The “Pitch in Berlin” contest at this weekend’s HackFwd Build 08 event gave space to 10 startups (or startup ideas) from all over Europe. Anyone could apply to be selected for the opportunity to pitch their idea to an invitation-only audience of techies and investors. This time, in its second iteration, the event audience consisted of not only the high caliber mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs in the HackFwd network, but also of influential tech journalists such as Mike Butcher (@mikebutcher), the editor of TechCrunch Europe, and Om Malik (@om), the gigaOM impressario.
The pitches varied from a fishing social network through financial information for investors to betting or travel. The Eastist region was represented pretty well: 2 from Poland, 1 from the Czech Republic, and 1 with a Croatian co-founder. Most excitingly, the winner of the contest was MyGuidie from Poland, an online marketplace where people can offer their experiences and skills by organizing and selling activities.
MyGuidie’s victory is almost like an early Christmas gift to this blog, because it’s a pleasure to write about. Not only is it a dynamic young startup from Warsaw, it has several characteristics that make it stand out from the crowd usually covered here:
- The founder, Ola Sitarska (@olasitarska), is 19.
- It’s founded by a woman. (OK, I guess I could say “girl” at this age, but I recently read a thought-provoking article on this topic.)
- She already has two startups behind her.
- The rest of the team is also female.
- The site has a beautiful design with a strong focus on usability.
I fully expect that we will be hearing more about this energetic founder in the future.