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I must say that I am well pleased to have written about Easyling before the company has actually presented or won the How to Web competition. Fonii and Socialook (whom I reviewed yesterday) were the runners up and Appscend was also a close contender for the top three but did not quite make it. Read more about it in my post on TechCrunch.
And now a few words about the process of winning the startup competition at How to Web. Actually today I was rather grumpily watching the pitches, not very happy with the way the competition was organized.
First of all, the jury was left on its own devices, and from what I learned later, did not actually watch the pitches on stage. Better for the startups as I found the presentations to be of a mediocre quality. Perhaps spoilt by earlier experiences at Startup Week Vienna and subsequent IDCEE in Kiev I have expected the smoothness and coolness of Mixgar guys, or a personal story of MySugr.
In any event, beloved entrepreneurs, please carry on pitching as practice makes perfect.
Needless to say, the timing was all over the place, so the first startup to speak this morning Betcafe got what felt like half an hour (it did not help Goran winning though), whilst the other presenters were penalized with even shorter timeslots (they had no luck getting into the top 3 either).
So who were they? Betcafe from Greece is a game where you buy virtual money with real cash, and bet on football games. There is no integration with the Facebook, or in fact any other viral element, and to top that you are not getting the winnings converted back to real currency.
Tripomatic is a trip advisor, and mentions the Tripadvisor amongst its competitors. The company earns through affiliated marketing arrangements with hotels, tour guides, local attractions etc. Tripomatic is from Brno, Czech Republic.
Romanian Nexi.me, which won the sponsor prize, offers white label cloud-based recruitment platform, which allows companies to use their employees’ social networks to get candidates for the new job offerings.
Founders of Finderly from Austria believe that there is a better way to collect crowd’s intelligence when buying complex products such as consumer electronics, so they are developing a way where identified experts can be consulted by the prospective buyers regarding the product in question.
And finally Mobilecampaign.eu from Hungary is helping ad agencies develop mobile campaigns based on QR codes easier. This pitch came right after the speech by Mark Randall, the head of strategy at Adobe, who said that QR Codes are soon to become a thing of the past. While Laszlo Tar has assured me that they were also looking to deploy NFC technology, I suggested that they collaborate with iTraff (developers of Saveup fapp rom Poland) as iTraff has already created a robust image recognition technology.
To offset my grumpiness in the morning, I was chuffed to be invited as a judge. So now I know the intricacies of the judging process. In fact I was surprised that the entrepreneurs were not cornering the judges during the coffee breaks to explain their businesses before the official meetings with the judges were to take place in a separate room. There, the 5-10 minutes allocated to a discussion were too short considering that the judges had to put their heads around 10 business ideas within only 2 hours.
A few, insufficient words of praise for the organizers Bogdan Iordache and Raluca Georgescu : they have done a fantastic job making everyone felt welcome, and the after party yesterday rocked! Oh wait, I have to get ready for the next one! TSo, that is all for today.
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