Startup Spotlight Success Story: co-founder Cristi Badea talks about MavenHut

We feel lucky that so many talented teams and great startups have applied, last year and this year, for Startup Spotlight. As a result of the context created by the entire How to Web mindset and people who have attended the event, many great stories have developed. One of these success stories is Mavenhut‘s, who we’ve watched come to existence, evolve, get traction and gain a huge investment.

A short version of MavenHut’s development would go like this:

2010 – Bobby Voicu meets Cristi Badea and Elvis Apostol at How to Web 2010 and they start working together on a gaming project
2011 – Bobby meets Startup Bootcamp Dublin founder Eoghan Jennings at How to Web 2011
2012 – Bobby and his team, Cristi Badea and Elvis Apostol, go to Startup Bootcamp Dublin. Mavenhut is born!
2012 – Mavenhut is one of the 2012 Startup Spotlight finalists and they win the award for Best Pitch at How to Web 2012!
2012 – At How to Web 2012, Mavenhut also announces their first investment from SOS Ventures: 500.000 EUR!
2013 – at the beginning of the year, Mavenhut wins startup of the year at the Romanian Startup Awards by The Next Web, where Bobby Voicu is also awarded the best co-founder prize and their first game , Solitaire Arena, is designated the best web app in the competition.
2013 – Cristi and Bobby get ready to talk at How to Web 2013 about their experience with building a gaming company.

Since we already interviewed Bobby , now it’s Cristi’s turn to tell his side of the story.

1. Can you name the biggest challenge you had in developing a team for Mavenhut?
Developing a team is always tough. You will notice that the type of skills and experience you need in your company, is not available in the marketplace. This is mainly because in your pursuit of innovation, no one has any experience in delivering products according to your standards. For example, we wanted to create and bring to market games that are played by millions of users on Facebook – and soon you realize that from all the local candidates, there’s actually no one that has done this before.

2. From what you’ve observed, what can startups who get into an accelerator expect to experience during this stage?
European accelerators bring a huge boost to your network (clients, investors, mentors, etc). That’s pretty much all you can expect. Now it is a matter of how you continuously use this network, in order to get one step closer to your final goal.

3. What is the most rewarding thing about Mavenhut at this stage of your startup?
Delivering a game that reached the worldwide top rankings, with only a handful of people. And having a of fun along the way.

We’re happy to be part of Mavenhut’s story, because we know how hard these guys work and how much they’ve learnt along the way. When we see investments like these happen and startups grow, it feels like watching a couple we introduced get married.

So if you’re looking for a long term, committed relationship with a potential investor, then give it your best to make it among the 32 Startup Spotlight finalists this year! Remember that applications end on Sunday!

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