Here is a sampling of interesting pitches from our free public roundtables:
From the over 90 applicants to IBM’s SmartCamp program in Barcelona, three of the five finalists pitched their startups. You can find the recap and recording here.
JT O’Donnell pitched her business, Careerealism as being like a career HMO. She has brought together a site that offers expert career coaching at a reasonable price. I like this project, and JT has thought everything through quite well. Her question was should she focus on one vertical, and I think, considering the current job situation, that focusing on college students and recent graduates will work quite well. I suggested that she recruits unpaid interns from campus to help spread the word about her service and she loved this idea. She has been successful using interns in the past and repaying them with free coaching. This business is imminently bootstrappable; don’t waste your time looking to get financed JT. You can find the recap and recording here. [JT went on to build her startup into a $1M+ business, now called Work It Daily]
Nilson Filatieri da Silva from Curitiba, Brazil pitched eadBox, a learning management solution that includes the ability to sell courses online. The product is geared towards education vendors, of which Brazil apparently has over 100,000. Over 300 local searches a month on Google drive a steady set of leads, and Nilson currently has 15 paying customers, 92 trials, and a clear roadmap of how to dominate the Brazilian online education market. Focus is key. No need to look at any other market for the moment. You can find the recap and recording here.
Cape Town, South Africa
Mark McChiery from Cape Town, South Africa, pitched Passmarked.com, a web site audit service that tackles security, content, and other important aspects of running a web presence. I found the venture promising and was thrilled to see such a venture emerge from South Africa. You can find the recap and recording here.
Jammu and Kashmir, India
Mir Ummar from Srinagar, India, pitched DairyMoo, a subscription milk-delivery service concept. Mir is based in the outskirts of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and I was thrilled to see his presentation. You can find the recap and recording here.
Emmanuel Udeagha from Lagos, Nigeria, pitched Pukena Concierge Service, an AngelList like service for Nigeria for finding trusted service providers. You can find the recap and recording here.
Jean Richard Witteveen from Den Haag, Netherlands, pitched eccentrade, a subscription based database and network for buyers and sellers of ‘clean’ products to find one another. Jean has already started the project with about 250 buyers and sellers, and has access to 3000 from his previous life. I like the concept, and if Jean can get 10,000 ‘clean’ buyers and sellers to hang out and transact on his site, paying him a monthly subscription fee, there is a very clean business here. You can find the recap and recording here.
Raj Iyer pitched iCustomMadeIt, a 2-sided marketplace for custom merchandise. We went over Raj’s investor pitch, and how to revise it. The company already has revenue and a significant channel partner through 1Mby1M. You can find the recap and recording here.
Aljosha Novakovic pitched Medko, based in San Francisco and Santiago, Chile. It’s a doctor discovery and engagement platform for Latin America such that travelers and expats can connect with competent medical professionals in specific specialty areas. Medko also aims to cater to the local markets, and is currently managing its beta process in Chile. Very interesting concept, and one that has a few predecessors in other markets like the US, China, India, etc. You can find the recap and recording here.
Avik Agarwal, from Siliguri, India, pitched Bye Loads, an Uber-like marketplace for connecting small-medium businesses to mini-load carriers, bridging local delivery logistics challenges for small merchants. Avik is planning to pilot the project in Siliguri, which impressed me. I was also excited about this young student entrepreneur’s immense learning opportunity ahead. You can find the recap and recording here.
Epi Ludvik Nekaj from Singapore and Berlin, pitched GOGO Places, an AirBnB like service catering to digital nomads who want longer term rentals. A very nice presentation and a good value proposition given the trends in that segment. You can find the recap and recording here.
Ailton Schoemberger from Vancouver, BC, pitched Domastay, a marketplace for international students to be paired up with Homestays in the city where they will be studying. It’s an interesting and seemingly viable niche opportunity that I felt would be worth pursuing. What I also liked very much is that Ailton is already monetizing, and believes he can get to $50k in revenue without any outside financing. That is great news, and raising outside capital would be much easier with that level of validation, if the TAM is sufficient. You can find the recap and recording here.