It couldn’t be more appropriate for bike-friendly Berlin – the winner of the startup pitch prize at the inaugural TechCrunch Europe is Lock8, pitched as the world’s first smart bike lock.
Daniel Zajarias-Fainsod – standing in for Lock8 CEO Franz Salzmann – got a real grilling from the final Startup Battlefield judging panel today, some of whom appeared not to be regular cyclists. The young hardware company, based in London and Berlin, makes a lock able to detect theft and sound an alarm during an attempted heist.
That alone is a pretty good pitch if the final price point is comparable to other high-end bike locks. The point of difference is that the lock combines with an app that reports location so the bike can be shared with others.
As the winner, Lock8 will receive €40,000 in prize money and the “Disrupt Cup” won at the last conference by messaging, voice and video startup Layer.
Michael Arrington, Klaus Hommels, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, Silicon Valley Bank’s Bindhi Karia and Index Ventures’ Neil Romer made up the judging panel for the final round. The competition received hundreds of applicants, whittled down to a shortlist of 14 and four finalists – Asap54, Lock8, Import.io and Voicesphere.
Asap54, a fashion app that uses image recognition technology to deliver personalised recommendations, came runner-up. The full list of shortlisted companies is as follows:
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