This is a guest post by Mic Berman, one of the instigators of StartupCamp Waterloo. Thanks Mic!
We had great turn out and interesting crowd, lots of new startups first time demonstrating in a public forum. The event was sponsored by TechCapital, WatStart, CommuniTech and SunStartup – thanks to those folks for supporting the community.
We tried something different and hosted a panel at the start made up of Iain Klugman , Larry Borsato, Ali Asaria, Melanie Baker, Sandra MacDonald, and Gary Will. The basic question was “why, why do a startup?” The answers varied from why not to do one to a very philosophical approach by Ali that centred around passion and drive.
The start ups that got to present (based on audience voting and time available) were:
Semacode (on StartupIndex) – Simon showed off his technology for the first time. A fully integrated viral marketing based service integrated into FaceBook as a great way to manage events and conduct mobile marketing campaigns. The issues that came up in discussion were privacy (how does the user control information that is captured in their barcode/name tag), which target market they should go after (i.e., advertising/marketing/event type companies or the end user/enterprise running the event). Simon has partnered with SuitedMedia Inc to help them sell the service.
Navarra run by Avery Pennarun was a somewhat controversial concept for outsourcing development of your founder ideas. The concept being they would charge a flat rate to develop against particular specifications provided by the “business founder”. Avery figures lots of business people/founders with great ideas need a good development shop to develop out their ideas. Issues that came up were: “are you mad?”, “that will never work”, and ” how will you ensure specifications are crystal?”. Maybe they are on to something (as is typically the case when faced with great controversy)?
Clutterme presented by Mark Molckovsky & Alex Curelea was a totally fun demo of a cool technology that enables you as a user to instantly create a webpage that effectively becomes your “cork board” online. Great job to whomever did their brand and logo, as it so clearly defines what they’re up to. Their key questions of the audience were “what’s your business model?, how will you make money?”, usability issues, and how to get the word out there. They’ve asked for community support on testing their beta about to be released in 2 to 3 weeks. Check them out :)
UbietyLab – Developed by local Waterloo professor, Todd Veldhuizen, demonstrated some very powerful visualization technology that quite frankly the audience was very impressed by with folks throwing out many many applications for its use. Hence the professor’s problem. What market with what offering, considering “I’m really doing this in my spare time and not really as a business person?”
AdvertisingShowdown.com – I’m sorry guys, I missed this one because I was in conversation at the time (oops). The just is a powerful new online advertising metrics application. You can check out the recording of the presentation on www.spaetzel.com
Let’sCube (which is currently a Firefox plug-in you can download) is an instant sharing technology for cool sites you want to share with your friends and for which you can receive results as the owner of the site that’s being shared. Differences between StunbleUpon, Digg, Twittr, etc and their service is they aggregate your interests into your own let’s cube page – so it pulls for you and filters by your friends. Does it go both ways? Can you share and pull? That was the biggest issue posed by the audience and yes, it does. Lots of other ideas about how to leverage the Firefox plug in to test additional features.
IndigoFire presented by Karim Shaehata is solving the problem of website registration and sharing among friends real, business and otherwise. His product is not yet live (powerpoint presentation). Solving the problem of how you create differentiation among your usage across community sites like Facebook, Flickr, etc. for the people you want to share with and the public at large. Good questions and may be interesting technology yet to come :) Kareem’s basic question was what are the potential business models for which the audience offered several alternatives e.g., server side, small user charge, middleware approach, etc. and would you use it?
The audience participation rocked, thanks everyone who came and asked and offered great questions, suggestions and comments. You can check out a recording of the event on spaetzel.com