Last Friday Rockstart Accelerator hosted a first mini demoday for its 10 startups. In three quick minutes the teams got the chance to showcase their business, progress and trajectory to an audience of investors and mentors. Rockstart’s presentation room was packed with people and camera’s (documentary + event capturing I recon) when Don Ritzen opened the event, followed by a quick intro on lean analytics by Robbert van Geldrop. Next up the startups! In this post the impression of the first five presentations.
First up was Pieter van Herpen, pitching BrandIns, formerly known as Liscount (still says so on Rockstart’s own page…) “BrandIns offers real-time access to actionable insights about brands, products and consumers.” Personally I thought the BrandIns story was very clear: consumer goods guys, created successful app for discounted products, now want to analyse consumer behaviour in the app and sell the data to brands. However, from the questions of the audience it was pretty clear his story did not hit home with the majority of the crowd (“what does your firm do?”). Something I really appreciated about what they had done is that they started with an email MVP, nice and lean!
Then Bram de Zwart took the stage to talk about progress at 3D Hubs. “3D Hubs connects 3D printer owners with people who like to get something printed.” Again some words on lean, as they had been employing the “concierge model” (basically fake it till you make it, by manually providing services you hope to automate later, while giving your users a great experience). They learned that their solutions needed to be 1/3 of the price and 1/3 of the production time from regular products for consumers to be interested in 3D printed alternatives. 85 hubs have connected to their platform so far. Overall clear story and good progress.
Next up Jean-Pierre Pequito (introduced as Pedro) for Amiquo. “Amiquo is a hosting platform for gaming communities.” After a hesitant start (both the intro + slide troubles) Jean-Pierre spoke about their progress to date and next steps. They will launch an alpha product with their “killer feature” first, using user feedback to constantly improve it. Questions centered around monetisation (the rest seemed clear and accepted by the crowd) of the platform. He explained they would focus on traction first : “It’s easier to collect money from five million gamers on your platform than getting five million gamers on your platform.”
The fourth pitch for Cupenya, “Cupenya provides an innovative cloud-based product to monitor, manage and optimize a company’s business processes through intelligent real-time analytics”,
showed real personality (but somewhat lacked on the pitchy side). They spoke about how they quit their (well-paid) jobs, moved countries and now lived in 23m2 containers to be able to live the dream of entrepreneurship. Also they said their pitch sucks, but that their working on it. A nice, down to earth, self critical story therefore, but get busy on that pitch soon!
Last up for the session was Gibbon, with Wouter de Bres taking the stage. “Gibbon is reinventing learning on your tablet.” Wouter spoke about the slight pivot they had made from learning from experts to learning from peers (confirmed through lean experiments). They had amassed some great interest in their product with over 2,000 signups, 1,700 likes, etc. However, the bulk of those signups seemed to have come in on a direction they are not taking (publishing). So that still needs some work to get into details. Their presentation overall was the most beautiful, although Don had ordered all teams to focus on content not looks, yet still: it looked great.
Thursday we’ll follow up with the final five and we should have a cool movie about the event then too… Keep posted!