One of the events I found most inspiring at Thinking Digital was the startup competition. 10 new businesses pitched to a panel of 5 judges (Gerard Grech – Tech City UK, Erin McKean – Reverb, Martyn Davies – SendGrid , Matthew Rippon – Particular and Richard Myers – Transmit Startups) and an audience of many more. It was great to see the confidence, positivity and creative thinking on show.
First up was Jaqueline Lam with Boutiny, an app that allows shoppers to buy from multiple stores in one place, with one checkout. Followed by Rormix, a platform for unsigned artists, allowing users to discover new music via video content and I Can Make who are launching 3d printing kits for children this autumn, so they can recreate things such as Stephensons Rocket and Spaceship One.
Fonesense used Fairy Liquid’s theme tune to demonstrate their app, which rewards customers who use ad jingles as mobile ringtones, with money off coupons from the advertisers.
Wibbu is an app aimed specifically at Spanish people who want to learn English. The premise being that languages have different structures etc so it doesn’t make sense to teach a Chinese person how to speak English in the same way you would teach a Spaniard. I can see a huge appeal for this although gathering the content as they expand to other languages will prove a huge task!
Reframed.tv ‘s Kevin Price took the half way slot. Their mission is to reinvent how we comment on video by enabling us to timestamp, comment and send a link at an exact point rather than the having to watch the whole video. A concept Channel 4 has already bought into.
The great pitches kept coming with Audiowings – “Think Google glasses for ears”, All 4 Coaches “An online office for soccer coaches” and Formismo which allows you to analyse data about your online forms, meaning you can identify drop off points etc and adapt accordingly to increase completion rates.
Last but not least was Zipcube, think Booking.com for office space. Considering he was last up David had bags of energy and held the audience’s attention with his humour and ultimately a great business idea.
The judges and audience were given 3 minutes to choose winners to go through to the final and have a pitch off at the Thinking Digital conference. In the end it was Reframed.TV and Zipcube who won, with Zipcube being crowned ultimate winner the next day at the Sage.