The win that almost never was!
Less than a week ago, Florent and Alex were debating whether or not they even had the time to attend the Web Summit 2013. Fast forward a couple whirlwind days in Dublin, Alex’s missed alarm call and a pair of misscheduled plane tickets home, and Placemeter was declared the winner of the PITCH Alpha competition!
For two crazy days and across three different stages, Placemeter weathered the competitive field of startups, as it was narrowed from 150 in the first round, to 12 in the semi-finals and then to 3 in the finals. Alex pitched his final - and winning! - 3 minute presentation to an impressive panel of judges, which included Box CEO Aaron Levie, blogger Robert Scoble, Evernote CEO Phil Libin, Google Analytics’ Wesley Chan and RRE Venture’s Stuart Ellman. Watch Alex be awarded the coveted baseball bat award at the conference’s awards ceremony (it’s a ‘pitch’ing competition after all).
We were thrilled to compete with Keepy.me, a web platform for organizing, archiving and sharing kids’ creations, and FabAllThings, a crowdsourcing platform for 3D printing, the Alpha division’s other finalists. London-based Import.io, a handy data scraping tool for the everyman, won in the Beta Category. We definitely recommend checking these companies out if you haven’t already.
The Placemeter team celebrated (appropriately) on Thursday night with (multiple rounds of) Guinness and Irish stew.
We’d like to give a big thank you to all our supporters who helped us to this point in our development so far. We’d especially like to thank Paddy Cosgrave, Rebecca O’Dowd, Matt Turck, all of the judges, the Web Summit staff and the many Techstars alumni and local attendees who cheered us to the finals.
Stay tuned for a first-hand account of the Dublin Web Summit from Alex coming soon!
(Now a convert to Guinness, Alex would prefer all congratulatory beverages to be sent to him directly).
See below for the official press release from the Web Summit:
Import.io and Placemeter the big winners in PITCH Award 2013, presented by Box at Dublin Web Summit
Thursday 31st October: Companies from the USA and London were the big winners in Europe’s biggest international start-up competition which took place at the Dublin Web Summit.
London Company Import.io won the Later Stage Company Award while New York company Placemeter won the Early Stage Company Award at the PITCH 2013 presented by Box competition.
The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 150 finalists after two days of intense pitching in front of thousands of people including the world's foremost technology leaders and prospective investors.
Import.io (www.import.io) employs 16 people in its London HQ and in its office in San Francisco. The company’s mission is to structure the web and make web data available to everyone.
“We are focused on growing our company and it means a lot to us to win an international competition like this. My co-founders David and Matt and the entire team will be thrilled with this recognition of their efforts”, said Andrew Fogg, co-founder of Import.io
Placemeter (www.placemeter.com) was founded in New York in 2012 and employs 6 people. Placemeter works by automatically extracting measurable data from live video streams. The company’s computer vision technology is able to count how many people are walking by, calculate how heavy traffic is and determine what is happening at the location in view.
Placemeter Co-founder Alexandre Winter said; “This is a great recognition of our project which is very ambitious and validates what we are trying to do, which is to change the way the people interact with places. We are delighted to win this award”.
Dublin Web Summit Founder Paddy Cosgrave said " The PITCH competition is a fantastic opportunity for start-ups, not only thanks to the significant investment the winner receives but also the chance it gives to all finalists to pitch their idea to some of the most influential people in the global tech sector. It's a win-win situation. The standard of finalists was truly amazing and we can't wait to see where these guys are in twelve months' time."
This year's PITCH competition saw entries from over 90 countries including Kenya, Bangladesh and Peru. The entries were then shortlisted to just 150 early stage companies and seed companies and then invited to the Dublin Web Summit to pitch their idea live. The United States led the way with 16 competing start-ups and Ireland was well represented in third place with 10.