[INCUBATING] First impressions @ZIP!

If you’re starting out as an aspiring entrepreneur, an incubator is as weird a place as you’ll ever see. To be honest, that was the first impression I got @ ZIP, Croatia’s leading startup nursery. There you are in a room full of people with exciting ideas. They don’t exactly look like Mark Zuckerberg but, then again, neither does Mark Zuckerberg. One thing about the group which does remind you of success stories is the obvious discomfort. And the BO.

You know what we’re talking about. The pitch. Every newbie entrepreneur’s ultimate nightmare. No matter how much one-on-one time you’ve had with your bathroom mirror, the feeling you get when you face the crowd can never compare. Your girlfriend hates you for making her miss season 5 of “Girls” and listen to your 3-minute talks. But you give it your best. You give it your own personal DiCaprio. And then you anxiously hope for the Academy’s approval. Only — not for 23 years.

Luckily, the mentors at ZIP aren’t nearly as brutal with the startup teams as the Academy had been to Leo. Strict and constructive — sure. The advice we got was some of the most useful we’d had. Our team’s idea definitely has its place on the market. People who love to write and people who love to read want to be able to meet on the web. They want to explore where the stories take them, each in their own way. The readers want to be able to have a say in where the plot goes next. The writers want to know if what they write appeals to those they write for.

A new George R. R. Martin is sitting at his desk right now with a story he’s just started working on recently. But his could-be readers don’t know about him or his story. And they both want to be heard. To be involved every step of the way; every unique twist at a time. Chapter per chapter.

We’re going to bring them together.

We’ve been told we need to work on how to present our idea visually. That’s exactly what our team of designers and developers are doing as we speak — trying to branch out the stories you will tell and read.

The invaluable input we’ve been getting from ZIP’s mentors and other enthusiastic startups has just been great, there are awesome teams here that each have their own vision of their own path to success. The funny part here is that no path is actually wrong. Thats why we are here, to learn, listen — and read.

More about this generation, and previous ones, at the ZIP incubator.