The Smart Lumies duo from Zagreb, Martina Grgić and Filip Kovačević Popov, that we wrote about here, are participating in HAX, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator in San Francisco, Netokracija reports on August 8. They have made history as the first Croatian team to do so!
Based in Shenzhen and San Francisco, HAX creates a sustainable environment for entrepreneurs to start their hardware venture from scratch and to help startups develop their products.
The program selects startups for investment and offers on-site support and mentoring in exchange for equity over a period of eight weeks, twice a year. There is no cash investment associated. Startups join the program in exchange for 2% equity.
It all started with their trip to Pioneers festival in Vienna, where they met Benjamin Joffe, one of HAX partners. Filip and Martina showed their cubes to Benjamin, and he loved them.
“He saw the potential and what we were able to do with little money invested. He asked us to join him at HAX Growth Programme in San Francisco.”
Seeing that they considered the USA to be their main target market, Smart Lumies saw this as an ideal chance to introduce the US market with their smart cubes.
“In addition to Benjamin, we also spoke directly to the San Francisco team. They are used to receiving more funding there, something that’s seriously missing here in Croatia. When HAX chooses you, it means they believe your product will be a huge hit.”
The Lumies are already in San Francisco and are in for an intensive two-month acceleration programme, where they will prepare for sales talks, learn how the American market and logistics work.
“After the education programme, we’ll be heading to Minneapolis and Cupertino to present our product to retailers such as Apple, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, etc. After that, we’ll be presenting our connected toys to notable American investors.”
HAX will give them an opportunity to see whether crowdfunding is a good option for their cubes, and to create networks and connections, as well as become part of HAX Alumni Group, together with hardware startups such as Particle, Prynt, Voltera, Petcube, etc.
The future is uncertain, but Filip and Martina’s mission is clear:
“Are we going to become the fastest-growing technological startup in Croatia? Are we going to sell millions of copies of our cubes? We don’t know yet, but what we do know is that this programme is going to make our progress faster, putting us in an ideal position to create a company that produces the most entertaining toys in the world, while helping children learn and develop.”
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Translated from the original at Netokracija.