Fifteen To One

To paraphrase Fidelity Growth Partners Europe’s Simon Clark, one of the judges at this year's BizSpark European Summit: it’s pretty tough pitching your business to a panel of seasoned investors in five minutes, with over two hundred people watching – media, VC’s, and movers and shakers from the tech industry. 

So full respect to the 15 start-ups representing 13 countries, shortlisted from 300 entrants who did just that on Tuesday this week in Brussels.

There can only be one outright winner of the pitch contest but all 15 had chance to gain exposure in front of an impressive line-up of potential investors and partners. Most of us in the team witnessed active discussion during the breaks and suspect seeds of deals were sewn that day. You can find out a bit more about the finalists pitching in my Tuesday blogs (below).

Mopapp is BizSpark European Summit Champion 2011

Congratulazioni Mopapp CEO Allesandro from Bologna, Italy, who took top prize after a great presentation. Theirs is a simple concept addressing an obvious market need: it aggregates information from all major app-stores, giving mobile application developers one single go-to place for sales across all the major mobile platforms. Of course, we’re also very pleased that Mobapp cites Windows Azure as integral to its success and future scalability.

Read the founder’s interview with Ben Rooney from WSJ Europe here.

Considering the boom in mobile applications, it’s no surprise that Mobapp has already attracted over 1300 customers with 4500 apps, just through word-of-mouth. Mobapp’s CEO Alessandro Rizzoli is no stranger to walking off stage with the top prize, having won Seedcamp Berlin in May, including a 50,000 Euro award.

Allesandro later had a lot of interest and tweeted: “#bizsparkeu is really terrific! I'm really proud to have presented Mopapp here”.

Hot on Mopapp’s heels was Finland’s Techila Technologies, taking second place. This is a brilliant example of how cloud computing is opening up new avenues: in this case, making high performance computing (HPC) as easily available as plugging into a socket to access the electricity grid.  In other words, HPC brings supercomputing to a wider audience, without large ownership costs or investment. Run by a very experienced team, Techila already has some top name customers in life science, pharmaceutical, financial services and academia.


Sweden-based Binary Bio secured third place, another company in the HPC space. Today, the complexity and volume of data involved in bioinformatics is developing faster than computer processors can cope. Both Techila and Binary Bio have chosen Azure as their cloud platform of choice.

The winner of the People’s Choice award was Russia’s, which has developed a solution that makes simple and fast to create, publish and monetize cool videos online video portals in just a few easy steps. This was our first venture into using crowd-voting as part of the Summit and we were awed by the sheer volume of votes it attracted.  Well done to Actio’s CEO Alex Babin – we hope he enjoys his Xbox Kinect prize.


So, another BizSpark European Summit has come to a close, and we are now home recovering (and cutting some video footage).

Videos will appear online soon of all participants. Every finalist there deserves credit for getting there and ask Joe Wilson said on stage, our leader in Western Europe Developer & Platform Group, the key thing to remember is – “Keep Going”.


Published: 6/16/2011 3:36 PM

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