Launch48 startups present their ideas after a frantic 48 hours

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[UK] The Launch48 event in London this weekend has seen six teams attempt to launch a startup in, you guessed it 48 hours. The event, which was basically created by some UK startup enthusiasts, is different to StartupWeekend in that separate teams come together to each work on their own project rather than one. After frantically coding for the last couple of days, the results were presented tonight at the event, so here they are in order of presentation. I liked Given and Grapeshots. As you can see some were more fully formed than others:

Wraply is a kind of Amazon wishlist focused on one thing you want to get. You submit what you want your friends to buy you. Provided that gift is on Amazon the details will be imported to Wraply. Payments through Paypal. Revenue model: affiliate and deals with Skimlinks. Competitors – where do we start? Er, Amazon? lets you capture the moment when you find a great wine using your mobile. Using image recognition, barcode scanning, you can then share your find with friends, and it will deliver info about where to buy the etc. Later you can look up your lists and purchase the wine: “Capture, buy, boast, remember”. Cortexica and Snap Tell are potential competition but they don’t target wine specifically. Revenues would come from affiliates. The idea is to have a paid iPhone app and a free app. Several APIs for wine data are out there apparently. We’re waiting for the Real Ale version.

iRaceU is a mobile app that lets you take part in any kind of race using GPS. The web site lets you create challenges and set prizes. You organise events, routes, and even “no rules events”, like races. You can share the results on Facebook and Twitter. It takes commisions on entry fees for races. Competition might be Four Square or Bragster, but this adds prizes and race elements. The application not ready yet.

TaskDoer is about freeing up your time. The idea is about outsourcing transferred to individuals. This is an agreggator of personal assistant services that helps you get boring and repetitive tasks done. They can be work-related of personal. Example: Blogger – Helps with basic fact checking online (bloggers needs this…). You can search for tasks or fulfill them (for money). Search for people based on expertise etc. Site still very much at concept stage. Aiming to target time poor people who might use concierge services. Competitors however, are myriad: elance, hiremymum,, UrbanPA etc. However it may have hope as an agreggator of these platforms. lets you have your creative intellectual property recorded by a third party and thus verified as yours. This replaces that old standard of mailing your idea to yourself in the post. When you have an idea you simply CC the email to Protected. It puts a date and timestamp on the idea. It’s a receipt for third party verification of your ideas. Who’s it for? You creative type people who share ideas with others. Freemium service as obviously you might start to need to back-up you amazing idea-based emails. Video: was probably the best formed and most fully executed of all the startups all weekend. It’ll be a non-profit. This is pitched as an evolution of corporate giving. It lets you create a cause and then target the 20,000 companies with Facebook Fan pages from within Facebook. Companies can then sponsor causes “publicly” by sponsoring individuals on FB. They might select causes based on the number of Facebook friends a person has and other filters. The fund raising activity is publicized via feeds to friends of the fundraiser and fans of the company and charity. Obviously this spread viraly through Facebook as companies start to sponsor individuals via their raising of money for causes through Facebook. So gives companies get more control of where they are giving and a way to embrace social media. This appers to be the only Facebook app which targets companies for giving – all the others target individuals. Payment via Paypal means it’s global. The Facebook app is due to launch any day now. Here’s the Fan page for now. Here’s a video:

30 Seconds about from Given dot Org on Vimeo.

  • coldbrew

    I like I thought Causes would evolve to be an innovative service, but it appears to be simply the first attempt at this concept. Causes’ founders and/or developers don’t seem to care much. I hope integrates in some way with Charity Navigator.

  • Zoltan Szendro link has double .com typo. I liked it enough though to type it in the address bar myself.

    • Hugo Pickford-Wardle

      Glad you liked the Grapeshots Idea!

  • OoTheNigerian

    A very lovely weekend. Kudos to Adil and Ian. I really enjoyed hanging out at the ebay/paypal office. My my bets are on iRaceU and Given (what a solid domain name!) to make it big.

  • Lucian Tarnowski

    We’ve had a great weekend building It is a not-for-profit and has the potential to evolve the way companies give online. If anyone would like to support/promote/market email the team at


  • kachingkaching

    nice ideas though not life changing

  • Form Icin

    Who is behind

    • Steve Parks

      Hey Form Icln – I’m the team leader – @steveparks on skype.

  • Fabio De Bernardi

    Amazing weekend and great work from all the teams. Personally the biggest surprise of the weekend was and the rather unique guy behind the idea.
    However, each and every team did an amazing job and I look forward seeing their status updates in 7 weeks time at the follow up event.

  • sharel

    Very inspiring post!

  • Steve Parks

    Hi Mike,

    Firstly, thanks for turning out on a Sunday to see such nascent ideas. That kind of attention and support for early stage efforts in the UK is what’s made me a fan of TCEurope. I hadn’t expected any coverage.

    As came out when we had a conversation afterwards (before I saw this post), you realised you’d somewhat missed the point on in the summary above, and there’s a lot more to it than a simple wishlist like amazon’s.

