In September 2017, CTO Mathias Maier and CEO Florian Wimmer publicly presented Blockpit for the first time at "Startup Live". This international competition aims to help founders launch their startup idea within just one weekend. From twelve participating teams, Mathias and Florian emerged as winners. Clearly, their vision to standardize tax reports for cryptocurrencies was very compelling.
Only one year later, Florian was on his way to Warsaw to personally receive the Central European Startup Award for the "Best Blockchain-Startup". How did the two entrepreneurs and their team manage to quickly build a startup that has gained recognition across Europe, Asia and the US?
Fast track to the Minimum Viable Product
"After the success at ‘Startup Live’, we wanted to launch a functional product as quickly as possible," says Florian. Subsequently, frontend developer Fritz Bachinger joined the team as the first employee in December 2017. Shortly thereafter, the first version of the platform went online – only about four months after Blockpit was incorporated. Since then, the team has grown to fifteen people.
To advance the development of the platform, further personnel and financial resources were needed. Florian started to present Blockpit at pitching events all over Europe to bring investors on board. The juries at these events usually consist of business angels and successful entrepreneurs.
What makes for a successful startup?
How well a start-up is received by the jury depends on its business model and scalability, but the vision behind the company also plays a role. According to most jury members, the final deciding factor is usually the team. At the Austrian Pitching Days in Zurich (January 2018) and the EU Startups Summit in Barcelona (April 2018) Blockpit was able to convince in all points. We took home second and third place respectively in the two pitching competitions. In addition, Blockpit became part of KPMG’s international Smart Start Accelerator, and Florian was included in Forbes’ magazines 30 Under 30 of the DACH region.
Not resting on his laurels, he presented Blockpit at the Ian Balina Crypto World Tour Stop in Paris shortly thereafter. Ian Balina is one of the most famous influencers in the cryptosphere and brings together crypto enthusiasts from all over the world at his events. Blockpit was able to stand out among the competition during three rounds and was declared winner at Balina’s pitching competition. This had an immediate effect on the company’s popularity – within 30 minutes Blockpit’s Telegram channel grew from 60 to almost 700 members and multiple investors declared their interest.
Blockpit becomes part of 500 Startups’ first Blockchain-Accelerator
After this success, it didn’t take long for Blockpit’s vision to become known all the way to Silicon Valley. In August 2017, among just six other companies, Blockpit made it into the first blockchain program of 500 Startups, a world-renowned incubator based in the USA, which already helped Ripple, Twilio and Sentry to success.
We’re not stopping now
After Blockpit and CEO Florian had already been awarded Austria’s "Best Blockchain-Startup" and "Founder of the Year" in the CESAwards national round, we were subsequently also chosen as "Central Europe’s Best Blockchain-Startup". "When I saw the nominees from the other countries, I could believe it even less that we won," Florian says, "among them was NEXO, a Swiss project whose tokens are already traded with a market volume of € 82 million." As the winner of the CESAwards, Blockpit is now also nominated on a global level – the outcome will be decided in Guangzhou, China, at the end of December.
Up to now, the nominations have not yet come to an end: At the Austria-wide futurezone Award Blockpit is also among the finalists for "Blockchain Project of the Year". Keep your fingers crossed for us!