#itcastle 7: money for your startup

A new meetup at IT Castle startup community – It Castle 7: money.

The discussion was based on the following issues:
– psychology challenges that obstruct you make effective financial decisions;
– financial sources for startups;
– templates for the startup budget.

After the discussion, participants of the community used their skills to make a budget for a project of mobile application development, used for food delivery. The scale of the project was impressive and pushed the present ones to make an interesting conclusion.

Frankly speaking, being a startup founder and CEO does not equal to being a millionaire. You have to make great efforts to reach the secondly mentioned stage.

Launching startup demands a great responsibility for your project, its results and people, who were hooked by your idea.

#ItCastle 6: pick up your team

IT Castle started a new year with a motivational talk about gathering your startup team. Project’s coach Tetiana Smetaniuk offered to discuss the following:

  • Distribute roles and responsibilities, prepare requirements for applicants
  • A good guy is not always a good team-member or how to detect an expert
  • The art of negotiations: how to launch the business and avoid hate for your partners?

Club members trained their team management skills with interactive exercises.

Firstly they discussed the process of gathering startup teams and challenges of it. Secondly, the key features of hiring employees were defined. The main thing you have to remember when picking up a team is that finances are not the main motivation for most people. You should work with ideas to keep your team together. Thirdly, requirements for employees were discussed. The conclusion is obvious: creative idea is a strong background for building a strong successful team.

#itcastle 5: Startups success stories

The 5th ItCastle community meeting took place in ItCastle co-working space on the 18th of December. Club’s members found out experience of successful world and Ukrainian startups. 

10 success stories were introduced to present ones in the first part of the meeting. Every mentioned business was launched as classic startups, but now they are estimated with tens and hundreds millions of dollars. Club’s members learned about ThousandEyes, Handy, Zenefits, AdRoll, The Honest Company, NJOY, Pure Storage, Airbnb and Uber.

ItCastle’s coach Tetiana Smetaniuk offered participants of the meeting to feel themselves as investors and choose the project to invest considering just a short description without its name. Every mentioned project was referred to a famous one that trends in its sphere. Angry Birds and Netflix became the most popular business with the biggest amount of voices from “investors”.

Communication continued with the talk about Ukrainian startups. Successful companies were mentioned: 

Grammarly – browser-integrated or PC installed service that corrects grammar and spelling, offers better vocabulary selection and optimizes your correspondence styles. 

GitLab – opensource-platform for development that allows a group of developers to coordinate their work while working on the same project.

People.ai – marketing service that analyzes managers’ work and gives advice basing on data from phones and PCs of marketing team members.

Preply – service that searches for online foreign language tutors.

Restream – multi-streaming service that allows user to stream video-content on up to 30 platforms as YouTube, Facebook and others at once.

Petcube – one of the most famous Ukrainian Startups that invented gadgets for pet owners. It is a cube that is operated with mobile application and lets you watch your pet when you’re away, talk to it and play laser games. 

Members also tried them in a role of startup teamleads at the end of meetup. They considered problems that could challenge them in their success with startup and offered the means to cope with them. As participants mentioned, experience of the others inspired them to try doing something that implements their dreams.

#itcastle 4: marketing, idea relevance and communications

Project’s team discussed relations of startup and wide market at “It Castle 4: msrketing, idea relevance and communications” meetup on December, 11.

It was a club meeting, where members introduced their sales experience and told about work with different types of target audience. Taking those into account, they concluded that even perfect marketing strategy’s fail is possible if dynamic market has an unexpected reaction for your product.

Anna Sira, manager of IT Casle, revealed details about development of communication strategies for projects, ideas and brands. This document has 3 blocks:

– basic info, where you mention everything: from idea to resources that your team has/ would like to have

– external communication, that serves for involving clients, selling products and have a positive project’s image

– internal communication, that leads to your team’s success

Tetiana Smetaniuk, IT Castle’s coach, mentionad that clear understanding of your target audience lets to defone strategy of communication with it and as a result have seccess in sales on this market.

She prepared an unusual task that could help to train sales skills. Participants of the meetup had to sell a rosemary bush without any information about its advantages. It was a big challenge for club’s members, but they succeeded.

Conclusion of meetup is that marketing is a critical part of any project and talent of selling plays an important role in project’s launch.

IT Startups as the main issue for meeting at industrial college

«IT Castle» team visited Kamyanets-Podilskyi industrial college to meet with first-year students of “Software engeneering” specialization.

