Last night saw a hot and sweaty Bethaus host the fourth Betapitch, where ten hopeful startups flaunted their wares in front of a panel of top business brains, ideas people and investors. Two victors were finally chosen on the evening – Knowable.org and Somewhere – both immensely strong candidates and already VentureVillage favourites.
Christoph Fahle, co-founder of Betahaus also announced that there will be some “Global Megabetapitch” scheduled for the future, drawing in winners from Betahaus bases in Berlin, Cologne and Sofia. We caught up with the winners after the event…
Knowable.org – social network, global problem-solving
VentureVillage already championed Knowable last year so we were delighted to see Simon Höher and Emanuel Schwarz take the Social Category prize. Knowable.org is a social enterprise-style business that aims to connect a network of makers and inventors of problem-solving devices to communities that could benefit from their expertise. It works like an eHow or Instructables but for people in need of clean water, cheap energy or better housing.
“I am super-surprised that we won tonight,” Höher told VentureVillage. Together with his partner Emanuel Schwarz, Höher began the venture as a side-project at college and saw it grow in popularity until “it was obvious that of a sudden had a business”.
As well as a great, competent pitch, Höher showed an understanding of the market by recognising that Knowables should be developed for non-smartphone owners – a demographic that makes up 72% of the global market. “There are more people with mobile phones than working toilets,” he told the panel.
The pair hope to launch a closed alpha version this month – a task made easier by Betapitch prizes that include business coaching, funding, office space and mentorship… as well as a kilo of coffee.
Somewhere – the cultural-fit CV that frees us from LinkedIn
We’ve already sung the praises of Justin McMurray’s Somewhere and it looks like the business brains of Berlin now share our enthusiasm.
Somewhere completely rips up the tired, old CV and recruiting format and aims to match up people and companies through culture, drive and passions.
Potential employees can represent themselves by favourite tunes, personal blogs, Facebook images – anything to give a rich portrait of what you’re really like – while employers can then post interactive questions to get an even fuller portrait of a candidate.
McMurray has completely bootstrapped the project up until this point, an impressive feat given the maturity of the concept and the product. “We’re looking for seed funding next and to be sustainable this year,” he told us last night.
Already a regular at Betahaus, McMurray will use his prizes to allow him to go after the correct fit in terms of funding.
Einfach – Locker-based drop-off points for services and deliveries
Optima Lab – online energy-consumption metering
Knowable.org – Maker network to solve global problems
Shakebee – Shake your phone to send a text
Loopcam – Animated GIF creator to up your LOL-graph
Somewhere – Disruptive recruitment site to match talent and employers by cultural fit
Greeguin – Like Kickstarter but for green projects and vetted by experienced engineers – this also gets a VV thumbs up
Mobeelizer – Cloud syncing service for mobile apps
Getagig – Online booking management, connecting artists and venues
Whyown.it – All pitch and no product from the mysterious Mr X