Day in day out, at Clarity PR we work with startups of all shapes and sizes, so attending the Web Summit was a no brainer for us. This year’s edition was more special than most others as it was the last Summit to be held in Dublin for at least three years.
This year’s event was the biggest yet, boasting 40,000 attendees and 1,000 speakers from around the globe, with some of the hottest startups in the world showcasing their wares. Thankfully, this year really did live up to the hype and at Clarity we were lucky to meet some really great startups who have the potential to grow and grow. We highlight the ten most interesting startups below (in alphabetical order):
Bluetens is a pocket sized piece of technology that brings electrotherapy (of a professional quality) to anyone. The equipment is also supported by a smartphone app that controls the physical device. Co-Founder,Boris Dorin, kindly showed how it works and it looks like a seriously impressive piece of kit that will simplify medical care for consumers in a big way.
Credilikeme is a Mexican startup that sells short term loans online to millennials. It uses gamification to allow users to ‘level up’ if they payback their loans in a responsible way. This means that future loans could also be cheaper for users, due to the level of trust they’ve already built up. Jorge Enriquez, Co-Founder, kindly showed us how the gamification system works and it is a really simple system which will definitely appeal to millennials.
Losing a pet is quite traumatic right? This was the inspiration which brought Wade Chen, Co-Founder, to found Dott, which hails itself as ‘The Smart Dog Tag’. Slightly bigger than a 50p coin, it is a smart tag which fits around a dog’s collar and will alert you (by your smartphone) if your dog has gone into an area that they shouldn’t have. It is a really simple concept, but Wade has big plans to link with a number of partners (and also build up a community of users) to create a technological solution that enables ‘social good’ – we salute you!
At Clarity, we hate wasting time, as for us, time is money. Fairtime have the same way of thinking. A Spanish startup, they are offering consumers a way to donate their idle time either for profit or for good causes. The app builds an anonymised profile of a user and will ask them to then watch brands’ videos in which they can earn small amounts of money for each view. Manuel Maese, COO, took us through the quality of brands they have on board already and all we can say is ‘well done’!
Fintech can be a somewhat difficult and dizzying topic to understand at times. However, the guys at Gatehub have built a truly impressive offering, which translates easily into everyday life. One of their core offerings is a ‘wallet’ which is in effect ‘money in the cloud’, in which any asset can be sold and in which a transaction takes less than two seconds to complete globally.
Another fintech startup that really seemed to be onto a winner was Revolut. Using just an app and a physical card, it allows you to transfer money globally by SMS, Whatsapp and social media. Not only this, if you’re travelling abroad, your Revolut card just needs to be topped up and it automatically converts into the local currency at the most favourable rate. The best part of all this is that there are no hidden fees.
Business networking can be a bit easier at events like the Web Summit. However, if you’re constantly travelling, maximising your networking activities can be quite hard. Scheduit looks to solve this problem as it enables you look for networking opportunities wherever you are. You can search anywhere in the world or at specific events and then also look at your fellow networkers’ compatibility thanks to the ‘Schedumeter’.
Given that the Web Summit has been held in Ireland since its inception, it’s surprising to see so few Irish startups at the event. However, one startup is making huge inroads globally. The Shaw Academy is an online educational platform which has over 35,000 student on its books. It’s aimed at skilled professionals looking to upskill or fill a gap in their skills set. Each course is a minimum of 10 hours long and measurement of how successful the course is for users is based off a whopping 840 metric. The entire operation is completely bootstrapped, making it quite an impressive startup to come out of Ireland.
Book clubs probably seem quite old fashioned and parochial in the digital age. However, with the rise of the eBook readers, novels have become easier to read, share and discuss. The Pigeonhole looks to marry the old with the new by creating a global book club. You can read with complete strangers or create your own private group, while The Pigeonhole serialises books (called ‘Staves’) so it can fit into even the busiest lifestyles
As some members of Clarity can attest to, weddings are stressful events as much can, and sometimes does go wrong on the big day. Weddinghero aims to put lovers’ minds at ease by helping them organise every facet of their wedding, from venue to wedding clothes. On the flipside, it offers wedding suppliers the chance to showcase their services and goods to an audience who is looking to buy.
By Dave Claxton