Georgi in Forbes Bulgaria 30 under 30

Forbes Georgi 30 under 30

Forbes Bulgaria acknowledged Georgi Kadrev, 28, co-founder of Imagga as one of the 30 under 30 talents of Bulgaria. He didn’t make it to the cover, but may be next time with some even more exciting news about Imagga.

Georgi has been one of the youngest tech entrepreneurs fired up to start his own business while studying in Sofia University. While most of the tech students strive for career in the outsourcing industry or big names like HP, SAP, VMWare that have offices in Sofia, Georgi was always thinking of changing the world by inventing new image analysis algorithms and making them commercially available. That’s how Imagga was born.

We are extremely proud to have Georgi on board, motivated, inspiring, a bit crazy, always fair, big player

Next time, picture like that but from Forbes (not Forbes Bulgaria)


Imagga at Photo Hack Day Berlin

It was exciting to be in Berlin for Photo Hack Day 3 organized by EyeEm. The start of the trip was quite challenging – lightning struck the Bulgaria Air plane we were supposed to take for Berlin. At least there was quite good internet connection at Sofia Airport so the 3 hours waiting for the aircraft replacement were not completely wasted. The journey started with a beautiful rainbow over the  airport that we managed to fly over. Good sign for what’s to come in Berlin.

Berlin

Berlin is lovely. Getting around is quite easy. The startup ecosystem is thriving so there are lots of opportunities to network. Straight from the airport we ended up attending Uber barbecue marking the startup’s operations in Berlin. Met lovely new people, all with interesting story and a startup. Need to say that if you have not been in Berlin, you will be surprised how interesting the startup scene is. The spirit of Berlin can be seen in the way people dress, live, talk, interact. It’s a vivid mixture of the modern world with a small hipster touch that can be easily seen everywhere.

PHD3 Berlin

And here we are at Photo Hack Day opening, where Georgi presented Imagga APIs. It’s interesting to see some competitors also presenting and partnering the event. This is the third edition of Photo Hack Day organized by EyeEm in Berlin.

The event itself was awesome. Over 150 hackers attended and the crowd was really international – lots of local talent, but also some Americans, French, Norwegians, etc. The API partners had awesome technologies for the participants to play with, including Imagga’s color search and smart-cropping. Right after partners announcements and the hack ideas were presented, there was an instant team formation. Maybe the use of a great service like Hacker League helped people to get to know each other and form teams easily.

Georgi presenting Imagga APIs

Imagga’s APIs were quite interesting to the participants. Almost half of the teams signed up, which is great. Two of the teams actually used the APIs at the end. Our special prize went to Ambeer – awesome idea that uses Imagga Color API to recognize the predominant colors of an image and then add ambient light in the room. It’s awesome that Imagga’s technology that made the magic work. The idea also got $250 in cash and $2500 in API usage from us. The project also won the official 2nd prize of the event, so some additional recognition for Imagga as well.

The team that won Imagga's prize

Even though we were API partners during the event, we couldn’t resist Fotolia’s challenge to hack something with Imagga and Fotolia APIs. The idea was born in a very interesting conversation on the future of micro-stock photography and how Imagga’s auto-tagging can actually be of benefit for the photographers in both saving time for tagging and improving the quality of the tags. So out of that the idea ‘Pimp Ma Tagzzz’ was born. It plugs Fotolia APIs and pulls search results from there. When you select a picture, we display Fotolia tags along with tags automatically generated by TaggRe (this is the fancy name we use for our auto-tagging technology). The words that are present in both tag clouds are colored in gray and the new tags that we suggest are in blue. Some of them are emphasized in bold to show they are considered as top search keywords in Fotolia. The auto-tagging technology is still in production mode and there is room for improvement of the tags’ quality. But even with the current state of the technology it’s visible we can help photographers significantly improve their image ratings by auto suggesting relevant tags. 

Imagga / Fotolia hach

Visiting Berlin and being part of the startup ecosystem just for a weekend was awesome experience. We will be coming back soon!


