Microsoft Ventures London Accelerator

What caught our eye at the Microsoft Ventures London Accelerator event?

On Wednesday I went along to “The Pitch” at Microsoft Ventures London Accelerator which is the main event on the schedule of any tech accelerator – when the start-ups finish the program and get up on stage to explain what they need next, generally money from investors and partners to help them scale. Over the last year Microsoft have done 3 of these and the audience has doubled in scale each time – showing the quality is up there with the better accelerator programs around London.

The Venue, Koko in Camden

There were lots of interesting start-ups across a whole range of industries presenting with a couple that caught my eye in particular (as well as the cupcakes – I’m writing this on a real one of these).

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Cronofy was the first one to catch my eye – they are creating a calendar platform that makes it really easy to develop calendar integration for apps. This has so much application in areas like travel – I don’t know about you but I spend quite a lot of time before a trip making sure all the information for flight and hotel reservations etc is in the right time in my phone’s calendar so I don’t have to connect to wifi in a foreign country and search through emails to find my reservation number. Cronofy will make sure all the info is available easily to you when you need it. There are lots of other areas where this sort of seamless integration will be really useful too and only having to use a single platform to be able to integrate with all the different calendars your customers use will make it feasible.

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The second was Sam Labs who have created an Internet of Things platform along with a hardware development kit. The most impressive thing about their pitch was that they did a live demo (which worked seamlessly). With a few clicks of the mouse they posted a webcam photo to twitter at the press of a small wireless button from their dev kit. Their vision for a connected world is really nice, a bit like IFTTT for hardware and a kit will definitely be on my christmas list!

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Look forward to meeting the next batch!

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