Hello everybody! 🙂
It’s time to get a bit nostalgic, because today we are celebrating Testlio’s 1st birthday. I’ll take the year together in one post.
1. Winning AngelHack
Last year me and Marko signed up to world’s biggest hackathon AngelHack and hacked 25 hours in a row to prototype an idea we had in mind for a while.
On November 11th we presented Testlio to over 300 people in Bloomberg HQ and were selected as one of the three winners out of 64 ideas! We got to the finals in San Francisco and in the end of January we competed with 27 finalists. We were fortunate enough to win there as well.
2. Moving to Estonia
Winning AngelHack was definitely a booster and with getting our first paying customers I was ready to quit my full-time job at Flextrade in March. As a team of two we were able to support ourselves from the revenue, but living in London was still expensive and that’s why we decided to pack our bags and move to Estonia to lower the costs. For the next three months we focused on customer development.
3. Moving away from Estonia
In June, we decided to go back to the US and bought tickets to San Francisco. At the same time Ragnar Sass, our advisor and co-founder of Pipedrive, suggested us to apply to an accelerator. Techstars Austin application deadline was just about to end and we rushed to get our application in. We did that on the very last minute, the next day we got an email saying that we are invited to Austin for an interview in two days. It worked perfectly with our travel plans as we were stopping in Chicago on our way to San Francisco. We bought the tickets to Austin and went to the interview.
4. Interview for Techstars in Austin
On the day of our arrival it was extremely hot in Austin, at least for us Estonians. An hour until the interview we had our t-shirts completely wet from sweating so much. So we went to the first tourist shop we could find, bought ourselves some nice T-shirts and went to the interview. The second question Jason Seats asked us was about the T-Shirts. It made us quite memorable and everybody knew us in the evening at the happy hour and throughout the Techstars. Anyhow, the next day we landed in Chicago and when Marko turned on his phone he saw an email saying “Are you ready to sweat”. We were accepted into Techstars Austin!
5. Month until Techstars
We had one month until the program started and we spent that in San Francisco and Redwood City, where we were supposed to go in first place. That time consisted of setting up the US entity and preparing for Techstars.
6. Techstars Austin ’13
In August we flew to Austin and began the most intensive period of our lives. During the first month we met 5 mentors per day on average, pitching Testlio in 30 minute slots. It was awesome, but exhausting in the end. I felt like a robot. 2nd month we focused on product development again and started looking for our first employee. Third month was all about the product, preparations for fundraising and practicing for famous Demo Day.
For us, Techstars was the best decision we could have made. I love Techstars! What an amazing community of smart people.
I want to thank our community of testers, who have helped our customers release better products and I want to thank all of our customer for their patience and support. And everybody else, who have been helping us on this adventure, thank you!
Thank you for believing in us! We want to make you happy and I believe that together, everything is possible!