European Innovation Academy is one of the largest international summer program for stundents and entrepreneurs. Participants are from 79 countries and more than 600 startups take part in. 105 business ideas will be cultivated during 21 days. Participants communicate with various companies CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CXO, CIO. Project gives students unique knowledge and opportunity investors to raise the fund.
Georgian student- Luka Kakabadze got into the project by support of Georgia University. He invented social network project- Hepic, which innovative side creates distinguished product by combinating various mechanisms. Hepic combines photo contests and its participants in one system. Luka had an interview with Marketer:
Luka Kakabadze: Numerous photo contests are being held around the world, but there are some issues: You don’t have information about contests, it’s even hard to find by hashtags. Hepic’s authors aim to create efficient system that has fast communication between organizers and participants.
Tell us about European Innovation Academy. How did you become a program participant?
Georgia University helped me to participate. I think, reason was high grades and 1.5 year experience in startup field. My first startup launched in 2015 with my uncle and his two friends. I participated in many events, most importantly Ilia University Make-a-thon, where got granted. European Innovation Academy is a great opportunity for any startup. We teamed up at the beginning, where my position was a marketer. Team is international, some of them are from Europe and USA.
What is the concept of the social network?
Often, the winners of photo contests are pictures with most likes instead of quality wise. This is caused by an effort of a contestant who shares his work and gathers subjective likes. We think, this is the negative side of such contests. Voting system of Hepic doesn’t let you vote for your friend, which gives all the participants to have equal chances.
What distinguishes Hepic out of world photo social networks?
Our platform is for amateurs. There is a function right after signing-in to select a contest according to category, subject and location. You own your page that shows your rating. If the picture you uploaded participates in one of the contest, it automatically moves to voting graph. User either likes or skips your picture. More like you get, more often it’s shown to other people. You can send friend requests and they will see your pictures on their timelines, although friends won’t be able to vote you.
At which stage are you of the project? What are the challenges you’re facing?
We are at the stage of attracting prototypes and clients. The next step is to get funding. It’s very important for this moment to have a lot of users to test out platform, be aware of clients’ wishes and get sophisticated result at the end. Our income sources are companies that announce photo contests, as it’s a trouble to do so in other social networks and requires a lot of energy, as well as management. Silicon Valley investors are interested in our project, it’s our aim to attract angel-investor, which we don’t have in Georgia much.