Today at the Palais des Congrès, Microsoft held its first demo day in front of investors and journalists. Investors in the room included well-known business angels, such as Xavier Niel, Marc Simoncini and Jacques Antoine Granjon — they took the stage for a short panel and gave advice to the startup teams in the room.
Microsoft started working on its startup accelerator in Paris two years ago. Formerly called Bizspark, it was recently renamed to Microsoft Ventures Accelerator. It’s a three-month program to help early-stage startups in various ways with workshops, a co-working space, a demo day in front of investors and more. Here are the startups that presented today.
Youmiam is an online platform to share recipes, a sort of Soundcloud for recipes. It’s a very visual experience. Youmiam’s take on the recipe website is quite different as many recipe websites bet everything on SEO and content farm strategies. The key differentiating element is that it’s easy to create a recipe, and embed it on a blog. The company plans to localize the product in more languages and work on its recommendation engine next. It recently raised 410,000 (€300,000). More about Youmiam here.
TraxAir tackles unpaid royalties to electronic music artists. It identifies music played by DJs and live bands. For example, if a DJ plays a set, the club can use TraxAir’s technology to detect all the songs in the mix and report that to collecting societies. The company plans to release a plug-and-play hardware product to simplify the data collection and help collecting societies to redistribute the correct amount to the correct artists. They are looking for $1.1 million (€800,000) to launch in about seven months.
UBQT is a way to follow events online, stitching together tweets, photos, videos, articles and more. At heart, UBQT’s interface is a feed that works on a computer and on mobile — it mixes up different kinds of content from different platforms (Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Instead of targeting attendees, the company targets people who cannot attend but still want to experience the event. Everything is available on a single platform.
Speecheo is a tool that creates a smart link between speakers and the audience. When you attend an event, you take notes, record the conference and download the slides. But all this information is separated. Moreover, it’s hard to interact with the speaker. Speecheo records everything, you can highlight a part of the talk, highlight tweets and more. At the end, you get a nice summary of the talk. And it provides feedback to the speaker.
Tracktl is an app to manage the music playlist of your house party. You plug a computer to the stereo, and then everyone can search and add a song with their phones. You can upvote songs, see what’s coming next and more. For now, Tracktl is a web app that works on every phone, and targets house parties only. The company has plans to extend to bars and public places.
Reminiz is a facial recognition startup. For example, you sometimes wonder who this actor on TV is. With Reminiz, you can launch the app and recognize the person by pointing your camera at a TV or a magazine. You get a biography, his or her Twitter account as well as his or her songs or movies. On pre-processed movies, you get a 98 percent success rate. The company currently focuses on entertainment, but plans to offer this technology for home automation or business purposes.
Speekr allows you to send location-based messages. You can choose precisely where the person will receive the message. This way, your recipient will get your message at the perfect moment. You can send a text, a video or a song. The app only allow you to add 12 people in the app to communicate only with your closest friends and family members. Speekr will sell in-app purchase upgrades to unlock features and stickers. The company is raising a seed round.
Streami provides everything you need to organize an event. With Streami, you can create your event in one unit dashboard, push it directly to Facebook, synchronize RSVP statuses and send messages. The company also provides a video player to live stream your event with relevant information right next to the video. You can also track social network activity. The company is asking for around $540,000 (€400,000).
SmartNotify allows you to send the right messages through the right communication channel. You select the group you want to interact with, type the message and hit send. SmartNotify remembers how people like to be contacted. The platform handles text messages, emails, text to call, tweets and more. In the future, SmartNotify is a paid application and targets the healthcare market — these customers communicate a lot. The company is raising $500,000 right now.