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TWiST and Shout – This week in startups

On Friday September 7th, in the slick surroundings of the Telefonica-O2 Wayra Office, 11 great startups pitched their company to a panel of judges in Dublin, with the finalists going through to compete on the ‘This Week in Startups’ podcast. Reuben and I went down to check it out. Here’s how we got on.

Arriving at the office, we got temporarily distracted the surroundings, particularly by the ping pong table. After an intense game, with me coming out victorious, Raomal Perera of ThousandSeeds began to kick things off.

First up was Michael Fitzgerald of OnePageCRM. An engineer by trade, Michael’s GTD (Getting Things Done) principle certainly resonated with me and Reuben. We liked the simplicity and efficiency that software like OnePageCRM exemplifies. Simple solutions to business difficulties are what we’re all about at Bullet.

FourSquare for health

Next to pitch was Liam Ryan of GetHealth, describing the app as “FourSquare for health”; it covers all three aspects of health: Munch, Move, Mind. Focusing on increasing employee engagement in wellness, the app makes health fun. The app encourages our competitive sides into bettering our own health. A great pitch that went down well with the judges. We’ll definitely be downloading it.

Third was Fanuel Dewever of Emphas.is, an online platform where photojournalists can submit projects for crowdfunding by the public. Crowdfunding is a form of online fundraising that has already proven successful in a number of fields, including music, film and grassroots development aid. Emphas.is is the first to tailor crowdfunding specifically for photojournalism, and it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Brendan O’Driscoll of Soundwave, a mobile app that tracks what songs people are listening to in real time, pitched after. He talked us through Facebook check-ins, Twitter, Instagram. For Brendan, Soundwave fits in nicely: I’m here and this is what I’m listening to. One of my favourite pitches, I’ve requested a Beta invite.

Sixth was Dan Barry of Riffstation. For me, Riffstation was bringing the Rockband computer game to real life. As all the staff play guitar, Dan described it as ”the application we all wish we had when we were starting out so we decided to build it.” As someone who has completed Beatles Rockband, but doesn’t know the first thing about playing a guitar,  I will be checking this out.

Abhinav Chugh then presented Videocrisp.VideoCrisp is a cloud based video creation tool primarily designed for small businesses to create high quality professional videos in just a few clicks, without the need to outsource. While we struck gold finding Conor to do our video, I can see the advantages for small businesses of doing it themselves.

Video optimisation “Simplified”

Continuing the video theme, Christopher Chapman told us about Simplified Video SEO. Using Simplified, small business owners, video producers, publishers and marketers can optimise their online video themselves to generate greater visibility. We love video at Bullet, and have done a number of blogs with how to videos

Don Corbett from MobileMinder pitched next. His software application for smartphones helps identify potential child-safety issues for parents such as inappropriate messages and photographs being sent to a child’s smartphone, and cyber-bullying. With more and more children with smartphones, and the age when they get their first one lowering every year, we certainly saw the advantages. Dan also had a very strong revenue focus to his pitch, while it’s easy to get lost in the glamour of the product, Dan kept focus on some of the other important aspects of a viable business.

We then heard about BuildingEye from Ciaran Gilsenan. With BuildingEye, members of the public can view what’s being planned in their neighbourhood, and businesses can subscribe to new project leads in our planning lists. Ciaran’s product appealed to the nosey neighbour in all of us, and it will be interesting to see how it develops.

Phil Riordan told us about Bragbet. Bragbet is an online social betting site that allows groups of friends relying on each other’s football knowledge to place bets on matches. At Bullet, we’re currently engrossed in Fantasy Premier League, so we see Bragbet’s potential!

Trackalyse was pitched by Charlie Ardagh. Trackalyse enables it’s customers to track, analyse and compare any fan pages on Facebook. The tool allows you to see data about your competitors’ social media profiles that you would otherwise only get if you were an administrator on their page. We’re currently trying to build our Facebook page so will be checking out Trackalyse.

The judging panel was composed of Brian Caulfield, partner at DFJ Esprit; Suzi Jarvis, Director of the TCD-UCD Innovation Academy; and William McQuillan, partner at Frontline Ventures. The three judges picked GetHealth, Soundwave, and Riffstation to go through and represent Dublin against Belfast in a This Week in Startups online city meetup.

All three Dublin companies held their own, emerging victorious over Belfast. Riffstation was declared the overall winner by Jason Calacanis and Jason Nazar. You can see the This Week in Startups podcast with pitches and feedback from the final

Thanks to Mary Cronin and Raomal Perera of Thousandseeds for hosting. We had a great time and look forward to seeing you at future events.

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