Trunkaroo wins TechPitch 4.5; Xanview a close second
Trunkaroo, a subscription service that delivers monthly STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and art projects to children aged 3-8, won both the judges’ and audience vote at TechPitch 4.5 on 11 May 2016.
“Even well-intentioned parents struggle to get their kids away from the iPad,” said Trunkaroo founder Sahar Maghani. “Trunkaroo delivers creative projects for kids – who learn by doing – and for parents who are seeking high quality, highly curated content.”
Xanview, a surveillance solution that enables users to monitor live and recorded video footage from a remote location tied for second place in both the audience and judges’ vote.
“Current video surveillance is unreliable, difficult to use, and wastes money,” said Xanview founder Regina Shmerlin. “Xanview is a cost effective, easy to use, reliable software that can show all surveillance locations via one login on our website.”
Two start-ups tied for third place in the judges’ vote: Gingersnap Studios, a series of customizable story apps for children and their families to share; and Veezy, a platform for “social radio visualization” that layers radio broadcasts with shareable video and visual content.
An impressive range of start-ups and pitches
All the judges had high praise for the start-ups who pitched. Judge and keynote speaker Kim de Ruiter of Samsung Europe said: “I was genuinely very impressed at the quality of both the presentations and the business concepts pitched. The standard was higher than I’ve seen previously and it was so interesting to glean a snapshot of the innovation that’s out there, coming from a variety of different sectors”. Co-judge Julia Hornle, Professor of Internet Law of Queen Mary University, commented that “all business concepts were interesting and got me listening.” Melissa Jun Rowley of Humanise/The Toolbox said, “Overall I was impressed with the range of the pitches and how well thought through everything was.” Serge Taborin, Global Innovation Director of Aviva, added, “The pitches were really great. I was impressed by passion that went into them.”
Other pitching companies included:
–Audazzle, a start-up that is developing a game platform for blind and visually impaired to create computer games;
–DustiD, like PayPal but processing addresses instead of online payments for retailers, enabling families and friends to create and share an address network;
-Savvy, a personal technology coaching service, and;
–Youmakeit, a platform offering bespoke design service targeted – in first instance – at home-buyers.
“Tell us what you’re going to offer at the start”
The judges shared feedback and insight with all the start-ups. Chair Danvers Baillieu of Privax and AVG Technologies suggested that, when pitching, the business plan should be presented up front. “Some of you waited until the end to tell us how you were going to make money,” he said. “Tell us what you’re going to offer at the start.”
Jun Rowley agreed. “I want to hear the ask and what your secret sauce is a lot sooner,” she said. “I also would have liked to hear your exit strategy and what your ultimate plan is.” She was backed up by Kim de Ruiter who pointed out earlier that “a goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Julia Hörnle strongly recommended thinking the market through in more detail. “Who is going to buy your product or service, and how will you get repeat business?” she asked.
Referring to his own experience as a start-up founder, Taborin said “Whatever you think the customer engagement is going to be, divide it by 1000. You all really need to think more about scalability, and your idea has to be explained in one sentence,” said Taborin. “It has to resonate immediately with people who have never heard of you.”
2Pears – inform, educate and connect
Conceived, organised and executed by 2Pears – the team creating opportunities and events to inform, educate and connect entrepreneurs and startups in music, media and technology – TechPitch 4.5 was held at the offices of Pinsent Masons in London. Our event partners were Invesdor, Netleadz, Bootlaw, Privax, MediaTainment Finance, TechMutiny and UKTI.
In her keynote speech, Kim de Ruiter gave sage advice on how start-ups can successfully engage with corporates. “Prepare, prepare, prepare,” she said. “Understand the company you’re pitching to and what the division is trying to achieve. Do your homework and understand what keeps the business up at night – if you can come in with a solution to what they’re tackling right away you’re going to be on a more solid footing.”
“Remember that corporations hate being perceived as cash cows,” she concluded.
This TechPitch 4.5 was unique in that – for the first time – there was equal gender representation with both the start-ups and the judging panel.
“This is such an exciting time,” said 2Pears co-founder Petra Johansson. “That we had equal numbers of men and women in the room illustrates that depth and diversity of the expertise, innovation, disruption and entrepreneurship happening here in the UK.”
2Pears’ next pitching competition – Fashion & Luxe TechPitch 4.5 – will take place on 17 May 2016 at Runway East, Lower Ground, 10 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AF. Book your tickets here. To find out more about our TechPitch 4.5 series – including how to apply to pitch – please visit our website.