TechCrunch Europe Summer Pitch Battle (which used #tcbattle on Twitter) was a new kind of event for us. Over 40 different pitches where heard from people ranging from tiny one-person startups to much more developed entities. In the past we’ve run more formal events where startups have to apply to pitch prior to the event and slide presentations are pre-loaded. With this we literally flew by the seat of our pants and packed in as many pitches as we could.
With Pitch Battle we threw open the doors. Anyone who had bought a ticket could submit a 1-2 line description of their startup (or idea). In total almost 200 people came. The judging panel was: Katy Turner and Ben Tompkins of Eden Ventures; Eileen Tso Burbidge (White Bear Yard); Wendy Tan White of Moonfruit and Paul Jozefak of Neuhaus Partners.
The initial pitches were sifted very quickly by the judges, who selected 30 to pitch for 1 minute. We even let the ones who weren’t selected (another 12) to just introduce themselves and read out their one-liners. Afterwards, 7 were nominated (along with another three who were part of a previous UKTI pitching clinic we help run) to pitch for a 3 minutes each and then the judges selected 3 final winners.
We got a great turnout of entrepeneurs and investors or corporate people including Google Corporate Development, Pearson, Peacock Fund, Advent Venture Partners, Balderton Capital, Dawn Capital, Eden Ventures (a sponsor), m8 capital (sponsor), Neuhaus Partners (from Hamburg), PROFounders Capital, Doughty Hanson and White Bear Yard.
Calaboard, Crowdscanner, Duedil, MindQuilt, Me-stars, OneLeep, Geomium and Gourmet Origins made it through to the second round (URLs below).
The three companies which won were Calaboard (of which more later), Duedil (which we’ve reported on before), and Geomium a location based service that pulls feeds from various LBS services and puts them on a map. Calaboard was considered the overall winner by judges.
I’m obviously biased but I think the event worked, although I’m taking feedback on what we could improve and change, of course. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments. A couple of people blogged the event, but I’m grateful for Eileen Tso Burbidge, one of our judges, for publishing some great notes on the event which I wasn’t able to do at the time, since I was running it. These are quoted below.
- Hullomail: instant voice messaging
- DADapp: organizing, finding and reusing digital media
- Pzyche: real-time visitor intelligence for online gaming
- Calaboard (@calameda)* = 1st place winner; augmented reality video conferencing
- Crowdscanner*: event ice-breaker/iPhone app
- TRData: Bloomberg for emerging markets
- Duedil (@Duedil_app)* = 2nd place winner; people reputation system
- AdAvengers (@adavengers): making display-ads simpler
- MyArt: creativity marketplace (for collaboration and sharing)
- YourNextRead: book recommendation discovery and sharing
- MindQuilt*: enterprise knowledgement management platform
- Me-stars*: social casual games for mobile
- Whaddado: social bookmarking platform for events, gigs, happenings
- Logentries: collect, visualize and store log data
- Privilink: message and connect with people as easily as PayPal for payments
- OneLeep (@oneleep)*: pay to contact anyone (who sets a price on contacting them with %age going to charity)
- Nsyght: social search
- Eclector: white label bookstore platform
- TheNudge: location based service for recommendatiobs
- Geomium (@geomium)* = 3rd place winner; mobile location based “what’s going on around you”
- Pridesnapz (@PrideSnapz): mobile penny auctions and group buying
- Future Content Lab: last.fm for content, matching content with transactions/commerce
- Getyoo (@Getyoo): device for exchanging digital information, leaflets, PDFs, files
- Mojo: mobile airline live pricing database
- Fubles: eBay for matching players, pitches, games
- FaceValue: social commerce (buy and sell via social networks)
- OnePage (@myonepage): business cards in the cloud
- Subsify (@subsify): easy online payments (for SME/startups)
- Qhub: Q&A website platform for whitelabel
- Psonar: music in the cloud
- [ ]: graffiti for events
- Homemaker: Basecamp for families
- Dress2Press: drag and drop ecommerce items (fashion/clothes) onto photos
- [ ]: open source trust maps
- Hipsnip (@hipsnip): connecting real and online worlds
- Timeline-X.com: records history of site visitors
- OxygenOnline: content production company
- E-Export: manage logistics of import/export in/out of Brazil
- 28msec: XQuery in the cloud
- MoneyDashboard: Mint.com for UK
- SIPcast.me: converts SIP phone calls to webcasts
- HRLocker: HR software
- GourmetOrigins*: foodies and location/destinations
- Prospectvision*: sales and lead gen via behavioural analysis
* Companies who were selected to give 3 minute pitches
A huge thanks to our sponsors:
PITCH BATTLE SPONSORS
UKTI – UK Trade & Investment is the government organisation that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UK Trade & Investment offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For further information please visit www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000.
