After a great night of impressive tech and innovative ideas, Compelo lists the best startups from the TechCrunch London Pitch-Off.
We now live in a world with virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robots. We’re just a hoverboard short of Back to the Future.
It’s possible to hail, travel to our destination and leave a taxi without saying a word to the driver. We can turn on lights and appliances in our homes from the other side of the world. There are apps to track how much deep sleep we get, gadgets that print 3D objects and wearables that put the online world on your wrist.
It’s a mystery which industry or product innovation will overhaul next. However, the startups on display at the TechCrunch London Pitch-Off event showed that the tech world still has plenty to offer.
Hosted by TechCrunch’s Editor at Large Mike Butcher, nine startups were given 60 seconds to pitch their projects to a panel of judges made up of local venture capitalists and TechCrunch staff. Spectated by over 500 enthusiasts, the popular event gave an insight into what we can expect from the tech industry next.
TechCrunch London Pitch-Off: 5 startups that impressed on the night
TechCrunch staff carefully selected all nine startups, narrowing down the list from hundreds of hopeful applicants.
Each were deserving of a place on the stage, with a range of ideas, services and products to share. While all impressive in their own way, these five startups managed to sell their companies in a way that excited the audience and judges:
A prime example of why constant innovation is so important in business, FlickTek found a way to innovate one of the most recent major innovations further.
Smartwatches put computers on our wrists. They have made it possible to control our music, answer calls and purchase products with the press of a button, all while our smartphones sit safely in our pockets.
However, FlickTek has simplified the process using sensor technology which tracks, reads and understands finger movements. Placed under the strap of your smartwatch, FlickTek’s gesture controller can be customised to control everything from music apps to factory machinery hands-free.
When questioned on the rise of voice control, FlickTek’s pitcher offered a brilliant example of why gesture control offers an equally useful option:
“Sometimes it is [the answer], but for cases like ‘hey Google scroll down, hey Google scroll down, hey Google scroll down’, we can find a place.”
We all want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, it seems. Millions of people already know how to code and plenty more are joining them as the tech revolution continues. Yet, learning how to code is no easy task, particularly so on your own.
Coders often have to rely on automated assessment to judge how they are progressing. This can be time-consuming and unsurprisingly frustrating for students, leading many to give up on programming before they finish the course.
However, online course platform Hyperion have a solution to the problem – cut out the machines and un-digitalise the review process.
Over their platform, humans, rather than machines, provide corrections and feedback on all submitted code. The company selects reviews from the top 5% of South Africa’s talent pool. This ensures that users receive expert advice every time.
The platform saw Hyperion finish runner-up in the Pitch-Off, winning two tickets to attend TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin.
The loss of a mother and ill health of a brother prompted Vie’s co-founders to build a product that puts patients in control of their health.
With the healthcare system struggling to cope with demand, paying your doctor a visit is often an almost impossible task. It can be days before you get an appointment, giving your illness plenty of time to worsen. Vie cuts out the middle man and allows you to check your vitals from the comfort of your home.
Checking your health with Vie is as simple as placing your hand on the device. Your health rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, glucose and cholesterol are tested in an instant. Both you and a doctor are alerted immediately, at any time of the day, if anything seems off.
While still in prototype, Vie’s device earned them a third place finish in the Pitch-Off, winning the team a ticket to Disrupt Berlin.
This voice-recording startup opened up their presentation with a titbit that we can all relate to:
“On average we spend 12 hours a week on meetings. That’s how business gets done. Yet, meetings are horribly inefficient and often don’t move the agenda forward.”
Voicefox have the solution to solve the problem. Their software uses AI technology to attend, transcribe and analyse conversations. Integrated with popular conferencing platforms such as Google Hangouts, Webex and Gotomeeting, attendees can scan through recordings and search through transcripts by keyword. This saves hours of employee time in the process. Likewise, Voicefox has the ability to distinguish between speakers, making it easier to scan transcripts at a later date.
Riding the popularity wave of augmented reality, Vyking have combined Snapchat and advertising to rejuvenate the unpopular ad industry.
For the most part, traditional advertisements no longer work. As our lives get busier, we have grown less responsive to having adverts shoved in our faces. If we can skip them, we will.
Studies have shown that millennials are particularly unresponsive to advertising. As a generation that has had access to just about anything at the click of a button, advertisements that compromise that speed of access simply don’t work. However, Vyking have found a way to get digital natives interacting with ads again by incorporating Snapchat-like effects into ads.
Using Vyking’s software development kit, advertisers can build campaigns that immerse users in their ads. The software is able to estimate a user’s age, gender and current emotion to alter the experience, putting a fun, exciting twist on advertising.
The game-changing software saw Vyking crowned as the champions of the TechCrunch London Pitch-off. As the winners, they bagged themselves a demo table at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt, in December.
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