During the first edition of Let's Fund on May 18, 5 selected top student entrepreneurs pitched their companies in front of a live audience. Their goal? To crowdfund the resources they need to boost their business, may it be funds, expert knowledge, finding their launching customer or other in-kind resources.
Let’s Fund is a concept by InCrowdz, and a simple enough concept too. The people in the audience simply log in to a web app/tool and the main screen onstage shows real time stats, like individual questions, contributions and funding. Here are some of the highlights of the evening:
The shortest route to the best party
Wouter Bijen and Joost van Berkel created Festimap, a social search platform for music events. The unique algorithm lets its users find any event they are searching for, instead of doing a lot of puzzling through Google.
After a slick, well timed presentation with an accompanying animation, the first questions start to appear on screen. “Did you build the technology yourselves?” “Does the algorithm scrape the internet?” “What’s your business model?”
Other than critical questions and investments, Wouter and Joost also receive ‘in-kind (in natura) support’, from developers who want to help, but also someone who knows people in the industry and wants to introduce them.
Margot Verleg founded TrusttheSource, an app to increase the trustworthiness of social media content by speeding up fact-checking significantly. The goal? Stop misleading information on social media. Niek Gigengack, one of the developers, does the presentation and explains just why this is so important, using the example of the infamous ‘PizzaGate’, where an armed man in the US shot up a restaurant, because he was ‘investigating an alleged child trafficking ring set up by Hillary Clinton’, after reading about it online.
There are some questions about the business model, who it’s for and if they will also remove fake news. Niek explains this is a tool for journalists to verify the credibility of an online source, which could save up to 12 hours of research. TrusttheSource wants to have the first journalists testing the algorithm this summer, and people in the audience say they now a few journalists who might be interested.
Rick Bakker came up with the idea for a sandwich bus, an American school bus where people can fix their own sandwiches. He already has a similar company, called Bicycle Blender, where you can blend your own smoothie by paddling away a bicycle.
One of the in-kind donations comes from fellow pitchers Joost and Wouter: “Free advertising space on Festimap!” A representative from the Rabobank is also interested and one of the audience members suggested he could get an introduction to a local innovative farmer, to get local and biological ingredients for sandwiches.
Making feedback fun and helping the homeless
Hanze student Eline Tuinman founded Straatwijs, a platform to help the growing number of homeless people find the help and support they need. The website gives an overview of the social and charity help organizations, as well as decision tree to help them quickly get practical tips and find the right organizations. Eline’s pitch resulted in €640 in donations.
Fimme Marra from Satys-Fact wants to make people enjoy giving feedback, with the help of an easy to use app. A successful evening, according to Fimme, would be finding interested parties to help make the next steps in development. Satys-Fact even got a little more than just that, with Triade as a launching customer.