Start In Paris #19 – Pitches!

After FailCon in Paris this afternoon, we can go on and assist to Start in Paris.

Start in Paris is a monthly event, where startups can pitch their product to an audience of other startuppers, investors, medias, etc. It’s the 19th edition, so kudos to Laurent and Jonathan, who started it two years ago! Startups are selected to pitch by a public vote, and a vote by SMS at the end of the pitches defines a winner (it’s only an honorary title, but still).

We’ll hear 5 startups pitch tonight.

  • Beelink: an app to maintain your phone book up to date
  • FriendCode: a set of tools for developers, to improve collaboration and simplicity
  • Work Bandits: an engine to implement gamification mechanics into digital apps
  • Now app: an app to know what’s happening in your city right now, based on people publishing pictures
  • effiDriver: an app that promotes eco-driving and reward responsible drivers

We’re gonna here the pitches, complete this post along the way, and give our own opinion at the end, just before the beers.

Effidriver

This is a mobile app that helps you reduce your CO2 consumption and improve your security when you drive. They were selected at LeWeb last year and will launch their new app at the next “Mondial de l’Auto” in Paris. This is basically an energy-tracking app. What is at stake? Reduce Pollution, Control Cost, and Improve Safety.

How does it work? You register your car and its characteristics, and then the app register the way you drive, and rewards you with coupons when you drive “smoothly”.

The presentation is nice, but too much bullshit in my view. It’s hard too understand how it works and what it is for. It’s based only on the GPS, so efficiency and precision are questionnable. Probably works best on highways and long distance trips. Probably a nice technology in the end, but not sure there is a real business potential here.

Now

(disclaimer : Ben, the founder, is a very good friend of mine. Therefore I will not give any opinion).

This is a app to know what’s cool right now, when you arrive in a city where you have nothing to do tonight. It’s all based on pictures published on Instagram. They now have 20 000 users, New York being the most active city.

Work Bandits

They sell a software that implements gamification mechanics into any digital activity. We all know that game mechanics are super efficient to improve engagement, they want to use into other universes.

It’s clearly a B2B model. May be profitable, but I have no idea how hard it would be for developers to do it themselves. What is the real technology behind it? Are they “on demand developers”, with a specific expertise? Consultants? I think there is a kind of API that apps use to update their gamification. Not really clear on that point.

In fact, they manage the “rules” of the game, and update the player points and rewards, but that’s it. Do you really need a third-party solution for that? Communication and digital agency are already customers, for their clients or intranets.

Friend Code

Two developers on stage! Developers use complicated, platform-dependant and old tools. They both had problems while working on a former project, and want to solve the collaboration problems they had during this project.

It all ends into FriendCode, an HTML5 platform also available on mobile, where you can edit code and collaborate on it in real-time, with also a social dimension. It also unifies and centralizes common developer tools, like GitHub and StackOverflow on the same UI.

It’s made by developers, for developers. Hard to tell how useful it can be, or if other tools can do about the same thing. They are still in private beta, but the open one should open soon.

Beelink

It’s an app to complete and update your phone book. Statistically, one new contact is wrong (adress, phone number, email) each week, and you have to do it manually.

Not sure if it’s a different phone book, or if it’s integrated with your default phone book (iOS or Android). You need to download a new app to have a phone book? It looks like it’s all in this app : your book, your invitation, and updates (only people using Beelink will automatically update your own phone book).

If you need a new app, and you need everyone to use it to have updated information, I would not bet much on their success…

And the winner is… Beelink!

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