Berlin is a cradle of innovative startups in Europe right now and we got a taster if it here in Berlin today with some great presentations at Seedcamp Berlin. As is often the case the bag was mixed, but there was plenty for mentors to get their teeth into. Below are the winning teams from this round followed by the other teams that pitched.
Their Pitch: “asgoodas.nu is a way to turn used electronic gadgets into cash. Sell online directly to asgoodas.nu by answering a few questions and mailing them in free of cost. A few days later the price will be paid to your account. The price is based on a fair market value calculated from thousands internet transactions daily, like a stock quote. Faster and easier than Ebay, price is guaranteed, no auction troubles. asgoodas.nu tests and refurbishes the used gadgets and sells them “as good as new” with a 12 months warranty. Margin and profits come from the markup that consumers are willing to pay for a professionally refurbished device with warranty as compared to a private transaction. Current sales are 15K/month, a first cooperation with a major brand closed.” Founders have a background in Deutsche Telekom.
TechCrunch Europe Quick Take: Sounds very much like Speedsell in the UK.
Pitch: “Platogo is the first platform to apply the Web 2.0 ideas of user-generated content and strong community focus to browser-based gaming. The number of Platogo games and levels grows indefinitely with and through the community: users can also be producers, creating and sharing their own game levels. Game developers also gain significantly, as Platogo offers them an attractive platform for their games and appealing revenue shares. Revenue is driven by sales to users (e.g. in-game features via micropayments) and multiple advertising options, both on the website and inside games. Our team consists of highly skilled experts in web front-end development, server-side programming, graphic design, game- and business development.”
TCE Quick Take:
Great presentation. Platform looks pretty awesome. P2P online games creation platform where users create their own levels. Very much about challenging others to play your levels, so potentially addictive.
Pitch: “PaperC is a platform where users can read educational and academic documents from a to z, free of charge. If users purchase a page for a nominal fee, the text can also be downloaded and printed, or worked on online. Furthermore, PaperC retails print books via the publisher’s online shop.”
TCE Quick Take: It’s a platform for academic documents. Users only pay for downloads or printing. DRM an issue? Publishers get revenue share. Looks useful for scientific/academic papers. Could well do with partnerisng with someone like Mendeley or Academia.
Students can search andf compare higher ed programs and apply to universities. Currently tracking 1000 programs from 75 universities and 45 languages schools. Studdex earns 10% commissino when a student takes a course. Can also upsell travel insurance etc.
TCE Take: This appears to solve a lot of the issues with university application processes and uni courses selection. Universities can showcase their curricula and gather data on prospective students. Looks good.
Pitch: “Searching the Web has become easy with Google. Bookmarking has been around for years but keeping and managing the contents you found is still a painful and hard consuming task. Today, Wozaik introduces the Dynamic Bookmarks. Cut portions of any webpages and gather them on your personal space. There, visualize your contents at a glance and interact with them as if you were on the original websites. Your Dynamic Bookmarks are automatically synchronized with the sources and kept up to date. Naturally you can also share spaces with friends or send them, instead of text links, directly the content you want. Wozaik will monetize its customer base from premium services. Moreover, Wozaik will provide server adds with targeted recommendation to help them maximize their revenues.
TCE Quick Take: Looks very cool. Visual, dynamic, self-organising dynamic bookmarks. If web site is modified then the dynamic bookmark is updated and sent to your profile! In private alpha.
Pitch: “expertnews.me is a service which combines the best of twitter, a RSS reader and a rated experts’ directory. You follow experts from a directory to get a facebook-style feed of their latest news (=all public sources: RSS, twitter, … also isolate a single expert from a newspaper feed). You can rate experts and contribute to the directory. Compiling teams for your topics helps you to stay on top and others to select the relevant experts for a topic. Use facebook/twitter to share news. expertnews.me is a working prototype and an idea of the “newspaper” of the future. It could potentially shift the power from the publishing companies to the individual editors. expertnews.me will make money by advertisement and premium accounts.”
TCE Quick Take: Seems like a media play but worth a look. Digg for experts?
The other teams:
Pitch: “CashCollie is an international Belgian based start-up focusing on social finance for groups. Users can instantly mobilize, share, administer and settle for socially incurred expenditures or social purchases. This means no more hassle to look for money, no more hassle to collect money and no problem in losing money. We are delivering instant value via the interactive processing and settlement and an additional value through visualizing the personal financial layer of socially incurred transactions. Income is generated via the proprietary payment mechanism and through the adoption of a B-A-A-S subscription model. Advertising is triggered based on the data and insight on social expenditures in groups of individuals. In June 2009 the company received a grant from the IWT (Institute for Science & Technology).”
