Another techpitch, another clutch of killer startups (and some not-so-killer ones, too).

As usual, the event was hosted by Danvers Bailleu from Pinsett Masons, startup lawyer to the stars.  The panel consisted of founders, and a range of VCs from Passion, Black Sheep, etc.

Without further ado, we shall proceed to the main event – the startups!  Here’s a selection of the frontrunners:

First and quite possibly foremost was Bantr (@bantrtv).  This was a truly impressive concept, which I’ve seen before.  The basic premise is to give people somewhere to talk/argue about football.  When you consider the enormity of the global fan base for soccer, you have to admit that even the worst monetisation model would payout if Bantr captured a significant share of global eyeballs for football.  In fact, it’s quite amazing that nothing similar exists already.  Football fans love the chat, so anyone that owns the space for them to squabble in will likely clean up.  This is one of the few businesses I’ve seen recently that could genuinely hit a billion-dollar valuation. What’s more, there’s obviously potential for expanding into Rugby, NFL, F1, 20:20, etc.  I would recommend giving serious consideration to an investment, if it’s your field.

Sticking with the football theme was BlueFields.  This is a simple application which allows amateur football teams to manage player availability and collect subs.  Think of it a little like for amateur football clubs – a simple, narrrowly defined app which performs a single function very well.  I love businesses like this, which have an obvious economic benefit to users, a clear business model, and crucially a realistic route to market.  It’s just the kind of sensible business model that is highly likely to succeed online.

Livemusicstage are doing something fairly novel, and in a big market.  They’re webcasting live gigs.  This makes a lot of sense in two particular use cases: international fan base access, and ‘exclusive’ private gigs.  Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll pay £40 to watch a band online if you can drive down the road and see them play Wembley, it’s perfectly possible that someone in Brazil might shell out to watch their favourite band play in London.  Furthermore, if you’re offered the chance to see a band play in their rehearsal studio, bedroom, or spaceship, there is every chance you’ll pay to see it. This allows bands not only to open up new revenue streams, but also to create new publicity. I’ve seen the app privately, and there are some cool features to enhance the experience, such as chat and actions. This is one to watch….

SeekAndAdore are a marketplace for artisans. Their business model is simple: offer an online gallery experience, but at a lower price than the galleries do. However, this still leaves them priced high, from a merchant’s point of view. Whilst a 30% rip seems reasonable for a digital sale, once you’re talking wages and materials on each and every sale, it all seems rather steep. For me, this made the idea less than appealing, as there are competitors which don’t take such a deep dig. Nevertheless, the business made it into the top three – as did BlueFields and Bantr.

There was good agreememnt between the audience and judges, and I feel the stronger apps from the night definitely did better. However, I do think that liveMusicStage deserved recognition.

Other services presenting included:
CompareMySolar, who help householders find installers for their solar project; Ditto; Novativ Media, who install tocuhscreen advertising platforms in taxis and minicabs, and finally Pepper.