Evomote is a Spanish startup that hopes to transform your smartphone into a personalized TV guide, and its pitch during the Wayra Madrid Demo Day earlier this week was very well received.
This was a good example of how much startups can change during an acceleration program – for the better. When we first listened to Evomote’s pitch last February, the company’s main focus was to develop a new control system for televisions. While it hasn’t entirely disappeared from its product, it is now focusing much more heavily on content discoverability.
According to its CEO, Alberto Soria López, what happened is that its team realized that it could add much more value as a recommendation engine than as a pure TV remote. Discovering content we like is difficult; we may have hundreds of channels, but always end up watching the same ones, or not knowing what to choose.
At the same time, smartphones are gaining ground all over the world, and we are increasingly using them while watching TV, Evomote’s mentor Alberto Benbunan pointed out the team to Wayra’s Demo Day’s investor-sprinkled audience.
With that in mind, Evomote’s solution includes a multi-platform app, which lets users receive general and personalized recommendations that they can also share with their friends. Here are a few screenshots from Evomote’s website, which describe its key functionalities:
Wayra Madrid Demo Day - an opportunity for its first startup class to pitch their projects in front of a selected audience of entrepreneurs and mentors, and the culmination of the acceleration process they have been going through for the last few months.
As you may remember, Wayra is the name of the accelerators that Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica has opened all around the world since 2011. While it all started in Latin America, the one-year old Wayra now also has operationsacross Europe, including in Telefónica’s home country. In Madrid, which was its first European base, its modern academy occupies one full floor of Telefónica’s historic building, with views over the famous Gran Via.
According to its global director Gonzalo Martin-Villa, “Wayra is much more than an accelerator – it is a global entrepreneurship network.” This was a hint at one of the program’s main selling point for startups, the chance it gives them to collaborate with similar teams in other countries and learn from their experience.
For Telefónica, today’s event was also the opportunity to showcase the value it has added to Wayra’s shortlisted teams. In exchange for an average equity stake of 10%, “entrepreneurs worked with a list of mentors which feature some of the biggest names in the Spanish entrepreneurship space,” said the head of Wayra Spain, Gary Stewart.
As a matter of fact, each startup was introduced by one or two of their mentors, which included seasoned entrepreneurs and investors such as Bernhard Niesner, who founded the language startup Busuu, and François Derbaix, who recently sold his company Toprural to HomeAway for a reported amount of €14 million.
Mentors aside, most of the room was filled with investors – not only from Spain, but also from other countries such as the UK and Israel, which led the event to be fully conducted in English. While it is always hard to gauge feedback in real time, the audience seemed quite enthusiastic about most of the projects, and it will be interesting to see how many investments will take place as a result of this demo day.
From our perspective, one of the most interesting points was to see how much progress the teams had made over a short period of time. We had first reported on them last February, and while those which then were our main bets did very well today, others also managed to considerably improve their business proposal, sometimes thanks to a pivot.
Here’s a short summary of today’s pitches…
We’ll publish individual articles about the most interesting startups over the next few days, so stay tuned for additional coverage!
MasterCard has significantly boosted the number of smartphones that can use itsPayPass NFC technology, certifying 16 smartphones by major mobile makers HTC, Intel, LG, Nokia, RIM, Samsung and Sony and allowing them to utilise its contactless payment terminals across the globe.
The company approved RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9900/9790, BlackBerry Curve 9360/9380, the HTC One X, Intel “Smartphone Reference Device”, LG Viper 4G LTE, LG Optimus Elite, Nokia 603, Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, Samsung Wave Y, Samsung Galaxy mini 2, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GT-i9250), Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia P and Sony Xperia sola.
You may know MasterCard’s PayPass brand already, it’s used to power Google Wallet, the search giant’s own NFC payment service.
The payment giant also announced its new brand for PayPass-approved smartphones, unveiling the “MasterCard PayPass Ready” identifier that will be labelled on the boxes of existing PayPass-approved devices and future smartphones that have been tested and certified by the company. Sigue leyendo
Today, type is getting more attention than ever before on the Web. What was once a barren wasteland of typographic creativity, dominated by a few overused gems and the likes of Comic Sans, is quickly growing into something that could even make a print designer jealous.
We’re on the cusp of the golden age of Web typography, and now’s better time than ever to start embracing the originality that surrounds our written language.
Tons of tools exist to bring typography to the Web, and CSS’s own @font-face class is all many people need, but in order to avoid licensing issues while having tons of choices at your fingertips, a subscription service may be best for you. Typekit, of which I’m a subscriber, has turned out to be much more than a pile of available fonts, and after some digging I came across a curated list of typefaces that are worth a look for newbies and pros alike:
Helvetica is an iconic font that deserves the attention it gets. That said, it’s not good enough to avoid every other option out there, which is why this list of alternatives to Helvetica is worth some attention. You’ll notice Proxima Nova half way down, which is actually our body font here on TNW. Sigue leyendo
As we reported yesterday, the short-form blogging platform Posterous has sold to Twitter, only 19 days after denying any sale plans. Considering Twitter’s fame in acqui-hiring startups and shutting them down, it didn’t take long for Posterous’ users to start looking for alternative options.