    We were presenting an update to an audience that had been following our progress all weekend, and we hadn’t realised there were people like you who’d just arrived a few minutes before, and would need a catchup on what we’d already announced. In this final one, we were just demonstrating where we’d got to (that was visible) by the end of the weekend itself, and were out of time before we got to the meat of what we’re getting ready to release after today.

    I was so impressed with all the teams, and all the people in them, for what was achieved over just one weekend. I think there’s some really good viable businesses going to come out of this.

    But the most important thing coming out of the weekend wasn’t actually the businesses or websites themselves – it was the growth of the individuals who learned how to launch a business, run a team, work with other ‘departments’ effectively, and so much more. I learned a huge amount, and saw people around me grow their knowledge and confidence too. That’s the biggest win of the weekend – and I think the mentors who saw that evolution of the teams over the few days would agree (perhaps they want to chip in in the comments?)

    Actually, I do specifically want to thank the visiting mentors who turned out at a weekend. All of them were extremely supportive, insightful and inspiring. Particular thanks to Reshma from Seedcamp (after meeting her and seeing the way she supports entrepreneurs I’ve set my mission to pitch a company at the next seedcamp! Maybe it’ll be Wraply, or maybe something else), Barry from Bootlaw, Chris from Balderton, Diane from Branding Matters, and the Paypal guys – all of whom were extremely supportive and enthusiastic about Wraply. I also got to meet William Reeve of Lovefilm fame (of which I have been a customer for a long time) which was a bit of an entrepreneurial hero moment for me :)

    Launch48 was amazing and the organising team did such a great job. Any budding web entrepreneur should definitely sign up for the next one.

    Anyway, cheers for coming along Mike and we’ll show you the full site functionality when we’ve put more than two 12 hour days into it!

    Ok, time for home, time for bed :)

    Steve Parks
    Wraply team leader

  • Jim SEO sounds a fair bit like something a friend of mine started, He just didn’t have the foresight to go to London, pool 48 hours with other people and get written up in TechCrunch.

    iRaceU seriously? Using cars? Sounds like a concept ripe for multiple lawsuits when racers have accidents.

    The comment at the end of TaskDoer is not applied broadly enough – competitors for all of these are myriad.

    Launch48 is pretty lame all in all and does not really deserve a writeup next time it happens.

  • Jim SEO sounds a fair bit like something a friend of mine started, He just didn’t have the foresight to go to London, pool 48 hours with other people and get written up in TechCrunch.

    iRaceU, seriously? Using cars? Sounds like a concept ripe for multiple lawsuits when racers have accidents.

    The comment at the end of TaskDoer is not applied broadly enough – competitors for all of these are myriad.

    Launch48 is pretty lame all in all and does not really deserve a writeup next time it happens.

  • Sherene

    Hi Mike,

    A minor but vital correction to your article. Protected.CC was fully functional and live at the point of presentation. In fact, by virtue of the fact that our technology does not require a sign-up, it was more than a closed beta – effectively, an open beta, anyone could have emailed at the time of our presentation to see for themselves how the technology works (as many did). The only reason we chose to desist from doing the live demo was that the organizers themselves had tested it independently and preferred us to move onto the Q&A, as we were running out of time.

    Look at the Launch48 blog for their test case (

    Of course, the server is presently switched off so http://Protected.CC is available but the service is not live right at this moment but do watch the space!

    Thanks for covering the event & congrats to all the other teams for putting forward great work!

  • EwanG

    Why would I use Protected.CC which has no track record versus which had been around for years? And which I have used for several things I ended up needing to be able to show I was the originator for when pitching. Is there something they have I’m missing?

  • Ryan

    Given need to analyse the ROI of a Given sponsorship, If recognition is via reference on a users wall, what value do you attribute to this? If a user has 1000 friends, and CPM advertising is available on facebook for 25c, is there more value to sponsor Joe Bloggs for £10, or receive 40,000 advertising impressions?

    Further, if brands will be associated with individuals they are at risk if they are seen to be supporting people who act inappropriately or contrary to the values of the brand, this cannot be controlled and is a big hurdle.

    Lastly, companies will not want to be spammed with individual sponsorship requested.

    Any one of these could be a showstopper and I think you’re going to have problems with all three. There’s a reason why no-one has done what you’ve done.

    • Fabio De Bernardi

      Ryan, I think you have a point on the association with individuals who ends up acting inappropriately, however I don’t see this as a game stopper honestly.
      Also, will have to find (if they haven’t already) a way to make this not too time consuming or spammy for companies – I don’t have the solution but it seems definitely solvable to me.

      Where I can’t agree with you is the ROI thing – Facebook ads are not comparable at all with this, not even if the CPM was 1p. is a great way/idea to convey a message and show some corporate responsibility that most times exists but it’s not publicised, while the ads are most times irrelevant and ignored things people don’t bother at all to look at (despite being targeted). Also, not less important is the fact that the ad lasts one single impression and then it’s gone, forgotten… while the mechanism allow the message to stick, be ‘liked’ and shared, searched, etc.

