This month our flagship “Speed Pitching & Co-Founder Dating” event took place on the 3rd floor of the ExCel Centre on Wednesday 12th November, whilst Microsoft’s Future Decoded was in full swing below in the exhibition hall proper. It was great to try out a new venue, a bit less manic than Google Campus, perhaps, although it’s not every day you get to pitch next to an 8ft tall cardboard robot (don’t ask)!
I’m sure readers will be familiar with the rules by now, but just to recap, pitchers have just 30 seconds to tell the assembled audience all about their company, and who and what they need to make their products or businesses even more awesome. The most common demand is for developers, but these shy folk have really made an effort of late and there were plenty out there pitching on Wednesday night, a big win for us!
As always our marketing and PR guru, who doubles up as our super-smart presenter, Adam, made sure he brought his water-pistol, and together with the rest of the team, (David, Bran and Joaquim) anyone speaking for longer than the allotted time was given a proper soaking for their troubles.
This month was also the first time we trialled our amazing new voting app, Visual Voting by Makelight. Attendees were asked to cast their votes, “Try Harder”, or “Love It”, using their smartphones, a great way to launch a new app, of course, but also the first time a HHH speed pitch winner has been totally democratically elected!
This month, our sponsors really upped their games too. We owe them a big debt of gratitude for their efforts and their support for our endeavours, and of course, for their prizes!
First up we heard from Andy Wigley at Microsoft, who were giving away a free Nokia 1020 to winners in each of our Hipster, Hacker and Hustler categories. Andy is a developer evangelist with a focus on mobile and cloud, and he had a message from Microsoft – “It’s not your father’s software anymore, it’s yours!” Microsoft have developed a fantastic mobile apps store and are looking for people like you to populate it. The message isn’t quite “come and be a big fish in a small pond”, because some of the games MS has released, like Guns4Hire, or Rebellion, have been runaway successes, but the MS app store is definitely a fantastic space to be in for new developers and their products and apps.
Alison at Waterfront Solicitors, the boutique Tech law firm, and one of the very first of its kind to be set up in the UK, brought her whole management team with her, and challenged them to a 30 second pitch off. Typical lawyers, their pitches were great! So if you need help with your early stage employment, IP, or contract legal issues, now you know who to call. Waterfront also chucked £500 of free legal advice for each of the winners into the prize pot. Cheers guys!
Next up, Michael at Softlayer began by telling us to “always be pitching”, as Alec Baldwin almost said in his Glengarry Glen Ross! Michael was prepared to offer the evening’s overall winner a place on the Software Catalyst scheme, which effectively is an entitlement to $120,000 worth of Softlayer Services, breathtaking, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Finally Dan Breen from Sign-up Technologies, our final sponsor, took to the stage and pledged 2 lots of unlimited email sends for 12 months to the prize pot. Only a genuine email marketing guru will understand quite how valuable that one is. For every attendee at the event, Dan has also provided trial accounts and 5,000 free sends for the next 3 months.
So, just to recap: the prizes on offer were:
- £1500 cash!
- A bunch of Nokia 1020 phones
- 1 x $120,000 worth of Softlayer services
- 2 x UNLIMITED email sends for 12 months
- £500 credit towards legal expenses
And there were prizes for the following:
- Best Hipster pitch
- Best Hacker pitch
- Best Hustler pitch
- Best overall pitch
- Best tweet using #SpeedPitch and @HipHacHus (make sure you are following @HipHacHus)
So, on to the pitches. Well almost, there was just time to hear from Phil Efsthaniou, who had this remarkable story to tell about a recent visit to an HHH speed pitching event. Remember, it could be you next time!
Now for the pitches (really); Our amazing blogger Ted, steam pouring from his notebook, thinks he managed to get at least some detail about every single one of Wednesday’s pitchers. So please search for your pitch below, read his words, and declare yourself satisfied or otherwise with his interpretation. As I’ve said many times before, this is your site, your community, and we want it to be the best resource out there for start-ups to read about start-ups, about ideas, and to let the community know their thoughts and views. And of course we want your links to your websites and apps. So, read on, and send us your thoughts and links (and corrections!), and we’ll update as quick as we can. This is how empires get built people!
- Laura got the ball rolling, her site Lypsso.com is a platform providing fast, relevant solutions for anybody with health and beauty concerns. A perfectly timed pitch, water pistol free!
- Next up, Jiaro, complete with a rather fetching hat. Codescrum, his company, are a team of developers with passion and skill, implementing solutions for any kind of coding framework;
- Max was a corporate entrepreneur dreaming of an independent app store;
- Peter has founded TechWrap.co.uk; he wants it to become the definitive catalogue for events in the tech and start-up spaces. Timeout for Tech!
- Gardening! Horticulture! This entrepreneur has created Shazam for plants. Garden retail is a £66bn industry, and growing (natch)! Point, click, identify! she needs a co-founder;
- Art is the founder of Easymeet.me, meet and chat with fellow attendees before the event for better networking! Art needs help test driving his product;
- Manuel: what do happy people do differently? Using psychology, we can help to reveal the secrets behind leading a full and contented life. Join Manuel on his journey, he needs a co-founder!