One of them is WordPress, which is clearly winning from this situation; according toblog that saw a 250% increase in imports from Posterous over the last hours. The import tool itself isn’t new; it has been available for two years, but Posterous’ recent acquisition obviously gave it a boost. Here’s what it looks like:
No explanation needed. Video automatically jumps to the best part (8:50).
An interesting move from Foursquare, and one that the company says it has done because of a desire to support the startup ecosystem. In a blog post, the company explains that it has done away with using the Google Maps API in favor of OpenStreetMaps, given a face via MapBox.
“When we initially began looking around for other map providers, we found some incredibly strong alternatives. And while the new Google Maps API pricing was the reason we initially started looking into other solutions, we ultimately ended up switching because, after all our research and testing, OpenStreetMap and MapBox was simply the best fit for us.”
MapBox, according to Foursquare, is “making gorgeous maps with the OpenStreetMap data”. Its MapBox Streets product was just released, so the timing was good too. So now, when you’re looking at maps in Foursquare, they’re going to be a bit different:
Fans of the iPhone in Argentina may have to wait at least a year to officially purchase the Apple device, as the government continues to impose restrictions on imports of the world’s bestselling smartphone.
The Wall Street Journal reports that whilst the iPhone isn’t banned in the country, its restrictions on mobile operators extend to devices that are not in manufactured there. With Apple’s main supply partners located in Asia (for now), it doesn’t fulfill that criteria and therefore sales are restricted in the country.
With the new realtime tools, you can see editing from multiple invited participants happen live, just as it does in the regular version of Google Docs. This allows you to see people typing as they edit a document and follow along with their edits. You can also join in and begin editing right alongside them.
Google has also tweaked the interface… Sigue leyendo
There’s absolutely no doubt that the rise and popularity of online video sharing is changing the way brands and individuals market, advertise and sell. If your company hasn’t already jumped into the fray with a video (or 10), you’re missing out on amassive market. If you’ve scripted, created, edited, and uploaded, it’s fairly shortsighted to “YouTube it” and forget it, as there are a number of other video hosting options available.
Believe it or not, YouTube is not the be all/end all when it comes to online video sharing. Sure, they have the world’s largest share of the market, and should be included in your upload and sharing strategy, but by jumping into the biggest pool on the planet, you’re also running the risk of being swallowed up in all the noise. Last year this time, we gave you 6 Awesome Alternatives to YouTube and now we’re giving you 5 more YouTube-alternative video sharing sites that you and your brand might want to consider.
An active and vibrant community, Vimeo’s smooth-as-silk interface just feels a bit more user friendly than the cold sterility we’ve come to expect from Google products. A platform pulling down some serious traffic, as Vimeo has grown they’ve still managed to retain that “we’re all in this together” community feeling. I’ve personally had far more interactions with viewers and converted clients on Vimeo than I’ve ever had on YouTube.
Vimeo’s free account allows users to upload one HD video a week, more than most individuals will ever have a need (or budget) for, and you receive basic controls when it comes to the video player. Embedding options are limited to SD, but if you step things up to the Plus account for $59.99/yr. you’re granted a 5GB/week file size limit, priority uploading and processing, and HD embedding.
If you’re planning on using Vimeo as your main hosting platform of choice for your business, they’re pretty clear when it comes to the “non-commercial use” language for free accounts. On the upside, for a low $199/yr., the Vimeo Pro service offers just about every option under the sun, and you’ll never have to worry about tablet compatibility as all flavors of Vimeo are offered in HTML5 format with Flash as a fallback.
Flickr. It’s not just for still images. A seriously under represented offering from Flickr’s side, as there’s no mention of the service anywhere on the main landing page, Flickr does, in fact, offer and provide video hosting.
A free Flickr account allows for 2 uploads a months with restrictions of 90 seconds max, and 150MB per video. Probably enough for most small businesses, but if you want to go for the HD experience, you’ll need to step it up to a Flickr Pro account.
Perhaps the best bang-for-your-video/photo-buck on the Internet today, for as low as $25/year, if you make Flickr your video hosting platform of choice, you’ll be privy to not only an unlimited number of photos, but an unlimited number of video uploads, bandwidth, and storage. The downside? Even with the pro account Flickr limits your video length to 90 seconds. Having said that, unless you’re producing a full length feature, you shouldn’t really be stretching your message beyond this point anyway. Sigue leyendo
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