My first Discovering Start-ups event

Last week (Weds 21st Oct) marked my first major CW event: The 6th Discovering Start-Ups Competition held at the rather smart Deloitte offices on London’s New St Square.

A variety of tech start-ups came together for a day of networking and pitching to a thorough and vigorous judging panel. There were 3 main pitching sessions where finalists had just 5 minutes to promote their product/service with an equally short session of Q&A among 29 industry professionals (excruciatingly short for some of the startups!) The winners ranged from smart glasses for the blind and an online platform for gene testing to an industrial wireless sensor network, real-time risk assessment system for cyber-attacks and a new reversible software debugger.

As much as I loved seeing each finalist take to the stage and pitch with such obvious passion, the auditorium was lucky enough to receive talks from the event sponsors: Qualcomm (Ben Timmons, top left of pic), Deloitte (David Cobb,top right of pic) and Google (Hoi Lam, bottom right of pic).

Discovering startups key speakers, sponsors, chair and winners

Hoi Lam is an expert in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Developer advocate, although he did joke about using non Google products explaining he’s all for cross-platform support. A charismatic speaker, he grabbed the floors’ attention explaining there is no doubting that innovation is a messy process. But it doesn’t have to be a long-drawn out process or a complicated one; the first prototype of Google glass (pictured)  was developed in 2 hours!  Google innovation isn’t a secret by any means – Hoi was open about their research steps and explained in most cases they mindmap with post-it notes whilst scrawling notes onto glass walls (so trendy 😉 ).  Most importantly, Google instill this ”YES! And…” mentality into employees to drive further discussion and build up the ideas stack. Great talk and just great to be apart of the Discovering Start-Ups Competition.

Google glass 1st prototype

By Lucy Woods (CW)