WAYRA STARTUPS: Ingen.io — “We are like a swiss knife.”
Ingen.io is an API service that creates context and uncovers hidden information from any text.
Atanas Youroukov and Martin Linkov have been working together on successful big data projects for 6 years. Ingen.io is their 3rd joint venture. During the acceleration program, the Bulgarian duo was believed to be one of the most promising teams of the second batch. Always first and last in the office (and in a good mood!), willing to help others and with something funny or wise to say. After the recent investment from Neulogy Ventures, the team is leaving Sofia ready for another chapter — Bratislava. We caught up with Martin to ask him some questions about the current status of Ingen.io, the future of the company and about his experience with Wayra.
To anyone who’s never come across your startup, how would you describe it?
Ingen.io is a combination of structured data and algorithms that allow people and computers to understand text better. We provide our services over API and allow companies from different sectors: Media Monitoring, Advertising, Publishing to improve their offerings or provide completely new solutions with the Ingen.io technology.
Hmmm, what is so cool about it?
Ingen.io is like a swiss knife — people can do many, many things with it.
For example journalists can very quickly identify a connection between two people, even a very obscure one: offshore joint venture registered by family members. Students can explore related information to the material they’re reading and see just how Napoleon was influenced by Alexander the Great and not just jump to an article about Alexander and start from the beginning. Brand managers will be notified even if consumers don’t spell the product name correctly or even if they completely omit it but accurately describe its properties.
The different use cases and the variety of problems for which people rely on Ingen.io to solve is growing by the day and we are really excited to be helping so many people across so many different industries.
What are your biggest achievements so far?
Funding: We’ve just raised our seed round with Neulogy Ventures and added the experienced Christian Mandl (SkyEurope’s founder) to our Board of Directors.
Team: We’ve grown the team by getting the very experienced Igor Mihalik on board.
Recognition: We made it to the finals of Tech All Stars — a program chartered by the European Commission to connect the 12 best European startups. This year more than 250 startups applied. Betapitch; We made it to the finals in Sofia, Vienna and Berlin but for logistics reasons pitched only in Berlin where we made very important connections with Axel Springer.
What pieces of advice would you give anyone starting a business (based on your own experience)?
Arm with patience: Especially when starting in Slovakia and/or Czech Republic :) Even trivial at first sight things (company registration, office renting) take time and disturb your product development.
Nurture Relationships: Connect and stay in touch (newsletter, personal updates, tweets) with the people that have the potential to open doors for you, invest or become clients. Don’t just add them on LinkedIN and do nothing later — keep them constantly in the loop.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
We’ve just rented a really nice office in Bratislava (literally next door to Google) and can fully concentrate on bringing the best possible product to the long list of clients ready to get on board.
How did Wayra help you? Why would you recommend it to others? What was the best about it?
Wayra is the biggest startup accelerator in the world. Just mentioning the Wayra name to an investor, anyone actually, brings the conversation up a notch. With the support of Wayra we’ve become a truly Global startup, we went to The Pioneers, TC Disrupt London, Slush, The WebSummit; We worked from Prague, London, Munich, Dublin. Every time we go to London, we have a place that we can meet with clients or investors.
The overall quality of the Wayra startups is amazing. The teams from the second cohort of Wayra CEE moved so quickly and were so ambitious that we had two Demo Days — in Prague and Munich. At Tech All Stars in London 3 of the 12 finalists were Wayra alumni, more than any other accelerator or program! The atmosphere in Wayra is very ambitious and motivating and is the best for a young startup.