This week, LeWeb’s Loic & Geraldine announced the semi-finalists for the LeWeb London startup competition. These startups will compete throughout the two-day event, and the final three will pitch on stage in front of an all-star jury panel. For those who won’t be able to attend, we thought we’d give you a look at each one of the startups, as well as a breakdown in themes, as we did for LeWeb last december.. Without further ado:
Blippar: Combining image recognition software with augmented reality, this mobile app is definitely something to see. Their site’s demo video pretty much explains it all, but essentially they create interactive games around brand objects, like candy bars or magazine pages, and add a second layer of interaction and engagement. There are definite upsides to brands like Nike, Vrigin Media, Cadbury, and Dominos, who have already begun working with the UK-based startup, but they will at least have to prove to me that the engagement that brands get from me is offset by the amusement I get from using the service – basically, they’re offering everything to brands and not enough to users.
BusyFlow: I first met this Lithuanian-based startup back in March in San Francisco for LAUNCH Festival. The cloud service aggregates all of your productivity apps and projects into one place, allowing you manage a project from one central place.A mix between a private facebook and salesforce for your workflow management – I had a hard time taking in their pitch the first time around, although that may have been because one of the co-founders was dressed in a bee-keeper outfit; nonetheless, they’re definitely going to have to make sure they make it clear what problem their solving and for whom they are the best solution.
Explorence: While the company hasn’t launched yet, TechCrunch already gave this outdoor mobile games company a great overview, which I suggest you read. To summarize, the company makes outdoor games that players can compete in asynchronously in various games – so far, their first creation, StreetDash, is in private beta. The game allows users to create races, wage virtual currencies, and compete against each other (again, asynchronousy, like DrawSomething). The idea looks good, but I’d love to see multiple games come out, in order for me to really get behind the idea that there are a suite of possibilities instead of just an smartphone-enabled race.
Farmeron: Google Analytics for Farms, this Croatian startup, Farmeron annouced earlier this month a $1.4 Million round of funding to grow their Saas Farming software, which claims to improve farming operations and increase revenue. With features like organizing feeding groups, tracking animal weight, and an all-encompassing animal database, I’ll be excited to see what their client acquisition strategy is. This startup is definitely right up my alley, though – I love to see startups modernizing out-of-date practices.
Hojoki: The second organizer of cloud productivity apps, this German-based company has received a little press in TC, TNW, and RWW already. An aggregator of work apps, the service operates on mobile, tablet, and web interfaces, allowing you aggreagate all of your cloud-based applications, which you are using on a project, into one place. I think my only question about this one is: Who is buying this?
Medopad: Based in the UK, Medopad is a mobile health platform for realtime patient data with clinical applications, which connect to hospital servers and automatically pushes patient records, images and lab results to the doctor’s iPad. This sounds pretty friggin’ awesome, and, as they say on their landing page “it just works.” People
Millenoki: Squashing data and clearing out mail, Millenoki’s primary vision seems to resolve around allowing users and enterprises to take control of messaging on mobile, reducing data costs by up to 98%. The startup boasts three products on their landing page: Datasquasher, which, if it works anything like Onavo, runs all data downloaded on a phone or tablet via a VPN, which algorihmically reduces the size of the data, meaning you receive the same data, whether it be a webpage or an email, but at a much smaller size. Mailsuite, according to a February press release, presents mail, IMs, twitter, and facebook all in one solidified format, as well as pulling in social contact information. The company seems to have a big vision on reducing data size – I wonder how important this will be to consumers in the coming years as data transferred by apps gets bigger and as ISPs and M(V)NO‘s crack down on 3G data plans.
ND Interactive: This Paris-based 9-person gaming development team will likely be pitching their flagship game, Everfeel[fr], as LeWeb this year. The company’s first game sells itself as a social game of emotional adventure. Looking to be at the forefront of what they call Emotion onDemand (EOD), the game is currently available in private beta to 10,000 users, although I believe that have no more than 500 at the moment – for the francophone reader, why not try now? On the site, the game gives two scenarios as examples. The first, called “Lost in the Jungle” tests how you would react after a plane crash in a jungle. The second, called “Son of a Bitch!” tests whether, when on a date with another person, you would properly react to your date getting drunk, or whether you would take advantage of him/her.
NearNote: Connect with you social networks, define your interests, and let the NearNote app push you everything from traffic alerts, local event info, social news, hyper-local whether and more. At first, I would think this would be immediately annoying to have my phone telling me about traffic when I don’t drive, but if their recommendation engine is as smart as it needs to be to figure out what I want to hear and what I don’t want to hear, then it may just work. Then again, looking at how the site is subtly calling for a CTO, I would assume that the product is still in its “balsamiq” stage for now – then again, if you’re based in the UK and looking to jump on board a project that will imminently be getting some great press, this may just be it.
Runnr: I’m not exactly experienced in “Run-Tech” like FitBit and other smartphone-integrated running analytics tools, but Runnr seems to be selling itself as FitBit for the Pro-level runner. With analytics on heel vs. toe striking, impact force, and stride length, they seem to have a pretty lengthy set of analytics tools – then again, considering the site asks “how much would you pay for this?” I have to assume that this is, at most, in an alpha testing phase. I would also like to take this opportunity to point out the vast amount of doubt that has been cast on the last 30 years of running-shoe research, and the rising trend in barefoot running. Just sayin’.
Savethylife: “Savethylife is the next generation tele-medicine services. Our sole purpose is to improve medical service to the people around the world.” Or so says their landing page.
Smarchive: A smart Dropbox, a business Google Drive, Smarchive combines the convenience of cloud storage with the simpilcity of automatically storing files in an organized fashion. You can check out the Munich-based startup’s video for more info.
Teleportd: Oh Teleportd, you’ve come such a long way since SeedCamp. I’ve watched this company grow from a location-pased photo aggregator to something greater, and I look forward to seeing what they pitch at LeWeb London. Their location-based photo API has gained a bit of traction, allowing location-based sites to have a constant influx of photos related to their site.Or perhaps they’ll talk about their plans to work with brands on sentiment analysis, or their plans to open a User-Generated photo licensing market. Either way, I’m sure they’ll knock this one out of the park – and Yes, this is a biased opinion.
VeryLastRoom: Looking to sell last-minute hotel rooms with hyper-deals, this French startup is looking to help hotel owners sell those spare empty rooms with big discounts.This app has been in ‘private beta’ since its launch back in August, so hopefully they will have some awesome news to share on stage in order to wow the Jury.
Vimention: Aggregating geo-located posts and image, Vimention uses a map interface to display posts and images around you. The London-based startup is currently in Open-beta.
Warmbreeze Studios: This Swedish-based gaming development company will likely be showing off Healthy Heroes, an exercise-based game that allows you to earn points and attach enemies everytime you exercise. While I do enjoy the idea of gamifying exercise, I don’t think that a game that revolves around the concept is likely to be as appealling and as addictive as other games – I would be much more interested to see normal games that are already successful that implement this idea to encourage exercise from their existing users.
Trends: Applied Gaming, Big Data, and Organizing the Cloud
Well, for an event themed as “Faster than RealTime,” they certainly got a wide range of startups to embody this topic. Whether its analyzing posts and photos, pulling health/exercise data, or storing and organizing your personal cloud, these are definitely things that. when done automatically and done smart, can reduce drastically the amount of time spent. It was nice to see a solid mixture of UK, French, and other European countries represented in the competition, as LeWeb can always be counted on to do.
Which startups do you think should win? Let us know below!