LatitudeN is a technology company providing innovative location-based solutions with focus in tourism. Using modern mobile technologies, whether outdoor or indoor, LatitudeN develops value-added mobile products and services to municipalities, companies and other tourism players willing to reinvent the users’ travel experience. LatitudeN is part of the Technology Transfer Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) since its inception in foundation in 2009.
There were three major hurdles faced during the start-up phase of the company.
The first big challenge was the ability to make the transition from a concept (many times not completely matured yet) to a working prototype. During this process, it was necessary to adjust features and the model to accommodate the real market feedback. A permanent contact with potential clients was crucial in order to create a “wanted” product.
The second big hurdle funding. A good idea without financial resources to bring it to market and pass the market entry proof always risks failure. Getting access to funding is often a vicious circle, with investors requesting a prototype and clients, while the s the company needs financial backing to achieve those milestones.
Finally, the ability to question the first business model and test alternative approaches during the start-up phase was crucial, but difficult to accept from the entrepreneurial perspective
The Incubator Advantage
Like a child when entering for the first time in the school, entrepreneurs needs asupport and guidance during the first uncertain) steps. The incubation at the European Space Agency Technology Transfer Programme brought much needed guidance and support to LatitudeN. Firstly, networking with other entrepreneurs, already in the programme, helped to avoid some common mistakes made by the beginner entrepreneur. This saved time and avoided potential problems. Secondly, it brought technical and administrative support. As Bruno Fernandes of LatitudeN feels, "Our incubator helped us achieve a more robust prototype and helped to simplify and save time on bureaucratic procedures. Finally, and quite importantly, the incubator brought the financial resources precious to a successful implementation of the beta product."
Bruno is is of the opinion that the incubation process is an excellent opportunity to establish contact and stimulate collaboration between entrepreneurs, generating synergies which may make the difference between success and failure. It also offers the possibility of funding for projects, which can be hard to come by, especially in the IT sector.
Where to find us
ESA BIC Darmstadt (cesah)
Published on 14-10-2012 15:23 by David Tee. 945 page views
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