Did I really hear 20 or so presentations in a little over 2 hours at the conclusion of NYC Startup Weekend?
According to my barely legible notes, scribbled while standing up in the very crowded kitchen area in General Assembly’s co-working space, I had a few insightful comments on each one of them.
My quick, emotional assessments differed from the judges: I didn’t quite ‘get’ PlayMob, the first place winner; dismissed too quickly the second place winner, WeTrip.it, the on-line group vacation piggy bank, and perhaps let my group conference calling prejudices get in the way of appreciating third-place Bridg.me.
No matter, I was impressed with many of the pitches, amazed at what Red-Bull fueled developers could accomplish in 48 hours, and learned that even cold NYC falafels still taste really good.
Yes, the startup scene may be getting a little bubbly with investment dollars chasing many similar ideas. But as an entrepreneur recently pointed out when someone said his idea had been done: ’can you get it anywhere, do you know lots of people using it?’
The answer is no, of course. And as long as there’s billions locked up in legacy technologies and monopolies, there’ll be startups and investors ready to land a kick into the solar plexus of soon-to-be-former giants.
Which is all to say that the optimism and energy-levels were very high at yesterday’s final demos.
There were a few apps that I was very excited about.
Animotion lets you create a stop-motion assemblage of photos from an iPhone video. To experience Animotion’s current capabilities, check out their YouTube in the reference section below. There are also plans to help amateurs create true full stop-action animation.
Animotion is a very catchy, virally product, and I think at the planned App Store price of $1.99, this startup should do well.
Another bridal site? Yup. BridesView’s concept is that wedding pictures should be the whole point of a nuptial web page—a place where brides “flaunt their pictures.”
This team started out with a different plan, “to connect brides with the perfect wedding venue for their specific needs.” But the venue idea fizzled after unfavorable market research filtered back early Saturday morning.
They did a quick pivot at exactly 11 AM and focused instead on a “platform for brides to showcase their weddings.”
Monetization? It would be an obvious place for wedding photographers to get leads. Merchandisers would also pay for ads related to products that show up in the pics. And the social ecosystem would rest on the brides-to-be curating and classifying photos— modern wedding, destination weddings, weddings held at Startup Weekends—and then engage their cohorts in on-line forums.
Quotify.it is the anti-particle to Twitter, and boasts that its delayed micro-blogging service has a “lack of immediacy.” As the founders of this startup see it, you quickly type into their smartphone app the memorable comment your friend blurted out at the bar (along with taking a pic). The Quotify.it service stores it away.
A week later you send the post to your friend to relive the moment together.
I think Quotify.it is clever. And I envision many media possibilities: books, calendars, and a TV show, “Quotify.it Stuff My Friend Says”.
While I was munching on my falafel listening to the pitches, I periodically would turn to the left to see a group of developers laughing and having a great time in one of the glass-enclosed conference rooms.
That would be the Coviewer.tv team I discovered later.
According to Dave of team Coviewer, they are the first Startup Weekend team to build an first interactive TV app on boxee.net. Congrats!
It was also the first time I had a chance to see an integrated social TV experience, with comments and threads of your social network smack next to the video section.
Monetization is obvious and includes sponsored content links and collected analytics sold to advertisers.
Coviewer.tv and boxee has gotten my attention, and I’m just waiting for this gang to productize so I can connect with the Dr. Who, Globe Trekker, and Lydia’s Italy communities.
Final shout outs to Mantastic Shopping, the site that guides and mentors men to buy the right gift for the women in their lives, and John Britton’s 48HoursApp, the service that will build your mobile app over a weekend for $10k.