Lausanne’s startup scene is heating up!
Startup Weekend Lausanne took place for a second time this week-end at the inspiring Rolex Learning Center at EPFL. 120 creative guys worked together during 54 hours to pitch their project to the jury (which I was a part of) on Sunday evening. 55 projects were pitched on Friday night and the 18 “best ones” (or the ones who convinced enough people to vote for them!) were selected.
I’m pretty impressed by the quality of the projects and to see how many new guys are entering the swiss startup scene. But stop the blabla, here they are (with a little personal impression)!
- Third Life: people are getting older but still want to have fun and do - fun - activities. Recognizing it, Third Life want to become the G.O. (“Gentil Organisateur”) for old people… “because we are not dead yet!” Great motto, promising idea… wondering how to scale the business Quick enough.
- netParc is taking advantage of the missing available parking places in cities by letting you rent a place with your phone when you need it, for the time you need it. Think on it as a crowdparking system: people provide other people a solution to park. A lot of similar projects already on market, but… let’s see if they can be intuitive enough and become mainstream!
- Cloudlab is leveraging the wide distribution of smartphones to revolutionize the diagnostic test’s market by using the screen as a laboratory. Looks easy to use, with a real technological innovation and on a HUGE market.
- Vinoabo sells a wine discovery abonnement to let you get quality products you’ll never find otherwise. They’ll profile your tastes to never send you inadequate wines. Wine selling is trendy and every one (and his brother!) is trying to catch a stake of this market. Profiling done right could really bring a strong value to online (and offline?) wine buyers.
- ORstat.ch is the statistic training tool for elite athletes, helping them and their coach to monitor and boost the performance of the athlete. Productivity tool to really improve the dialog between athletes and coach… and professionalize the statistics! Starting with elite athletes is a great first step to credibilize the tool (and make some revenues), but in order to scale, why not targetting the mass market? That could also help the talent scouting…
- Stopwat.ch is an online countdown made easy with twitter integration, which you can administrate remotely. Idea seems dead simple but solve a real problem. With almost 500 Startup Weekend worldwide, they already have a good base market to start! Nice progress for an idea originated Friday night by the fiddled countdown used by Cyril! I’ll use it!
- Swiss Private Gifter builds an easy solution for men/women desperate to find a smart gift for their wife/husband. You can profile the gift receiver with help of a “Gift Guru”, which will then advise you on what could be THE gift. Key question is how to find empathetic Guru’s motivate and professional enough to never disappoint your partner!
- Coolbrands.ch is a community platform to help you discover cool brands, place and people… and tell the world how cool they are. Nice idea but how to be different from all recommendations services and stay authentic?
- FairSex is bringing some cleanliness to the “ugly business of the prostitution” (their words) by elaborating a quality label called FairTradeSex (not the pitched name… But to find the original name, a little trick: it ended with “aar”!). Original name was so great, but I also understand the position of the entrepreneur (fear of the inspirational fair trade certificate). Probably, a certification is a must-have to protect sex workers.
- VisiCasa is describing itself as a home inspiration engine to lay out your home interior. You take pictures of what please you (by neighboors, colleagues, in magazines, etc.) and share them with your friends… or interior architects which will try to advise you. Think on a online crowdsourced studio to find THE interior you’ve dreamt of without being able to express it. Great concept, looking forward to see how they build their Minimal Viable Product to test the market. And also eager to use it for my own house!
- Social Battles is a HotorNot for every kind of photos or videos. The project mixes fun and social, and help you compete with your creative works. Or everything else. With the experience (and the big database) of the 2 entrepreneurs behing the project, pretty sure they’ll take of… Questionable is if you can really make money with such project… A chance is to already be USA-based from the start.
- Flightboard is trying to solve the huge problem of top students recruiting. How to find the best ones with their almost empty/irrelevant CV? Linking to paperwork is probably not enough, how to extract this value?
- Simply Glam is helping every girl (especially) managing her beauty. The tool helps you identify and find the service provider (estheticians, hairdressers, nails) you need thanks to reviews. Interesting idea, not brand new but still unsolved… I’m also working on something in the area ;-)
- Social Trips is providing you a service to plan your vacations to a destination with people coming from various locations in a funny way. To paraphrase Jordi: “keep the calendar functionality”. Rather than sourcing and providing activities to the customers (there is plenty of similar platform), keep the essential and try to develop a layer to be integrated in every competitor sites.
- i-Wines is abonnement-based marketplace for small wine producers, trying to disrupt the common distribution channels for the benefit of both the artisan and the customer. To get sufficient producers coming to the platform, incentive has probably to be more than a hypothetical sales increase (commission has the advantage not costing anything if you don’t sell).
- Fundstep is a crowdsourcing platform for startup with the unique differentiation of providing discounts on selected services. Starting crowdfunding platform is not new (even in Switzerland with platform like investiere and c-crowd) and the biggest challenge is to be credible to the investor who will ultimately trust the guys selecting deals. But there’s till a huge market currently not addressed: forget the tech startups, provide the service to small business (like the grocers, hairdressers, etc.).
- Internet Ranking is proposing to rate things (websites, pictures, projects, etc.) by comparison rather that normal “star-system”. Project not mature enough to have a view on how to change the world with this idea!
- Cherry on Top (the winner of the edition) is improving the checkout experience on e-commerce website by giving you the chance to get your money back. Basically, you add a cherry (why a cherry? I’ve missed the point, sorry!) for $2 and have 1% of winning. Idea is to be integrated on every e-commerce site as a widget and share the gain between shop and CherryOnTop. Biggest problem is probably the legal one (not beeing seen as lottery game). Quick enough to implement, looking forward to see the first implementation!
Again, congratulations to all SW participants! You make my job fascinating and I hope my modest feedbacks will help you a bit on your startup journey!
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