1. Fabrication Games, also from Sweden, have a mobile gaming platform, along with a very strong team. Creating sophisticated game-play is one thing. How does a games company scale that? These days, the challenge is to leverage the fast-growing shift towards digital distribution. What Fabrication Games offers is a combination of know-how in creating great game-play, a strong business track record and a new focus on creating an international digital platform network. The company is primarily owned by the two co-founders, and they’re now seeking investment for expansion. As for the technology: “We’re very impressed with WP7 – we’ve been one of the top ten mobile apps in the card game category”.
2. @Atomblock pitched by @nescio is a company providing digital entertainment and professional solutions – the Atomblock Platform. Publishers can control all stages of the distribution chain and securely distribute content to any online shop or portal. They can also view sales activity real-time. I watched Hendrik pitch yesterday and he got a lot of great advice during the ‘dry run’ and, though nervous today, he did a good job fielding questions from the judges. I’m really impressed with the experience of the founding team. Our resident Dutch startup techie and all-round nice guy @markvoer certainly champions them and wants them to win. We shall see….
3. Parcelgenie is well known to us in the team having recently been accepted into the BizSpark One program. John Taylor did a great job. One follower of the event @rodbanner tweeted: @parcelgenie demo at #BizSparkEU is delightfully straightforward. Real gifts in real time. Great idea. Are barriers to entry high enough? Another said - I like ParcelGenie. If it can scale it has real potential. Virtual gifts have become very popular, but lack the gratification of actual physical gifts. ParcelGenie’s founders spotted this gap in the market and decided to build a service to bridge the virtual and the real. In less than 10 seconds, customers can select a gift and send it. The nearest competitors are companies offering mobile vouchers, but John says that these have a low redemption rate.
4. Thomas from Pixel Pandemic started off with a scenario: “Like most thirtysomething guys, we want to play games but nowadays, we have less time. Yes, we like World of Warcraft. But it takes time. Farmville? Boring. So we built our own”. Zombies Pandemic! He said most games on Facebook have 5-6 weeks shelf life… then people lose interest. They’re targeting a market forecast to be worth $1.6bn market in 2012. Right now, Zombies is in ‘purchasable beta’ with 300,000 registered users and around 1% of those paying customers. Judges pointed out they’re entering into a massively competitive space with e.g. Zynga. How are you planning to compete? Tommy: “With the ‘freemium’ business model, Pixel Pandemic bridges the gap between the ‘cute’ genre of social network-based games (building farms etc) with the features that more hardcore game players demand”… So I’m boring. Like FarmVille. It’s therapeutic, OK?
5. I met Mopapp CEO Allesandro at a startup gym facilitated by Mind the Bridge at Pier 38 in San Francisco end of March when I was asked along to watch them practice pitch and receive some coaching (from the man himself, Mr Sigal). Mopapp went on to take first prize at Seedcamp Berlin in May (and were awarded 50K Euro). Alessandro did them proud. Love the solution: it aggregates information from all major app-stores, giving mobile application developers current information about their latest sales. It’s also good news for app-stores too, because it provides evidence of how well they are doing. The judges loved the pitch: “Very clear, lots of numbers, thanks!”. Allesandro later had a lot of interest and tweeted: “#bizsparkeu is really terrific! I'm really proud to have presented Mopapp here”. Aw.