Helsinki Startup Weekend came together as a success after 54 hours of hacking, designing, and business managementing. The event was held in AppCampus’ awesome co-working space, which is well worth checking out if you’re ever on the Aalto University Campus. Fourteen ideas were built and tested during the course of the program, which we have a short list of my notes below.
The companies below aren’t going to cure cancer, but rather than that being the point, it got good teams together and new entrepreneurs thinking about starting companies. Simon Kaiser of Startup Weekend sums that up as the point, saying it shows that something can be done very quickly, and that the weekends give the excuse to stop thinking about starting something, but to actually do it.
He points out that they had over 100 people in Helsinki’s first Startup Weekend, and that the teams were also very diverse and international. The winning team, LocalGuide, had six people from six different countries, for example.
Here’s the list of the pitching companies:
Third Place Winner My Instaride, helps you in the late night taxi queues where people are yelling at each other, asking if going to the same neighborhood location. The app will help you find riders and calculate the cost for you, so theres no hassle of trying to figure out how much to pay.
3d Rilbits allows game developers to hold on to the success of merchandizing and putting it into ever game through an API store. The service also allows an augmented reality preview objects before you buy them, which I guess is cool for figurines and other products.
Good Life Inc. put together a peer-to-peer online accelerator with ten coaches already on board. It’s a cool concept if it develops further. Their plan would then to be to take some cut of revenue from participating startups.
Compass helps you bookmark the content you read, and then visualize bookmarks online to build a stream of knowledge. After that makes real-time feed of the content from those sources. Their plan is to charge €5/mo for the visualization and smart content feed, But before that, they provide recommendations to paid content.
Gearent helps people rate sports equipment for others to buy. The biz model will go for targeted advertisements and also commission-based revenue. The site will also let you rent out your own equipment, like bikes and tennis racquets, to other people.
ReceiptCam was created by the folks behind Greenstep, a Helsinki-based accounting firm. They came up with a receipt scanning app where you can take a photo and have it integrated into Netvisor or other accounting software. Their focus is from an accountant’s workflow point of view, and the business plan is to charge €0.50 a receipt.
TownHike is a mobile application designed for snappy decision making. You’ll login with Facebook and will offer events according to your Facebook interests and preferences. After seeing a list of possible events, you can pull to the right to maybe check it out, or left to not show events of that type again. Revenues would come from advertising.
Second Place Winner EmoCloud – Visualized song feedback from music consumers to songwriters, showing what parts of the song people liked, and what parts people didn’t like. Definitely won logo of the year award.
First Place Winner LocalGuides – A service for connecting travelers to locals who can show you around, and maybe make some money by doing so. The startup would take 10% cut. Basically a very similar model to Gidsy.
DataDuck is a “Virtual usability lab for real customers” to help make sure companies don’t waste tons of money on products that just don’t work. Lets you know session time, user identifier, and browser type to let you know what went wrong with certain websites.
Joppl.com is a web service to make group photos after uploading a few images of friends on white backgrounds, and the system will stitch everyone together. They plan to make money by allowing designers to create custom backgrounds, which can be sold through the app.
Pizzasaurus’ problem to solve is that online Pizzeria ordering leads pizzerias to complete entirely on price, and not quality. The app lets you start by toppings, and then sends out the order. These orders then go out to an order pool where the pizza ranking comes from ratings by customers to discourage bad quality pizza. Pizzas cost a fixed price, and Pizzasaurus makes money off of the difference.
Monkey Run is a running companion app designed to make running more fun by either chasing monkeys or getting chased my monkeys, with that feedback coming from audio and visual cues. They see this as the gamification of sports, with competition and achievements. The app can be found in the Windows beta store, somewhere, if you dig for it.
Here’s something to foster a healthy relationship. Convert couple’s bad habits into good emotions. Let couples to give penalty points to each other if they do something wrong, like smoke a cigarette. Then your second half has to pay back that concept by doing something nice, like making dinner, which is worth a certain amount of points. U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck’s comment was, “Do you think my wife needs an app to tell me what a jerk I am?”
After the presentations, Oreck gave a short speech with some feedback, saying entrepreneurs need to find the customer first, and start from there. It rang true after many of the presentations. He also mentioned if entrepreneurs are looking at the American market, they should be sure to take into account the cultural differences. The way to figure out how to target the American market is to go there yourself on a trip.
A video of the first two days of craziness can be found below!