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GMIC 2012 – [G-Startup Competition] Early-Seed Stage

Early-Seed Stage Competition Selection

This is the second part of the G-Startup Competition, and the companies get longer presentation time, as well as more time to explain themselves during Question and Answer. In this stage of the competition, the audience is introduced to five new companies, while Urthecast, the winner of the wildcard segment, made a reappearance to further explain their product.

The judges of this round include:

William Bao Bean, Managing Director, Singtel Innov8
Chow Yen-Lu-Managing Director, WholeTree Venture
Cyril Ebersweiler, Partner (SOS), Founder (Chinacc.)
Kui Zhou, Partner Sequoia Capital
Hiro Mashita, Business Alliance, Hikari Tsushin Inc.
Peter Fang,Investment Director, Innovation Works

 

VCNC: Between

The presenter, Edward Lee, gave a very interesting presentation about his product, Between, a private space for all lovers to communicate and share their beautiful memories. Edward, and his friends in Seoul National University, realized that the social network is very big in the world, and slowly but surely, we are losing our privacy to large SNS sites such as Facebook and Twitter. When we want to share some thoughts and ideas with specific people, it becomes very hard to limit our reach sometimes. This is where Between comes in.

The application builds a one to one archive that includes chat history, photo albums, and customized memos that couples can share with each other exclusively. Between offers three different business models, freemium allows the firm to sell premium features, and commerce offers virtual retail s and commerce offers virtual retail space for third party vendors and advertising offers viral advertising platforms. The availability of such choices gives Between a large advantage over competitors.

In the span of 5 months, Between has already garnered 760,000 downloads, and on average, there are 4.5 million messages and 350,000 photos sent through Between per day, which are very promising figures for a startup firm.

 

DouDouMobile

DouDou Mobile is an app that aims to transform the way teachers and parents exchange and manage information related to children. In this day and age when parents are all so overwhelmed with work, and many other commitments, the challenge of connecting to their children becomes more and more evident. The company picks on this core problem of reconnection between parents and their kids in school, because there lacks a good, secure app in the market that can achieve this.

With DouDou Mobile, teachers in schools can easily send messages to parents and collect feedback through messages, parents can also effective stay on top of their children’s busy schedules through the calendar function, which both teachers and parents can update. Teachers can even share photos of children, pushing them out to parents.

Statistics presented have shown that pilot testing resulted in an astounding 90% adoption rates in private kindergartens, and parents are even starting to use DouDou outside school. The company hopes to reach industry leaders in early childhood, targeting their users, who will most likely be the influencers of the market, expanding outwards to their surrounding service providers, in order to scale their company.

 

Dan Qoo

Dan Qoo is a mobile app that brings social interest groups together. By simply downloading the app, users can easily join groups that they are passionate about, and start sharing self-generated content, anytime, anywhere. Users can simply shoot, record, and share. In a month, there are already 300 communities in the app.

The presenter, Wallace Wang, has mentioned that the app has already gained more than half an hour user base each day, and 20%-30% of the users are uploading fresh content each day, while 10% are commenting, and the rest of the 60% are simply absorbing content from the app.

A question that came up was how the developers should regulate content, whether they should hire professional to push up content generation, allowing for better quality in the app. But Wallace believes strongly in his users, and feels that it is important to retain the voice of his app for his users.

 

Vimention

This is a company that wants to keep users on the map with the hottest phenomena both locally and internationally. Vimention connects users through their app. Using location-based services, any user can easily tap on the app to see what is happening around him, and his view can effectively be extended worldwide. By flipping the map around, one can get pictures, messages and feedback, from sources such as Vimention, Flickr, Facebook and even Twitter,  all real time.

Though starting in Europe, Vimention is carefully planning its steps, trying to take on more, faster, spreading its reach to more users, especially in China.

 

Phewtick

Phewtick is a Japanese firm that allows users to make money by meeting new people and going to new places. Users log in to the app using their Facebook, Ren Ren or Sina Weibo accounts, and immediately see which fellow users are around them, who has the most “points”.  They will try to connect to these high scores, and when they meet, they can scan each other’s QR codes. These two people will then play a cute and interesting mini game each, which will determine how many points they will gain. Every 1000 game points give users 1 US dollar.

Such pay per visit models are definitely a new form of mobile marketing that advertisers can tap on to reach out to consumers. Targeted at college students who are usually quite hard up on cash, perks like these might actually make an exciting difference.

 

In Conclusion

One feels that this session is much less a competition, and more of a sharing session, to put companies’ names on the market. This is such a good opportunity for both audience to understand market trends, and future ideas, as well as for venture capitalists. All in all, the mobile market is very vibrant and dynamic now, and in all these companies we witness passion, creativity and every one is a winner already. Of course, a special congratulation to DouDou Mobile, that went on to take the win!

 

Wang Qian

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