TCE Quick Take: This is P2P lending a bit like Zopa. Elements of Mint.com and Wonga for smaller amounts, and Billmonk.
Pitch: “CloudControl is developing a highly available and on demand scalable cloud hosting solution for modern web applications. As todays hosting companys fail to provide these services without excessive systemadministration or at exorbitant prices, cloudControl offers a full service solution at an affordable price. By using cloud computing principles cloudControl increases the service quality while keeping prices competitive. At the same time the platform enables customers to focus on their distinctive competencies in developing own products without worrying about time consuming infrastructure administration. The monetization will happen through offering the hosting solution to end customers as well as licensing the whitelabe platform including the innovative resource-marketplace for handling trafficspikes to third party hosting companies. ”
TCE Quick Take: Hosting and charging only for what people use. Looks like bespoke cloud services, instead of bundled solutions.
Pitch: “Con’angel is a Personal Event Planner for mobile phones. Every user can build his own favorite session plan. Event organizations get with the App direct access to all visitors at the conference. At a conference or festival the visitors get realtime data of the sessions and workshops. When a room, time, speaker changed, the information is submitted directly over the air to the mobile. The service is free for all users. The organizers pay for this amazing service. And we are the best team for that.” See http://get.conangel.com/ for the iPhone app.
TCE Quick Take: Events manager on iPhone. Competitive edge and revenue model in question, but looks like a SAAS model.
Elefanta.pl (from Poland)
Pitch: “Our service is the first Polish social service recommending the best of what the global net offers – excellent web pages, video, pictures, blogs, etc. (in short – all favourites web sites) served to internet users according to their individual interests and needs. Our users can explore the global web either using Elefanta’s toolbar or the main service. Elefanta.pl has been present on the market since the end of 2007. We have been able to acheived: 400 000 internet visitors monthly on average (through the last 6 months), 100 000 favourites web sites added to the service, 15 000 register users. We want, in the near future, to fully take advantage of artificial intelligence in our service to improve its performance. So far, we explore successfuly only one income chanel – ads.”
TCE Quick Take: Hard to asses claims but seems to have traction in Poland, with 400k unique users and 15k registered users.
Pitch: “Imagine that your phone detects where you’re at – not as coordinates, but as an actual location, for which we deliver web content on the spot. mapegg is an interactive map of the world for mobile devices. It uses selected open datasources like Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap as authoritative sources for points of interest, and links Web content such as photos, tweets, reviews and opening hours to these points. The result is a comprehensive map that bundles content from all across the web, featuring type-specific icons, searching and multilingual labels. This creates a real value-added for urban navigation and could be monetized by app store sales, bundling agreements with network operators, or location-aware advertising. The team has made major contributions to the W3C Linking Open Data project.”
TCE Quick Take: Location-aware advertising, info on physical locations, filtered for what you really look for. Lots of resource tagging, semantic web etc. Lots of potential if they get it right.
Pitch: “The market for IT support services is fragmented and is not transparent in terms of the cost of service and reputation and skills of the Engineer. Engineers often have to incur huge sums to find customers and buy software to deliver their services and get paid. MendMyPC is a clear and transparent online marketplace that connects people that need IT support and other related IT services with engineers that provide these services. The platform also provides tools to manage the delivery of services. The revenue stream is a success fee deducted from money paid to the engineers by customers. The other revenue stream after private beta is a listing fee paid by engineers. Future revenue streams are advertising and mobile services.”
TCE Quick Take: Basically a market place for engineers to freelance their services to SMEs. Operates in UK & GER. Remote or “in person” help. Virtual geeks!
Pitch: “With ChannelQ.de we aim to build a unique online quiz experience offering users a fun, challenging, rewarding and really useful type of gaming. ChannelQ features a variety of classic game show principles, letting users on one hand take part in the shows as contestants and on the other hand create their own questions and shows to become the host by themselves. We intend to make our quiz games available through a variety of partnerships with big online portals and monetize it with successfully proven business models from the online gaming industry – mainly skill gaming and virtual item selling. However, the current version of ChannelQ is based on advertising and content licencing only.”
TCE Quick Take: Online quizzes that users build themselves. Whitelabel business model also.
