Three exciting startups with big futures present their groundbreaking tech, whilst another describes a £1 million investment and its fall into the abyss.
Hmmmm… September’s Tech Startups and New Ideas pitch event was not the startup tour-du-force of August, but the crowd were introduced to a couple of new players in the startup scene with probable big futures.
That said, the big message of the night was an anonymous guest speaker who was discouraging anyone thinking of “starting up”. His story was an embarrassing early exit: how he self-funded his way to a £1 million investment and then hired a bunch of unruly cowboy engineers and spunked the rest of the cash.
The founder opted for a plush Rivington Street address (seriously, who does that?!) and showered his staff with fridges’ full of food (he showed photo evidence on his slide show!). The “one platform to rule them all” never made it to market and he folded the business. Honestly, it was one of the most bizarre presentations ANYONE has ever seen!
Regardless, these three startups stood out on the night and deserve your attention.
mojeek is an ethical search engine.
mojeek was build from scratch at the Sussex University’s Innovation Centre by a young tech team. They have recently passed the 2 billion page milestone, which puts them in the top 5 English search engines in the world.
Brownbill says, “Get your phone out and give it a go. We want feedback.”
Just don’t access mojeek via google chrome. It kind of defeats the object.
The race to financial inclusion of the world’s 2 billion unbanked people involves a whole raft of fintech startups going to battle with the traditional banking system equipped with new and invigorating code.
CogintoChain is the latest startup to enter the fray.
In short, they believe it is unfair that the average interest rate that people pay on loans is 25%, rising to 40%, worldwide. With CognitoChain’s AI powered micro-credit scoring, when a borrower pays back their debt in a timely fashion, their credit rating improves and they pay back less.
According to their roadmap, the MVP is out, they are hosting an ICO at the end of the year, and the main web launch is planned for early 2019.
Go Pin Leads
There’s another nod to Sussex University as alumnus Raj Anand (Computer Systems Engineer and AI Researcher) takes the stage. He’s introducing Go Pin Leads, a B2B sales leads generator, that wins the award on the night for best crowd interaction.
Anand asks the crowd for any business type and a city name.
“Electric Bikes Shops!” and “London!” is the (random) order of the day.
And—as advertised—Go Pin Leads, produces a showreel of all the electric bike stores in London in under 35 seconds.
So far, so Google.
Then comes the kicker. Go Pin Leads lists all the contacts details and known-employers of the electric bike shops in London and with one click sends a spreadsheet of data to your email. There is no doubt that this is for anyone who has worked in sales and actually trawled the internet — or telephone directory — for contacts details. It seems like its worth the $9 a month subscription, and 4,000 other paying customers seem to think so too.
Sometimes events like these throw up unintended consequences. And while the crowd were there to hear about new ideas and exciting startups, the takeaway was a stinky story about bad luck and even worst decisions. Still, I doubt anyone was discouraged-enough from starting up.
Instead, they now know not to rent office space in Shoreditch.
Or hire local tech…