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Co-founded by Ivan Magaš and Vanja Perić, AymoLive is one of Split’s younger startups. Officially set up in 2021, but with an idea born in 2020, this startup company now employs four people in their team. AymoLive as an idea came from the now notorious March 2020. We were all so used to having art just there – a theater around the corner, a concert hall down the street, a museum here, an art gallery there.
Therefore, we never expected we would essentially lose access to art overnight. But we did.
However, this was fertile ground for some amazing ideas in this field – and AymoLive was one of them: “As the world came to a halt, so did most in-person art and cultural events. Theaters were closed, as were art exhibits. Concerts were being canceled and festivals postponed. This created a vacuum in the world of art and culture. So, the AymoLive team got to thinking…if the gamers can have their streaming platform, why the creative community cannot have one too? The result ended up being AymoLive!”
We asked the team to tell us more about this from-idea-to-startup thought process: “Our artist friends started streaming online in the lockdown, and we spent a few weeks listening to them complain about this and that platform, in terms of quality of the video and sound, lack of reach, etc.
That prompted the question of why a platform strictly focused on art content, where artists can stream live, still does not exist.
On the other hand, with the technology available to us, it does not make any sense that a person in Split cannot watch a performance in Toronto or Tokyo.”
Indeed – it does not make sense not to utilize the technology at our disposal for anything we wish to achieve. That is exactly what the AymoLive team recognized and decided to do. AymoLive streamings are very specific – oriented towards artistic communities and exclusively live streaming without saving any videos. We can certainly say they have the whole “choose your market and solve their problem” thing down pat.
However, having a clear problem and working on its solution, does not mean AymoLive’s startup story is over and done. We were naturally curious about their startup journey, so we asked the team to give us more specific details: ”The startup journey is very specific, a very different beast from running a small business. It is full of ups and downs.
There have been many hurdles in our short existence that we have had to overcome.
While we cannot say we have seen it all, it sure feels like it. For example, we had issues setting up our payment gateway. Since we are not a traditional e-commerce business, the companies providing those services did not know how to classify us and could not help us. In the end, we did find a solution to this issue outside of Croatia.
Funding is obviously a huge requirement for us as a tech company focused on growth. In the early stages, we were able to decrease our funding requirement significantly by doing as much as we could in-house, as well as getting credits for the tools we use, eg. for analytics programs, hosting, Google workspace, etc.
However, our biggest challenge to date is attracting artists to use the platform.
We are very good at retention – once they come and use it, they recognize the value of AymoLive. But getting them to do that first live stream has been more challenging than we anticipated. We are solving this major hurdle by getting more specific about our target user, our target geography, etc.”
As such, even though they are a young startup, many lessons were already learned from the mistakes that were made along the way: “Many, many mistakes were made! But the biggest one to date was hiring an agency to build the platform. Ivan, our CTO, joined us a few months into the AymoLive journey. Today we are building everything in-house, but initially, we did not have development expertise in-house and we were super excited about getting started. It was a very expensive mistake, but it ultimately led to Ivan joining the AymoLive team.
What we learned was that, when we are talking about a tech startup, where things need to move very fast and at the same time costs need to be kept at a minimum, it is almost always better to have things done in-house, or at least be knowledgeable enough on the topic so that you can spot issues and ask your external contractor intelligent questions.”
So, even as such a young startup, AymoLive has learned and shared a valuable lesson that might help others, too. But a startup journey is not just full of mistakes and stressful times. It is also a wondrous time that many who experience it do not want to part from:
“There are so many positives in startups! Building something new, from scratch, that will solve a problem in the market – that is ultimately what drives us and what keeps us going. It is a very dynamic and exciting place to be.
Every day brings new challenges, new lessons learned, and new solutions.
Also, it is really fun for us to not just work together as a team on something we believe in and want to see succeed at any cost, but also connect with other founders. That has been a great part of this whole experience!”
When we asked for their input, the AymoLive team agreed that the startup life in Split is a very good one. Though our startup ecosystem is in its beginnings, some positives of our growing tech hub are already being felt throughout the startup community: “There are a lot of very talented individuals and teams working on some pretty cool ideas here, which we need.
The startup founder’s life can be a lonely journey, so having a community of peers is crucial.
Through their work, organizations like Split Tech City, ICT Županija, and Student Business Incubator (SPI) of the University of Split have done a great job to create and strengthen Split’s startup ecosystem. Furthermore, we were greatly helped by funding and other resources available to us at this stage. We were finalists of the ICT GrowIT competition for which we received a grant. We were also able to secure office space in SPINIT Tech Park through their incubator program which is great for us as a small team. Overall, the community support we received has been valuable, and we look forward to continuing our startup journey here in Split!”
We are happy to hear such praise from a budding startup about the local community. It means our startup ecosystem is on the right track if the positives are already being felt by the startups themselves. In the end, we asked the AymoLive team to offer some input and advice for anyone who is thinking about starting their startup journey and living that startup life:
“About the startup life… Well, it is going to be ten times more difficult than you thought. It will consume you. It will also be a hundred times more fun – you will laugh at yourself and with other founders more than you thought possible. It will also be a thousand times more rewarding than anything else when things finally work out and you see the progress your determination and hard work have achieved. This part is absolutely amazing!”
We hope the AymoLive team keeps spreading this positivity throughout the world with their art-focused platform. We wish them success in the future and to continue with the amazing work!
Photos by: AymoLive