Earlier this month, we spoke about Tech All Stars, the EU Commission’s contest to find the best startups in Europe and send them to LeWeb, Founders Forum, and even to one lucky startup pitch in front of the EU Commission’s technology & innovation group. Well, the first selection is complete, and we’ve got our paws on the twelve startups that they’ve selected:
Teleportd: France’s lone winner in the Tech All Stars program, I couldn’t think of a better company to represent the next generation of French startups than them. Cofounders Gabriel Hubert and Stanislas Polu have been reiterating and improving their realtime search of more than 5 million new public photos per day via photo sharing apps, and have since identified themselves as the “Twilio for smartphone snapshots.” Teleportd is a SeedCamp company
Fractal: the second SeedCamp startup in the batch, this UK-based web-based service is working on making the lives of email designers easier. Their service converts HTML code into compliant email designs that render the same in all major email clients. I know that i’m personally sick & tired of having to accept remote content in emails that come through, so i’m looking forward to testing this service out on the Rudebaguette Newsletter.
Cobook: the most recent startup to join HackFWD, the Latvian-based company is working on making address book management easier. I haven’t yet tried out the service, but I really hope that by “easy” they mean “entirely done behind the scenes.” Everytime I try out a smart address book, like Nimble for example, the amount of time I have to spend “making it smart” is about as much time as it would take me to do the whole thing on a piece of paper. I’m sure Cobook’s got some solid technology behind their product, though, since HackFWD only takes interest in technology-savvy products.
Infogr.am: The second Latvian-based HackFWD investment from this year, this former Startup Sauna team is looking to bring Infographic-creation to everyone. The service provides popular infographic templates and then allows a wordpress-like click-to-edit setup. Data for charts can be uploaded via Excel or other spreadsheet formats – I’ll definitely have to to give this service a try in the next few months for RudeBaguette.
ChangeYourFlight: one of three Spanish startups among the 12 accepted, this startup is a platform where users can obtain partial refunds on plane tickets and airlines can gain additional seats to sell. The startup, which launched in 2010, doesn’t post any partnerships publicly on the website, and doesn’t appear to allow users to purchase tickets presently, but instead provides vouchers for future flights to users who give up their tickets.
CogniCor Technologies: A startup out of the Wayra accelerator in Spain, CogniCor provides an automate complain resolution service for service sector industries – telecom, aviation, financial, insurance, etc. – to resolve compalins/claims faster & cheaper. Currently counting Telefonica as one of its clients, the service is a spin-off from an Artificial Intelligence Institute in spain, which tells me two things: 1) They have the technology to do what they say they can do 2) They probably don’t have the right product-market fit, as they are looking for a problem to go with their solution instead of the other way around. Nonetheless, they’ve got clients, they’ve got technology, so they’ve got my attention.
Conferize: a StartupWeekend creation out of Denmark, this company has also been through Accelerace.dk and ScaleIt.DK with their conference networking solution. I’m sure these guys are fantastic, but I’ll reiterate what I said on twitter the other day: “Are conference organizers buying this?” You can read head of recruitment HackFWD David Bizer’s response here.
Kantox: The UK-based Startup is a bit out of my expertise, so I’ll reiterate what they do in their own words: “Kantox is the first FX hedging business-to-business hedging solution.” They look like they know their stuff, so if you’re into Financial Services and Risk startups, I suggest you take a look at them.
ReciteMe: This UK startup is working to bring the internet to everyone. Literally. The startup is working on allowing people with a visual disability or dyslexia using any computer to view a website in a personalized way for them.
Roozz: This Denmark-based startup has gone through Startupbootcamp and Accelerence, improving their software rental service. The service allows users to rent desktop applications on a per-day basis, and allows developers to reach an audience that would otherwise not be accessible to them. Looking through their list of current applications and games, I didn’t find anything that I was particularly interested in using – other than Duke Nukem 3D, of course- but it looks at least like their not trying to sell free games and applications. I’ll have to keep an eye out for when they get new applications and games to join.
SCRAZZL: I’m not too sure of the origins of this startup’s name, which provides a search/marketing platform for research products in science. The Dublin-based startup is working out of DogPatch Labs, the Polaris Venture exclusive co-working space located in the middle of Dublin’s technology district. The startup is currently in its beta phase, but there is certainly something to be said about connecting academia to the business sector – I’ll be interested to see which universities jump on board, and how they intend to monetize.
Senseye: This Denmark startup was also born out of StartupWeekend, and looks to make it possible to activate and operate mobile devices using facial/eye recognition software. In addition to the standard Mission Impossible unlocking of your phone with a retinal scan, the startup is looking to make it possible to operate the phone entirely from your eye – now you can stare down Mrs. Pacman and will her into eating the banana. This seems like something that will be difficult (if not downright impossible) to implement into the iPhone, so Android users get ready to beta test!
What to take away?
Well, there you have it – Denmark, Spain, France, and the UK seem pretty well represented in this “best of Europe” startup competition. Keep an eye out for these startups during LeWeb London, and we’ll keep you updated with more up-and-coming European startups!