Saturday, February 23, 2013


Startup World @ Microsoft
February 19th 6:00-10pm

Hermione Way and I 

I crashed Startup World in this hidden Microsoft office that was located in Westfield Mall. Who knew this office even existed? Everyone I had asked at this event had no idea and I wonder if Microsoft even knew about this. What I did know though was that Hermione Way could have possibly been the only person there that was aware of this secret space. She was the host of Startup World, as well as one of the cast members of that show on Bravo "Start-Up: Silicon Valley." Hermione Way continued on to start a global competition to find the world's most innovative startups. She identified 36 tech hub cities around the world and was holding a regional pitching competition. With ten entrepreneurs from each city pitching to a panel of expert judges (and me), SF was their first stop.

Why is there such a big start-up scene here? Why are we like this? The panel brought up some explanations as to why the bay is such a big player in the start-up scene. SF keeps the geeks here, according to the panel.  Part of the reason being is that geeks change things, and people want to hang out with smart people which ends up drawing more smart people in. When Hermoine asked the panel where they thought the next Silicon Valley was going to be, an array of places were mentioned:  London,  Berlin,  Bejing  Moscow, Tel Aviv, amongst others. However, the truth is no other place will be just like Silicon Valley especially with Berlin's distinct rave scene (which apparently is the reason why the geeks stay there).  Of course it was a close competition to find the top start-up in SF, so I decided to feature the first and second place companies.

Leo's Pad

Winner: Kidaptive -Learn to change the world.  Co-Founder Dylan Arena was here to represent this media and technology company dedicated to smart storytelling on iPads with a curriculum developed in collaboration with Stanford University researchers to create entertaining and adaptive content that helps children learn. Their first product, Leo's Pad, engages preschool-aged children with games, puzzles and projects woven into an immersive story arc. Their technology uses embedded assessments to customize learning, support metacognitive development and provide parents with actionable intelligence and useful tips about how to further support their child's progress and interests.

2nd Place: GazeMetrix -Finally your brand can see. GazeMetrix was led by a modest team of geeks in hoodies that built an algorithm which breaks down the unique characteristics of a brand's logo, everything from the corners, shapes, lines, shadows, and colors, to create a brand signature. Using image-recognition software they let brands track where their logos are being photographed, helping brand marketers measure their brand's reach in people's lives by capturing these 'visual mentions'.  With 12 million public pictures being uploaded a day, GazeMetrix empowers brands with insight into when and where their brand was photographed across social media in real-time.

Startup World with Hermione Way and the geeks of SF... CRASHED IT!

No comments:

Post a Comment