Startup Weekend Jakarta 2013 concluded on Sunday with digital receipts app Bill.E as the winning project. Held over the weekend at Prasetiya Mulya Business School, the event attracted more than 200 attendees during the opening night at American cultural center @america on Friday and dozens of participants who followed through to the end of the event on Sunday.
Ten teams presented at the pitching session on Sunday in front of five judges, with three top ideas selected to receive a number of prizes from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Grupara, and DailySocial. Amazon Web Services also offered prizes for every participant who stuck around until the end of the event. Many of the ideas and pitches that were put forward on stage at the opening night went through several iterations and revisions while others were simply dropped in favor of other ideas.
The winning team, Bill.E, had built a mobile application which digitizes receipts through the use of optical character recognition. While it seems easy enough, it’s a bit of a surprise that this sort of app isn’t more widely available. Companies like Evernote or Mint could easily build something like this within their respective applications but these guys actually built it and therefore presented a solution that can easily be expanded or connected to incorporate a more comprehensive package.
According to event host Amarit Charoenphan of Thailand’s Hubba co-working space, the Bill.Me team is the biggest ever team put together in the history of Startup Weekend. It seems excessive to have a 14-person team build this app but we’ll see if they decide to stick together after the event. Regardless, three members of the team will receive tickets to SparxUp Conference and Awards which will be held in 14-15 November of this year in Bali.
Second place went to the team who built Pulse, an armband to track daily activities. What they’ve built is something similar to the popular armbands by Nike, Jawbone, and FitBit but they said that among the differences are low cost (aiming for US$30) and an open API. There’s also a possibility of white-labeling the product for potential partners or clients who wish to implement such a solution for their needs.
Third place went to DapurCity. The idea and project had actually began several months ago and loosely worked on while the project initiator looked for more permanent team members. The essence of DapurCity is AirBnb for food and it works by turning households into restaurants. Individuals who love cooking or making food in general can use the service to sell their creations either by inviting people to eat at their residences or offer a delivery service. It’s a little like Sedapur but with a little broader service.
As for the rest of the pitches, there was a taxi hailing app called TKZI which works just like Hailo in the US and UK or Rocket Internet’s EasyTaxi. This particular one caught the interest of Stefan Jung, head honcho of Rocket Internet Southeast Asia. The challenge for this app is to convince non-Blue Bird Group taxi companies in this country to partner with them and share the revenue instead of developing their own mobile applications.
SportsKita is a platform that was pitched for people who want to find gym partners. Gym membership has got to be the biggest monthly charity donation that people make these days but when people have gym buddies, they’re more likely to be motivated to go to the gym. Funny thing about this is that it doesn’t actually matter what the sport is, it can be used for runners, cyclists, even yogis. It also provides a platform for brands to connect and engage with sports enthusiasts directly. The challenge is again convincing brands to use the platform.
Patungan was another project that pitched on Sunday. It’s a platform for people to organize a pitch-in for any intended purpose. People often pitch in money to purchase things or to organize trips so this was designed to make sure that the plan goes ahead. At a glance this might be seen as yet another crowdfunding service and it does sort of works that way but the idea is for this to be used by circles of friends who for example want to buy gifts or take trips together. Whether there’s enough activities of this nature to warrant a platform let alone use one remains to be seen, but it’s probably worth finding out.
Lentera and SPD were two academically leaning projects to pitch at Startup Weekend. Lentera is a video site aimed at school and university students to help them learn their subjects. With self created learning videos, Lentera hopes to bring the after school revision classes online. A lot of Indonesians go to school essentially twice a day. Once to the proper, formal, school, followed a few hours later at privately run revision classes outside of school. By taking this revision classes online, Lentera hopes to save time and money for students and parents alike by providing similar material online.
SPD or Sekolah Pengembangan Diri (self development school) wants to turn the stuff you usually find in self help books into proper seminars, classes, and webcasts. Individuals who wish to spread their knowledge can sign up to become trainers and use the service as a sharing platform.
Goo Get It wants to match people with self imposed goals with potential sponsors or motivators to help them reach those goals. In a way it’s similar to the brand engagement side of SportsKita but with a greater range of activities as it’s not just for sports.
Last pitch of the day was Favoreats. Presented as a video site for foodies, the idea is more about promotion of food and culture rather than an actual how-to site. The videos of food preparation and cooking that will be hosted on the site will be self created, rather than user generated, with a particular style, to highlight Asian culinary delights.
It’s evident that there were plenty of ideas floating around and executable to the prototype stages just from a small group of individuals with the right team members and the right motivation. Some of the ideas can be validated easily while others need further research and refinement.
Hackathon events like Startup Weekend and the recently held AngelHack tend to bring out entrepreneurial and creative minds who can deliver solutions within a small period of time but whether the ideas will be pushed beyond the prototype stage is up to the teams. After all, there’s no commitment for participants, especially the non winners, to continue past the pitching stage. BlackBerry’s Didiet Noor calls the latter a scrap up where teams scrap projects at the end of the hackathon.
Event host Aryo Ariotedjo of Grupara said at the conclusion of Startup Weekend Jakarta that American Idol shows that winners don’t always end up becoming the superstars so those who didn’t win at Startup Weekend shouldn’t be too disappointed especially as there were investors present who may see ways for the non-winning ideas and teams to become real winners out of the event.
Some photos from the pitching session can be found on our Tumblr.
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