Swapit got accepted into the TGN BootCamp 2015 – and turned it down

swapit-blog_tuspark-gnTwo days ago, the TGN BootCamp 2015 started. A while back, we had applied for the boot camp, because it looked really interesting. It’s practically a 5 day boot camp that started on September 30th and runs until October 4th. Every day, you have the chance to listen to mentors and find out more about their experience over the past years. There is usually also a chance to mingle with those mentors late on each day. You can view the full schedule here.

There was a selection process ran by the TGN folks and about 2 weeks ago we got informed that Swapit got accepted to the TGN Boot Camp. After a lot of thinking and talking about it, we decided to turn down this opportunity.

To be honest, the most interesting part of the Boot Camp, was the demo day on their last day. That would have given us access to a group of investors we haven’t reached out to yet. As we are currently raising funding, this would have fit nicely into our plan.

On the other hand, we already have quite good leads for our fund raising round, but hey … it’s always great to get more feedback. One of the reasons for turning down this opportunity was, that we would have to be present at the TGN Boot Camp location every day. As we are currently heavily involved in product development (e.g. launching our latest Swapit update), talking to our investor leads and are working on our marketplace liquidity, our time during the day is very limited. At the same time, the Boot Camp runs through public holidays and weekends, which I (personally) prefer to spend with my wife and infant daughter (read “A personal take on quitting the matrix” about that). It might feel selfish, but if I don’t have much time to spend with them during the week, I at least need to make the best of it during weekends. So to be frank, that was a factor too.

We all need strike balances in our lives. Sometimes, you just got to do what you got to do. Yet sometimes, you just got to say “no” and move on.

With pretty much everything, I am doing a cost-benefit analysis — where sometimes it can’t be measured in monetary value. In this case, I believe it would have been great for Swapit to get into contact with more potential investors on the Demo Day. It would have also been very valuable to get insights from those great speakers they managed to engage for the 5 boot camp days. I will be trying to connect with them through LinkedIn instead and see if I can get some private meetings. Hopefully, for some folks that’ll work out.

Swapit Secures Support Worth $30,000 from Facebook’s FbStart Program

swapit-blog_fbstartSwapit has just been accepted into Facebook’s FbStart program which gives us access to $30,000 worth of startup services. With great honor, we appreciate the trust brought towards us by the FbStart team. Here is what FbStart is about:

FbStart is a new program from Facebook designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps.

At Swapit, we are dedicated to take full advantage of the tools and services given to us. Some might not apply to us, but others are really useful. To give you a quick overview of what we can tap into, here is a list of companies that are partners of FbStart and provide some of their services to us:

Category BUILD – Everything you need to build your app and your business

Parse, Adobe, Appmethod, Asana, Balsamiq, GitHub, Mobile Action, Namecheap, Proto.io, Rocket Lawyer, Transparent Business, UserTesting, Yandiki

Category GROW – Grow your app’s reach and engagement with these great tools

Facebook, Facebook Marketing Partners (Nanigans, Glow, Ampush, AdParlor, Social.com), Desk.com, Hootsuite, MailChimp, Transifex, Workable, Zendesk

Category MONETIZE – Start earning revenue from your app with our monetization partners

Stripe

Here is a quick overview:

2015-09-29_fbstart_program_partners

Again, we are absolutely delighted to be part of the FbStart eco-system and are looking forward to work together. We have already integrated Facebook into Swapit. We are looking to do much more on that front and revolutionize the way people trade pre-loved items nearby.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Download it at http://get.swapit.la

P.S.: Just in case someone is interested, this is the information I left the RISE conference this year where the FbStart folks talked to me. Seems it worked out to follow up on it.

IMG_20150929_144326_edit

Swapit Secures Support from Microsoft BizSpark Program

microsoft-bizsparkSwapit has applied for the Microsoft BizSpark Program and has been accepted right away. We are proud to have been selected by Microsoft to become part of their startup eco-system that allows Swapit access to Microsoft’s vast resources, locally and globally.

Here is how Microsoft BizSpark advertises itself:

BizSpark gives startups 3 years of free stuff – software, services, tech support, and Azure cloud. Your startup qualifies if it is less than 5 years old, is privately held, and earns less than $1M annually. And at the end of your 3 years, you keep all the software you’ve downloaded – at no cost.

Benefits of the BizSpark program Swapit can tap into:

  1. MSDN Subscriptions (worth US$40,000)
  2. Microsoft Azure Benefits (worth US$27,000)
  3. Windows & Windows Phone Developer Accounts (worth US$300)
  4. Office 365 Subscription (worth US$1,500)

So in total, Swapit can access benefits through the Microsoft BizSpark program of up to US$68,800. That comes on top of the invaluable network benefits we receive by being a Microsoft BizSpark member.

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Swapit Secures Support from SoftLayer Catalyst Program

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.25.41 amSwapit has just joined the SoftLayer Catalyst Program at their highest tier for startups. We are very excited to have been accepted to SoftLayer’s very own startup incubator who’s core mission is

to enable next generation technologies and empower the entrepreneurs that will bring them to market.

We are thrilled to get access to the benefits that come with SoftLayer Catalyst:

  1. Access to a significant USD infrastructure credit on the SoftLayer platform.
  2. Mentorship access to “pick the brains of the industry veterans and über-genisues”.
  3. Incubator Integration, which allows us to collaborate and access more support outside, but affiliated with the SoftLayer incubation eco-system.

We will tap into all three of these benefits to grow swapit as fast as possible.

Since, we have launched our investor outreach for our funding round, we have received absolutely great feedback and accomplished to join several programs that help us cover costs, validate our business model and raise our valuation.