Last week, the 4th edition of La Salle Tech Demo Day took place and more than 1,000+ attendees showed up to talk to 114 Barcelona tech start-ups. Upon my arrival, the buzz inside the conference hall was overwhelming. The venue was packed with companies, each having a table and often a laptop or ipad to show the product, and a huge (screaming) banner. It was clear that the participating companies were in different stages. Some were raising money by crowd funding, while others have been in business 6+ years and expanded over three continents. All had in common their passion for technology and belief that their product will change the way we live and work. We can’t wait to see the success stories. Will one of below companies make it happen?
Take Catchoom, a spinoff of Telefonica. CEO David Marimon presents it as the Shazam for pictures. It all started in 2008 when they developed the technology for this flexible, cloud-based recognition engine. Since 2011 they have headed into the market with success. The company currently exists of seven people and operates globally. One of their big customers is Layar, specializing in augmented reality. But what is Catchoom? Imagine you run out of your favorite olive oil at home and don’t remember where you bought it. Take a picture, upload it to Catchoom and they will recognize it for you. Catchoom shows you all of the product details, including where it can be bought (online or in the nearest store). Another application is for cinema posters. Imagine again, you’re walking down Paral-lel and see a giant billboard of The Great Gatsby. But in which theater is it screened and at what time? “Catchoom” it, and you’ll have the nearest locations. Like the product? Go to Catchoom’s website and try it for free.
Darius Funallet from I Am Together keeps it simple and just has a landing site to show. By creating a critical mass, he aims to help society stand up against the large utility companies: oil, energy, medical insurance and credit cards. If enough people buy into a challenge, e.g. sell 20 million dollars of fuel in a week, they are able to get a 20% discount. By ‘intelligence collaboration’ I am Together has the strength to negotiate. How does it work? You become a member for free and when the challenge suits you, you can buy a coupon into the deal. If the deal goes on, the challenge succeeds. If not, you get your money back. In 8 months’ time 27,000 persons subscribed to the community. The challenge of the four I Am Together employees is to have 5 different challenges online at any time.
Do you love gaming? These six entrepreneurs at Sila Games do. And what would be a gamers heaven? Well, being able to play as many different games as you want of course. Therefore, Sila Games offers a membership platform which for monthly fee, you are able to gain access to any game imaginable. The release is planned in Spain, but the launch will be both in Spanish and English. If you see value in this product and can imagine yourself using it, support these young entrepreneurs on Projeggt and get a free membership for their Beta-version. They have 5 days left to raise enough money to rock that gaming platform!
Near the beer stand from Morritz I bump into Aleix Canals from Sekg. He is wearing this futuristic headset. Not a Google Glass, but a Dream Glass based on Neurosky. He isn’t featured at the event, rather he just walks around to test his technology: a dashboard to do usability tests. “Huh?”. Let me explain: The brain waves are translated into the dashboard of the Glass, which shows the level of attention and meditation. From this you can derive if someone is interested in what is being said, and can also show their efficiency in processing information. This might be of interest to marketers, but also for educational purposes.
On a fair like this, a lot of talent is gathered. In other words, a great place for Nubelo to set up shop and seek out employees. Nubelo is a platform that connects freelancers to companies’ challenges. How does it work? 1) Briefings are added to community 2)Freelancers can make an offer 3) A match is made and a contract signed 4) A digital working space is created 5) The product is approved, the freelancer paid and feedback is given to the community on the quality of work. 6) Ready to start the circle again. Pol Fisas tells us that in one years time, the community reached 50,000 freelancers, 20,000 companies and a volume of projects totaling €2 million. Nubelo asks an 8% commission from each signed contract. They have already opened offices in Latin America and keep on growing. Currently they have 25 employees worldwide.
And finally, the most engaging exhibitor. You actually have to draw at Bukitmedia’s stand. For example, I experienced painter Miro’s artistic process and ended up in one of his symbols: bird or women. The students behind Bukitmedia received a challenge from Fundacion Miro to attract more 20 – 35 year olds to the museum. They thought – gaming is the solution. And so they connect art through digital involvement. It was a nice distraction in this fully packed venue. Perhaps something for Barcelona Growth challenge 4?
Note that I was not the only one interviewing the tech companies. BCN Startup Video shot several pitches, which will soon be published here.