3. June 2013–
Hy! Berlin, the two-part event and startup competition bringing together CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors, kicked off last night at Radialsystem V in Berlin. Locca – a Vienna-based startup that has developed devices to help you locate everything from bikes and keys to children – was the winner of the competition and awarded €30,000 from hub:raum, €20,000 worth of Google Cloud services, PR and tax consulting as well as a trip to Silicon Valley.
The second part of the event continues until 4 June in the form of a closed summit with 150 industry leaders discussing the digitisation of the European economy
Milo Yiannopoulos, host of Hy! Berlin, began the competition by introducing the three-person jury – Skimlinks CEO Alicia Navarro, YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim and Ballou PR owner Colette Ballou – while a brass band played.
Here'a rundown of the five startups who took the stage to pitch their ideas:
- JoyTunes aims to "revolutionise music education" with their interactive video games – which are similar to Guitar Hero – controlled by real instruments. If startups can learn anything from the pitch, it's that you shouldn't answer a judge's question about how the prize money will be used with: "Well, we have two more days in Berlin..."
- Atooma, an Android app dubbed the "IFTTT for mobile", aims to make your smartphone smarter by setting conditional events (if) that trigger actions (do). After pitching the idea, Atooma's team was met with a flurry of questions from the judges about the concept, which Navarro criticised as "too general".
- Petcube is a gadget that allows you to play with your pet from anywhere. The cubic device has a camera, laser pointer and microphone, and can be controlled with your smartphone. Though the audience was enthusiastic about the idea, the jury was more skeptical with Karim mentioning that a patent for a similar product already exists in the US.
- Locca wants to help you "stop searching and start living". The winning startup has developed two tracking devices – one ideal for children and one ideal for objects, bikes and animals – that will be available this September. The device utilises a string of advance location techniques that range from motion sensors to assisted GPS.
- Vubooo is a second-screen app for football fans and acts as a virtual football stadium. Though CEO Itav Topaz claimed that it would "change the way you experience a football game", the jury seemed unsure about what the product actually was.
While the judges deliberated, education startup Toywheeel – winners of Hy!'s startup competition last year – and mobile fashion marketplace Stylemarks announced the launch of their products. Additionally, San Francisco-based self-improvement app Everest announced the roll-out of their service in the UK and Ireland.
featured image courtesy of Christoph Heinrich
For related posts, check out:
Deutsche Telekom-backed vintage platform Stylemarks launches at hy! Berlin
Who will come out on top? Tech All Stars competition announces 12 startup finalists
Mark your calendars! Our guide to the best Berlin conferences this summer