European Startups Shine at DocuSign San Francisco

Swedish American Chamber of Commerce SF/SV CEO Catrin Anckarman's opening remarks | Photo: BSPOKE Brand Consultancy

Swedish American Chamber of Commerce SF/SV CEO Catrin Anckarman's opening remarks | Photo: BSPOKE Brand Consultancy

(San Francisco, CA) - Hosted by presenting sponsor DocuSign, BSPOKE attended the annual "European Pitch Night" at DocuSign's San Francisco offices on September 20th. Co-sponsored by BABCSF, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce SF/SV, the French American Chamber of Commerce SFBelCham, the German American Business Association of Northern California, the German American Chamber of Commerce, the California Spain Chamber of Commerce and Danish American Chamber of Commerce, attendees were promised "five of Europe's most interesting startups," each showcasing its take on "European innovation" with a five-minute pitch, followed by three minutes of Q&A / audience feedback. All told, a fast-moving and worthwhile evening in SOMA.

The evening's pitches in order of appearance:

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Story Chief (Belgium): "Content Marketing Software for Startups, SEO Marketers and Editorial teams who want to increase their reach."

Pitch: Introduced by co-founder Valeri Potchekailov. Content marketing creation and publishing tool, facilitating publishing across multiple channels with one click, including content hubs, social media and more. Additional selling points include analytics, CRM connection, the ability to directly launch a blog. Available for free and from 25 Euros/month per team.

Feedback: Had a quick chat with Valeri, who was keen to make connections in San Francisco and Silicon Valley with principles in the content space. When asked if this was like Hootsuite for content, he nodded in agreement and expanded on that, reintroducing the various time-saving benefits of Story Chief. A virtual assistant engages website users, so if you're looking to up your content game, definitely have a look. Also, BelCham noted some great, new funding news for Story Chief. Congrats!

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Ubimax (Germany): "Ubimax..is the global market leader for Enterprise Wearable Computing and Augmented Reality Solutions."

Pitch: Introduced by Americas President Percy Stocker. Mr. Stocker utilized video to demo his case for Ubimax AR in factory, warehouse and logistics-related business settings. Simplicity, cost-savings and time efficiency were repeatedly cited.

Feedback: Ubimax's tagline of "we help frontline workers focus on what they are really good at: real-world physical tasks, not complex and time-consuming computer prompts" positively reinforced with an especially effective video showcasing Ubimax AR in a warehouse operation. Although I couldn't locate that video on the company website, this one is excellent. Ubimax is already working with over 200 global brands.

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Atlas Go (France): "A Global Community of Sweaty Changemakers. We've developed a community where engaged runners, non-profits and corporations join forces to create positive awareness around social & environmental issues and to accelerate impactful change.”

Pitch: Chief Partnership Officer and Co-Founder Magali Mathieu detailed how Atlas Go augments existing enterprise CSR through employees who, literally, sweat their donations to a given cause. The first "feel good" preso of the evening, Atlas Go offers users a meaningful gamification of org-driven fitness challenges. A certified B-Corp, learn more about Altas Go's impact model and pledge here.

Feedback: Ms. Mathieu's presentation effectively drew dotted as well as solid lines between existing organizational CSR and Atlas Go's unique brand proposition. Via the website, Atlas Go allows "anyone to walk, run or bike for a non-profit partner in the name of your company," thereby appealing to businesses of all sizes while simultaneously "creating brand ambassadors making a tangible social impact." This aspect of Atlas Go's brand proposition is attractive. Perhaps consider sharing Atlas Go with your respective chain of command.

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ReGen Villages (The Netherlands): "Tech-Integrated and Regenerative Residential Real Estate Development."

Pitch: ReGen Villages founder James Ehrlich successfully delivered the exciting potential and real-world urgency of his tech-plus-architecture startup. Mr. Ehrlich also detailed the launch of ReGen Village's first project in The Netherlands, funded by a public/private investment by global brands and sovereign wealth. The current development in Almere, Netherlands is set to break ground in Q4 2018, with homes set to be constructed in Q2 2019. A brief exploration of AI + IoT connectivity of future European ReGen Village developments was shared.

Feedback: Hyper-compelling preso with real-world relevance and a palpable sense of urgency, all set against the background of global warming, water / food scarcity, and major increases in global population. As mentioned during his presentation, Mr. Ehrlich is a Senior Technologist at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow at Opus Novum consortium at NASA Ames and an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab; the ReGen Villages brand proposition is powerful.

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Allure Systems (France): "Allure Systems combines proprietary hardware, advanced virtualization and computer vision technologies to create stunning on-figure garment images for clothing retailers. Any of your models can wear any of your clothes – but no longer need to be present at photo shoots."

Pitch: Gabrielle Chou deftly explained Allure Systems' patented technology, which uses AR to overlay retail fashion onto virtualized models of all sizes, shapes, ages. Customers literally have the ability to “see themselves” versus seeing clothing on high fashion models. Chou indicated that Allure Systems has the ability to trim retailer model costs by up to 70% - key. Current US customers include Walmart & mid-tier door Dillard’s. Ms. Chou described the Allure Systems shopping, brand experience and UX, also detailing where its patented and proprietary tech is moving for individual consumers and Allure Systems customers.

Feedback: All five presenters did an excellent job, but in terms of the actual preso, use of video, size of graphics and text, compelling imagery, use of white space, timing and integration with the speaker, Ms. Chou's delivery of the Allure Systems preso was utterly re-watchable, enjoyable and educational. Having personally worked in the fashion industry, this preso spoke to the choir as well as the uninitiated. Bravo.

Once all pitches were made, a Crowdpurr audience poll consisting of five questions was taken to determine the evening's winner. Due to its highly credible founder and mission for human and global good, ReGen Villages took the evening's virtual top prize, but all of the evening's pitches, products, brands, and ideas were worthwhile and worth our respective and shared time together. Bravi Tutti, see you at European Pitch Night 2019.

JM

Originally published via LinkedIn on September 27, 2018.