moments after the start of the event, you don’t longer think about being shy or doubtful. You’re becoming part of the whole process.

SpeakerGuru, Leader Vlad Belopolskyi: "We have moved corporate training to virtual reality".

Atypical SpeakerGuru and life before Demium

Vlad: We are quite an atypical project for an incubation environment. Our path has turned out to be very thorny; we have tried a lot of different ideas. We started with a kind of Uber on communication skills, even created an MVP, but then came back to the harsh reality and accepted as given that a small team can not swing at something so huge. And the investors' money did not dare to waste it. But we didn’t despair! We quickly turned to the B2B sector, where we found many more clients. As it turned out later, this market segment is a hundred times more interesting for us.

We decided to try our luck and join AllStartup with the ready project to get help in networking, strengthen our knowledge, strengthen our team and most importantly — to enter the European market. In the startup environment, there is a lot of talk about the Demium incubator and how it amazingly shapes teams. We tried it and saw it for ourselves. Demium specialists have carefully analyzed our case and helped us in all our endeavours, providing us with considerable space for further expansion.

What is SpeakerGuru?

Vlad: SpeakerGuru is our team that uses Multi-User VR (virtual reality environment) to help companies conduct corporate training.

The goal is to make such events more convenient, faster and less costly.

For the sake of clarity: we take the usual group training, which is held in corporations. We do not change anything, leave it as is, but (!) allow them to conduct it without leaving their homes or offices. No longer need to resort to variations, just put on a virtual reality headset. Voila! You’re in. There are other employees in virtual reality and the coach who leads your course. He gives a lecture, and then in an environment developed by us; you can improve your skills. The most important feature of our project is to simulate situations comparable to the real ones.

How does an atypical startup get into Demium?

Vlad: We took part in AllStartup along with everyone. We liked the atmosphere that was in the air during the event. The guys around us were trustworthy, motivated and interesting. Dozens of bright minds gathered in one small room, continually generating new ideas. Isn’t that wonderful? You think: it’s a hackathon to develop a new startup, from the formulation of a plan to the presentation to investors, and all in one weekend. Not everyone can do that.

I can’t help but mention the team selection application (a la Tinder) during the event. It sounds extraordinary, but it turned out to be damn useful. The guys are barking at each other after a 15-minute quick meeting. And after analyzing these evaluations, Demium representatives form teams that will work on projects this weekend.

How to keep faith in your project, and what is the Demium part in it?

Vlad: Startups often have situations when something goes wrong, and SpeakerGuru is no exception to the rule. The whole life of an entrepreneur is a road with constant drops and ups. It’s not us; it’s the way we do business.

The mentorship of high-class specialists from Demium Minsk hub repeatedly made us believe in ourselves. I had no idea that the environment and atmosphere had such a substantial impact on productivity. After joining Demium, we can say for sure that they will always help us, because we are, as they say, "on the same wave".

Do you have some tips for youngsters who are willing to create their own project?

Vlad: Gather your will in your fist, fill in the application for the next AllStartup, and show your competence at its best. The essential thing in our business is to communicate with people. And so I advise you not to hesitate and come to the Minsk Demium hub.

Lemur onBoARd, founder Olga Bobrova: "Lemur is always beyond, Lemur will always help".

What is Lemur onboARd?

Olga: A person who just came to a new place of work always has a lot of questions. Many people, because of their shy psychotype and unwillingness to be intrusive, are afraid to ask questions that interest them. I think that everyone in the new workplace has faced such awkward situations, which gave beginning to some kind of stress.

In our solution, we tried to avoid stressful situations by implementing a virtual assistant.

The mobile application will have a character that each company may have its own, but by default, that is a lemur. It will conduct virtual tours of the office, answer frequently asked questions, suggest the route to the accounting/kitchen/ or any other department. Familiarization will start from the place where the employee is at the moment.

Moreover, our virtual assistant has implemented quests that the employee will have to perform. We have now implemented the need to learn about the company even before the first arrival at work. Taken together, all of these things will make life easier for both the employee and the employer: there is no longer a need to mess around the office looking for a piece of paper. A virtual assistant will know what documents to bring the next day.

How did the whole idea was hatched?

Olga: The idea was born during AllStartup and originally had a slightly different form. At first, we wanted to make navigation with augmented reality to find fire exits in case of emergency. During Friday and Saturday, mentors and I analyzed all kinds of situations, and by the end of the second day of AllStartup, Lemur onboARd was born. We decided to expand our idea as much as possible so that it could help not only in case of emergency but also in everyday life. At the moment, the main task of our startup is to facilitate the adaptation of new employees in the company, "with less blood" to introduce them to work processes.

Who can apply to Demium?

Olga: If a person has a desire to build something of his own, he should undoubtedly apply and try his luck at Demium. The whole system is built in such a way that a person does not feel alone with his or her problem: this is why mentors, investors or narrow specialists are in for.

The most crucial aspect that I have defined for myself when choosing Demium is that there is no need to have my own team. I found it there.

It does not matter whether you have an idea or not; the main thing is a desire—the desire to do, to build and to realize your ideas.

What can you compare AllStartup with?

Olga: All StartUp can be compared to brainstorming. We were divided into teams of five and actively worked on every detail. It was necessary not only to find a solution but also to come to a consensus. Opinions often differ, and you will not even think about what the other person thinks, and how it can be implemented. Mentors came to us very often and gave us "feedback" so that nothing could not distract us from the heart of our work. The subsequent communication with investors was also an amazing experience because they asked clear and structured questions, which were very useful. It’s a strong start, which couldn’t be compared to anything else I’ve been involved in before.

Next #AllStartup begins on July 10th, you can apply for participation here

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