TechHub was chosen as the setting for the battle – the recently launched space in central London offering office space and facilities to startups. It represented an optimal scenario for the event.
In excess of 35 different startups entered the field to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges coming from Eden Ventures (Ben Tompkins and Katy Turner), Neu Haus Partners (Paul Jozefak) and Moonfruit.com (Wendy Tan White), alongside angel investor Eileen Burbidge. The startups were requested to go through three consecutive rounds: an initial screening based on a written one-line description of their idea, a one minute slide-less pitch and a three minutes aided pitch, before getting to the final podium. Even though the scene was dominated by anglo-american companies, several continental European (and beyond) startups were present to pitch their ideas.
Around 30 startups pitched their one-minute introduction to the judges and the spectators. The process was a bit hectic, with the twitter feed being overwhelmed by tweets trying to understand the spelling of the startup names.
Only nine startups made it to the slideshow round, where the judges decided for the following podium:
1) Calaboard: presented by Francesco Masia, it promises to enrich video-conferencing by allowing “in-the-air” drawing with your finger – your counterpart will actually see the drawing appear on the conference window.
2) Duedil: complements Linkedin profiles by allowing users to post complete reviews and feedbacks, allowing professionals to build reputation and clients to make better decisions over the professional figure to hire.
3) Geomium: bringing together social and location services, Geomium creates a recommendation engine for things to do in your neighborhood – friends can see what each of them is doing, propose what to do, chat and meet.
The remaining 6 final presenters were:
- ProspectVision: improve the conversion rate of visitors to your website, turning them into sales leads
- Me-Stars: online gaming network, where the user can actually put his face in the game, thanks to a face recognition and digitalization service
- Gourmetorigins: a service to get information about the regional origins of gourmet food, including the possibility to get in touch with the local producers and the local roots of food culture
- CrowdScanner: ever wondered who is attending the same event you are in? CrowdScanner is a mobile app that allows the user to “ask a question” to the crowd, favoring new encounters and easier networking, based on personal interests.
- MindQuilt: Mindquilt is “an enterprise knowledge management platform with intelligent question and answer matchmaking and gaming achievement dynamics”.
- Oneleep: “a shortcut to hard-to-access influentials: the decision-makers, employers, investors, buyers and experts – “Shakers””.
Special mention to the second Italian team pitching, for the first time on the European scene: Fubles.
You can also find the complete list of startups in this other great recap.
The bottom line
Social-geo-location-community are the buzz-words that are closest to the hearts of the entrepreneurs pitching at the event. Many of the startups tried to answer a social question by implementing a location- or community-based layer around (or on top of) their idea. It is notable, on the other hand, how the event winner Calaboard is not a project in the social or location space. Do the VCs see an excessive proliferation of location-based social services? Is the market getting tired of this sudden abundance? It is probably way to early to tell. Or is it?