Evident’s Director sits alongside leading local entrepreneurs as a judge for Plymouth’s Techstars Startup weekend
A 54 hour intensive workshop, Techstars Startup weekend welcome’s anyone to pitch their startup idea to their peers and a professional judging panel. The three days include joining likeminded individuals, working with mentors, developing a business model, creating, coding, designing and validating an idea within its required market.
Health and Wellbeing was the chosen theme of Plymouth’s Techstars Startup weekend, making it the perfect topic for our health conscious Director, Tom.
Only three rules applied; attendees must be 18 years+, the ideas could not have previously been worked on before and all ideas pitched on the day had to have a Health and Wellbeing focus. Some example ideas given were;
- Can technology help local people as they age?
- How can we tackle the risk to health posed by air pollution?
- What can help tackle loneliness?
- How do we manage data from the wearable digital tools increasingly used to manage health?
Over the course of the three days, ideas were challenged, iterated, progressed and some even changed entirely.
As an agency that specialises in rapid prototyping and design thinking for enterprise businesses, it was amazing to see teams (many of who had never met before Friday) develop a concept, business model and pitch a commercial product by the end of the weekend. Judging any concept produced in such a short amount of time is extremely difficult but what was more interesting was how the teams prioritised the output of the time they had together. Every team seemed to have faced different challenges throughout the weekend, some due to the complexity of the concept and some due to the difficulty in demonstrating value. Credit to the coaches that took part and helped the teams throughout the weekend, it was really positive to see how important the teams considered user research and analysis when shaping and proving value in their ideas.Tom Gamblin, Evident Founder / Director
The Techstars Startup weekend was the perfect setting for ideas to flourish and for the best local entrepreneurial talent to really stretch their creative legs
Tom’s takeaways from the day
Notable mention: Artificial intelligence solution for cataracts diagnosis
For me personally, one of the stand out concepts of the weekend was an artificial intelligence solution for identifying cataracts and suggesting a means of treatment. The solution was complex and understandably a difficult pitch in the 5 minute time limit given. An aspect of the pitch that resonated with me was that this wasn’t necessarily targeted at providing value through a wide spread market, it was focused on creating financial savings on an existing process. The team had also demonstrated the process in real code as well which was also an impressive part of the pitch.
Memory pad was an app focused on reconnecting parents through the use of photo capture and strategically delivering physical versions of their memories (apologies to the Memory team if I make any mistakes, this is all from memory on the day…no pun intended). It was an application that the judges could relate to and visualise as a business, although focused on an already competitive market. The team delivered a clear and precise pitch, had validated the idea early with real potential customers and tested price points which allowed them to forecast revenue. The concept also had some other interesting pivot opportunities which were suggested by the judging panel, for example an idea posed by Ian McFadzen, CEO of Plymouth Science Park was rather than focusing on young parents whether the model could be repurposed for the older family members or a movement towards aiding or preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
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