Startups on fire!
The first edition of Startup Weekend in Neuchâtel took place from Friday to Sunday at the new HE-Arc campus.
Around 80 innovative guys participated to this event, 34 ideas were pitched and finally 11 teams presented their project to the public and a 7-people jury (which I had the honor to be part of). According to the organizers, Cyril & Alexis, it was an excellent edition… during which a world premiere for Startup Weekend happened: a fire alarm interrupted the 8th pitch and everyone was evacuated… Finally, the fireman discovered the source of the smoke: the preparation of the aperitif!
But here are the 11 projects pitched!
- Berrybiz would like to develop a desktop (do web-based software, please!) application to help SME’s control their financials. It will help you manage your billing and display an intuitive dashboard.
- VisEar addresses the problem of (old) hearing-impaired people to make phone calls. Kind of Skype with live subtitles, lip visualization, Siri and Audacity. High technical challenges but real potential!
- essenSWISS will produce a new kind of healthy cereal bar, based on vegetables, honey, etc. Initially thought for high endurance athletes, the team evolved its target market to children. Interesting taste (they had bars to taste!), but the food market is really overcrowded.
- Sweepy is trying to help travelers test the cleanliness of the beds they will sleep in by discovering the bed bugs thanks to a hardware device you can plug-in to your iPhone, and wipes. Looks interesting, but how do you react when you’ve paid your room and the bed is full of bugs… and it’s already late in the evening?
- VoxCity aims to engage citizens to start real political activities with gaming mechanisms. You can submit ideas, vote for them, and finally play a real role in the realization of it. Real need for this kind of ”crowdsourcing for political activities”, but the most difficult challenge is to engage a sufficient number of people. And then collaborate with local politicians!
- Doudou forever would like to solve the drama represented by your kid losing his “doudou” (cuddly toy). You will need to buy it twice and then you get the security of having the same doudou stored and available in less than 48 hours. Yes, it can be a drama and yes, the cry of your kids could be tiresome. But if I need to buy it twice, why would I need to use this service?
- MyTravelous is on its way to build the travel notebook 2.0 by helping you organize your travels (without ads!) and with a deep focus on User Experience. Why would they build web first, mobile second? Growth is on mobile… especially for such a market where location and simplicity of use change everything!
- InTown is based on the concept of “never run out of cash at parties”. They’d like to allow party guys to pay their drinks with their smartphone and even offer drinks to their friends who are not in the same bar. So many projects address this interesting market, but there is a ton of marketing challenges there. By starting with students community, the team could prove rather quickly the viability of the concept.
- Roofbook want to help people install solar panels on their roofs. The team would like to manage all the complex project for the property owners and provide relevant advices. The project could transform in a needed consulting service and could grow faster by positioning itself as a market place between property owners and all the other stakeholders (like electricians).
- MatchPro! is providing an automatic bills recognition and classifying service, and then provide the SME’s a little - Excel - dashboard. There’s probably a potential there, but need to be refined. But congrats to the team, which lost half of the members on Saturday night and started a new idea less than 24 hours before pitching!
- Openboutik desires to manage all the value chain of people who want to produce and commercialize various stuff, like coffee cups, plates, etc. By willing to cover all the process (even the e-shop), the team risks to lose itself and should better concentrate of the main point: managing the supplying side and covering the logistics.