Le Web 3: Internet start-ups get a grilling
Day two of Le Web 3 and it's time to give the latest raft of internet start-ups a hard time. Over 30 companies were invited to do an 'elevator pitch' - a kind of Dragon's Den but without the pantomime - and most of them, it seemed, failed to impress the judges including renowned blogger Robert Scoble and venture capitalist Saul Klein of Index Ventures.
In many instances, there was a suspicion that they weren't even solving a real problem, but simply showing off some neat looking technology that had little value in the real world. Presentations were generally unprepared, they weren't very slick and they also seemed talk an awful lot about how great they were without actually showing the product at any point (I did wonder how Shiny Media would fare if we were asked to do our pitch to venture capitalists again!)
Basic questions were left unanswered (such as how is this even going to make money) and while a lot of them seemed keen to let everyone know about how cool their technology was, they didn't actually spend much time showing the technology. As Robert Scoble pointed out:
"Don't talk about the team. Show us some sex appeal. Wow us. It's like dating a girl. Make sure you have a story to tell to nail your pitch," said Scoble.
After a good 10-15 minutes spent roundly criticising the contestants, the panel then started going on about how you shouldn't give up, and that the entrants had all done very well, and even professional investors don't always know the right answers or know if a product will be a success.
The main theme of the business ideas seemed to be social networks, and a lot of them were relying on people spending their marketing and advertising budgets with them without any talk of spending any money on their own marketing.
Anyway without further ado here are the winners.
GooJet - Mobile live
PLYmedia - Monetise your video.
G.ho.st - Complete virtual computer in your web browser