Pencil (by 53) in Europe & new Round at Gründer Garage – The Announcements at TOA


Pencil and Paper are now available outside the U.S.

Though we live in a digital world, many still use pen and paper to get the creative process started. New York-based FiftyThree is changing that.
“We made our app and tools simple, accessible and expressive,” says CEO and co-founder Georg Petschnigg. After launching Paper, an app that lets users make sketches, illustrations, notes and drawings, FiftyThree presented the specially designed hardware tool Pencil in the U.S. by the end of 2013.

Pencil, connecting with the user’s iPad via bluetooth, offers erase, blend, and adaptive palm rejection. While users had to unlock in-app purchases to access more than the standard features, these are included when buying a Pencil.


Paper App & Pencil

At TOA, Petschnigg announced Pencil will now also be available (on Amazon) in Europe. With Paper downloaded more than 10 million times and over 100 million pages (“documents”) created, it is found in the top 10 productivity apps for iOS, Petschnigg said in a meeting with VentureVillage.
The price for a Pencil lies between €74,90 and €59,90, depending on the kind.

With 40 people working in offices in New York and Seattle, an office outside the U.S. is not planned yet.

Pencil / Think With Your Hands from FiftyThree on Vimeo.

As it is often the case users use tools differently than expected. Besides diagrams and illustrations, also beautiful pictures were created. The best ones can be found on

 Gründer-Garage announces new round

After successful rounds in 2012 and 2013, Gründer-Garage will open its doors again.

The focus is on ideas dealing with society, economy or culture, environmental or social issues.

In contrast to other competitions, this one does not ask for a founded company, but for an idea that can develop to a business model.

With the support of partners such as Google, Allianz Digital Accelerator, 3M, Volkswagen, Entrepreneurship and Factory as well as economic and science partners, the following program will take place:

Competition: 25.08.-26.09.2014

The applicants can make their idea public to collect votes online. A combination of that, the founder’s Gründer-Garage activity and the expert’s feedback, will calculate the so-called “Garage-Factor“, an algorithm defining the ranking of the Top50 ideas at the end of the competition.

Winner Voting: 29.09.-3.10.2014

The jury of experts picked by Gründer-Garage will take a look at the TOP 50 ideas and evaluate them. These results and the “Garage-Factor” will add up to the final winner ranking.

Winner Announcement: 12.10.2014 (at Factory Berlin)

“And the winner is…”

On October 12th, the winners will be announced.

The prize money will be €5,000 for the 4th place, €10,000 for the third best idea, €15,000 for the 2nd, and €20,000 for the winner.

Besides that, there will be several extra prizes, such as a trip to California, including a stop-by at the Google HQ in Mountain View and the 3M HQ in St. Paul.



Image: FiftyThree