This year’s European startup conference GeeknRolla has become a platform for news, as startups launched and speakers broke news direct from the stage.
Duedil, the business reputation startup, secured first prize in the startup competition, and an on-the-day announcement from DFJ Esprit that it would award the winner a £50,000 no strings investment in the form of a convertible note. This would convert into its next funding round at the price of the next round. That kind of announcement is more common in Silicon Valley, so to have the deal announced literally within a couple of hours of Duedil’s pitch on stage was real news for a European event. Let’s hope we see more of that kind of fast action in the rest of the year. They also won a crack at a year’s worth of Windows Azure hosting, £5,000 in free legal advice form Orrick and free premium job advertisements for a year on CoderStack (normally £120 per ad per month). Not a bad result for a 3 minute pitch.
Runners up in the startup pitch competition we Artfinder and Pora Ora who won £2,250 free legal advice from Barlow Robbins LLP. Also launching on stage were wirewax.com, art-spotter.com, Clearer.tv, Capedkoala.com, Thesocialcv.com, Yearbookmachine.com, Areanow.com, Qubulus.com, Flypost.co and Marketinvoice.com. In the Demo Pit the judges picked out Currency Cloud as their winner followed by Teamly and Colour DNA.
We also launched a dedicated app for the event called DanceKard. This a mobile Web app (go to http://dancekard.com/app on your smart phone, login with a twitter account, which schedules meetings around a conference agenda). The whole conference was sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, Moonfruit, DFJ Esprit and TechHub.
In addition Brainient, an interactive video advertising platform, dynamically inserting into the Bambuser live stream a live Twitter feed, more information about the speaker on the video and an interactive agenda.
In startup news Gowalla announced on stage that it would be opening a London office. Gowalla’s CEO, Josh Williams plans to base a small four or five person team in the city now that 45% of the company’s growth is outside the US particularly Europe and the Middle East.