Startup interview

Matic Bitenc
/22.5.2014, Author: Vera Nunić
Matic Bitenc is the director and co-founder of company Toshl, with which they placed into the accelerator 500 Start-ups.
1. Today, Toshl was pointed out in The New York Times. How does such a publication affect the number of downloads and your ranking? 
A mention in a media such as The New York Times incredibly increases the download of the Toshl application, as well as improves the recognisability and credibility of our product. The immediate response of new users is incredibly big. In the long run, we get more regular users that actively use the Tosh application for managing personal finances.
2. What are your goals for 2013? 
In 2013, we wish to get more than a million users. We’re planning to develop a more advanced product and automatic data import, which will facilitate the use of the Toshl application to its users.
3. You received the award Europe for the best start-up in the category of shop, finances and purchases. What does the award mean to you in terms of future recognisability and company development? 
The award is a big opportunity for us. Media attention opens new doors to us and we’re building better relations with the technology and press public. Users also trust us more. Great fun and opportunities for networking even after the official announcement, not merely a good memory.
4. It was a big breakthrough to obtain an investment in 500 Start-ups. What advantages and opportunities did you get by starting the collaboration with this accelerator? 
Participating in 500 Start-ups increased our international credibility, which also showed in global development and company recognisability. Living in the USA, getting to know the entire eco-system of start-ups and making business contacts was an unforgettable life experience.
5. Why do you think that your product for managing personal finances is so popular that the number of users, already in hundred thousands, keeps increasing from day to day? 
The advantage of Toshl is simple use with a more entertaining view on finances. The entire user experience is nice and simple. The fact that it’s fun is only icing on the cake.
6. How did the initial idea change on the path to a successful start-up company? Where do you see your challenges in the future? 
We’ve focused on those mobile platforms that the users use the most. We’re thinking about distribution, importance of the application and the virality that’s included into the application’s functionality. We’re planning to connect with bigger financial systems. For us, the first thing is still a good user experience for people who want to have their finances under control.
We’re noting an incredibly good feedback from users who improved their own finances. Some of them even bragged that they stopped smoking and other harmful habits, and focused on a healthier lifestyle.
7. What is your advice to young people developing new applications and products? 
I advise that they step into action right away. They should make a prototype and show it to as many people as possible, because this will drastically help them improve the possibility of implementation. The idea itself isn’t important, what’s important is who implements it first.
Matic Bitenc is the co-founder and CEO of company Toshl, which was accepted into the accelerator 500 Startups. He is responsible for the development of new concepts, activities and business models for Toshl, making sure that its users have their finances in a good state. He had been developing and leading projects for business models and user experience for mobile and web applications as an architect for user experience in the company 3fs. In 2004, he co-founded the Slovenian Mac community Jabuk.
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Author of content: Vera Nunić,
sodelavka Tehnološki park Ljubljana
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