      Last but not least, I wasn’t and I’m not part of the team so my judgement is unbiased, though informed because I was one of the Launch48 organisers.

  • Steve Bomber

    Cool idea for getting prototypes out the door. I think most startups fail because they don’t realize that a picture is worth 1000 words.

    Kudos to the entrants being criticized on the validity of their ideas. I hope you find your niche.

  • James

    I think Steve,

    You have missed the point of a pitch and presentation.

    You always assume your audience is the potential user of the product or service. The key is in the title launch48!

    The problem wasn’t the functionality it was your explanation which failed to properly convey the idea.

  • Hugo Pickford-Wardle

    An amazing weekend – Fabio is totally right, the big surprise of the weekend is, it a great implementation of a very simple concept and the final presentation was brilliant.

    Well done to everyone!

  • Launch48 on TechCrunch | Launch48

    […] can read the write up and comment yourself via TechCrunch Comment (RSS) […]

  • Wille

    It’s a shame this event didn’t get wider coverage prior to the actual event – I think it could eventually become a big thing.

    I know they’ve been arranging something called a “24 hour business camp” in Sweden which works along similar lines, which has actually drawn quite a crowd.

    I hope the next event gives a little more pre notice! :)

    • Fabio De Bernardi

      Wille, it’s a shame you didn’t get exposed to the event beforehand. We hit many blogs, groups, forums, etc. in the last weeks…
      However, if you want to stay in the loop I advise you to join

  • Steve Parks

    C’mon James – don’t be like the guy slumped in his armchair in front of the telly, resting his lager on his beer-belly while shouting advice at the footballers who are out there actually doing it!

    Cheer all the teams on, and support a fun way to learn about web entrepreneurship.

    If you were actually there and have good pointers about the presentations – get in touch at my firstname.surname at – I’d love to hear valid feedback from attendees.

    Anyone who was there have comments about the presentations? I thought they were all superb. Some were humorous, some were slick, some had very fancy demos, some had solid business propositions. But not one failed to deliver something impressive by 4pm.

    James – if you weren’t there, I definitely recommend you signup to the next Launch48 and give it a go – it was great. Get on the pitch and play!


  • James Draper/Flirtlater ;-)

    Hi Guys

    Fantastic time over the course of the weekend. Being able to network and see how people work and develop was fantastic.

    Though the pitch wasn’t accepted, it looks like the contacts made will make Flirtlater a reality, which is hugely exciting.

    Mr Parks, we didn’t get around to talking y’day re. PR. Add me on Twitter ‘n’ we’ll talk: @flirtlater.

    Great event, cheers for the mentoring Fabio. IraceU – fantastic people to work with.

    The guy behind, even if this doesn’t take off, is well-worth keeping an eye out for. Such an accomplished/funny presenter too, really wasn’t expecting that…move over Jimmy Carr!

    Cheers, and looking forward to the next one.


  • Andrew Lawson

    I was in the team. I’m picking Ryan in the comments above is the Ryan I sat next to when listening to the pitches, we both had very similar concerns about the viability of the idea. I joined the team because I felt it presented the most challenges – and retrospectively I’d have to say it did – it was a challenging group to work with, a very complex idea and technically we had to produce giving and receiving components of a facebook app, a normal website, think about Paypal integration etc – all in what turned into about 15 hours of development time.

    I left having had an amazing weekend and, especially once I got home and had time to reflect, a real belief in the idea Lucian created and the team refined over the course of the weekend.

    We identified the issues Ryan highlighted above and dozens more. But at the end of the day corporations are desperate to utilize social media and Given gives them a way to do so. Will it result in a major brand sponsoring someone who’s profile pic is entirely inappropriate? Yes – but only to that persons network, people who already know what they are like. For $10 sponsorship of a 22 year old girl who lives in London and has 1,000 friends a company will get a message that has personal meaning and will appear on the feed of every single one of those friends (and in the future their Twitter feeds). That company has then managed to reach out to their target market in a far more effective way than any display ad is ever going to achieve.

    There are issues to get through but we have a committed team that is going to lead this forward to success.

  • Steve Parks

    Yeah – Given was very impressive. As with any business it’s the execution that matters even more than the initial idea, and I think you guys executed brilliantly. My jaw dropped when you did your demo. You achieved so much in a weekend. I think you’re on to something very big. I’ll be watching you with interest.

  • Alessandro Giannone

    I was really gutted I couldn’t make Launch48 this time round, luckily my partner’s were both there and participating!

    The last Launch48 was fantastic and by the sounds of it, so was this one.

    Good luck to all the contestants taking their ideas past the weekend.

    Mike, it’s great to see TCEurope getting involved in these events, we definetely need more coverage in Europe. There are quite a few events in London, what other events are TCEurope planning to attend and cover?


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