Today at the London Web Summit a number of startups are launching on stage so here’s a quick run-down of their businesses and our quick take on them. Out of these 20, three will demo on stage for a prize worth close to £100,000 in a £50,000 convertible note from DJJ Esprit, £15k in legal services from Orrick, £15k in advisory services from KPMG, $15k in API management platform and infrastructure solutions from 3Scale, a year’s membership for two people to TechHub worth and £3,000 in products and a years business mentoring provided by HP. However, we’ll be delving a little deeper into these guys in due course. They are being judged on the usual startup criteria: Problem, Solution, Technology, Team, Market, Traction, and Future prospects.
The Startup Competition at this years London Web Summit promises to be a one of the major talking points with over 150 applicants. These have been shortlisted to the final 20 who will be given the opportunity to pitch their company to a panel of five industry experts. The best four startups will go on to present on the Main Stage in the evening when a final panel will pick the winner of our £100,000 prize fund.
The Judges of the startup competition are:
Marcy Simon-Agent Of Change
Giles Hawkings – Orrick
Jon Bradford – Springboard
Tim Payne – KPMG
Robin Wauters – The Next Web
Nic Brisbourne – DFJEsprit
Eze Vidra – Google
Susan Boden – Hewlett Packard
Jos White – Notion Capital
Hercules Fisherman – Herx
Dharmash Mistry – Balderton
Christoph Marie – Txtr
Sanyu Kiruluta – RIM
Riccardo Zacconi – King.com
Bindi Karia – Microsoft
Julian Carter – EC1 Capital
Krzysztof Kowalczyk – Hard Gamma
John Lunn – PayPal
Andrew Humphries – Tech City
Steven Willmott – 3 Scale
Philipp Moehring – Seedcamp
Their say: “Uberlife is a real-world location-based socializing app to help us hang out more with our friends, network and new likeminded people around us, wherever we go.Most social apps today are for sharing moments of our lives with others, uberlife is about making those moments happen.Making plans with friends can take a long time, pinging back and forth with emails and texts and settling for a middle ground. uberlife saves you that time and enables more spontaneous and serendipitous socializing with friends and new people around you.”
Our take: Close to a sort of mashup of meetup and Plancast, Uberlife could be a sort of ‘Foursqaure for the future’.
“An online platform for investing in startups. Seedrs will be a platform for individual investors to invest directly in the equity of startups they choose. We will give entrepreneurs a seamless way to raise their first capital from friends, family and the crowds, and we will provide both high net worth and mass affluent investors simple access to startups as an asset class. Think Kickstarter with returns rather than donations, or Zopa with equity rather than debt.”
Our take: Seedrs has passed FSA approval in the UK and has good a chance as any at cracking the crowd sourced funding model.
Their say: “Planvine is a unique events-based community site. Every month our members receive free, personalised event recommendations that have been matched to their tastes using our event recommendation engine. Members can then pay a monthly fee and for this they get 2 tickets to an event of their choice from those recommended. We only offer tickets to interesting and different events and at the moment they are typically arts based; theatre, comedy, live music, debates, lectures, exhibitions etc.”
Our take: Slightly Birchbox for events, but here’s a longer take.
Their say: A Robot Assistant for any telephone and real-time Twitter Group Channels. Meet @Nurph and the Nurph Channels. @Nurph is the friendly robot who can answer all kinds of questions in the Nurph Channels, Twitter, and even over SMS (so it’s like Siri, but you don’t need an iPhone 4S to use it!). @Nurph lives on the Nurph Channels, the Twitter Group Chatrooms for bringing your Twitter Followers together in real-time and watching hashtags streaming by in real-time, e.g. #SuperBowl.”
Our take: Is it a business of a potential feature/acquisition target for Twitter? Kick the tyres and decide.
Their say: A platform to solve software fragmentation. We take the power of web based portable services and instantly convert them into User Interface components for apps on any platform
Our take: It’s early days for clic-slide but they are out to solve a real developer headache.
Their say: Secomba has developed the encryption software BoxCryptor: BoxCryptor allows you to use cloud storage and access your data from everywhere without worrying about data security or giving up comfort. Secomba offers the unique software BoxCryptor – an encryption software optimized for Cloud Storage (esp. Dropbox). BoxCryptor is the ideal solution for those who want to enjoy the benefits and comforts of cloud storage without sacrificing privacy and security – especially since the latest security breaches at Dropbox.
Our take: Could have plenty of potential especially in the security conscious enterprise sector.
Their say: Wikipedia for news. A people powered news service that enables anyone to capture, report and collaborate on news they witness, from mobile and web, instantly.
Our take: It’s built on Drupal and is giving the Huffington Post in the UK a run for its money. Has a potential future in expanding its platform into other niches.
Their say: Tweek is the TV Guide curated by your friends! The place to discover and access tv, movies and web originalsTweek aims at solving the challenge of discovering valuable tv and video content. It turns the Social Graph into a TV Guide by letting the user discover what his/her friends like, connect with people whose taste he/she trusts and providing direct access to live and on demand content. Tweek will be available on the iPad first, launching in Germany and the UK. Tweek’s main revenue model is the generation of leads.
Our take: A really amazing design interface to social TV on the iPad.