Pitch: “Move&Play provides to Internet users a groundbreaking solution enhancing mobility and reducing management tasks. Instead of managing files, you can directly browse and share all your devices libraries; this is the magic of peer-to-peer. Contents accessed with Move&Play are transparently uploaded and stored online for at least two months. Your personal space is free and unlimited; this is the wonder of peer-to-cloud. Also, you can play, edit, share and publish all your contents using Move&Play web applications or integrated web services. Thanks to Move&Play, you get true mobility, simply! Move&Play has a classical freemium business model. However, while all users have free and unlimited space, thanks to our low cost storage technologies and guaranteed exposure duration advertising spaces, Move&Play’s free-users also ensure profitability.”
TCE Quick Take: Browse and share device libraries. Sounds like Wuala.com
Pitch: “petsicon is the first pet disease diagnosis system on the internet. It helps pet owners check and inform themselves about possible diseases and provides detailed information and instructions for non-veterinarians. It further helps pet owners to get in touch with each other, gives helpful advice for pet care and lets its users access a variety of other pet related services. The basic service is free for the users, the company will make money with online advertisements and special premium services which are available to the users for a small fee. A beta version with the segment dog is online (petsicon.de) and the full version with the segments dog and cat will go online in the middle of june.”
TCE Quick Take: Locate a sympton for your pet, look at rankings for possible diseases etc. You can record medical history of your pet and share info, social network, premium services.
Pitch: “Softicator is the social platform for software developers to publish and promote their apps. We built Softicator.com to help software producers pull in users and customers in a social way. Because we know that today’s mainstream means of pushing out software, by submitting to download portals and getting reviews, is broken and inefficient. And because we believe developers and their users should share a social-network-ish experience, unlike on major software portals (which feel like the 90’s). We’re in the business of selling software, be it commercial or free, by helping publishers leverage their users and customers’ community. The basic account has all the features and tools, free, with some limitations. Multiple apps per account, extra branding, more social toys come with a monthly fee.”
TCE Quick Take: Enterprise SW reports filtered from the Web for CIOs. They can choose what to buy, get bugs repaired.
Pitch: “TaskWriter is a flexible ever Getting Things Done tool. We are offering quite a few ways to get your data online, and, the most important thing, you are being supported in using TaskWriter as an addon to your very own GTD workflow. You can extract the information as Excel, RSS, iCal, Word, Text, PDF or XML, you can setup email or twitter integration hooks, and you can view your data both as “lists” and “task snippets boxes”. The basic version is free, while you have to pay for the premium features.To demonstrate that we are capable of developing competitive projects in a timely manner and that we are here to stay.”
TCE Quick Take: Premium version of $9 per month. User defines what they need to accomplish, the platform selects the tool. Can it really double your productivity as they claim?
Pitch: “TwiMarket helps users post and explore all their Twitter classifieds in a single user friendly interface. The problem solved is not having ads thrown all over users timelines, but actually finding them in a single place, either on our website or via our Twitter accounts that re-tweet the ads they receive. It just makes posting and finding micro-blogging ads a lot more productive. We intend to follow the trends in Twitter services monetization and we are considering right now making a micro-payment platform to allow users to promote some of their posted ads into a premium area.”
TCE Quick Take: Marketplace for Twitter. Post classifieds on Twitter.
Pitch: “Vooch is a location based mobile couponing solution. Consumers find offers and coupons from their surrouding through a mobile application (available for most recent mobile phones) in a highly interactive and entertaining way. The redemption process is controlled via localisation and advertisers are billed on a referral basis for every activated coupon. There is no need for the installation of hard- or software at the POS. vooch allows companies to flexibly advertise without waste coverage in a highly measurable and controllable way. Consumers enjoy the pull-based approach and benefit directly from the coupons. Mike has studied computer sciences and has worked for an online retailer as a web developer and designer. Tobi has worked for two years as a consultant in the mobile industry after finishing his business studies.”
TCE Quick Take: Location based couponing and validation through GPS positioning. Similar to the UK’s VouChCha but has an Android app as welll as iphone.
Pitch: “A word-of-mouth platform that plugs into existing social networks, allowing people to share their favorite places with friends and colleagues, while allowing companies to manage, cultivate and grow these communities of customers who actively promote their business. earthfaves lets people to perform a “social search” and access a manageable list of places (from restaurants, hotels, pubs, adventures, beaches, etc.) that their friends love – in a simple Google Maps-based interface. This end-user platform is connected to a back-end “promoter relationship management” solution, the first networked SaaS solution developed for businesses in the leisure, lifestyle, and tourism industries, enabling them to identify, communicate, and reward their active group of promoters and increase their advertising reach by broadcasting recommendations to multiple social spaces in the Web.”
TCE Quick Take: It could work. Maybe. If the travel agents get Twitter any time soon.