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Bright new ideas from Seedcamp

Posted on 16th Aug 2011 at 08:42 by Clive Webster with 4 comments

Clive Webster
The Guardian brought SeedCamp to my attention the other day, which is like a European KickStarter for entrepreneurs. Lord Sir Alan Sugar would be proud.

The idea is that small startup companies with big ideas can pitch to SeedCamp and get the funding they need to develop or launch their product or service. Or, In SeedCamp’s own words, ‘Seedcamp is an early-stage micro seed investment fund and mentoring programme… For the winning companies of any event where we choose to make an investment, Seedcamp’s standard investment is: €50,000 for 8-10% per cent of the company.

What caught my eye the most were some of the Guardian’s top 20 picks, which look genuinely fun, useful or some combination thereof. Here are my picks of their picks:

Crowd is in private beta, but is a photo sharing service where users can share images in real-time, allowing people to experience other locations via geo-tagged image taken there.

EnergyBob is just a placeholder URL for the company that aims to make energy metering smarter. The EnergyBob server ‘talks to Google's Latitude's API to determine when you're on your way home, and when the heating needs to come on’ for example. The appliance is set to cost €99 for installation and €9 a month thereafter.

CityMapper is a service that connects the various and many ways to travel around London into one map-driven interface. CityMapper integrates everything from the Tube and buses to the Boris bikes and just walking into one application; it also tells you how much you’ll pay for your journey, or how many calories you’ll burn off. You can use the service now.

Myows stands for ‘My Original Works’ and is a way to share and distribute your creative work while maintaining control over it. Users store their copyrighted material (which can be images, video, music, artwork or whatever) with Myows, which allows the copyright holder to prove ownership, manage their rights and chase copyright infringements. ‘[i] Myows is already storing 18,000 registered works and has solved 72 infringement cases.[i]’

opensignalmaps is a simple idea: overlay the strength of mobile reception on a map. You can select your operator and what level of network you’re looking for (ie, just 3G reception). You can use the service now, and it might come in handy for holidays in remote locations.

Travelstormer might come in handy if you’re arranging a trip with friends, as it helps organise a bunch of people’s travel needs. Once you’ve ‘brainstormed’ the best plan, you crowdsource travel tips from other Travelstormer users before finalising your plans.

There are more interesting ideas in the Guardian's SeedCamp story and on the SeedCamp site itself.

4 Comments

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Blademrk 16th August 2011, 11:07 Quote
Opensignalmaps is an interesting one, handy for showing the 3G spots around you.
trickster 16th August 2011, 11:29 Quote
Dont see much point to most of those! 5 out of 6 are just solutions to problems that either dont exist or are not particularly important.
Crowd - i can already see pictures of places I havent been to and id rather see something for real anyway.
EnergyBob - i have a timer and thermostat in my house. If this is meant to save money on heating bills, Im just gonna spend it on the subscription for this instead!
Citymapper - Already plenty of solutions i can use to find my way around and if your trying to get somewhere for a purpose, why do i need to know how many calories ive burned?
Myws - im not in this industry so cant comment. i guess it could be useful.
opensignalmaps - if I have 3G signal, great. if i have no 3G signal, how am i gonna get the maps to my device?! Besides, i aint gonna walk around just to get a better signal, i have better things to do.
Travelstormer - isnt that what the pub is for? Do people not want to talk to their friends anymore?

Just my 2pence worth!
John_T 16th August 2011, 14:02 Quote
I thought exactly the same thing about EnergyBob. I think it's a good idea in principal, but badly executed and hugely overpriced. Why would anyone pay £88 upfront for a gadget, and then £8 a month thereafter, forever, in the vain hope of trying to save more than £8 a month in energy. Most people have a fairly usual routine anyway, so it's not like the timer on most systems is going to hours out.

If the government/s decided to back the scheme as part of their energy efficiency drives - by subsidising the unit price and waiving the monthly fee - it might be in with a chance. As it is, total rubbish.

According to OpenSignalMaps I have no signal where I live at all. Bit strange, as I have two mobiles on different networks and full strength on each. Bit more work needed there...

CityMapper I quite liked, but the calorie count is so generic and inaccurate they may as well leave it off.

Like the idea of Seedcamp itself though - it's the best idea on the page!
MiNiMaL_FuSS 16th August 2011, 22:10 Quote
Citymapper is great. Travelling in London is a nightmare for those of us that don't know the city very well. And this lays out all the choices and the relevant timings in one place.

Been really handy for me already to work out the quickest way to terminal 4 at heathrow :)
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