Even though he abandoned his StartupWeekend Bratislava project NewOutNow.com, he is still in the center of startup community with StartupCamp. Here we go: interview with Radovan Andrej Grežo.
Why did you start organising StartupCamp?
It started in summer of 2010 by “arguing” over Twitter with Juraj Duris of 42angels.sk about what the problem of Slovakian startups is. He reasoned its a lack of good people. I claimed the problem is nonexistence of a community and a place to meet and talk to other startupists. He challenged me into doing something like that and I replied I don’t have the time. At the end I had to surrender and organized the first StartupCamp. 21 months later, I think it wasn’t such a bad argument at all.
Is the organising of StartupCamp more interesting for you?
Truth be told, I make no money on it nor have much other incentives to continue now. But I think it’s a useful event and deserves to be well organized. The audience seems to like it too and return in huge numbers month in, month out. So though I am fairly busy at my regular job as a creative director of advertising agency MUW;Digital, I find camps a good enough reason to spend the little of spare time I have on.
Is StartupCamp an event where you always meet new interesting people?
Absolutely. The most amazing thing is that we get 150 people in every month. And it’s not the same people at all. There’s a core that’s coming back all the time. But I always see a lot of new faces. Some start coming regularly, others less so. But these days we are getting unsolicited requests even from startups from outside of Slovakia who want to come to our events. So it is attracting great people by itself and what more could I ask for?
Which one was the most interesting for you?
I have no favorites. Some events are probably more fun for me than others that give me more of a headache. But I don’t do them for myself.
What would you say to people who want to come to Startupcamp or SWBA? Why should they come and enjoy it?
I think StartupWeekend is awesome if you want to start something and miss people. It’s very intense, but you learn a lot and maybe your startup gets off the ground after the weekend. With StartupCamp it’s a different kind of story. It’s more about a chance to learn from presentations (I found the presentations at SW distracting from hacking on the startup in a very limited timeframe) from great people. Also to see what other are doing in their pitches. And last, but not least, to meet cool people and build more of a lasting relationship, as you can meet them every month. And we are set in a bar, so if everything sucks, you still can grab a beer and enjoy yourself.
Who is Radovan Andrej Grežo
Radovan Andrej Grežo lives a double life. During the day he is the creative director of advertising agency MUW;Digital working on a fine selection of international brands. But when night falls, he turns into the founding moron and main organizer of StartupCamp, the only startup-focused events regularly held in Slovakia. His baby are the Bratislava events, but from it sprang also StartupCamps in Košice, Ostrava, Piešťany and soon they are coming to Martin and Prague.