Sunday, June 21, 2015

Unpluggd Conference: Startup Launch and Demo session

In the last post we went through the overall impressions from the conference. Here is a summary of the first session of the day Startup Launch and Demo. Unpluggd invites applications for this slot allowing people to convey their startup ideas. Tons of applications follow and they choose the best of them to allow showcasing their products on the big stage. Lets go through the list and have a quick introduction to them.
  1. Oyelife: aims to tap into the weekend leisure market. Their vision can be best portrayed by one of the slides that put up saying - "We think when people have time at hand in a weekend and don't know what to do they will turn to one of these three apps: zomato (for food discovery), bookmyshow (to book tickets for movies/plays/sports etc) and Oyelife."

    Bold statement and a courageous dream to pursue. Their content is curated and contains all the activities you can think of apart from the other two domains mentioned. I wish them well because I really hate hitting a dozen of apps. I will keep a close eye on Oyelife to allow me some less trouble on weekends to choose a way to have fun!

    Tapping into a bit of history, Oyelife comes from the same team that established Must See India which offers holiday packages. They claim to provide holiday packages with their own content (not user generated) like Housing does in the real estate ecosystem. They also claim to allow people to customize the holiday packages and provide 24*7 support. I am not very excited about this though I like the bold move in Oyelife.
  2. Magictiger: is the one stop shop to getting everything online on your fingertips. At present they offer a phone number and you can contact them on whatsapp chat. They claim to cover anything you could ask them to get for you without any extra charge. Look at this screenshot from their website for an example:



    How cool is that? From booking a movie ticket to hotel, from ordering a food item to groceries they simply cover everything. Too good to be true and more technically too difficult to scale. Of course they were asked how they were going to be able to manage with one whatsapp number. And they said they have somehow been able to multiplex it and there are actually 20 odd people responding. There was a guy in the audience who actually ordered a nimbooz and got it delivered. Well this feels like a dream. Get lazy and have fun as it lasts and I really do wish it lasts longer!
  3. MobiComKit: is a plug and play support for messaging. A lot of applications, though they can do really better with a communication interface embedded in them, end up either not having it to begin with or use a third party tool (like ola pays for the messages instead of embedding it in their app). If you don't have a way for people to come and spend some time on your website and talk about you, I think you are losing customers in the process. Its one thing to bring someone to your website and its a big deal to keep them there. And there is no better way to promote than a human interaction. If you use a third party tool, you lose data which I believe is the most important tool in your basket for people love personalization in today's age. Blame it on facebook or google, people have come to get used to being treated based on their behavior.

    MobiComKit adds an in-app messaging feature to your apps without the need to invest time on it without caring about the implementation or the infrastructure. Plug it, play it and engage your customers on your website.
  4. Banihal is yet another attempt at match-making. Not again sigh! That was my initial reaction until I cam across Mr cheerful and confident founder. This guy had the best presentation skills. And he tried his best to convince that this is not just another match-making website. They are here to rule the industry. They have an impressive team and they already have a seed funding in too!

    Aaaaaand the investor is none other than David Cheriton himself. Here are the two gentleman:


    The guy who saw the potential in Google in-spite of many other search engines existing at that time and wrote the first cheque for them. Of course there were parallels drawn with this. Banihal claims to do it better and rule the space it is in. They are going to use neurology and all the research behind human decision making to make sure marriage is NOT just a decision. As Warren Buffett says- this is the most important investment one does in life. Banihal's vision is to give people 5 recommendations and they want to ensure the person does get married to one of them. Like Google, don't scroll to the second page of search results :) As much as I was uninspired by the space in which they are operating I really wish they do succeed for they have a good team, a visionary mentor and a confidence to rule the space- pretty much all ingredients to make a good business.
  5. Chaska: to me came across a wannabe cool company. Because the name is catchy I was really looking forward to this. My immediate thought was it would be about food, but I  was wrong. Its a way to discover, re-mix and share videos. From the presenter to concept to problem to solution, I tried my best but I was never inspired. Because they are a startup I wish them well too but I would be surprised to see this make it big. I wish though that I am proved wrong.
  6. uninstall.io: I like the concept though not a lot of other people shared my views. I have never thought so much about the % uninstalls against number of installs. I have never thought of analyzing this. Perhaps because I have never made an app myself? Maybe but to me this came up as something I would love to use as a startup. I would love to know why someone uninstalled my app, why someone finds my app crappy and how I can resurrect the situation. Go ahead and make it big guys. I do have faith in your ideas.
  7. TrueSemantic: are in the space of customer support. Their vision is to improve the customer support and I wish they really do it in India for customer support most of the times in my part of the world is crappy. They came up with a statistic saying 80% companies think they have a really good and superior customer support while there are only 8% users who agree. Though I am no believer in a survey without knowing the source I would like to believe they are right. I would really expect a good survey to show that disparity. They have a really good website so I need not put much here. Just spend a couple of minutes on their well organized website and you will know what it is all about.
  8. Twist: is an improved android gaming experience on the TV screen. If you have read my last post you would know I was excited about this. Now I am no gaming enthusiast for I have always loved outdoor games more but I think this is something gaming ninjas should surely try. Go give it a try! By the way, I am a big believer in a good domain name and I wish their website was just twist.com instead of the http://www.gettwist.tv/. But it depends on how deep your pocket is.
  9. Audoce is one product I really want to lay my hands on as soon as possible. Imagine not having to carry keys everyday, forget a bunch of them. Imagine not having to come back early from office because your roommate lost the keys and imagine having it as a software with much more functionality than a conventional key and lock system. Your smartphone can tell you who entered the house and at what time, how long they stayed- this is just plain logging. Now imagine some intelligence (AI) built into it. Okay lets stop dreaming and support them to come up with a system that can help us trust this software for software is definitely more prone to being hacked than the physical keys. Go ahead guys and make a kickass product. There is a bigass market waiting for you to do well.
  10. Drip is something that the NextBigWhat team itself has come up with. It offers short curated news stories and aims at people who just have 5 minutes waiting for their bus to show up to quickly browse through the news. This is an obvious market in the news publishing industry for there are so many news channels providing the same news over and over. Then there are aggerators like google news too. I am a bit confused about this project at the moment but given their contacts I would like to believe it is easier for them to do a good job. All the best to the NextBigWhat team and kudos for the great work on the conference side! 
I will keep a close eye on this list and I would love to know your views on these wonderful ideas.

2 comments:

  1. MagicTiger?
    they are essentially a copy of "Magic", a YC company[1] launched in Feb.

    MagicMurga would have been a better name.

    [1] http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/23/magic-is-a-startup-that-promises-to-bring-you-anything-if-youre-willing-to-pay-for-it/

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    Replies
    1. Right, its the same. So its only execution to look forward to!

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