App link here this will work from the 19th on.
Their say: We are a big data products company using predictive analytics to seek a brand/band or corner shops next audience while continuously assessing the value of their existing customers.180kb’s first product, BrandFlo creates reach, resonance, retention and revenues from unstructured data. Typically, companies use intelligence from structured sources or 20% of the available data. Structured sources tell you what customers did. Unstructured sources or 80% of available data, growing annually at 60%; tell you why, what they need and want.
Our take: Big data is hot right now and brands have no idea about it, generally, so it’s well positioned.
Their say: 99designs for IP research.Information overload and the increasing complexity of emerging technologies has a negative effect on the quality and affordability of intellectual property research. We utilize the collective knowledge of our community members to provide crowdsourced and affordable IP research.
Our take: Anyone that can crack searching of IP information is probably on to something.
Their say: Six3 makes video messaging as easy as SMS. Today’s video communication services aren’t convenient for busy people.With Skype, you need to book calls in advance, and they don’t work well on mobile networks.It’s easy to shoot and send videos attached to emails from mobile phones, but very difficult to reply with video messages from a PC.MMS is costly, and only for mobile devices.Six3 lets people to send short, private video messages between smartphones, PCs and other connected devices. The founding team includes the technical architect of the BBC iPlayer.
Our take: Could video be the next messaging platform after WhatsApp etc? Maybe.
Their say: Socially accepted bragging: crisp profiles for freelancers, consultants and hustlers. Freelancers & consultants have to spend too much time to make sure their online profile is up-to-date and professional looking – to the extent some can’t be bothered. Achoo makes it very easy to spread your achievements and lessons learned which make up a crisp-looking profile. In addition there are networking features added to make sure opportunities find you.
Our take: Alas there are a lot of profile page startups but worth kicking the tyres on this one.
Their say: WorkFu recommends opportunities and talent to you based on the networks you use everyday. Start-ups are looking for talent. Opportunities are fragmented across job boards, social networks and referrals.We’re reducing the hiring process to 60 seconds by analysing your social networks for skills and connections and scoring opportunities for you based on relevance.Employers see only relevant candidates, Talent discover only relevant opportunities.
Our take: Joining a crowded field but talent remains the huge problem for startups.
Their say: Marketyou is a candidate centric jobsite platform. We have developed a standardised measurement of talent based on CV data, professional competencies and values inspired by headhunting and Business School HR tradition. And we have created the first solid professional index in the world. We help candidates by offering customised career advice and relevant job market data.
Our take: Again, jobs are a hot area right now, see Adzuna for instance.
Their say: Crowdsourced software and app testingTesting Software is a pain and bottleneck in the programming life cycle. Yet, it is an essential step that currently absorbs 20% of the development budget, representing a $56 bn. Industry. TestCloud uses the collective intelligence of a crowd of qualified Software Testers to examine Software/Websites and explicitly discover bugs. Testers only get paid per bug.
Our take: Addressing a big market already validated by the success of companies like uTest.
Their say: DeadSocial allows anyone to create scheduled messages. These are sent out via the social web after the user passes away. DeadSocial is a software platform that enables people to create calendars of secret, timed messages. These messages are distributed on DeadSocial, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter simultaneously after the user passes away.DeadSocial explores the notion of digital legacy and how we can extend our digital life through technology and the social web.
Our take: As crazy as it sound this just might work.
Their say: Gauss is mobile app that discovers new relevant people around you, helps you easily introduce yourself, meet up and connect; It’s a People Magnet for your pocket!Existing social networks and tools are awesome for maintaining and interacting with your existing networks, friends and contacts. Gauss is a mobile app that discovers, introduces, connects and facilitates face to face meet-ups with new relevant people around you in easy, fun and safe ways.
Our take: Social discovery on location is hot right now, see Highlight, Glancee, Sonar etc. It’s an early market so these guys have a good as chance as any if they get it right.
Their say: Pipe is a new way for friends to transfer digital files simply and directly and in realtime. Pipe enables simple and secure file transfer between friends on the Facebook platform.What could be easier than dropping a file into the Pipe and have it appear at the other end, via the Pipe? You can send any digital file you want – documents, music, photos, video … whatever. It’s “File Transfer Made Friendly” – giving you a simple, direct, and real-time connection to all your online friends. Pipe allows consumers to interact, communicate and discover digital media, leveraging the social graph and the value of direct, one-to-one connections.
Our take: Actually GigaOm has the best take so far!
Their say: ARNav is an app for pedestrians & tourists which extremely simplifies navigation and giving directions to nearby Points of Interest. ARNav is an app for Android mobile devices intended to use by pedestrians & tourists. Instead of giving information on flat 2D maps (like GoogleMaps) it uses Augmented Reality which works like a ‘point of a finger’. It extremely simplifies navigation and giving directions to nearby Points of Interest.
Our take: Providing it can become a product not a feature we can see pedestrians using this like a SatNav – assuming they can hold up an expensive smartphone in the street…
Their say: Integrating dashboard for cloud-based apps. BusyFlow is a workspace that integrates cloud-based productivity and collaboration apps and makes them work as one tool.
Our take: A big dashboard app for a lot of other apps – it’s worked before but they need lots of users to make this work well.