On Monday, I attended the 5th ICT Investor Day in coworking space The Hub Zürich, organized by Swiss ICT.
First, an institutional investor can present its company and this time, it was c-crowd, a crowdfunding platform started in 2011 in Zürich. Concept is to leverage internet to get a plenty of private investors, who can invest as little as CHF 1’000.- in startups they have poor chances to meet otherwise. The concept is not brand new, but an interesting alternative way to get funded when you have a B2C focus and a financial need up to CHF 750’000.- (according to Philipp Steinmann, the CEO). To get attention, you have to work seriously on your business model to make it dead simple to understand. To deal with all the paperwork, c-crowd provides you a models (shareholder agreement, certificate of subscription, etc.). Two projects already got some funding: Suitart (raised CHF 550’000.- in 4 months) and Design Thinking (raised CHF 108’000.- in 2 months).
The concept of the evening is simple and dynamic: 7-8 startups pitch their project in 90-seconds, and investors choose the 4 finalists, who win the right to present their startup in 10 minutes (+10 minutes Q&A). Afterwards, little cocktail to network with the little (20?) crowd of business angels. Here are the startup who pitched!
Forensity provides policemen a webplatform to better analyze shoe traces. Rather than sending an image to the lab (and costing a 4 digits-price) and waiting for the answer (takes time), forensity’s target is to accelerate processing time and help police more efficient (the centralized shoe traces database will avoid policemen sending 2 times a same trace).
Bike-Loft (no website?) is building parkings for cycles, lined up by robots in a 4 floors velo-boxes. This should spare place for cities.
cookits aims to provide you good food (receipts by young top chefs) without the “pain“ of preparing the ingredients. Thanks cookits, you’ll eat an healthy dish of high quality. You just have to terminate the menu (20 minutes cooking) and you have the dinner! With cookits, you can impress your darling and it doesn’t cost you the price of a gourmet restaurant. The startup has currently a couple of hundreds customers with a solid basis of regular customers (subscribers). A cookit seems expensive (around CHF 50.- for 2), but a pizza delivered at home isn’t especially cheaper… and healthier! Marc and his team target hardworkers, who love eating and look for self fulfillment (by self-cooking).
Hoome.ch makes renting a floor easy, by simplifying the searching and matching process (tenant registers his profile and floor owners can select his future customers). Service provided a floor to 1’000 people in 2011 in region Zürich and is now available in München.
Only 2 months after launching, ModelBookOnline is already #1 facebook application for models with more than 50’000 fans, 2’000 models and 1’000 agents (scouts, photographers, stylists, etc.) registered. The application is dedicated to solve the problems faced by top models industry: models struggle to be discovered and agencies don’t find easily models. Manuel and his team see Facebook as the absolute distribution platform,making a registration possible in a 3-clicks process (lot easier as all other model platforms). With all model competitions taking place around the world now and with almost 50% of women dreaming, once in their life, of beeing a model… this is a hot space!
onlineGV is the ultimate shareholders platform, where you can manage everything you need to do for your Annual General Assembly. Your shareholders can now follow the debate remotely and vote. The service is really useful when you’re a big company with thousands of shareholders! The startup already acquired Aryzta and Nobel Biocare as customers.
tendress is a new service to rent clothes rather than buying them. Beautiful dresses are expensive, at least for students, and the woman entrepreneur behind the project (forgot the name, sorry!) targets high schools first (100’000 people in Switzerland only). The idea is not new, but the need behind such services still seems to be unsolved.
During the last months, I’ve observed a little trend on swiss web startup scene. More and more small web agencies (3-4 people) are now developing their own product and so trying to turn their company to a scalable startup. Most famous example of this shift was made some years ago by IT services provider Elca, which started to develop their own products. Maybe I’m wrong, but I guess that swiss startup scene is heating up and on its way to compete globally. Making the shift from web agency to a startup is not an easy step (time invested in your own product is not paid by your customers!), but I think that we’ll see more and more this type of startup founders, with the advantage of a first business experience.
On Monday it was also the first time I see – in Switzerland – a company pitching a pure facebook app, leveraging this distribution platform in an efficient way. Great.