The team of the Slovenian-English startup EqualEyes is one of the winners of this year’s Droidcon Hackathon in London, where they competed with more than 100 programmers from the entire world in the 24-hour programming marathon of the Droidcon conference. The company is a member of the Maribor university incubator Venture Factory, recipient of Slovene Enterprise Fund’s P2 grant and the first Slovenian member of the esteemed London startup accelerator Wayra. And this isn’t their first or only excellent achievement on international competitions …
Blaž Magdič (left) and Luka Topolovec from EqualEyes with the awards
Victory at one of the biggest Android conference in the world
Droidcon is one of the biggest Android conferences in the world, annually taking place in London. At this year’s Droidcon Hackathon, more than 100 programmers competed for international recognisability and attractive prizes, provided by project sponsors, including tech giants Google and Audi.
Challenges of this year’s hackathon
The challenges solved by business teams were connected to introducing mobile technologies into cars from the Audi brand, innovations in the field of smartwatches, and innovative use of business cards with the NFC technology. The team of the Maribor-based startup called Drugi Vid, but working as EqualEyes solutions in London, convinced the committee with a fun app for Google smartwatches called Midnight Madness, which shows the user time during the holidays in an innovative way.
This year’s Droidcon Hackathon 2015 winners; Luka Topolovec and Blaž Magdič are third and fourth from the left
Very quickly to a product that excites users
“Of course we’re very happy for the prizes and the victory. But we mostly take it as confirmation that we’re capable of developing a product that excites users, even in under such limited circumstances and in such a short time. And that’s what’s also most important for our existing and potential new clients,” said company CEO Luka Topolovec when receiving the award.
One of the best eight at Imagine Cup
For the business team EqualEyes, this isn’t the only excellent placement on international competitions. As students, they placed among the best eight teams in the world at the finals of Microsoft’s competition Imagine Cup, which was held in New York in 2011. In the category of software development, they brought attention to themselves with the mobile solution 2ndSight – user interface adapted for the blind and visually impaired to help them use smart phones, with menus for simple searching, supporting voice recognition and a collection of purpose-made apps.
Investment, startup grant and entering Wayra
After placing into the finals of Imagine Cup, the entrepreneurial students received Slovene Enterprise Fund’s startup grant P2 and an angel investment, then joined the esteemed London accelerator, backed by the telecommunications giant Telefonica, as the first Slovenian startup company. The team, working in Maribor-based university incubator Venture Factory, made a huge leap so far. It developed into a successful international company working in Maribor and London, and specialising in development of software solutions for mobile devices, their own as well as those ordered by many Slovenian and foreign companies.
Their most successful products
They consider EqualEyes, the user interface for the blind and visually impaired on the Android platform, to be one of their more successful products, which helped them get under the wings of the fifth largest global mobile operator Telefonica. They also reached global recognisability and renown with Pebble Apps, one of the most popular apps for smartwatches Pebble with more than 100 thousand downloads, and Watchface Editor, the first web editor that allows perfect personalization of smartwatch appearance.
Most visible clients
Amongst the more visible clients of EqualEyes Solutions are manufacturers of smartphones for the blind and visually impaired ZoneV, English company Makelight, which does special effects at concerts of global stars, and London company TrueView, fighting a competitive battle with Tinder, the globally known dating platform.
Photos source: https://twitter.com/hashtag/droidconhack