The Startup Showcase has quickly become a highlight of the DCM Events, and day one of the main DCM Europe conference was no exception. Four outstanding new ventures presented to and were voted on by a panel of judges and the delegates. The presentations were all extremely well received and voting by the audience resulted in a tie for first place, which then went to a best of three judges’ votes.
First up was Lee Morgenroth of leemail.me - ‘a PO Box for your email’. The service provides a unique and secure email address for all those websites we want to use, and which want an email address. There is a facility to turn the email on and off, and should, said Morgenroth, make it easier for people to give companies an email address. “Look at PayPal,” he said. “They are a trusted mediator for payments. We do the same thing for contact details.”
Fans for brands was the mantra of the next startup, Gruvi.tv, represented by James Hobbis. “Spotify attracted one million followers in the US with the Facebook Ticker,” he pointed out. “We can do that for any brand.” The company works with movie companies primarily, helping fans to discover, explore and share content. “The trouble with social media is that people don’t want their personal conversations interrupted. We join that conversation; we don’t interrupt it.” The advantage for movie studios was huge, he said, allowing them to market early to the right people with the appropriate use of shared trailers and recommendations.
Music with a view was the next pitch, as Stephen O’Regan of BalconyTV explained the concept that started on a balcony in Dublin. “It’s the rock ‘n’ roll part of digital content monetization,” he said. “Three friends started with the crazy idea of doing a TV show from our balcony. We wanted a new show every day and invited bands to perform so we could put the show on MySpace. Soon we were inundated by requests.” One of the unknown bands who performed for the first time on that Dubin balcony was The Script, who were to be seen two years later on the David Letterman show.
Last up to the podium was Jessica Butcher of Blippar. To Blipp, she said, was the act of instantly converting anything in the real world into an interactive wow experience. who worked on “Converting an old push into a realtime proactively pulled experience.” With the use of image recognition, an app can turn even the most everyday object into interactive fun. “It is content delivery to the user's hand, interactively and proactively requested.” The cumulative and rapidly growing audience has resulted in two million user Blipps, 50 client campaigns, and 350,000 users already. The dead heat was between BalconyTV and Blippar, with Blippar winning in the best of three votes by the judges.