The weekend saw an eclectic mix of 20 startup hopefuls from all corners of the globe gathering in a pitching frenzy at Umspannwerk in Kreuzberg for the Startupbootcamp Berlin selection days. The event attracted a largely international crowd and brought some fresh faces to the Berlin startup scene (only three teams were from Germany). Getting involved in some intense networking, the competing teams mingled with investors and successful past participants at the two-day event. The 20 teams were united under a single goal: to gain one of ten spots at Startupbootcamp Berlin. The program runs for three months and winners gain seed funding, co-working space, feedback, mentoring and the chance to pitch to over two hundred investors at the demo day.
Startupbootcamp: a European network
The 20 competitors were narrowed down from 300 applicants to take part in the selection days for the inaugural event – bringing some fresh faces and ideas into the Berlin startup scene. Startupbootcamp was founded in Copenhagen and has since spread to Dublin, Amsterdam and now Berlin.
Startupbootcamp Founder Alex Farcet, says the unique benefit of the program is the European-wide support network.
“We’re connecting communities of alumni and mentors into a kind of virtual Silicon Valley because there is no centre of gravity in Europe, despite what Berlin or London might say. So if you’re an alumni of Startup Bootcamp Berlin you can connect with the alumni or mentors of say Amsterdam as well, so we’re much bigger than just one city.”
The selection days themselves involved gruelling rounds of ‘speed pitching’, where the teams did 20 x 15 minute sessions with different groups of mentors and investors. They copped a grilling but also gained some valuable advice and insights from mentors. In between sessions, the teams powered up by guzzling Rhino energy drinks, one of the event sponsors that was rather over zealous with their supplies.
Apps and devices for social media, events and sharing were the focus of many of the startups.
Raidarrr is keeping you in the loop no matter where you are
A standout team was Raidarrr, a content sharing app that lets you discover and drop creative content at physical locations around the world. Joshua McCowen, Raidarrr’s Chief Creative Officer, reflected the general consensus from the competitors:
“The event was daunting and exhausting but well worth the effort. We had a lot of mentors ask us really hard questions but they were questions that we need for a successful business…it made us think about a lot of things that we hadn’t considered before.”
The world travellers…
The team that the judges were most convinced by was Australian startup Liquid State, a digital publishing app for tablets and iPads. Winning their place in the program must have made the very long (not to mention very expensive) journey halfway across the world well worth it. Director, Philip Andrews, explained their need to move far from home for their startup.
“In the last two days we’ve met more influential and inspirational people and more people who can network us into other areas than we have in the whole past year in Australia.”
For the time being, the teams can take a well-deserved break before the real work begins on the September 3 – when bootcamp begins.
The winning teams in a nutshell:
Brisk.io: A toolbox to make app development easier.
Capsule FM: Personalised radio content.
Fourscan: A geolocation app.
frestyl: Gives music venues and promoters customer analytics and tools to bring in new customers and keep them coming back.
ItsPlatonic: Social network for finding and making new friends.
Streetvite: Reward network for sharing and engaging with events.
Weavly: A video-mashup tool for YouTube.
WebCred: Building trust for peer to peer marketplaces by aggregating data and focusing on online connections.