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Meet Europe’s startup disrupters

TECH TALK 33: One of Europe’s biggest tech gatherings, TechCrunch Disrupt, hit London this week. Alongside the big names in tech were a group of lean and hungry startups. Tony Sekinah met some of the contenders in TCD’s Startup Battlefield contest – including Berlin-based winners Crate.
TCD, a big data solution for back-end developers, won the prestigious Startup Battlefield competition at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, which took place in London this week.

Crate cofounders Jodok Batlogg and Christian Lutz walked away with a £30,000 prize and the event’s prestigious Disrupt Cup.

A panel of five judges, including Sonali de Rycker from Accel Partners, and Brent Hoberman of PROfounders Capital, grilled a group of 15 startups about their IP, backgrounds and other investors.

Crate’s elastic data store enables developers to deal with large amounts of data. It combines real time SQL in a distributed environment and simplifies a complicated process.

“You can install a cluster in less than a minute and you can use it with SQL which means that every developer, every tool that exists, can talk to it,” COO Lutz told TechCityisider.

Crate silent-launched in May 2014 with an open source version on GitHub and received an enthusiastic response from developers.

Microblink, one of four Battlefield finalists, presented its flagship product Photomath, the world’s first camera-calculator.

Photomath solves maths equations for users who simply take a picture of the problem with their smartphone, using optical character recognition.

Sales director Izet Zdralovic told TechCityinsider: “The real value for the kids is not the answer but the step-by-step solution of the problem. It’s pretty magical.”

The Photomath app shot to the top of the App Store chart the following day.

Another finalist in the contest was Oscadi. Its Oscult product features a smart ultrasound system that connects to the iPad.

Inventor Olivier Sautron explained that the €14,900 medical device is aimed at medical practitioners working in rural environments. It allows them to perform an ultrasound and consult more experienced medical professionals within the same application.

London-based Lobster aims to bring content creators who post on social media together with journalists and digital advertising professionals who need realistic and affordable images.

“We’re solving this problem connecting the two people in an easy-to-use marketplace,” Olga Egorsheva, co-founder and chief executive, told TechCityinsider.

With Lobster images can be bought from Instagram or Flickr for $1-$2 with Lobster taking a 25% commission.

GiftGaming, headquartered in Cambridge, is an in-game advertising service. Founder Nick Hatter told TechCityinsider that GiftGaming is solving the problem of intrusive in-game advertising.

Hatter’s plan for revenue generation is to take a commission on gifts that brands pay for. The brands will have to purchase credits, which will be spent/redeemed every time a gamer opens a gift.

Cosmethics is an application that helps consumer to understand the ingredients of their cosmetics and toiletries. Users can scan product barcodes they want to check for harmful ingredients from a database of 10,000 products that is growing by up to 3,000 every week.

“Every toxic warning we do, we base on scientific papers so it has some credibility behind it,” Teppo Hudson, lead developer, told TechCityinsider.

Finally, ChefHost, a startup founded by three friends at Warwick Business School, is a chef on demand service that connects chefs and diners.

Abhi Balasubramanian, co-founder and CEO told TechCityinsider that the business was created with the intention of creating and an alternative to restaurants for fine dining experiences.

“We are creating a new marketplace where you can get chefs home and cook for you and make the make the whole dining experience more personal and extremely exclusive,” he said.

Crate, as the winner of TCD’s Startup Battlefield, picked up £30,000 in cash.