Imagga is finalist at BkVF startup competition

Imagga @ BkVF Sofia

Balkan Venture Forum is a regional event, aiming at encouraging entrepreneurship on the Balkans and building bridges between the local communities and other tech hubs in Europe and beyond.

Imagga was selected to take part in the startup competition. Our goal was to showcase our progress and also share knowledge and best practices with the other participants of the forum. Georgi did awesome presentation and answered the jury questions straightforward.

We are very happy to announce we were one of the finalists at the startup competition. It’s a small leap towards the bright future, that we envision as game changers in the image analysis. You will be seeing more of Imagga in the coming events here and there.

BKVF

We also want to take the chance to thank the organizers for the great job. Without the thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem this event would not be possible, so a huge thumbs up for all the bold and sexy Bulgarian entrepreneurs, event organizers and friends. We hope to make Sofia really attractive for other startups from the region and why not make it regional startup hub.


Imagga at BkVF startup challenge

Imagga at BkVF

Imagga will be taking part in the startup challenge during Balkan Venture Forum, that will take place in Sofia, May 21-22. BkVF is regional event that aims to showcase innovative companies to active investors and promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

We believe Imagga’s technology is quite innovative and hope it will be good match for the investors present. During the last couple of months our focus was solely on improving the technology and growing our customer base, so it’s quite exciting to step up on the pitching stage and share our progress.

Going to events it’s great, well, if that’s not all that you do. We will be at BkVF for networking, validating new ideas, getting to know prospective clients and meeting investors. We are also hiring so it will be great match if the best tech developers of the region happen to be there so we can meet and talk.

One of the fist times we pitched Imagga was at Mini Seedcamp London couple of years ago. It’s probably not a coincidence that Seedcamp comes to Sofia exactly during BkVF. Things have changed in the Bulgarian startup scene, and it’s exciting to start, work and innovate here in the region.

Ah, do we party? Yes, see you at the parties, there will be several!


Come hack with Imagga APIs at Google I/O Extended Sofia

Google I/O 2013 in Sofia

We will be partnering with Eleven for Google I/O Extended Sofia event. It’s exciting you can not only see live the great sessions during the event but also do something – write a bit of code may be

We will be facilitating specially designated hacker’s corner at SOHO, where you can stop by and hack for an hour or a day. It’s up to you but feel welcomed to stay as long as you wish and start making your great ideas into working prototypes. If you do not have an idea but feel like coding, here are some ideas we come up:

  • Picture mosaic of images, that form any national flag. You can use Imagga Color API and Google Images for the collage creation.
  • Guess what’s on the picture – use Imagga Crop API to find the most prominent part of the image and blur it. Then serve the blurred images so people can make their guesses.

These are just two ideas to help you start hacking. We will be more than please to help you with our APIs for some other great ideas connected to image manipulation that you might have.

For the most diligent there will be in-kind price of $500 in commercial API usage. Eleven, who’s hosting the event is offering wildcard for live interview for their next investment round.

More about Imagga APIs and how to hack using them can be found here – http://imagga.com/api/docs/

Even more detailed information:

We will be extremely happy to see you at Google I/O Extended Sofia and specially if you stop by the hacking corner. Most probably there you will find some Imagga team members, but if you need more information or if you want to reach out, pls, email to info@imagga.com or send message to Georgi – https://plus.google.com/u/0/110303707514543533758/


Partnering Photo Hack Day Berlin in the first days of June

Photo Hack Day 3 Berlin

Continuing our tradition to partner image-related hackathons, we are happy to announce that we’ll provide Imagga API access and prizes for the competitors in the upcoming Photo Hack Day Berlin hackathon in June 1-2! The lead organizers are our friends from EyeEm.

PHD3 Imagga Prize

In addition to awarding API credits and cash prizes, we are planning to announce some amazing news at the end of the event! If you are keen about images, hacking and starting startups – make sure to come around and hack with us and the other great partners of the event:

PHD3 Sponsors

Photo Hack Day Berlin Sponsors & Friends

See you at the arty Platoon Kunsthalle venue!


