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商业 - 科技 - 头脑风暴大会

今年创业偶像大赛的冠军是:导游网站

今年有5家初创公司参加财富科技头脑风暴大会的创业偶像大赛,它们的业务涉及大学校园里的找人应用、专业导游网站、大数据应用、以及传递正能量的移动社交应用。经过包括雅虎女掌门玛丽莎•梅耶尔在内的四位重磅评委的评审,今年的优胜企业已经诞生。

    今年的“创业偶像竞赛”评委包括(从左至右)依次为:Wasserman媒体集团CEO卡塞•瓦瑟曼,Greycroft公司的普通合伙人丹娜•塞托,GGV资本公司的合伙人杰夫•理查德,雅虎公司(Yahoo)CEO玛丽莎•梅耶尔。图片来源:财富头脑风暴技术大会

    五家创新性的创业公司在科罗拉多的阿斯彭角逐今年的创业偶像桂冠,只有一家企业将成为最终的获胜者。

    财富科技头脑风暴大会创业偶像大赛与财富科技大会同期举行,奖品是由Herman Miller公司赞助的价值数千美元的豪华办公室装修(Herman Miller是著名的阿艾隆铁铝合金办公室座椅制造商)。让我们回顾一下五家参赛企业的亮点,看看2013创业偶像竞赛的奖杯最终花落谁家。

One公司

卖点:这款适用于iOS系统的应用主要面向大学生群体。它根据地理位置和共同的爱好,提醒人们注意附近的其他用户。这款应用现已在包括伊利诺伊大学(University of Illinois)在内的4所大学普及。凭借着罗恩•康威、基思•拉布伊斯、True Ventures风投公司和其他支持者提供的近200万美元种子资金,创始人科里•利维和迈克尔•卡拉汉打算在秋季到来前把它推广到至少10所其他院校。花絮:三年前,利维误打误撞地进了头脑风暴科技大会的会场。他悄悄地坐在了基思•拉布伊斯的旁边,还和他搭上了线。后来,拉布伊斯成了One的首位投资者。

评委点评:Greycroft公司的普通合伙人丹娜•塞托表示:“我想说的是,在这个领域表现不错的公司,比如Tinder和Grindr,都有非常具体的用户案例。我认为One的创意很宽泛,实现起来会比较困难。”

OwnerListens公司

卖点:自从OwnerListens这款应用于2011年9月发布以来,它已经帮助许多消费者以安全、私密的方式向很多企业负责人发送了明确的反馈,建立了良好的互动。公司CEO阿迪•比坦表示,如果消费者想向某个企业负责人发送一条特定反馈,只需在这个平台上发一条短信,哪怕那家企业不在这个平台上,OwnerListens也会把消息发送到企业那里。企业再次通过这个中间平台,在几小时内就可以向消费者给予回复——这意味着消费者的声音得到了倾听,企业也少了很多网上的负面评论,而且企业可以根据消费者的特定反馈做出改变。自从这款应用发布以来,已经在数据库里汇总了2,000家企业和餐厅的信息,而且还获得了不少投资人的青睐,其中包括门罗风投(Menlo Ventures)等机构投资人以及史蒂夫•布兰克等天使投资人。

评委点评:GGV资本公司的合伙人杰夫•理查德表示:“有很多公司在做同样的事情,问题是怎样才能把它做得上规模,同时产生利润?”

AnyRoad公司

卖点:全球共有40万名持证的全职导游,他们构成了一个价值高达160亿美元的市场,但其中只有5%的人会在网上露脸于。今年四月,资深驴友兄弟丹尼尔•雅菲和乔纳森•雅菲在旧金山创办了AnyRoad公司,让导游可以把在某个城市提供的旅游线路集中发布在网上。网站目前在六个城市上线,包括东京和里约热内卢。它的盈利模式是,从游客和导游两边各收一小笔费用,同时拿出其中5%给该城市的非盈利机构。这家公司打算在近两个月内把业务拓展到希腊和韩国,还希望到明年夏天能有15个城市加盟。

评委点评:雅虎公司(Yahoo)CEO玛丽莎•梅耶尔表示:“我喜欢这个‘软件预订导游’的创意,要做好本土旅游业,一定要非常了解当地市场。我很欣赏的一点是,雅菲兄弟亲身去过这些地方。”

    Five innovative startups showed up in Aspen, Colorado; one walked away victorious.

    Brainstorm Tech Startup Idol, the annual competition held during Fortune's technology conference, promises the winners a swanky office set-up worth thousands, courtesy of Herman Miller, makers of the iconic Aeron office chair. Meet the contestants, and find out which startup took home the title for Startup Idol 2013:

One

The pitch:
 This iOS app alerts college students about nearby users, called "matches," based on location and shared interests. Available at four schools including the University of Illinois, founders Cory Levy and Michael Callahan will roll out One to at least 10 other schools by the fall thanks to nearly $2 million in seed funding from Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, True Ventures, and other backers. Fun fact: Levy gate-crashed Brainstorm Tech three years ago. "I snuck in and sat next to Keith [Rabois] and connected with him," said Levy, who convinced Rabois to become One's first investor.

Judge's comment: "I would just add that the companies in this area that have taken off, like Tinder and Grindr have very specific use cases," offered Dana Settle, a Greycroft general partner. "I think it's hard to launch with a concept as broad as this."

OwnerListens

The pitch:
 Launched in September 2011, OwnerListens helps customers leave feedback for business owners in safe, private interactions. Consumers use the app to text a message they want the business owner to see, and OwnerListens delivers the message, even if the business isn't on the platform, says CEO AdiBittan. Businesses often respond within hours -- again using the app as a middleman -- meaning consumers get their voices heard, businesses get fewer negative online reviews, and changes can be made. Since its launch, OwnerListens has accumulated 2,000 businesses and restaurants in its database and has a slew of investors, including Menlo Ventures and serial entrepreneur Steve Blank to name a few.

Judge's comment: "There are a lot of companies trying to do this," pointed out GGV Capital partner Jeff Richards. "How will you get to a scale where you can build a business around it?"

AnyRoad

The pitch:
 There are 400,000 full-time, accredited tour guides around the world who account for a $16 billion market, but just 5% of them have any online presence. Introduced this April, the bootstrapped San Francisco-based AnyRoad from well-traveled brothers Daniel and Jonathan Yaffe offers guides an online platform to list tours for one of six cities, from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro. AnyRoad makes money by shaving a small fee from the customer and the guide but gives 5% back to local nonprofits. The startup plans to expand into Greece and Korea within the next two months and wants to be in 15 cities by summer of next year.

Judge's comment: "I like the idea of 'software-eats-travel guide booking," admitted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. "And I think in terms of local and travel it's about how familiar you are with the market. I like that you've actually been to these places.

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