TestJockey conquers Israel

TestJockey is a multiplatform mobile application testing solution, launched originally within Virgo in Budapest, and got selected from 23 applicants as the first ever Hungarian winner of the Start Tel Aviv 2014.

I had the chance to have a nice discussion with CEO and Co-Founder of TestJockey Peter Vidos about his experiences after his return from the week-long program in Israel.

Can you shortly introduce yourself, please?

I have always been involved with online and SW development, and I got a lot of experiences in building and selling a new product. My earlier startup experience comes from my time at Flan Technologies where we first built an ad targeting solution then FruitFlan, a super-visual decision support tool for online publishers.

What is Start Tel Aviv?

It’s a global startup competition for seed-stage companies, launched by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Tel Aviv-Yafo, and has been organised in 16 countries all around the world for 3 years, introduced in Hungary for the very first time this year with their local partners, the National Innovation Office of Hungary and Design Terminal. The international jury picked 1 winner from each participating country, and the prize is an intense, all-expense-paid, five-day startup experience in the heart of Tel Aviv, during the exciting and innovative DLD Festival. The winners had the chance to participate in lectures, workshops and meetings with leading Israeli investors and professionals.

How could you summarize your experiences?

Apart from participating on the DLD Tel Aviv, we were showed around the startup life of the city, visiting accelerators like Microsoft Ventures, a local coworking office called SOSA, and other accelerators & startup hubs. We had the chance to get advice from experienced serial entrepreneurs and also pitched in front of local investors and got their feedback on our ventures. The winners from the participating countries, altogether 18 people spent these 5 days together, so we all made a lot of new friends.

We at TestJockey are now in the phase of looking for early adopters and app developer startups are simply the ideal choice to beta test our solution and to give us their most valuable feedback about it. I managed to make great contacts with such companies locally, and also some top dogs from Microsoft, Motorola, Deutsche Telecom and some local investors. Even better, I also managed to make personal contacts with two of our significant competitors: UberTesters, our direct competitor and Appsee, a company also within the same space but with a special focus on distant video recording of apps. The conversation with these guys helped me a lot in finding out where the market is going. They were really friendly and open, which is much different from what I’d got used to before.

How about TestFlight? Don’t you consider them as competitors?

Test Flight was acquired by Apple and thus they are a one platform solution, unlike us, so the answer is no 🙂

Also, of course there is a lot to learn from them and their story, and I believe that most of the companies in this space would be happy with such an exit so we do respect their achievements.

What other things did you experience that is worth to be shared?

The most pleasant one: how eased up the Israelis are. I met one of the six partners from JVP funds, from the prestigious league of the 10 most successful VC funds worldwide. And on the contrary to what I am used to when dealing with investors: they don’t ask for a lengthy excel sheet that describes a scenario that everyone knows is different from what actually will happen and they don’t act like they know your market or the specifics of your business and the underlying tech right away. They say they know the cornerstones and the way how to accelerate things and give startups a bigger chance to succeed. They don’t expect you to know exactly what you will be doing in 3 years from now, they expect you to have a vision of the domain your product is planning to disrupt and have the team to execute that. Their approach to failure is also different, they know that you have more chances to succeed if you failed before.

Startup people in Tel Aviv in general are very open minded and helpful, discussions are all about sharing interesting, innovative things happening around the globe and problems and solutions that are worth to think about over a coffee or a beer. Also I really liked that they are very laid back, and wearing jeans or shorts and a t-shirt is totally acceptable in basically all situations.