Swinging London

Francesco Masia giving the 3 min presentation at the TechCrunch Summer Pitch BattleA few months ago we got news of TechHub, a new co-working space aiming at putting together technology companies from all over Europe in the heart of London and we thought this could have been a good chance for us to get better involved in the European  startup scene. Eventually on Monday the 12th July TechHub opened and we finally started working in Bleaky.

The idea for us was that of having only one of the team permanently located at TechHub and the others mainly staying in Sardinia and popping over to the fresher northern latitudes from time to time. And the beginning proved to be quite hectic: events for startups in London are quite frequent as TechHub itself,  Meetup and others like the XTreme Tuesday Club organize something for almost every day of the week.

In particular the TechCrunch Summer Pitch Battle, held at TechHub on Wednesday 14th June 2010, revealed a surprise as our CalaBoard project, the video-conferencing tool based on augmented reality, was awarded the first prize from a panel of 5 judges coming from the venture capitalist world (Katy Turner and Ben Tompkins of Eden Ventures, Eileen Tso Burbidge of White Bear Yard, Wendy Tan White of Moonfruit and Paul Jozefak of Neuhaus Partners).

And here is what happened:

  • 44 companies coming from various countries in Europe (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and UK) presented their projects;
  • 30 companies were selected to hold a 1 minute elevator pitch promoting their idea;
  • 10 were admitted to the second round consisting in a 3 minutes slide presentation going a bit into more detail;
  • 3 projects were selected as the most interesting ones.

CalaBoard was on top of the list of the three final projects and this was something we didn’t expect at our first presentation of its business model. Since a few months ago we have been making presentations at conferences (mainly technical ones until now) and we immediately started appreciating how stimulating it is to make our ideas available for the general discussion. This provides us with a very interesting feedback and gives us a way of checking our direction.

In five days that followed the Summer Pitch Battle we were able to greatly improve the overall user experience transmitted by our application verifying some key features that could be of interest to the end users. Definitely positive to get some motivation!

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