Eden Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund focused on the software space investing in areas such telecommunications software, enterprise software, SaaS, digital media, e-commerce, internet, social media and mobile sectors. The Eden Ventures team is a mix of successful entrepreneurs and investment professionals. The blend of knowledge, experience and skills covers business strategy, sales and marketing, finance and operations, M&A transactions and institutional fund management. Eden Ventures is an active investor which means that post investment the aim is to provide active support to help businesses in, for example, strengthening their teams, helping them focus on their product propositions and securing follow-on investment. Some of Eden Ventures’s current portfolio companies include:
Basekit – Web 2.0 website design and hosting made simple
Borro – Lend yourself money
Huddle – The online tool for doing work, running projects and getting stuff done.
Reevoo – Decide what to buy
Truphone – The telephone company for the internet age
We7 – Free and legal music for the download generation
Further information on Eden Ventures and portfolio companies can be found at www.edenventures.co.uk.
Moonfruit has been providing DIY tools for people to design and build ‘Beautiful websites, simply.’ since 1999. To date 2.7m+ websites have been built by small businesses, communities, families, designers, crafters and freelancers who want to express themselves online without having to code. Moonfruit is passionate about creativity and simplifying technology for everyone. Our latest release Moonfruit 5.0 is not just a website editor, it behaves more like a graphic design package giving you control over the detailed design of your site. The Flash environment allows true drag and drop, point and click editing. You can layer, crop, animate, colour, apply transparency to objects on your page. You can also now add HTML widgets and social media tools to your sites. All sites are rendered in Flash and an alternate version in HTML. Moonfruit has been profitable since 2003 and grew 70% in 2009. Please go to www.moonfruit.com for more information.
m8 Capital invests exclusively in mobile technology. That’s all we do. Mobile technology is changing everything we do. It is enabling services, products and information to be more pervasive, more relevant, and more convenient. m8 Capital looks to support entrepreneurs and their companies, that are positioning themselves to be at the forefront of all things mobile. Our geographic focus is Europe. But we will selectively invest in exciting mobile enterprises outside of Europe. Our management team have extensive network of relationships across the globe, and where appropriate, we look to harness our relationships for the benefit of our portfolio companies. We ideally seek opportunity to invest at the growth capital stage of an enterprise’s development, but for the opportunity to work with exceptional management teams, we will invest at other stages of a company’s capital requirement. m8 Capital is a majority-owned affiliate of AGC Equity Partners.
TechHub (@TechHub on Twitter) is the new hub for the technology community. Just 10 seconds walk from Old Street tube station, TechHub London is aimed specifically at technology entrepreneurs, startups and developers. Inside London’s main technology cluster and close to the financial heart, it offers affordable permanent desk spaces, a large member-based co-working area, meeting rooms for hire, a large board room and a conference/event space for up to 200 people. You can work all day on the 100mbs WiFi and connect with a great community of TechHub members. TechHub runs its own events as well as being available to hire for tech or developer events, conferences or meetups. Members are already joining TechHub from all over Europe, Silicon Valley, the Middle East and Asia to use TechHub as a base when they’re in London and we’re arranging Member discounts at some of the great bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels in the area too. TechHub facilities include: 30 permanent desk spaces for monthly hire, 100 pre-bookable co-working spaces, meeting rooms for hire by anyone (discounted for TechHub members), A/V, whiteboards, kitchen facilities and printing. Permanent deskspaces come with wifi/wired data, power and a mailing address. Contact us here. Join the mailing list to get regular updates here. Address: TechHub, Ground Floor, 76-80 City Rd, London, EC1Y 2BJ. Old St tube (exit 5) and a short walk from Moorgate Tube, Liverpool Street mainlines station, and close to taxis and buses.
Bootlaw is a free boot camp for emerging technology, internet and digital businesses and the professionals working in them who want to learn more about the legal issues they face. With over 600 members, it is the biggest law-related meetup on meetup.com and it is brought to you by lawyers Barry Vitou and Danvers Baillieu, the friendly technology specialists at Winston & Strawn in London. For more information go to www.bootlaw.com