Hacking The Hackathons

The first one was Startup Weekend Mobile Sofia (Bulgaria), held in Vivacom HQ, April 5-7. Great event with more than 120 participants eager to brainstorm and prototype ideas about the next cool mobile apps. It was one of the best hackathons I’ve been at, not only in Bulgaria but worldwide. A lot of bright people and super productive engineers.
Something that made me extremely happy is that the most of the ideas were globally (and not locally) oriented – something that wasn’t typical in Bulgaria until recently. Let’s hope that this change in mentality will bring the Bulgarian startup community closer and closer to global success.

I took the last chance in Friday to pitch an idea and decided to pitch it as a spin-off project from Imagga, about building mobile app(s) based on our prototype for color search in fashion. How I pitched it is that we (Imagga) are ready to buy it after the hackathon and/or eventually hire the people Later on it turned out that some of the jury members have perceived this as a very smart move from Imagga (kind of “hacking the system”), but one that decreases the value of the whole project in the context of the event. I definitely don’t agree with that and I’d say our team was very motivated and passionate, because it really believes in the idea, and not because of eventual quick cash gains.

Here are we, working on ColorFit.me it two consecutive  days, brainstorming and hacking like crazy:

ColorFit Team

We did an amazing job, pushing prototypes on all iPhone (native), Android (Adobe Air wrapper), and Windows Phone (native). Here is a video of them in action

 

The team also produced a wonderful presentation - http://colorfit.me/presentation/#/swsofia.
And we won! several prizes: 3rd place based on the jury vote, and 2nd-3rd place based on the audience vote. It’s still a nice performance though we think we should have won 1st place in both, and also the special prize from Microsoft for prototyping the app also in their platform in less than a day.

We are going to decide how to proceed with this in a few days and we do hope that you’ll be able to  have access to the first versions of the apps in the app stores quite soon.

The second hackathon was Photo Hack Day 4held in Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, April 6-7. The event went really good, and though we were partnering it remotely, it was quite busy for us -implementing several sugar features and tweaks based on customer demand
Happily, one of the teams that requested access to our APIs managed to integrate it in their hack ‘The Roll’, and it was featured as one of the eight honorable mentions in the The Next Web review of the event. Great job by the EyeEm team working on it!

There are a few more great hackathons coming in the next week(end)s – HackFMI and NASA International Space Apps Challenge 2013 – Sofia. What a month for startups and hackers!


Partnering Photo Hack Day 4 in Facebook HQ this April

We are very excited to partner the 4th edition of Photo Hack Day to be held April 6-7 in the Facebook HQ in Menlo Park! Photo Hack Day 4 Photo Hack Day This is “THE hackathon” when we talk about images. The last edtion has gathered more than 350 developers who’ve produced the impressive 72 innovate image related hacks! What better place than that to offer our APIs for some heavy hacking?!? It’s a privilege for us to be among lots of great API sponsors:   Photo Hack Day – API Sponsors We do hope to see a lot of creative hacks using all these APIs. We’re offering prizes for all who integrate the Imagga API, plus a special cash prize for the the most creative integration! If you are around make sure to join the party and make some great use our APIs


Seedhack - an awesome experience!

As we announced last week - we were preparing to participate as an API partner in the 3rd edition of Seedhack druing the upcoming weekend. And we did! :) That was a really awesome experience for Imagga. The event started in Friday evening with a lot of hackers and fashionists. Surprisingly or not, most probably becaue of the topic, this was the first hackathon I've participtated with over 40% female attendance.

Seedhack opening
Seedhack opening

Passionate opening by the Seedcamp's team, followed by several keynote speeches from Nick Perrett from HarperCollins Publishers, Nick Cust from NET-A-PORTER.COM and Devin Hunt from Lyst, who provided a lot of inspiration to the participants.

