This might be my second pitchfest but it might even be my third as I have done a bunch yet they might have been for others. Regardless, I was so incredibly impressed with the caliber of ideas, students and pitches at the NYU ITP pitchfest that I was a little blown away. From a tech angle, you can easily build platforms now and if you can hone in on your idea you can make a great presentation. Research was certainly done and you could tell that there is a method that ITP teaches these students on how to get from point A to the pitchfest. It was just awesome and most of them had the world Kickstarter written all over it.
So here is a short summary of each of the ideas. Pool it, Gabriela Gutierrez. A web service that acknowledges that there is an important social dimension to payments. It is designed to make pooling money with friends fast, easy and painless. You want to buy a gift for someone. You get on Pool it and send the idea to your friends and give them the ability to join in. You can even cap how many people can come in or what the amount is that everyone can spend. She was one helluva presenter.
Bricolo, Nick Yulman. Nick is already working in the music industry with the products that he has built. This one is totally cool. It is a modular toolkit for creating computer controlled mechanical instruments. This will allow musicians, composers, producers, DJ's, kids etc to tap into the world of musicial robots. He put a book on top of the product and the sound was great and when he opened the book the sound changed. Community was written all over this too.
RADS, Paragini Amin, Andrew Lazarow ( I forgot their pic) Retail has figured out ecommerce but the brick and mortar stores still have a way to go when it comes to technology. Truth is, the retail space is still stuck in a time and there is a lot of opportunity. RAD is a responsive accesory display set-up for retail spaces designed to steamline the shoppping experience and give the store comprehensive data. Suppose you are walking into a high end jewelry store and you could let them know what you are looking for, in a range, and each time you went to a counter the jewelry you pointed to would illuminate with information including price. I am probably not doing the best job of describing this but these two are on to something impressive which is why they are already talking to major retailers. One of the things I like about Food52 is the founders are from the food industry, and Paragini and Andrew come out of the high end Jewelry business so they fundamentally understand exactly what this industry needs. Smart.
Killr, Thitiphon Luangaroonlerd, Puripant Ruchikachorn. Both of these guys are from Thailand. Killr is a time-based social networking app giving you idea and recommendation of things to do in your free time. It is really smart. It makes you more productive, it can tell you things that you don't know even exist in an area that you are because everything is crowd sourced. Their presentation was great and once we started talking about it we all realized how powerful this tool could be.
TONNE Bag, Melissa Holtz. Melissa is creating bags with a super super light fabrication that is water proof. This is the kind of fabric that military backpacks are made with. A better hangbag for women where she combines bio mechanics and fashion to create something that will help women avoid injury and back problems.
Ginny Hung, Goldfi.sh This is a way to share and collection things for our closest friends. Think Pinterest that is not public. Perhaps this is a knee jerk reaction to public sharing for those of us who want to be more intimate about how we use the web. We want the social with our friends but not our 2000 facebook friends.
Anh Q Ly, miCar. How about a car avatar that tells you on your app when your car needs fixing. Using augmented reality through your mobile to take traditional instruction manuals and make it fun and easy. You know when you need to have your oil checked. She is working with car companies. Very smart.
Catherine McCurry, Karaoke TV. Instead of going to your local bar and belting our your favorite song as the lyrics are streamed at you, how about participating with your friends acting our a favorite scene. There is something here..
All and all, an impressive group. I hope some of them come back to the group when they are ready to get funding! I was honored to be a judge with Andy Weissman, Jennifer Hill and Amy Millman. Lots of fun.