Earlier this week our startups had a unique opportunity to pitch in front of a wide and very impressive audience at Unilever House. This included the Global Marketing Director, Innovation; VP of Marketing, and various senior people from Unilever Ventures, including their Global MD. It was a chance to showcase some of the Collider12 startups to brand and marketing managers to engage them and potentially take the relationship further. We will be getting more feedback from Unilever next week, and a video from the day will also be released, so stay tuned for more information.
It's been an important week for location technology, with Foursquare announcing some big changes in their plans to monetise their service by generating revenue outside of it. One of our startups, HitMeUp, have been also making some excellent progress with their social location mobile app. HitMeUp is designed to help you discover what's hot near you, right now. It does this by allowing you to upload your photographs onto an evolving map. The photos will only appear on the map for a limited number of hours, unless they are voted up, which adds time, using the 'Hit' button. This uniquely allows users to see where is trending, and to get involved with events local to them.
Recently, they conducted a treasure hunt where local businesses hid prizes around London in little HitMeUp boxes, and provided their locations using the app. Then the businesses tweeted about the hunt; overall there were over 30 prizes up for grabs, and scattered all over central London. When people found their prizes, they added pictures of themselves with their prize on HitMeUp. Also, in the box was a note that said "if you thought this was a nice idea, take your prize, go and buy another prize to put back in the box, re-hide the box, and give the new location using HitMeUp". Wonderfully, some members of the public did that.
Here is some key data HitMeUp collected from their Treasure Hunt:
These results and the news mentioned earlier prove that location apps are becoming increasingly relevant in this ever-mobile and ever-social future.
As the article points out, "The financial boost may seem like the number one reason for start-ups to work with major brands and corporations but it is the added benefits that come with the programmes that hold greater value."
Collider12 offers a close working relationship with mentors who have years of experience in business. Having someone to run through a branding issue, structuring of the website, or developing an API all helps the startups gain confidence in their field and areas they may not know. The networking events are also extremely valuable as the contacts gathered, and conversations shared help to clarify and refine any idea. Meetings and presentations with large brands have been secured at such events, and without the Collider12 connection, may never have happened.
To read the full article, click here.
In the last twenty-four hours the tech world has been aflutter with the news that Summly was sold to Yahoo! for the princely sum of $30 million (with 90% of that being in cash). Not too shabby for 17 year old creator Nick D'Aloisio, who said that process has given him "an appetite for starting companies".
Skeptics may say that $30 million is an extraordinarily large sum for an app which is only just about to reach one million downloads since it's launch in December 2011. Clearly there is a lot more going on here than just a startup acquisition; Yahoo! have been buying a range of small mobile startups ever since CEO Marissa Mayer joined nine months ago.
Are Yahoo! staking a claim that the future will be mobile-only, instead of being mobile-first?
Importantly, this move by Yahoo! indicates a bright future for startups. It proves that large brands are willing to invest time and money into new industries and the brains behind them. Also, it shows what a difference having the right mentoring can make, as Summly was backed by a range of ventures and well-known names in tech as well as media.