As with past events, attendees were brimming with lots of ideas to form a business over the next 48 hours. The event kicked off on Friday evening with a brief welcome presentation by organiser Simon McCann, followed by 60-second-pitches from attendees. There were around 40 pitches and only around 15 got through to the second round. In the end, 10 ideas were chosen as projects for the weekend.
On such weekends, there is always plenty to work with, from inspiring and creative ideas to simply light and fun projects, such as having a platform that allows people to pay a very small fee in order to receive a compliment. In typical fashion, event mentors listen to the ideas and provide valuable feedback with the aim to help turn a great idea into a viable business. All aspects of the idea are explored: Is there a need for this product or service? What is the revenue model and what are the revenue projections? Who else provides a similar, if not identical offering? What research has been conducted to satisfy entrepreneurs that their idea is viable and will indeed be successful?
It's not uncommon during such events that project names change and would-be businesses change direction over the course of a weekend. It is also not uncommon that at the end of the weekend the team may not have a finished product, mostly due to the fact that the ratio of business people to developers is about 5:1. However, the Launch48 team equips its participants with a wealth of resources that enable the creation of (at the very least) basic (and functioning) websites, payment integration solutions, financial and legal advice and much, much more. Attendees are highly encouraged to tweet and blog about their business throughout the duration of the weekend in order to drive traffic and gain (but also test) traction.
But support doesn't stop with the end of the weekend. Launch48 offers additional workshops, such as LaunchPad which is an 8-week programme focused on refining and polishing a start-up in order to take it to the next level. In this way, entrepreneurs are introduced to a number of accelerators and incubators in the hope of bringing what was originally just an idea into realisation.
Where Pets Eat is a company that delivers quality and nutritional pet food to pet owners. In addition to home delivery, the service also provides analyses to people who are unsure about what to give their pets to eat by collecting information such as breed of the animal, activity and age in order to recommend the ideal nutrition.
Lendmeit is an online lending platform for communities, where people can list items to lend out for a small fee. The platform allows people to utilise idle items in the household and make money by hiring them out to their friends and neighbours. Although the service could be for both lenders and borrowers (lenders to list their item, borrowers to post a request for an item), the team focused on lenders as their initial market for the purpose of the Weekend. While there are some competitors, Lendmeit are the only startup that offers a mobile platform, allowing potential borrowers to search for items on-the-go and at (or near) their current location.
Karisma Kidz designed Moodville, an online platform for children between the ages of 3 and 6, that teaches kids how to manage their emotions. Moodville has different "emotion places", e.g. "Angry Alley", "Joyful Junction" or "Love Lane" where children can navigate and, using available online tools, work through their emotions. The platform includes games and also fun characters which children can assume and personalise. The aim is to not only provide fun gaming but, more importantly, a save environment with outstanding educational tools for kids.
Since the website launched its early sign-up page, they have had a number of people sign up and are continuing to gain more traffic.
Chefs hosting dinner parties at their homes. When traveling to a foreign country, it can be challenging to find places that serve good local and authentic cuisine. In addition, eating out in very tourist-y places can be quite expensive. Foodero.us is a platform where people can search for chefs who are offering their services to cook authentic local dishes in their homes for a small fee.
EventLick is a kickstarter for events. Rather than planning an event and worry about low attendance, event organisers can list their events on this platform which would-be event goers can browse for. If they like it, they can lick it. The more licks an event receives, the more likely it's going to take place. This spares event organisers from spending a lot of money on events that may not have the attendance they have hoped for in order to make their money back.
WhoStation allows people to gamify their social life by "blindmeeting" their friends. When going to event, users can use the app to find out who else in their circle is attending the same event and meet them there. Users can sign in using their Facebook credentials, tick the activities they are interested in and join an event anonymously.
Allows users to pay for a compliment and, in turn, be happier people. The idea was inspired by an article published by Forbes Magazine in which a study showed that receiving a compliment had the same effect on people as receiving cash. The website is a trade platform: pay for a compliment and earn by complimenting. In the first night of launch, the website had 254 unique visits with 95 visitors initiating the call to pay.
BrandStar.me takes highly expensive branding services and makes them affordable for start-ups. The service is aimed at small business owners or teams within big corporations that can't get traction. BrandStar looks at every aspect of a business to define the brand. Customers can pick from a list of words which becomes refined and turned into a word cloud. They can use this information as guide or inspiration to further define their brand and design their logo.
An ideas platform that helps turn good ideas into feasible actions. Users can create a roadmap to the potential implementation of their idea. Potential customers are teachers, students, parents and educational institutions that are tired of an outdated education system.
A platform that powers different solutions to create and manage events. The platform allows event organisers to plug into third-party services such as Eventbrite, Meetup and Ticketmaster to market their events simultaneously across all platforms.
Launch48 help entrepreneurs who have great ideas but don't know how to get started. Their Weekend events help provide common ground for people with different skill sets to come together, build products and launch their startup in 48 hours. With a good mix of technical and non-technical attendees, all that matters is that people come with an enthusiasm to try new things and work on new ideas. Through their various programmes (Launch48 Weekend, LaunchPad and Showcase), Launch48 have proven to be a catalyst for entrepreneurs.