We organized an elevator pitch competition the other week as part of the International Technology Law Association‘s Fourth Annual Baltic Conference. It was the third year in a row we have thrown the pitch competition. This year we had five companies (introduced below) taking part. Flockler emerged as the winner, and the runner-up position was grabbed by Hitlantis by Cognitive Maps Ltd.

The winners and the other finalists (not in any particular order):

FlocklerFlockler (winner) – Flockler offers group news curation tool for publishers that helps them increase traffic from social media services and create engagement on their own sites. Publishers can be news sites, brands, or companies. Using Flockler sites can allow their readers to engage in content creation and curation.

Hitlantis by Cognitive Maps Ltd (runner-up) – Utilising the best content discovery on the planet, Hitlantis unites music lovers and unsigned music in a rewarding game-like community. Hitlantis’ unique visual platform generates a new user interface paradigm – it merges visual exploration of content and consumer recommendation mechanics, showing instantly large collections and content popularity in a meaningful way.

Skyhood – Skyhood is revolutionizing the job markets by connecting jobseekers and employers more efficiently. The game changing job platform offers both active and passive jobseekers the easiest way to discover the most relevant job ads in the world, whereas for employers it provides more efficient way to find workforce.

Wanderer24 (Northern Light Media Visions) – Wanderer24 aggregates mobile tours from different sources and offers brands white label guide apps with possibility to publish own tour content. Target customers are travel companies, museums, publishers, tourist bureaus, professionals i.e. independent tour guides, topic experts, and “professional” travelers.

Hakema – For every customer cancelling an appointment, there is another customer willing to take it. Hakema delivers those matches. Businesses lose money when customers don’t find matching appointments, when customers don’t show up, when cancellations are not refilled. Hakema mobile & web service solves these problems. Users can queue to get appointments of their choice, cancellations are refilled automatically, and customer availability analytics let business fine tune their service delivery.

The key takeaway from the event was — surprise — that it really benefits to practice the pitch over and over again, ask feedback from various sources, and consider shooting video of yourself pitching for seeing and improving your body language. You should also make sure to get direct feedback from people who don’t know you or your service beforehand. Otherwise, you might miss something important without even noticing it.

The perfect example was the Hitlantis pitch at the event – while the pitch was very energetic (despite his creeping flu) and interestingly crafted, one important thing about the Hitlantis service was omitted completely – that you can also directly play a band’s music by clicking the circles on the service. One judge even downloaded the iPhone app during the pitch, but didn’t understand to tap the circles. As a result, the main idea of the service never got through to the jury. When the jury member who had downloaded the app heard from an outsider after the contest this piece of information, he thought it might have been just enough to affect Hitlantis’ final position.