community building

Krystian Gontarek – 10 year old star of Startup Weekend Krakow

Krystian came second in the competition at Startup Weekend Krakow with his project “Gameteller” – a “game purchasing recommendation” app that tells you what games you will like. He also had the courage to present in English, to a crowd of 200 adults.

As the youngest person present, in an event that normally is attended by adults, he attracted a lot of attention. It’s great that he decided to enter. As a role model for those who want Poland to more entrepreneurial, Krystian cannot be faulted. Hats off to his father – Krzysiek -too. Any adult reading this should note their role in making children they know aware of the possibilities, and devoting time to support the next generation. I asked for an interview them by e-mail, and this is what we came up with.

1 how did you get the idea of Game Teller – your Game Recommendation App ?

I got the idea of GameTeller when I stood in front of the wall of games in a big store and I could not decide which one to buy. I thought that it would be nice if there was a tool that could tell me what game I would enjoy.

2 How did you get the idea of coming to Startup Weekend Krakow

It was my dad who told me that I could share my idea at Startup Weekend and I can find people who would like to work with me on Game Teller. At the beginning I was to go to the Startup Weekend Warsaw but two days before the event I caught a cold. My dad told me that in two months time there was another Startup Weekend in Krakow so I decided to go

3. What was best about Startup Weekend Krakow

What I liked most on Startup Weekend Krakow was the great, relaxed and cheerful atmosphere

4 What was worst about Startup Weekend Krakow

It lasted 2,5 days but I felt like the weekend has passed just in a few minutes. I wish that I could stay longer with these people.

5 what do your friends at school think about Startup Weekends when you tell them

I haven’t attended any Startup Weekends before, so I told them nothing about it. And now I have holidays. I’ll tell them when I go back to school.

6. Why do you want to have a business?

Because I want to see what it is like to make a living out of being in business. Then I want to have enough money to be able to invest in more buseinsses, and that the money I have is earned by me.
I think that having a startup will be a good lesson from me at the beginning. Having my own business will teach me more responsibility and decision making. I also like challenges. And I hope that thorough having my own business, I will be able to buy myself a laptop, such as my dad has 🙂

7. What do you say to people who say you are too young?
Nobody has already said anything like this to me. But if that happened, I think that I would answer that it is never too early to start a

8. What help (if any) do you need ?
I’ve just started to learn programming, so backend and mobile developers are the ones who I need most to make my project happen. Unfortunately, I didn’t find them for team at the event. I also need a PR person who is passionate about games and will help me promote GameTeller in the gaming community. Because I want GameTeller to be in English I also need native speakers of English or American. My parents and sister help me 🙂

9 Were you nervous, if yes how did you deal with it, if not how come you were not?

Before my first pitch (a pitch is a short speech to potential investors describing an idea in a way that is designed to make you want to buy it) , I was not nervous because I saw how other people pitched, and also that people in the room were friendly and supportive. I also trusted that if I make a mistake everybody including me would accept it with a smile. Besides, before Startup Weekend I often practiced pitching with my dad. I was a little nervous before the final pitch. I only had an hour to prepare for the show. My final pitch was much longer than the previous one and much more difficult – there were some words that I did not know before and I had difficulty pronouncing them. Fortunately I could just read my pitch and that helped me a lot. Besides I was more self confidence after the first successful pitch and going on the stage and talking to others for the second time was not so bad

10 What advice would you give to other young people about Startup Weekends and going into business

I would tell to them to treat Startup Weekend as fun. And to not stress too much, because the people there will not consider them inferior, even if mistakes. When it comes to business I would advice them to devote an hour a day on making their project happen. They should always make a “to do” list. because it is a very useful way of getting things done. I would also say to them that every idea is good at the beginning, and all you have to do is just to go for it.

11 Is there anything else you would like to tell people reading this interview

In my opinion you are never too young for doing a business, so if you’ve got an idea try to find a team or just do it by yourself. I would also like to thank my team – especially Darek Kosiba (the graphic and web designer ), my Dad, as well as all Startup Weekend Krakow mentors for good advice and assistance, because without them this would not happen, and this wouldn’t be the best weekend of my life.