The 3 Winners of The Start Up Games 2012 and Why It Matters

120+ start ups from around the world, 3 days of competition, 1 full day of (sales) pitch fighting later . . . and the winners of the Start Up Games 2012 are:

Bronze Medal : MediaDevil (UK)

Logo MediaDevil

The fastest growing mobile accessories company. I am particularly happy of this award, especially because this is not just an app but a company that produces real products. I love apps and software companies, however I strongly believe that we need real products as well.

Silver Medal : Tuizzi (Portugal)

Logo Tuizzi

Tuizzi is (more than) an online marketplace to buy and sell advertising. Keep an eye on them, they have all the potentials to become a worldwide recognized leader in their market.

Gold Medal : Versarien (UK)

Logo Versarien

Versarien is a British company producing high tech versatile materials.

At iSeed we had the pleasure to serve in the Games as speakers and judges. It’s very interesting to me that two of the three winners are non-app companies.

  • These type of companies tend to grow slower, but – if well managed – tend to live longer.
  • They are more expensive to finance, and they can’t rely on viral marketing alone. In fact they have to produce useful products. But they usually create more jobs.

A Brave New Trend For Startups

The first internet boom (and bubble) was a completely “private” matter. Private investors wired money into the market, and the market melt down in less than a year when the same private investors lost their confidence.

The current start-up boom lives in a global economic crisis. As in the first internet boom, investors wire money into the market when they are excited (i.e. Facebook’s IPO) and they take back their money whey they are not excited anymore (i.e. again Facebook). But this is not just a “private” matter anymore. To fight the crisis, Governments HAVE to create jobs, but they can’t, or at least they can’t enough. Thus they can only increase the number of entrepreneurs.

Politicians usually are not exited about business, but about bureaucracy. I know, I have worked on both side of the table. But this time is different. Small companies are their best friend. A young start-upper with a few hundreds dollars income a month will focus all his energy to growth his company, he doesn’t have time to go on the street and smash shop windows.

This is why – at least in Europe – there is a trend to support more traditional startups. Because they create more jobs. I don’t think that many people still realize that, but the trend is there.

A Global Trend or Just a European Obsession?

What do you think? This focus on traditional startups is a global trend, or just a European “socialistic” obsession, and the USA are unaffected?

Credits: photo taken in front of 10 Downing Street – residence of the UK Prime Minister – by StartupBritain, organizer of the Start Up Games with Tech City of UK Trade and Investment.You can see Gabrielle from iSeed (I was a speaker at the event, she was a mighty judge). The trademarks are owned by the respective companies.

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