HomeHungary-StartupsInterview with Ádám Kondor, co-founder of A-Maze escape rooms

Interview with Ádám Kondor, co-founder of A-Maze escape rooms

A-Maze, a Hague-based escape room startup, has quite impressively managed to gain advantage in what is quite a niche market. My colleague Gábor Schneider recently spoke with Ádám Kondor, co-founder of A-Maze, to find out more. 

Escape games or escape rooms might be sound familiar to almost everyone nowadays. In this game, you and your friends are locked in a room together and have to solve different challenges to get out in a limited time. Usually these escape rooms look like a movie set based on specific topics.

This topic is pretty interesting to me, given that this special and quite entertaining game was invented – or at least it brought to public – by Hungarian people. Having read an article about the unique A-Maze experience, we decided to invite Ádám Kondor, a co-founder of the company for a Skype call. He was very kind and eager to tell us about their story and future plans.
Ádám told us that he first tried different kinds of escape games with his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend in Hungary, back in 2012. It was a love at first sight for escape rooms, but Ádám lived – and still lives – in The Netherlands, and there were no escape games there at all. Given that the trio already had entrepreneurial ambitions, alongside their passion for escape games, this seemed like the right idea at the right time.
At the beginning of 2013, Ádám, his cousin Dávid and Dávid’s girlfriend Beáta made a New Year’s resolution to create their own escape game company. Ádám has been living in the Netherlands since 2010, and his cousin, Dávid also went to a Dutch university, so the “where” question got an immediate answer, especially given that this kind of entertainment was completely missing from the Dutch market.
In the first few months they stuck at their existing jobs and built up some of their own equity to put into the new business, step by step. Back then, Ádám, Dávid and Bea organised and directed the games, but today they have a team of six people, including contractors and a marketing intern working at the very fancy A-Maze office in the Hague, The Netherlands. They have three escape rooms with completely different sets, such as a cold-war-era KGB room, an Urban Legend room and the Crazy Doctor’s room.
Ádám told me that the most difficult part was to gaining the attention of local people, given that the team did not have the right connections at the time and no one tried to do something like this before. Fortunately in 2013/Q4 and 2014/Q1, A-Maze rooms became very popular, and this escape game hype forced other entrepreneurs to create their own rooms with their own sets. Ádám has a very positive opinion about this, because this means that this kind of entertainment is becoming even more popular.

What’s the difference between A-Maze and other similar companies? Ádám has a very strict and perspicuous answer to this question. They simply don’t want their rooms and this whole genre to become mass entertainment, in turn worsening the experience that a room can give you. They invest plenty of time into planning every single detail of a room: it’s mind-breakers and the interior/exterior of a game. These details and their attitude towards the genre make them different to competitors.

By the way: You can find out about other interesting startups from Hungary in this list.

Peter Kovacs
Peter Kovacs
Peter Kovacs is the Co-Founder of Global Startup Awards, xLabs and IseeQ . He contributes to EU-Startups with founder interviews and stories, mostly from the CEE region.

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