Participants talked over success stories of Ukrainian and foreign startups. They used Facebook, Restream, Monobank, UGears and Dodo Socks examples to show the way IT can be engaged into project’s implementation. Coaches mentioned that there were 3 types of projects regarding the role of IT:

  • IT as a key component, where an idea and its implementation process are based on digital technologies;
  • IT as equivalent component, where idea is not connected to IT, but it is being implemented via technical decisions
  • IT as a service component, where ir is used just for marketing, communications and other related functions.

IT Castle’s coach Tetiana Smetaniuk and manager Anna Sira used practice and exercises to develop students’ creativity. they reviewed ways to find an idea (“stealing”, brainstorming in groups, problem solving and social intelligence), fast methods for working with idea on a startup beginning stage.

Students showed their interest to startups development issues and IT-market in Ukraine.

IT Castle is a startup-community in Kamyaets-Podilskyi, which is created to provide support for new startups development and exasting projects’ optimization. Community has meetings every two weeks which help to increase competence level of project work.

IT Castle sets up collaboration with industrial colledge

IT Castle project’s team visited Kamyanets’Podilskyi industrial colledge on December, 3. They came to tell about founding startup-community in the city, but also about ways to invent or fond an idea for your own business.

Tetiana Smetaniuk, IT Catle project’s coach, and Anna Sira, communications manager, had a talk with first-year students of specializations “Hotel and reataurant business” and “Computer technologies”.

Students together with project’s team discussed different ways to formilute an idea, means of relevant idea gemeration and stages of idea development. Tetiana and Anna mentioned that after idea generation you have to formulate your idea in a few words, define its aim, target audience, resourses and tools to use in process of its implementation.

Students worked on 7 interesting startup ideas in ecology, economics and technologies. they discussed ideas’ structure and perspective target audiences.

Finally, students inerested in further work with startup ideas, got to know more about IT Castle projects and ways to become startup-club’s members.

IT Castle is sure, that collaboration with colledge can help students be more creative, self-confident and effective in their own business ideas implementation.

IT Castle is a startup-community in Kamyaets-Podilskyi, which is created to provide support for new startups development and exasting projects’ optimization. Community has meetings every two weeks which help to increase competence level of project work.

#itcastle 3: making out the idea

The third IT Castle’s meetup took place on November, 27 in youth space LoveKa in Kamyanets-Podilskyi. The meeting brought together club’s members and new supperters of the idea of union for startup development.

Theme of the meeting was “Working with projects: making out the idea”.

Tetiana Smetaniuk, It Castle’s coach, and Anna Sira, communication consultant, together with meetup’s participants discussed some messages about ideas:

✔ the way to catch the idea
✔ methods for startup idea generation
✔ brevity is the soul of wit: let’s formulate an idea, a goal and mission

✔ planning tactic and strategy
✔ take off your pink glasses: let’s be frank about own resourses and needs.

Club’s members were active in generating new business-ideas, discussing startups and their definition and differences of startups and businesses. Using different methods they created two completely different ideas and gave answers for all questions that help to think over all project’s details and perform your idea in the best way.

Startup experience by Sergiy Domanitskyi

It Castle meetup-2 took place on November, 13th in Kamyanets-Podilskyi.

The second startup community meetup was hosted in youth space LoveKa. According to the topic of the event, Sergiy Domanitskyi, CEO Stradasol LLC, shared his experience of working with business ideas and projects.

It was an interesting and informative talk, where speaker and club’s members told over ideas and their chance for success. It was also stated that every single part of project is important including conception, technical implementation, marketing tools and CEO’s personal charm etc.

Sergiy told about 3 startup projects, which he implemented together with Stradasol team. He revealed some details:

– 3 startup projects

– question-answer session

– top statements about startups as a great way for ideas implementation and potential unleashing;

– finding inner motivation for making ideas come true;

– reasons of your possible failure and means to avoid it;

– top reasons for startups in Ukraine to be cool and full of positive perspectives.

At last Sergiy mentioned that anyone can join #itcastle community. See more details at www.facebook.com/itcastleua/ or ask at youth space LoveKa.

The first #itcastle meetup

The first meetup was focused on definition of priorities and main activities for startups in Kamyanets-Podilskyi and Western Ukraine region. Participants chose 2 main priorities.

The first one includes projects with social component and some improvements for citizens’ and tourists’ comfort.

The second one includes various business projects with some innovations in model or business approach.

Taking into account current situation in the region, the club’s participants mentioned some features that could strengthen the region’s development. One of them is a significant youth potential.

Group tasks demonstrated all advantages of collaboration, strong communication and personal interest for effective project implementation. Members of the club worked on project ideas, and they are supposed to work with them on further meetups.