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How MCEI speaker Vladimir made it into Apples campain

How MCEI speaker Vladimir made it into Apples campain

When Tim Cook presented Apple's own processor for the first time in November, it heralded the beginning of an era: After the company had previously relied on processors from the manufacturers Intel and AMD, the new, self-developed processor M1 is supposed to be the entry into the development of a whole series of own processors. Why this change in strategy? The M1 is not a traditional CPU, a simple main processor. The new processor is rather a system-on-a-chip (SoC) that integrates various elements such as a graphics card or working memory on one chip. Also on board are a neural engine for machine learning tasks like speech recognition and camera processing, a video decoder/encoder for energy-efficient conversion of video files, or an image processing unit that speeds up the tasks of image processing apps. The various elements can also access memory simultaneously through a modified memory architecture, instead of copying data from one area to another. All of this makes for remarkable overall performance and explains the hoopla with which Apple presented the new centerpiece of its products to the public.

Design tool for digital nomads
Apple is now able to integrate hardware and software in a way that most companies cannot. This increase in performance is particularly noticeable in the area of graphics applications. Consequently, a particularly large number of graphic designers and graphic application providers also appear in Apple's new campaign to introduce the M1. One of them: Vladimir Danila, a bachelor student at the University of Mannheim, with his app Vectornator. The program is not only free, but also contains some real and mind-blowing innovations: With the software, for example, designers can enlarge their drawings on the iPad or iPhone as much as they want without them becoming blurry. This is not self-evident on mobile devices: normally, expensive computer programs and powerful processors are required for this. Vectornator, on the other hand, enables professional designers to complete their tasks on the go or to implement their ideas directly. In the age of digital nomadism, this is a great advantage and, in what has long been a fairly static market, a real innovation. "Adobe still hasn't launched a full-fledged graphics tool for the iPad," Vladimir explains his motivation.

From the nursery to the global market
This bothered him early on. At the age of 10, he already put his first own website on the Internet. When he wanted to update it for a new generation of iPhones and iPads, he noticed that the images became blurry due to the higher resolution. Since then, he has been working on a vector-based graphics program that allows graphics to be enlarged as desired without any loss of quality. Vladimir taught himself the necessary knowledge for the development work. Later he decides to develop the program further for professional use. He finished the resulting full-fledged version when turning 17. With Vectornator Pro, high-quality illustrations can be created on the iPhone or iPad. Any document can be zoomed in on as far as desired without it becoming "pixelated" and blurred. The download numbers in the App Store quickly rolled over and Vectornator had its own rapidly growing fan community.

Silicon Valley takes notice
At the age of 17, he founded his first limited liability company, Linearity. Soon he caught the attention of investors. Various rounds of financing followed. Among them were renowned investors such as Holzbrinck Ventures and Silicon Valley star Florian Leibert. Holzbrinck is an institution in the German startup sector, holding shares in Zalando and Flixbus parent Flixmobility, among others. Leibert has made a name for himself as the "Bill Gates of cloud computing." With his billion-dollar startup Mesophere, he helps companies such as Netflix and Uber distribute computing processes between different data centers. Leibert turned down an offer from Microsoft, and now works as a business angel and investor himself: "For a long time, there was hardly any innovation in the graphics editing software market, and established companies like Adobe have always regarded the iPad and iPhone only as consumer devices. With Vectornator, you can create professional vector graphics directly on the iPad and do without Adobe Illustrator." For Linearity, a kind of accolade in the tech scene. Through its investments, the Karlsruhe-based startup has not only gained visibility, but has now also raised a double-digit million amount.

Coolness when pitching
How do you stay reasonably cool with such names and sums? Vladimir learned how to deal with investors and make the right pitch in MCEI courses and events. Early on he took part in various events, at one point appearing himself as a keynote speaker at the Founder Talk in Mannheim Castle. Finally, his relaxed nature also helps him. When asked about his particular strengths, he directly deflects: "I don't want to bore anyone with praise about self-proclaimed character traits." The founder is similarly relaxed about his own success: "The feeling when you're lying in a hammock with a Coke and think about the fact that a seven-figure number of users are just having fun with your own app is kind of amusing and funny." It must be similarly amusing to watch the video again, which millions of Apple fans around the world had previously devoured expectantly.

Vladimir took part in several MCEI events and offers and was a speaker himself at the MCEI Founder Talk.

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Sponsors

  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum