131st 1M/1M Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Winners Of The A&N Media-Elance Contest With London School Of Economics SU Entrepreneurs & European Student Startups
We co-hosted today’s roundtable with London School Of Economics SU Entrepreneurs and European Student Startups. A&N Media and Elance awarded three scholarships. Today’s judges were, for A&N Media, Charlie Mortimer, Head of New Venutures, Sam Duncan-Brown, Head of Innovation, and Kim Roditi, Innovation Manager, joined by Kjetil Olsen, VP of Europe for Elance.
Here are the pitches:
First, Joseph Virgili with Cranfield University in the U.K. pitched RedEddy, a marketplace and cloud-based platform for engineering simulation and modeling software. The segment is dominated by CAD vendors like Ansys and Dassault at the high end, as well as MathWorks. Joseph sees an opportunity for bringing a significantly less expensive offering to market.
Then Abhishek Garodia from London Business School pitched PlayEnable, which effectively could be described as OpenTable for gyms and sports venues. Consumers interested in booking slots at gym-classes or on tennis courts, squash-courts, etc., would do so through PlayEnable. The challenge, however, is that they would need to convince every single gym / venue owner to install their software. Tough proposition. It look OpenTable a long time and huge capital to get there.
Next Patrick Daniel from London School of Economics pitched Locus, a location-based service that helps people connect physically at venues like university libraries, museums, sports stadiums, etc. I am of the opinion that this product could be brought to market as custom apps by some of these major venues as well.
Then, Vyacheslav Polonski from London School of Economics pitched Cloudmarks, a bookmark aggregation service that collects your bookmarks across various browsers, networks, etc. Currently, the revenue model for the business is not fleshed out sufficiently. Quite possibly, the real customers of the offering would be media companies trying to understand which of their links are being widely bookmarked and shared.
Next, Kuan Yan Tan, who is studying for the year in Stockholm, pitched Jublia, another physical interaction enabler for local events with a focus on jobs. For example, say you are at a job fair. People meet, interact and then have the technology at their disposal to check out the resumes of those with whom they have good in-person interactions. Interaction first, CV later, as Jublia says.
Last up, Anita Lamb from Atlanta, Georgia pitched Altitude Fasique, a fashion line for women over 5’ 9’’ tall, quite an underserved category. Anita’s business strategy is predicated upon capital financing the launch of her line, which, I am afraid, won’t work. She needs to pull together a bootstrapping strategy, and the judges had some very interesting ideas today.
And the winners of today’s contest are: Locus, Cloudmarks, and Jublia. Congratulations, winners!
You can listen to the recording of today’s roundtable here.
Sramana Mitra is the founder of the One Million by One Million (1M/1M) initiative, an educational, business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.