They were followed by API speakers from HarperCollins, ASOS, Google, Net-A-Porter, Imagga (us) and Paypal. In our 5 min API presentation I tried to clearly communicate what Imagga and our APIs are about. It went quite well and a lot of excited people come nearby to talk after :). The word about the event and Imagga even managed to reach New York - in about half an hour after the presentation I got my first email from there, and another one two hours later, regarding the fashion week held in NY at the same time.

The serious hacking started Friday night and continued heavily through the next two days:

Heavy seedhacking
Heavy "seedhacking"

Now, let me share a few numbers that made us feel quite inspired to drill more deeply in the fashion vertical as an appropraite application field for what we do:

  • During the three days of Seedhack we received 11 trial API requests from the "seedhackers": two right away during the API presentation in Friday, two more later in the evening, four more in Saturday, and three more in Sunday. Quite good coverage given that the participating teams were 21 in total;
  • Three of the teams came several times to talk to me for more details about integration ideas, technical details, and pricing;
  • One of the teams - INDELIBLE STYLE (project Colourtag.me) - actually managed to integrate the API during the first day of the weekend! Great job for this team about their passion to levarege on colors, and special "hacker applauses" to Mart Karu who implemented, debugged, and integrated a Ruby client for our color API in no time! He promised to publish it on GutHub in a few days, so you'll be able to enjoy a Ruby blue-print quite soon :)

    Mark Karu and team after a few hours of happy hacking :)
    Mark Karu and team after a few hours of happy hacking :)

Happily enough, exactly this project was one of the five recognized at the award ceremony in Sunday! They win the "Fit & Finish" award, most probably because of their fast execution, including the implementation of a prototype and shooting a promotional video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPuPKRAV2Sc featuring the brain behind the project - Jessica Healy.

Colourtag.me winning the Fit & Finish award

Now back on Imagga - in addition to the lots of trial requests and the succesfull API integration, from the numerous people that we talked to we got several very creative ideas for potential applications of our cropping and color search, and also some reasonable feature and tweak requests for the APIs. Thank you all, guys!

In conlusion - the event had very very positive atmosphere and was quite well organizated - no tension, everything went smoothly. It also turned out that it's great to have a particular vertical/topic/theme for an event like this - it brings like-minded hackers, mentors and partners and also allows for more objective judging. Well done Seedcamp! Carlos, Kirsten, Ricardo, and Vincent were very supportive through the whole event :) It was a pleasure for me to present imagga and to try to help to the eager hackers there, in your company. Good luck with the future Seedhacks!

Another job well done, so part of the Colourtag.me team and I decided to go for a beer. Luckily there were a few tables for tennis there, so we did our best to beat the locals :):

Table tennis battle with the locals :)

Awesome Seedhack weekend, really!!! :)

P.S.: I think that we managed to improve the public oppinion about Bulgaria at least a little bit this weekend. It should be more clear now that not all Bulgarians are low-qualified labor craving for UK social benefits ;)

P.S.2: You can take a look at the Seedcamp's team perspective of the event, including more details on all particapating and winning teams, here.

 


Imagga to partner Seedcamp's Seedhack to disrupt fashion and retail

We are very excited about going to the 3rd edition of Seedcamp's Seedhack this weekend! It's a great chance to help hackers disrupt fashion and retail with our color extraction & search and smart cropping APIs.

Photo from the previous (2nd) edition of Seedhack
(image source: Seedcamp's blog)

We truly believe that fashion and retail are really appropriate field for application of our technologies, here and here are some reasons why.

It's also a great recognition for Imagga to be listed as an API partner among some legendary brand names and cool startups like Google, HarperCollins, Net-A-Porter, Paypal, and Wonga.

Exctided about meeting all the hackers, API partners, sponsors and the event organizers quite soon!

Make sure to catch up when you are around, and attend the Imagga API presentation in Friday (Feb 8th), 6:45 pm at Campus London.

P.S.: Big thanks to LAUNCHub who made the right kind of introductions :)