2010 September

September 30, 2010

Launch48 Weekend 24/9 – 26/9 Summary

Another exciting Launch48 Weekend sponsored by PayPal and Yahoo has taken place in London at PayPal’s Richmond HQ.

The event is a frantic weekend of web app / business building activity. Each Launch48 Weekend is a chance for entrepreneurs, designers and developers to come together in teams and create a business from pitch to prototype in under 48 hours.

The experience provides an excellent opportunity for learning and networking that is hands-on and authentic.

4 teams came away from the event that the community will now track the progress of:

1) MatchFounders.com

Find a co-founder for your business idea. With expert mentoring from a representative of Lovestruck, the team built a matching system to pair up people looking for projects to work on. Search can take place by skill set and using preferences for criteria such as growth, commitment, funding and equity share.
http://matchfounders.com/ (demo)

2) Commutably

Middleware for any service that needs to know travel times instead of distance. Charging per block of calls to the API. Possible uses for this technology include searching for property to buy or rent based on commute times. The team spent the morning of Day 1 developing “Move Nearby” – a service that could find ideal homes for users based on local services, school catchment areas and commute distances.
http://commutably.com/ (demo)

3) ShowMeYourDay

An overhaul to the traditional dreary and unhelpful careers advice system. The team built a content management system that allows users to browse jobs and career paths, but accessing richer information about those prospects in the form of “a day in the life of a…”. Several revenue models were suggested and explored including corporate sponsorship – this lead to questions at the final presentations about objectivity in the job descriptions.
http://www.showmeyourday.com/ (landing page)

4) Buqoo

A dashboard for SMEs to better utilise the web. There are 4 aspects to the service – Chatter Intelligence, Reputation Shield, Customer Connections and Blink Promotions. Very similar to competitors in the space such as Postling and uberVu, but the business will focus on owning specific verticals, initially restaurants and bars. This team redeveloped an idea that had already been worked on, porting the platform from Ruby on Rails to PHP.
http://www.buqoo.com/ (landing page)

For a more detailed breakdown of the weekend’s event please visit our website: http://london.launch48.com/

There are many more exciting upcoming Launch48 events. The next one will be a Mini-Conference on Friday 29 October followed by the Launch48weekend from 29- 31 October, both taking place in Edinburgh.

September 26, 2010

Live streaming the final presentations

We are live streaming the final presentations live from Launch48 London (thanks for PayPal and Yahoo!).

Teams presenting include Buqoo, Commutability, Match Founders, and Show Me Your Day.

September 19, 2010

Paypal Charity Hack

This afternoon I went along to witness the final demonstrations by the teams that took part in Paypal’s Charity Hack. You can see a full list of the teams and the hacks right here.

From what I saw, there had been little sleep for most as coding continued throughout the night to ensure teams were ready in time for the afternoon presentations.

I want to highlight three ideas that caught my eye, I found something about each interesting and I’d like to see each concept developed further:

1) Games + Donations concept developed by Chuggr and VeryHardChoices.
These two teams had used a role playing game to encourage the user to donate more money and to put that user in the uncomfortable position of playing the role of a homeless person. Chuggr was a quick hack produced early this morning, literally in a couple of hours, and is a text based game. VeryHardChoices lets you choose your own adventure – it is live and you can try it using Facebook Connect.

2) Charity Shock.
Undoubtedly the funniest demonstration of the afternoon with the audience making donations to witness Tom Scott receive an electric shock. With reality TV so popular, I can see this concept rising to fame quickly and making a huge impact on charitable donations. Check out CharityShock.com and watch the shocking demonstration below.

3) Charity Box.
The winning team! Charity Box has a staggering number of features inside. I struggled to keep up with the presentation, and couldn’t believe how much the team had achieved. Out of the box, the service helps to encourage people to give by simplifying the donation process and providing incentives such as digital badges and widgets.

These three concepts stood out because they combined a crafty hack or two with an intricate understanding of human nature and possible ways to motivate users.

To anyone attending the London Launch48 Weekend, whether pitching or participating, be sure to consider the user experience and how compelling the app is to use.

September 16, 2010

Competition time! 5 Conference and Weekend Tickets Up For Grabs

Launch48 is running a competition to promote the Conference and Weekend events and to get everyone thinking about Pitches. We have 5 tickets to give away for the craziest business pitches submitted before Friday 17th September.

Each Launch48 Weekend begins with a couple of rounds of pitching to select the ideas that teams will work on for 48 hours. The best ideas are chosen using a simple show of hands from the weekend participants.

At previous events we have heard some spectacular pitches, but for this competition we’re asking entrants to think creatively. We want to see the 5 craziest business ideas. You have until Friday 17th September to submit your idea and we will announce the winners that evening – the top 5 will receive free tickets to the Conference and Weekend!

What exactly do we mean by “crazy”?
We are looking for ideas that you could describe as “viral”. The product should be a simple web app that users would really see some value in sharing. An amusing name that rolls off the tongue would help, perhaps something slightly cheeky. Business model, market share and the presentation of the pitch are important, but the main emphasis of this competition is focused on how quick and clever the marketing message is.

How do entrants submit their pitches?
Just blog your idea – that can be text, images, video, or something slightly different. Be creative! Then tweet a link to your blog post with the #Launch48 hashtag and we’ll reply to confirm we have received it.

Any questions? Leave a comment below or email help@launch48.com

Launch48 is Looking for an Events Organiser Intern

If you’re interested in helping Launch48 please check out our Jobs page, we’d love to hear from you!

September 3, 2010

SHOWCASE AWARDS AND NEXT EVENT TICKET SALES

VERY EARLY BIRD TICKET SALES END TODAY!

Today is the LAST DAY that we will be selling Very Early Bird Tickets to the next Launch48 Conference and Weekend. Grab your tickets now if you’d like to take advantage of this discount. Don’t miss the special offer too – look carefully and you’ll see we’ve bundled passes to the Launch48 Conference and Weekend as a deal. This gives you full access for less than £25.

LAST NIGHT’S SHOWCASE EVENT

We would like to give all our thanks to the startups that exhibited at last night’s Showcase event, the mountain of work that went into preparing for it was very noticeable. Hopefully everyone came away with some useful feedback from our judges and visitors to your stands.

For those that couldn’t make it, you missed quite an event! Simon and Robin from the Rapid Innovation Group stunned the audience with intense and thought provoking talks.

While the speeches took place, our Showcase judges found a quiet spot to consider all they’d seen, then returned to the stage to announce the results:

Best Product – MinuteBox (runner up DBVu)
Best Team – HipSnip (runner up PlayNice.ly)
Future Star – SkyStack
Best Stand – QRky (runner up Nurph)
Judges Choice –  MinuteBox

Congratulations!

Finally, thanks to everyone that came along and supported the exhibitors, especially our sponsors Viadeo and Paypal. We hope you enjoyed the evening and look forward to seeing you at the next event!

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