Well done to all of the pitching companies and their representatives for putting on a great a show on Friday night.
Berlin, it has to be said, put on both a fantastic meetup and had some very high quality companies taking part, none more so than their eventual shortlisted winners Klash, Musicplayr and Kinderfee. Testament to the growing buzz around the Berlin scene and German startups in general, the entrepreneurs were fired up, the products looked extremely polished and the presentations were, let;s say, pushing the boundaries. Ahem.
The London meetup was the smallest in terms of attendance that we’d ever done, but that didn’t stop the 7 companies coming out and showing what they’re made of.
Firstly, from the local side, it was Tray who was declared the winner, closely followed by Shhmoose and Teddle.
When it came down to the Live show, it was extremely close throughout as a highly competent Berlin pitch was met with an equally compelling London rebuttal.
It literally came down to the last pitches as there was not enough daylight between the four preceding companies to break the deadlock. Kla.sh then shook the startup pitch format with a highly disturbing mixture of serial killer stare, mankini and arse tattoo (check the video).
I felt that a combination of off-the-wall pitch and a really great looking product had really put us up against it. Taking one for the team, I decided to even it up in the only way I could. So, in a moment of inspiration, I too decided to get naked and think of England.
Luckily enough, we’d saved the best to last as Tray stood up and impressed both the judges sufficiently to be both of their favourites overall. With Shhmoose a unanimous second, it was confirmed.
And so, on to the next round showdown with which ever city dares stand in our way!
If you want to rummage around the startups, entrepreneurs, This Week In show, presenters etc. you can take a look at it all in my public MySpareBrain chart, with notes, feeds and links galore.
Just click the chart screenshot below and select the TWiSTldn 6 – 29th June tab.
TWiSTldn is back, with a very special meetup event format, to be held at Forward Internet’s offices on 29th June 2012, from 6.30pm.
In the spirit of the Euros, this event will see the cream of the newest British startups coming out of Europe’s hottest tech startup scene – London, taking on the might of the growing and increasingly sucessful German tech scene in Berlin.
That’s right, it’s England v Germany – LIVE on This Week in Startups.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the format (where have you been?)
6 Companies will take part in a preliminary pitching round, consisting of 3 minute pitch and upto 5 minute Q&A with the meetup audience. Apply here to take part with your hot new startup.
The Audience then votes, based on two criteria – 1) The Pitch / Presentation 2) The Business Idea.
The top 3 companies from each Country then pitch to Jason and Tyler in the studio, live on This Week in Startups, with the overall winners being awarded by our hosts.
Previous winners and runners up have been invited out to San Francisco to take part in the popular and ever more influential Launch Conference, held in March.
As usual, tickets are available via our Eventbrite page, limited to 80 spaces initially – so hurry, because they sell out fast. We ask for a voluntary donation, since the event is totally self-funded by the organisers and our very generous venue sponsors.
It’s a fast-paced event, at a great location, with top notch attendees from entrepreneurial and investor backgrounds,
Bath-based Amercian, Ryan Carson of Carsonified and the “Future Of…(web apps, web design, etc.)” events was on the latest This Week in Startups show with Jason and Tyler, to talk about his experiences as a web developer come entrepreneur, building an events business, the desire to build products, raising money and his business/life philosophies (mainly derived from Dale Carnegie at some stage).
The show’s a good watch, and Ryan is a bit of a star. I’m a huge admirer of his companies, mostly, I just love the beautiful design and attentional to detail he puts into everything. I know very well that it can be too easy to skip over design in favour of speed, in a world where he who shouts loudest usually wins. It takes some balls to stick to your guns and apply the same consistently high quality of design to websites and products that Ryan does and I’m a huge admirer of that.
And clearly, there’s a number of people who agree.
Ryan was over in the US and able to attend the studio, since he was presumably out closing the round which included and started with non-other than Kevin Rose, Reid Hoffman, Mark Sustre, Greylock Partner et al. You can see a much better run down of the deal on this TC article.
And maybe it was this illustrious list that made Jason’s competitive streak kick in, and kick himself for originally passing on the deal. Well, it had to happen sometime, heck, we came close a couple of times at TWiSTldn meetups with Tripbod and YReceipts, but Jason finally loosened the purse strings (alright, a little unfair considering the volume of investments he’s been making) on air. What was more surprising was that Jason put out a lengthy email only a few days back explaining why he was cutting back on the Angel investments and so to cave so quickly was quite a surprise.
I think what everyone in the UK and the International meetup cities around the world are waiting for, is Jason to fall in love with one of the global companies and put his money where his mouth is and back some of the TWiST community companies that tickle his fancy.
It’s fair to say the bar was set pretty high after our last meetup, both in the event organisation and the pitching companies. If I said I wasn’t feeling the pressure, I’d be lying! That said, everything came together (almost) perfectly which resulted in another fantastic event for all those involved – what fun!
As ever, the 6 pitching companies battled it out for the opportunity to link up directly with Jason Calacanis and Tyler Crowley – adorned in British paraphernalia – to give their pitch and get the sought after feedback from the TWiST crew.
Runners up, MyChoicePad and Skadoosh joined Kliqed on the live show.
For the first time, Jason and Tyler were split on who should take the overall title.
In the end it was decided that Kliqed and MyChoicePad should share the honours, with each company being invited to the next Launch Conference and being given a booth in the demo pit. How the Mailchimp prize will be allocated, we need to figure out…
In a further gesture, Jason invited the founders of the other pitching companies to attend Launch as well, and as TWiSTldn found when we attending the hugely impressive first Launch, it’s definitely a great opportunity for all those involved. Keep an eye out for the event video, but in the meantime, here’s the show broadcast for those that missed out
We’ve sold out on tickets so this should a cracking event of pitching and networking. If you have not got a ticket , you can always follow the event on Twitter at #twistldn and then watch the live TWiST show here. The audience on the night will pick the top three pitches and those will pitch again live to Jason Calacanis.
We can’t wait to hear these startups pitch. Last time those companies put through to the live show, bowled Jason over. One of them, Tripbod, even got nominated for the TWISTEE awards last week, as one of the five best pitches of the whole of the year. Also all the companies got invited to the first Launch event in San Francisco.
One area I’ve been really keen to make the most of, improve and evolve is ensuring our pitching companies have the biggest incentive to apply in the first place and if selected, to put on a great show at the events. I know that if we do that well, our humble little meetup will be known for it’s quality of both the companies and the guests who will come along to see them as a result. And to me, that’s why I’m doing this. Quality wins out at the end of the day.
So, what can you offer to companies as a cash strapped, volunteer supported event? Well, up until now, apart from the exposure and opportunity to pitch to Jason and appear on an episode of TWiST, the answer is very little (unless you also count tickets to Launch for the last meetups success stories).
But things are moving in the right direction and off the back of the event’s success, the buzz around London tech right now and growing popularity of This Week in Startups, I’ve been inundated with sponsorship inquiries and offers of support, which has been really gratifying. While we figure out what to do with them on a local level, this news actually comes from the support we’re now getting from our friends at This Week In. And, more importantly, their headline sponsors!
So, we can all thank, in a Jason monkey stylie “OOooohhh, OOooooOOOhh, Aaaahhhh, Aaahaaah”, our friends at Mailchimp who have donated 50,000 credits to the eventual winner of TWiSTldn #4. Now, I have a feeling it’s not going to stop there and we’ll have some more news on the prize front coming up…