Prezi, a popular alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint and other presentation applications, has passed the 17 million user milestone, and the number keeps rising. The company’s estimated value is well above 100 million US dollars. The number of new users grows about 1 million every months and a new presentation using Prezi is born every second.

Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them, resulting in a visually captivating presentation. Prezi co-founder Adam Somlai-Fischer is an internationally renowned architect and visual artist who has been working with zooming presentations since 2001.

Adam found that a zoomable user interface (ZUI) enabled him to explore the “big picture” overview of a floor plan better and then zoom into the detail of individual rooms for details. Because there was no commercially available zooming presentation editor, each presentation had to be coded by hand. Audiences were wowed and approached Adam to find out what presentation software he used. A few persuaded him to give them access to his code. Finally, in 2007, Budapest University of Technology professor Peter Halacsy convinced Adam to develop an editor enabling anyone and everyone to make zooming presentations. After creating a prototype, serial entrepreneur Peter Arvai joined as the third co-founder and CEO to help to build a product and a company. Prezi was launched in April 2009 from Budapest, leading to investments from TED Conferences and Sunstone Capital. Prezi’s San Francisco office was established in November 2009.

“The image of Hungary can be again associated with innovation, courage and ingenuity” Prezi co-founder, Adam Somlai-Fischer said, by adding he dreams of Prezi changing Hungary the same way Nokia changed Finland. The web version of Prezi is free, the desktop version or certain other features for the Pro account costs $159 a year. But even free users can use the offline presentation viewers, and also use it for giving online presentations.   

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