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Launchpad

Getting access to Google’s Launchpad Start was crazy – SA entrepreneur

“It was crazy, getting accepted into an accelerator held by Google of all companies — we didn’t expect it,” recalls Vibescout co-founder Jonathan Myburgh, on being accepted into the Google Launchpad Accelerator last month.

Myburgh told Ventureburn how getting accepted into the programme proved a great “morale” boost for he and his team from the event and content aggregator startup.

Vibescout was conceived by Jonathan’s brother and co-founder of the company, Paul Myburgh, while on a trip to Vietnam in 2014.

Jonathan recalls how at the time his brother had exhausted all the available tourist activities and wanted to do what the locals were doing. But he couldn’t find any information on how the locals liked to spend their time. His only source of information at the time were hotel brochures and fliers.

Paul then approached his brother with the idea of creating a possible solution to solve this problem. It was then in 2015 that Vibescout was born.

Two years on Vibescout was accepted into Google’s world-renowned accelerator.

Read more: Google’s Launchpad Start to empower African SMEs

“The Launchpad experience was amazing. They really went all out with how they arranged the event, they handled all admin related to travel for the startups completely, the programmes were well planned and the quality of the mentors they arranged to interact with us in one-on-one sessions was invaluable,” he said.

Jonathan said the accelerator provided him and his brother with much needed time away from the day-to-day routine of the business, allowing them to focus on the fundamentals for their startup.

The biggest lesson they took away was how to run a design sprint and effectively get the best user feedback, he said.

Vibescout’s time in the Google Launchpad Accelerator was ‘invaluable’

“We also got to sit down with a Google expert and take a critical look at the back-end of our system. They helped us reduce our server costs with Google by 40%, as well as to improve the overall speed of the platform.”

Vibescout also had the opportunity to interact with mentors such as Chris Grant, a senior director at King; Angus Brown of eBucks as well as ProSiebenSat.1 Accelerator MD Jens Pippig.

“The input they were able to give on specific challenges based on their experience was priceless for us,” said Jonathan.

Read more: Q&A: Google’s John Kimani on Launchpad Start

Jonathan said he and his brother were able to some great conversations with other startups on the programme about things such as their tech and marketing strategies.

His only criticism of the programme was that the organisers tried to cover too wide a variety of topics within the space of just a week.

“If the programme was less ‘one-size-fits-all’ and took a more personal or targeted approach to some of the startup’s needs, it could have been a bit more effective,” he said.

Author Bio

Matthew Alexander
A grown man and avid gamer, anime enthusiast as well as an MMA practitioner, he’s a living symbol of Liquorice allsorts. His inquisitive nature is by far his greatest strength. If he doesn’t know something, he will soon enough. His passion for writing started at a very young... More