UK Startups Have Gone Mad for MV Madness

On July 14 and 15, 38 Startups battled it out at MV Madness, to be part of the new Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London cohort. Following on from the success of The Pitch, MV Madness took things to the next level, by being the first Microsoft Ventures event where teams not only pitched their startup to a panel of experts, but also to the public. The jam-packed two-day event included workshops with insightful talks, networking with like-minded individuals and an Xbox One competition to stoke the competitive spirit.

With the London heatwave cheering the startups on, each one came into Madness bright eyed and bushy tailed. All ready to go, Stuart Bewley, pitch coach extraordinaire, got the crowd going with "prune and bananas" exercise (Ask @amplifycoach to find out what it is…). Other highlights included Mike Southen with a tale of how the Beatles had the ultimate entrepreneurial journey, Dave Copelin's Rise of the Humans talk, how to pitch to tech journalists from Will Dunn, Associate Editor of Stuff magazine, as well as fascinating stories from our very own graduates about life at Microsoft Ventures. To close the show, tech guru James Whitaker imparted words of wisdom on how 'data isn't just wealth, data is power' and blew the room away. Both days were MC'ed by Bernadine Brocker CEO of Vastari, a recent Microsoft Ventures graduate; you can see her pitch from The Pitch here.

To add to the Madness, each startup had an opportunity to create a one-minute video of their pitch in the ‘diary room’ on Day 1. Each pitch went up on to Stuff.TV, the website of Stuff Magazine, our official Media Partner to the Accelerator. This gave the public the chance to pick their favorite startup to win a place in the program. And they chose Sian’s Plan, a healthy eating app. The competitive spirit continued as the stakes got higher on the last day, with the fastest lap on Forza winning a brand new Xbox One.

Finally, the wait was over, as the announcement of the new cohort was made. You can meet the new recruits and watch their pitches below.

A massive thanks to everyone that took part, including all volunteers and panel of judges. Even though we selected only 12 teams, each startup left MV Madness a winner. However, don't take our word for it, hear what the participants had to say in this short video:

This next Accelerator cohort begins in September 2014. For more information on the accepted startups, please see list below:

AppyParking turns city driving into a walk in the park. Drivers are lost when looking for a parking space. That is until now. Watch their pitch here.
Space Lounges is a revolutionary new digital retail experience, aiming to bring together the physical and digital world in harmony. The pressing issue for physical retail stores in 2014 is that we can't link data to real people. Space Lounges uses data to enhance and revolutionize the overall human experience. Watch their pitchhere.
Lady Shotgun is a games development studio using independent mobile game developers – working on projects which appeal to the 35 + demographic, making up the majority of users on mobile platforms. Watch their pitch here.
SAM is an internet of things prototyping platform for children, students, and professionals developed by an interdisciplinary team of engineers from Imperial College London and designers from the Royal College of Art.
Rotor is an online tool for creating music videos. Quality music videos are created in just a few clicks without needing software or skills. Rotor makes music video accessible to anyone. Watch their pitch here.
Wooju allows you to snap & solve indecisive moments with friends! Watch their pitch here.
Pixel Blimp is a fresh-faced game developer which loves creating the games you love to play. Watch their pitch here.
Fove is an eye tracking head mount display. Dive into virtual worlds that know where you are looking, what you are looking at and react to it. Think Iron Man meets Oculus. Watch their pitch here.
Myriada builds the most advanced crowd wisdom technology on the market. Access the predictive insight in your network or organization using our product suite. We're building communities with 20/20 foresight. Watch their pitch here.
Triggertrap creates lots of creative and interesting ways of triggering your SLR camera. In this video, Triggertrap's CEO Haje Jan Kamps demos the Yellfie app - without competition, the most annoying selfie app to launch in the next few weeks. Watch their pitch here.
Art Guru is the new generation of audio guides for museum, with image recognition and artificial intelligence. We provide added value to our museums with analytics and marketing tools. Watch their pitch here.
Sian's Plan is the winner of the People’s Choice Award, making sure you can get a healthy meal on the table within half an hour of coming home from work. Watch their pitch here.

To keep tabs on what Microsoft Ventures UK is up to, follow us on Twitter: @MSFTventuresUK.