You’re invited to Demo Day for nine female-led startups
This week we’re featuring not one startup, but nine!
There’s no question that women are underrepresented in startups, and in the tech scene in general. This is despite the fact that in a recent study, First Round Capital found that companies with a female founder outperformed all-male founding teams by 63%.
New Zealand’s own Lightning Lab accelerator is doing their bit to support women entrepreneurs, and launched Lightning Lab XX earlier this year. On Demo Day, the teams will pitch to investors and you’re invited to come along and enjoy the presentations.
When: Thursday 16 June, 4pm Where: Embassy Theatre, Kent Terrace, Wellington Entry: Free, but RSVP is mandatory
NoticeMatch helps any business ensure their customer’s final experience is achieved a timely and empathetic manner. We empower them by identifying deceased customers quickly, thus giving them the tool to undertake their legal, moral or ethical obligations and build great relationships with the surviving families.
Geo AR Games get kids off the couch and active outside using Outdoor Mixed Reality technology. Mixed Reality combines digital content with a real-time video feed to create immersive experiences. By pairing this with Motion Gaming, kids explore digital content by walking and running. This solution encourages healthy relationships with technology by creating games that kids love.
Liangma allows quality-sensitive buyers to order fresh, free-range chicken for home delivery. The company connects free-range farms with inner-city buyers through a digital platform and logistics network. This creates an easy and reliable way for their Chengdu-based customers to buy the best poultry products. Liangma’s promise of 24h delivery fits perfectly with the Chinese culture of eating the freshest, highest quality produce.
John Huang, Jess Knipping, Steve Jasionowicz, Vanessa Wilson, Charlie Coppinger
Hive brings communities together by connecting people who need a hand with those who have the time and skills to help. At the heart of Hive is the idea that trust is valuable, and that communities can build trust. Using a mobile app, Hive facilitates finding and matching jobs, and processing payments. The app helps to build a trusted community by connecting locals to get work done.
Little Yellow Bird is a company that supplies businesses with more than just a uniform. LYB produces high quality workwear, through a completely transparent and ethical supply chain. They have a wide range of workwear such as custom business shirts to t-shirts, hoodies to aprons. This provides companies with an opportunity to turn their uniforms into marketing.
Sipreme is joyful future food – healthy, nutritionally complete, and super convenient. For busy people with cooler stuff to do than burn toast in the morning, this is it. It’s a fast, liquid meal that gives the adult body every nutrient it needs! The product iterates for each new batch, following their feedback. It’s the perfect, healthy solution for unromantic, functional meals.
Ama Balm is a natural balm used by adventurers to hydrate their weathered skin after being exposed to the elements. Launching only 8 months ago, Ama Balm is already featured in major surf, ski and adventure towns in NZ. The company aims to build a natural skin care range that serves the needs of adventurers across the globe.
Music Ecademy is a web application that teaches music theory and aural skills in a fun and engaging way through interactive lessons, quizzes, and games. The application helps to engage students while also saving teachers valuable time and resources. The curriculum is relevant for music schools and teachers in Australia, NZ and the UK.
Patternsnap is a digital library of Interior Design samples for Designers and Showrooms. It provides a beautiful, simple tool to search for products and create schemes. Patternsnap saves designers precious time, enabling access to a comprehensive database of unique samples. Currently available as an iOS app, Patternsnap is a virtual showroom in your pocket.
Disclosure: I’m a trustee of a trust that invested a small amount in the Lightning Lab XX Limited Partnership, which in turn invested in each of these startups at the beginning of the programme providing them with “ramen funding” for the duration of the programme. I have also provided weekly mentoring to NoticeMatch during the programme. And I’m on the Lightning Lab Advisory Board.
Physiotherapy as a game Swibo takes the drudgery of physiotherapy and turns it into a fun, competitive game. The game itself, Tilt, runs on an Android phone, which is placed onto a balance board; the phone is connected wirelessly to a computer and monitor where the player can view the action. The player plays the game by using the balance board to do their prescribed physiotherapy exercises, which are cleverly disguised as a game. While they play, Tilt measures performance and balance, collecting data that can be used to track improvement, identify strengths, weaknesses, and patterns in a player’s balance to tailor player training schemes.
Tilt has been tested with the New Zealand Artificial Limb service for use with amputees. This is a large and growing market, with amputations due to diabetes growing rapidly. Tilt is also a useful game for injury prevention and sport training. This is also a large market – over $1B was spent in 2014 on out-of-commission professional athletes, and Swibo have signed up a high-profile Wellington sporting franchise as an early customer.
Cofounder and CEO Ben Dunn leads a team of five, including two devs, a designer, and a UX specialist. They’re young, lean, and ready to take on the world from Wellington. Ben is a dual US and NZ citizen, and wants to lead the charge into the US market, whilst basing the research, development, and operations in Wellington.
SWIBO started life in the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp, which was jointly run by CreativeHQ‘s and VicLink, and they’re currently raising a seed round.
Our first NZ Startup of the Week is Leaping Tiger, a location-based friend finding app which lets gamers find other gamers to play against, team up with, or message with.
Based in Wellington, founders Jordan Lilley and Amy Potter started Leaping Tiger to solve their own problem. Amy explains, “When you bring a new video game home, you are currently faced with two options – play with someone you know in real life, or be forced online into random online matchmaking with faceless strangers. Random online matchmaking has a whole host of specific problems – from people speaking a totally different language, people with terrible ping, and people who don’t have a headset when the game really requires one to succeed. There are also a lot of other factors that come into play here, where gamers would ideally love to meet someone new with similar gaming interests to them, who likes similar things to them, and plays at similar times to them – but until now there has been no simple and instant way to do that! We bridge the gap between totally random strangers, and real life friends, allowing gamers to discover those near them, playing the same games they do, and who are online right now.”
You might be thinking that Steam, Xbox, PlayStation and others all provide a way for people to connect, but Leaping Tiger claims that they’re the only cross-platform system to do this, and that because they’re much more user-centric than the big platforms, their recommendations are much better targetted and useful.
Leaping Tiger launched in May 2015, and four months in they already have over 6,000 users in 70 countries – they’re clearly building a community really quickly, and have great support. They’re firmly focussed on a “global from day one” strategy, with the US and UK markets number one and two in terms of current user base, with NZ in third place.
Currently pre-revenue, they want to monetise in the short term through very specific genre- and location-based affiliate links, moving into freemium offerings and partner/sponsor rights. They point out that the gaming industry is already bigger than music plus movies, and continuing to grow rapidly.
Leaping Tiger is currently raising a seed round through Angel HQ and ICE Angels to more deeply explore international markets and continue product development. This will be their first investment, and they’d love to acquire overseas gaming industry connections at the same time.