EVENT: DreamLaunch by Dreamstake
LOCATION: Clerkenwells Workshop
DATE: December 1, 2011
On the first evening of December Club Workspace at the Clerkenwell Workshops played host to DreamLaunch. This DreamStake event, sponsored by Rackspace, saw seven digital startups launch to an audience full of entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The septet of launchers demonstrated their concepts not only to the gathered audience, but also to the cameras of 90SecondsTV, and to Twitter users who were keeping tabs on @ClubWorkspace’s livetweeting.
The seven launch presentations were sandwiched between energetic networking sessions. Members of the vibrant and sizable audience arrived at Club Workspace long before the event began, and stayed long into the December night. Many of the attendees were startups from diverse backgrounds. This collection of entrepreneurs spent much of the evening swapping advice, startup stories and business cards.
The seven startups, of course, were the main attraction. At seven o’clock sharp Monika Gierszewska of Dreamstake called the room to order before introducing the first Startup to the stage.
were the first to launch. LinkOut is an app that aims to optimise your professional networking possibilities. The creators of LinkOut realised that many of the relationships that users form on virtual networking sites can be of negligible value. Therefore, not only does LinkOut intelligently enrich the connections that it suggests to users, but it is also geared towards turning ‘your virtual network into real-life meetings.’
LinkOut asks its users questions that aim to determine their availability for face-to-face interaction. The app asks users to ‘pick time for link-ups’, such as ‘morning’, ‘lunchtime’ or ‘weekends’. When two users have been introduced, one can suggests the either ‘coffee’ or ‘dinner’, for example, to the other.
are dedicated to making ‘the world your playground.’ Gamar is a computer-game development startup that uses the latest in augmented reality technology. During Gamar’s demonstration, the similarities between Gamar’s technology and that of augmented reality giants Blippar
Whilst these two superpowers seem primarily concerned with advertising, Gamar’s main objective is to harness the power of augmented reality for gaming. Gamar are currently working on the ‘Jazzy Jones’ game, and have already allowed smartphone users to grow a virtual forest on Regent Street.
This is ClipDo
, and it’s really straightforward’, John Slinn declared with confidence and verve. ClipDo is a Kindle
clipping service. If you’ve spotted an interesting article online whilst you’re using your Mac or PC but you don’t have time to read it at that moment, with one click ClipDo pings the text that you have selected to your Kindle, so you can read it at your leisure.
Multiple device users need never miss out on interesting articles again. If you like the sound of ClipDo’s service but you’re not a Kindle user, not to worry. ClipDO are currently developing applications that suit other tablets, including the iPad.
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were next up to the podium to demonstrate their ‘social discovery website.’ Unlike other online community-builders, Colour DNA’s centrifugal force is colour. Every user choses their favourite colour. Each interest - such as football, Colman’s mustard, Interprative Dance or Modern Italian Cinema - also possesses a ‘Colour DNA’. These DNAs are created by the favourite colour of the users that ‘like’ that interest. Therefore, users reconstruct their ‘Colour DNA’ with every interaction, as the Colour DNA of their new interest effects their own Colour DNA.
Although this explanation makes the service seems as complicated as deoxyribonucleic-acid, stem-cell-research and double-helixes, his video
should clear things up. The platform’s use of colour is its unique selling point: it gives social interaction an ever-changing, dynamic visual element.
Following Colour DNA were Safer Minicabs
. Safer Minicabs is a mobile application that enables its users to book a safe, licensed London minicab from anywhere in the capital. The service allows Blackberry
users to compare arrival times and prices of minicabs from a directory of minicab providers before they book.
Safer Minicabs combines safety and customer service. The app provides customers with an easy-to-use booking system and peace-of-mind, as Safer Minicabs only work with TFL
registered minicab operators.
Paris Upon Thames
Paris Upon Thames
closed the presentations. June Carvel, the entrepreneur behind the website, claims that users of Paris Upon Thames ‘need never be a struggling artist again.’ Paris Upon Thames is an advisory website whose mission is to connect artists with potential clients.
We are all familiar with the story of the out-of-work artist. Paris Upon Thames aims to make this tale of woe a thing of the past by increasing artist employability by offering industry-connectivity and specialist advice.
Monika Gierszewska once again took to the stage to wrap up the startup launches, and then threw the discussion open to the floor for a short and sharp Q&A session.
Arguably the most interesting piece of advice to come from the Q&A was about monitising a mobile app. Jayesh Hirani and John Slinn, of Saferminicabs and ClipDO respectively, fielded the question. John said that ‘it’s all about volume.’ There’s no point in looking to sell ad-space on your mobile application if its not already massive. According to John, who spoke with experience, tech startups and app developers should direct their energy into growing their product into something huge before they make money out of it. If they are successful, John advised, ‘the ad-space will sell itself.’
As Hirani’s app is different from ClipDo, in that it deals with external minicab providers, monitisation is far more straightforward. SaferMinicabs take a commission on every booking made via their app.
A gentleman who earns his crust as a ‘Go to Market Advisor’ in Silicon Valley, Sean Ellis
, offers this statistic about startup launches, ‘80 percent of startups launch efforts are a waste of time and money.’ As DreamStake’s evening was free for both ‘launchers’ and guests, and provided all seven with the opportunity for exposure, it is probable that the magnificent seven may consider DreamLaunch to form part of their beneficial 20 percent.