Back in May we asked Jose Mariano of In Bloon five questions about his startup, being that he entered the Next Top Startup competition we felt it unfair to feature him and not the others, however now with the first edition of the competition well behind us we feel it’s time to publish his answers to our 6 questions.
What is bloon?
It’s an experience by which you will see the Earth shining round and blue on the eyes of the person you love. All in a safe, clean, not requiring strenuous training manner. A flight beyond the blue skies into the starry blackness of the cosmos. And with zero emissions.
Here’s the official definition:
1. a sustainable, cost-effective, inspirational and elevating device that enables out of this world experiences to her passengers, including unparalleled views of their planet while helping preserve it in the process; to be enjoyed by individuals, families, and other groups worldwide: inside the bloon we were one with the Planet.
2. zero2infinity first project.
verb [ intrans. ]
1. to feel elevated, to raise to a new level, to transform yourdreams into reality: We are about to bloon… ORIGIN Barcelona, early 2009 (originally denoting a previous concept from 2000): from French ballon ‘large ball.’
How did you come up with the idea for bloon?
I grew up surrounded by rockets, telescopes, astronomy and balloons because of my dad’s job. After graduation in 2000 I started to think about the possibilities of Space Tourism and it seemed obvious to me that the view is the core element of the experience and that balloons are the safest means to achieve the altitudes where the view can be enjoyed. I made a publication, then a business plan, technical design, patent and finally a company.
Any milestones that you’d like to share?
We are happy we just received our first piece of investment from Ultramagic, the world’s second largest producer of hot air ballons. Their qualified endorsement along with their expertise in the ballooning market, certification rules and technical acumen bring us closer to our goal.
Can you tell us a bit about the team?
Full time there are 4 Aerospace Engineers (Master’s level), there are many part time collaborators and interns. We are looking for a Chief Technology Officer and a Chief Marketing Officer. Our adivsory board is highly committed and comprises senior leaders in key sectors for our business.
Any difficulties you’ve experienced in the startup process of your company?
The fact that I had worked on the concept for 9 years prior to incorporating the company had me well prepared. One important skill that I wish I had before, and only now I am starting to grasp is the ability to tell the people that just find your concept cool from the ones that can really help you. Generally in the EU there is a lot of talk about innovation and entrepreneurship as the best thing since bread came sliced, however there is very little real action in this topic. I think politics has distorted so much the landscape that it’s hard to find people driven by pure entrepreneurial spirit.
Any advice to pass on to budding entrepreneurs?
Be open minded and get as much high-quality advice as possible but don’t forget you know more about your business than anybody else.
If you have a startup and would like to have it featured, please write to info [at] f3fundit.com