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Slovenian start-up Gotoky began Startupbootcamp HighTechXL in the first week of September. The Eindhoven-based programme gives start-ups three months to work intensively on getting their company off the ground. For Gotoky, it’s a chance to further develop a smart walkie talkie – before the competition does. CEO Denis Lončar will be talking to e52 every week about his experience with Katja Lipičnik, Chief Marketing Officer, over the next three months. This week: Hardware is… hard. (Read all the previous instalments here.)

The lesson of the week? If you’re going to send part of your production to China, make sure to check the Chinese holidays. There are actually quite a few. So Gotoky spent the week waiting for their antennas, which were going to be made in the PRC. “Until we found out that it was a very important national holiday,” explains Katja, who took the time to speak to us this week. And that resulted in some logistical challenges. No antenna means no Gotoky, which caused the whole production to come to a standstill. In the end, the antennas still arrived within the week and everything quickly got back on track. “Hardware is…. hard”, concludes Katja, somewhat wearily.

Her enthusiasm quickly returns when we start talking about the design of the Gotoky. Eindhoven designer Patrick Schuur has been taken on for this important part of the product. “He’s already worked with start-ups and we’re really impressed with what he can do.”

In addition to the production process, Katja and Denis are spending every other hour of the day discussing and pitching the Gotoky. To a lot of parties. And that leads to some surprising encounters. This week they spoke to Aruban delegates. The Gotoky could play a role in the island’s tourism sector, as visitors currently pay staggering roaming costs. One idea is to rent out Gotokys to tourists so they can call each other (or indeed any other Gotoky-users around the world) for free during their holidays. Closer to home, there was a meeting in Sittard with Topsport Limburg. The subject of discussion? How the Gotoky can be used during sporting events. This is exactly the kind of times when the network is overloaded and a Gotoky could come in handy. “There’s a lot of work being done on walkie talkies, but they’re not always reliable enough. If it’s really busy somewhere, you can’t hear each other very well, for example. The advantage of the Gotoky is that you can also text and locate people.”

So there’s plenty of interest, but when’s the Gotoky coming out? “We’ve made a note of all the Chinese holidays,” winks Katja. “And we expect to be able to open the webshop for pre-orders in a few weeks.”

Part 7 next week. 

Read all the previous instalments here. 

Photo (c) Kimon Kodossis

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