5 startups presented to the Startup Expo.
Some days ago I have been to the Startup Expo (ex Startup Fair) taking place as part of the Cross Creativity event organized by the Lombardy region. Imagine being in a market full of stalls, without knowing where you can buy cheese, where you can buy fruit, and so on. You will probably walk a little and then decide. You go and come back convinced that one stall is better than the other. Here are some of the startups that caught my attention, some because really disruptive, some other because the founders really seemed to know a lot about what they were doing, some others because their product was offering a real solution to a real problem.
Rugbymeet: The Rugby social network. Really? Another social network? Yes, but with something more: the possibility to offer the management of your own rugby player career to a procurer. Nothing new, but this, seems not to exist in the rugby field, plus, procurers are rare. Mirko Clemente explained to me that: in Italy, in just one year, they have affiliated 253 clubs on 800, collected 5000 subscriptions, and developed a business model based on the sales of many services. Those services are: team players search, merchandising sale, sporting goods sale, and classic advertising sale.
White Box Hub: a platform enabling both galleries and collectors to sell they’re owned artist’s books trough a personal virtual store. The market is growing since 1800 and today has a value of 2 or 3 billion dollars. The problem of the sector is that books are difficult to find and purchase. There are just few competitors, explained to me Marica Messa, but no one goes vertical as WBH. They are already in touch with loads of partners all over the globe encountered during business fairs. Partners will pay a fixed seasonal subscription fee and a percentage on their sales. WBH allows both direct sales and the creation of single product auctions. It offers SEO support, social media marketing, and it has a blog to spread website content. They still have to launch: Good Luck.
Xmetrics: They presented a headphone-band for swimmers; the problem is that today, they are training hard without getting feedback. Xmetrics provides audio feedback and records athlete’s performance parameters such as: number of pool laps, swimming quality, and hart rate thanks to an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and biometric sensors. Data are then visible trough the app or via web. The startup mission is to develop wearable devices exclusively for athletes.
Verretta: Clothing line based on the art of crossbow. In fact, the guys working on the startup, which was based on a graduation dissertation, creates and sells crossbows realized with craftsmanship quality together with their arrows. Those objects can be used during sport events or just as furniture. Those guys do not have a solid business plan, but they have just started, the quality of their product is excellent, and the “Made in Italy” brand will definitely be in their favour.
Augmented Furniture: Through sensor located inside the apartment, it allows you to observe trough your tablet, how a specific piece of furniture will look or fit inside you living room, bedroom or basically every corner of your home. Do you like it? You buy the product! Personally, I did not had the chance to have a word with the team but a friend of mine who is working into venture capital, did. He said that they still have some minor trouble with the rendering engine, something that can be easily fixed. Augmented Furniture seems like a very interesting concept. However this is not really a startup since it is a business unit of Equent Media Group.
By Silvio Guliza, on twitter as: @silviogulizia