- Gareth has created a web platform that just makes it easier to develop software. It’s much simpler with Gareth’s platform, and, erm, that’s it!
- Lawrence Gould has created $99c images. Can you guess what it is yet? That’s right, purchase beautiful, high res images online for just $99c; am I going to use the word “simples” here. You bet I am! “Simples”;
- Lovan is a developer in trendy Farringdon, he’s looking for investment in Dissolve, his digital neighbourhood for developers and the knowing; drop him a line?
- Zippo is an Italian entrepreneur who has created a DJ Robot named “Diva”. Audio visual, live performances, a global audience? It’s all within reach for the charismatic Zippo
- Seth Gabriel is the founder of Careify.com, a kind of UBER for carers. Seth is a carer himself, and is trying to solve the problem of reliable and capable carers at short notice in the local area; pitch finished with 8 seconds to spare!
- Hazzaz: there are approximately 1.5bn Muslims in the world; his app sets reminders to make sure prayers are being said at the right times, and recommending prayers; 400k downloads and 30k active users to date, be part of the growth!
- Jannis believes there is too much choice in our lives! His app allows you to post pictures and ask friends to vote for their fave, it’s “Hot or Not”, for everything!
- Akil’s virtual mobile numbers business will make sure you never lose clients by ensuring your phone is always answered or redirected, and there is plenty of fun stuff, too!
- We love communicating by mobile, but not when we’re all in the same room, right? Unless…this pitcher has developed software that can connect hundreds of people on one Iscreen, with games, brands, and fun times!
- A great pitch! This crafty entrepreneur has created something akin to a car sharing app, why travel alone, when there are smiley, happy people willing to share? MVP complete, come on board people!
- Louis has an online travel platform manned by people, not machines! A customised, personalised solution to planning your dream holiday. Talk to a local, get the best results;
- Kostas has created Viva La Vita, its Yplan for fitness in London; browse the best events and start burning those calories…Kostas even had time for a couple of squat thrusts. Classy guy, classy app!
- Mike Higgins is a career coach on a mission to create the ultimate Ipad coaching app, Stillswap? He’s a published author taking it online!
- Celine has developed an ecommerce website for homecare, eatlivesleep.com. Will you be the investor or co-founder this universal shopping cart needs?
- Sophie is the founder of Cuppa.me, the online platform for freelancers, with a difference. It’s cheap, fast simple, and Sophie meets every freelancer personally. She must have good judgment!
- Richard Hawkins is developing a zombie shoot ‘em up computer game, because the world definitely need more of these! Seriously, it does, they are ridiculously popular and great, and Richard has promised us flamingo turrets!
- Calum Leslie’s Wooju app is a decision making app that uses photo sharing and social polling to help friends to help each other. Calum is on the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, hence the extra polish in this pitch!
- Toni’s healthcare app is innovative competitively priced, and developed as a white paper product. Merits closer inspection, this one;
- Ed Barton is helping to advance social change with upvote.it, a discussion forum with trending subjects and decision making tools. A micro-democracy, if you will;
- Michael at RedCap wants developers to help him grow his app that he wants to see in the front windows of all 12,000 of London’s restaurants. Bon Appetit, Michael!
- Daniel has developed prayers online, it’s a, can you guess, online prayer store. Talk to Daniel if you are a passionate developer who likes a challenge!
- Bird Lovegod (you read that right!) publishes 60 seconds of good, that nifty booklet you found underneath your seat with the latest start-up news. Now he’s launching Disrupt.co.uk, the magazine for the start-up scene. Rhyming bliss!
- Julia at Voluntera wants more skilled volunteers to get involved with NGO projects so she’s venturing online to find people and increase her reach. Join her!
- Jules is Julia’s (no. 30’s) husband. Julia is Jules wife! What’s going on! Jules has created Tinder for apps, to help you quickly find the apps that suit your lifestyle. Married bliss!
- Lee is a project manager, he wants to tell you about paying by instalment for online goods. They are only delivered after payment is confirmed. Safe as houses, good on you Lee!
- Gianluca has found a place where you can read all the books you want. In fact, he built it! It’s called Bookaholic, its $99c per month. Rediscover the lost art of reading;
- Vicenzo came dressed as a Zombie; “sorry about the smell”, he said. Vicenzo is a genius pitcher, his idea, an app that manages your digital legacy after you die, isn’t bad either!
- Marcus is a business guru with experience of taking private companies public. He has a brilliant idea but not sure yet if he wants to sacrifice his 1st mover advantage. Marcus is a business guru, drop him a line for more info;
- Alex believes the mobile gaming industry is “brutal”. Luckily Alex is here to help his “bro’s and Sis’s out with customisable merchandise for their products! Get in touch;
- Kane has developed Hansom, share fun games with your mates using this IOS mobile app. It’s a Snap gaming app. More detail? Ask Kane;
- Vladimir; before I tell you about his product, know this: Vladimir did a somersault! He did! It as Daniel has a tool that analyses interactions and behaviour, to produce magnificent insight and information that will help your business! Make your vision a reality;
- awesome, so is his app, Maplace.co; make yourself more visible to the world!
