Some feedback on Start In Paris #3


Start In Paris is a monthly community event for startups, made by some startuppers for the startuppers (this is how I understood it in the first place, we’ll see later, that definition needs some correction). It was created by Laurent Kretz (@laurentk) and Jonathan Benoudiz (@bJonathan), the two co-founders of Submate. It’s a pitch competition with the intervention of a main speaker. This time it was Michel de Guilhermier.

There are 3 phases happening before the actual event :

  1. you submit your startup for the pitch competition with a little description
  2. a jury composed of “specialists” makes a first selection of 15 projects
  3. then, the public vote for the 5 startups that will be allowed to pitch in front of the audience

The actual event went well and was very quick. This is the list of the 5 startups that pitched during StartInParis #3. Every team had 5 minutes to present their startup, their business model and make a small demo.

1. Wizme
A recommendation engine built on your actual social network. Of course it’s hype, and the competition in this space will be hard. The demo shows a functional system. Not sure how it will differentiate from others. AND, the guy showed up a video for the last 2 minutes. In my opinion, showing a video when the competition is about pitching is completely off topic and too easy. Very disappointed.

2. Hopcube
A green badge that e-merchant can put on their website. It’s a synthetic representation of several metrics combined in one. Of course, a synthetic metric is more readable. But, well, is it more understandable? Not sure… This team has in fact already built a company, running for 1 year and half. Not really a startup IMHO. Very disappointed.

3. Dress-Me
Social network around dressing. Personal shopper and friends can give you some advices on your clothes and your dressing. You must first provide photos of all your clothes! Idea is cool, not sure the target is very huge, but making hundreds of photos could be very harassing. And finally, the service is about fashion right? Well, the website is a little but ugly for the moment… Not enthousiastic.

4. Super-Marmite
Share some portion of what you cooked to strangers, view portions from others, order online. I can see the target, even tough it’s not very huge IMHO. The team behind the project looks cool: they presented as a team, the slides were clean, the pitch was clean, the actual app is clean (and the logo is wonderful!). Maybe the market isn’t reachable, but I could see that on the “american POV”: show me how you can build a business model around your idea! Besides, if I should hire some Rails dev and some designers, I would hire this team, because they seem to have done a great job. Very enthusiastic by the team, not by the business opportunities. I voted for them !

5. Scrumers
Disclaimer: we proposed MasterSieve at StartInParis #3, a competitor to Scrumers, but we didn’t make it through the 3rd phase (public voting).
Scrumers is a project management tool built for the Scrum methodology. I know a little bit of scrum (we do MVP, Standup Meeting and this kind of stuff, although we’re mainly an XP/Lean shop), but I didn’t really understand the technical demo… And it failed completely at showing the iPhone app. Why did he try so hard to show an iPhone app? Just concentrate on some main points, you just have 5 minutes!

Finally, the event was generally cool and we should have more of this kind of events! And IMHO StartInParis should state a clear set of rules. For example: project in early stage (no company, or company created the last 6 months). They should also repeat a lot more: you just have 5 minutes!

Now, for my conclusion about MasterSieve, the project management tool we’re currently building. I don’t think I would have done a better job at demoing and pitching MasterSieve as a startup project. Maybe I have some better pitching skills (went through 2 Ignite, spoke at several conference, etc), but MasterSieve as a product is not good enough for pitching in front of startuppers. So for now, we’re currently thinking on how we really differentiate from others. How we can make a difference? Think Blue Ocean and Purple Cow. And we have already some new funky ideas and some new path to follow (thanks to our neighbour in the gaming industry).

One Response to “Some feedback on Start In Paris #3”

  1. 1 Start in Paris 3 le 14 septembre 2010 | Quang-Hai PHAN

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