Spark.Me just wouldn’t be as amazing as it is without startups. Spark.me Startup Competition has become an opportunity to see what the best and the brightest minds in the region have to offer. Throughout the two days of the conference, we witnessed some great ideas from regional startups who competed for the grand prize: a trip to San Francisco to present their idea at TechCrunch Startup Alley, which is an opportunity of a lifetime if we might add.
Once they applied, startups entered the preliminary round before the conference where the best 10 were invited to go into the semi-finals on the conference. Startups who were selected to go into the semi-finals had the opportunity to present their pitches to the judges live on the conference. And the judges of this years’ Spark.Me startup competition were amazing in their own right, just like every year before.
First, there was Dave Haynes from Seedcamp, Dylan Dimitrov from the Eleven startup accelerator, Marvin Liao, a partner at the 500startups accelerator, and our own Predrag Lešić from .ME.
There were a lot of different and great ideas, and the three best ones advanced to the finals on the second day of Spark.Me. But before we tell you who advanced and who didn’t, let us say a few words about semi-finalists that presented at Spark.me Stage.
dryTools – Serbia
Drytools is a software tool that automates repetitive actions for developers. Its usage is extremely wide, and it can help developers write better code faster, because of the smart algorithms that power the app. Using this app eliminates the need for writing line after line of repetitive code, thus saving you the time you could be using for something else.
Hum app – Kosovo
Hum is in its essence an app that allows you to ask people questions about things and see which alternative they like the most. For example, the team behind Hum plans to use the app on basketball stadiums to gather responses from the crowd regarding which player is better, and which player should be benched next. It allows for swift and easy answering of questions that are polarizing in nature, such as Cola or Pepsi, or will your team win the game.
Letpet.in – Croatia
Letpet.in is an app designed to help pet owners find pet-friendly accommodation. It works in a similar sense as Airbnb but is completely oriented towards pet owners so they can stay in homes that are suitable for their furry companions. Because of the large market, that is saturated with numerous home-renting solutions, Letpet.in aims on people who don’t go anywhere without their pets, and require a certain degree of pet-oriented accommodation.
GetHiredWith.Me – Montenegro
GetHiredWith.Me is a platform that helps people get hired by letting them personalize their profile on job-search sites with short videos that help them stand out in the sea of “regular” profiles. The research the team has done claims that people who do have videos in their profiles get hired more, something GetHiredWith.Me can help you with.
Kidster – Montenegro/Serbia
Quite simply, Kidster is a platform for parents to sell the things their children don’t need anymore. Aiming to help parents utilize the most out of the things they buy for their toddlers and small children, Kidster tries to help with the finding and buying of the things children grow out of quickly, like clothes and shoes. This helps parents save money and time, and makes parenting just a little bit easier.
Smart Lumies – Croatia
A toy that helps kids learn all sorts of things by being easy to use, programmable and fun. That’s what Smart Lumies is. Starting with a cube with glowing sides, you can program it to display colors, play a game of memory, or even a version of LaserTag and hide and seek. The cubes have sensors and lights inside of them, and can be used to aid children with learning or just having fun.
Emily – Croatia
Emily is a cutting-edge facial recognition software that is aimed at retailers. It helps them have more insight into what the reactions of people are when they buy a certain product by scanning their facial expressions while they buy it. That helps retailers track the response a certain product evokes, but Emily can also be used to track responses to commercials or ads in general.
Bee and Me – Montenegro
A remote monitoring system for bees, Bee and Me is aimed at beekeepers and lets them monitor the state in which their bees are from a distance, eliminating the need to physically check on bees often. It also alarms beekeepers when there’s something wrong and helps bees live longer by acquiring great insight into their life. Most importantly, it helps save the lives of the bees by making their owners more informed.
Yorefy – Slovenia
Yorefy is an interesting virtual reality service that allows for visitors to see landmarks and historical ruins the way they were before, using nothing but their smartphones. By making 3-d models of ancient ruins, the team can then implement them into the app, and these models can be viewed by tourists with their smartphones to show them how these locations looked in the past.
The Best Of The Best
The pitches were really good, but unfortunately, only three startups could participate in the finals. The lucky three were announced at the cocktail party on Saturday, and those were Smartlumies from Croatia, Bee and Me from Montenegro and dryTools from Serbia. These teams then had the chance to fight for their place in the Startup Alley in the finals on Sunday. The competition was very sharp, and the three startups that advanced all the way to the finals were all extremely good and full of potential.
In the end, the winner was dryTools from Serbia, with their advanced way of shortening the repetitive work developers face every day. Their combination of great presentation skills, a developed business plan, and well-made strategy assured the judges that they are the right company to go to the United States.
There is not much else to do than to wish them the best of luck, but also to extend our greatest thanks and warm wishes to all of the startups that participated in the challenge, and we certainly believe all of them will succeed in what they are doing.
Until next year, stay posted about the Spark.Me news on the .ME blog!