- Conrad told us a 30 second fairy-tale, complete with storyboard, about a copywriter who transformed the fortunes of his clients and lived happily ever after. It could be you!
- Will came on stage with a bearded lady. Why? She has to wear the technical beard while the team search for a developer. Help this lot, and their product automate.com, catch a break, developers!
- Moses at Mossboss wants to make IT service desks cool again. Note to Moses, don’t think they’ve ever been cool, but revolutionising IT service desks definitely is. Help the man!
- This chap believes the future of work is changing; he wants to build and app that can build a start-up by using psychological profiling to create the perfect team. That used to be called science fiction, help this guy bring it to the now!
- Father Christmas was briefly onstage, brandishing mince pies, to tell us about mutiny media. Want to find out more. Contact them, not Santa Claus, he’s busy this time of year.
- Alex at SPRY produces videos with a quality interface that makes it easier to add branding and affiliate marketing tools. A quality user interface, better that YouTube. Nuff said!
- Hector wants to help your business grow in 3 ways. Find you space, save you money, connect you with other spaces. Go for it Hector, where do we sign?
- Nicos has developed innovative software for airlines, he is looking for developers to join him. He promises if you join now you will one day be the company’s top brass. All aboard!
- Adam from Budapest runs a small development company, working for clients all over the world. Its cheap, he’s sweet, outsource to your heart’s content with Adam!
- Chris is asking how you discover music? Through friends? His music discovery app CHOOSIC is the bastard love child of a drunken threesome involving Spotify, LastFM, and Tinder. That has to be worth checking out! Right?
- Howard is a clever Hacker who can stop your online property being nicked, with just one password. Tento, it’s called, and it’s totally free to individual customers. Get secure!
- This founder has some science that will tell you when you’re milk is running out. How do we know it works? He won the entrepreneurial prize at Tech Disrupt! Kudos;
- Kirsty once told a roomful of French people she was feeling horny, ouch! She can help you pitch accurately in a foreign language. As another pitcher pointed out, about 80% of attendees today were doing just that;
- Casey has invented an alternative to the passport booth. Take the photo yourself, send it to him, and he will make sure it is biometrically approved and it can go on your passport. He’s looking for a co-founder and investment. This one could be a game changer;
- Rita is delivering fresh, healthy meals within 15 minutes to places including Canary Wharf. Ever tasted the food in Canary Wharf? This could be a winner! Eatfirst.com;
- Zoltan is CEO and founder of Predictron Labs, a big, clever, data mining machine with one major client and a fully functioning software product. Consultancy also provided;
- Yugansh is a friendly hacker who wants hackers to share more!
- Kern is an entrepreneur, writer, and creative thinker. He has an amazing project, and he will even pay you to be part of it. Contact him if you are as intrigued as we were!
- Paul agonised over whether to pitch; he has taken major companies private to public, and worked on some big deals. Now he’s and entrepreneur with “101 ideas”. One of them may well be up and running by Q1 2015. Drop him a line?
- Emily wants to know, if you have friends, why don’t you visit them more. Because they don’t have an open calendar like the one you are designing, Emily, jump to it, how can we get involved?
- Julien; how can you tell if a career coach can deliver what you need. How do you steer clear of the charlatans? Ask Julien, for a quality service.
- Yaniv is a growth hacker, creator of a product he describes as “GIF’s on steroids”. 100k page views in 2 weeks can’t be wrong!
- Sholi believes we’re better when we work together; engage.me helps you share and evaluate data collectively to improve projects;
- Vero is an experiential designer, she figures things out for people. Take the load off, drop Vero a line;
- Sex Sells! But can it help sell a compliance training product. This entrepreneur thinks it can. She is looking for a professional, loyal techie to help her prove her point!
- Prash is dying for a wee, don’t get those water-pistols out, the results could be disastrous! Prash has built FITPLX, an app that rewards people for getting, and staying, fit. Prash is living proof that his app can be life changing. Well worth a look.
- Darren launched a beta of his product enzyle.io at Tech Crunch, now he wants to speak with pro’s who can help him reach the next level;
- Richard is a first time pitcher; we’re here for you Richard! He wants to disrupt the social space for hackers and hustlers;
- Michelle is founder of latestsale.com; she has an impressive list of firsts, all relating to being a marketer, and a female at that. She wants to crack the Chinese market for mobile advertising and marketing. Talk to her!
And on the night, the winners were:
All 3 guys were given a final 30 second pitch to try to persuade the audience to vote for them, and in the end the WINNER WAS: SETH!!!!!!!
Congrats to Seth who walks away with all of those tremendous prizes, to Casey and Hazzaz who claim amazing runner-up prizes, and of course, to all of you, for pitching up, and pitching in. Roll on next month. Phew!