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Mobile startups dominated at Barcamp Budapest

Mobile and social media are still the essentials for either funding a startup or boost an existing small or medium sized business, spiced up with personalization and branding techniques.

It's not only who you follow, but how you follow on social media – this is the basic idea behind the service called Webee, that has won Budapest Bank Startup Contest at the VII. Barcamp Budapest conference last week. Webee creates a handy timeline of all social media activities of a user organized, to make personal expressions easy to overview and to create a “social business card” as an option.

The service can be used by groups as well to publish and share, which can useful for working teams. Webee got incubated by Valley Connect seed fund last year and consequently launched beta services on March 15, 2012. The startup was looking for further investment at Barcamp to widen its user base internationally from the current 100 to 120,000 by 2013 and to create a 10-person developer team by then.

The jury consisted of Zoltán Siklósi of Invescom, Elek Straub of Day One Capital, Károly Szigeti of Central-Fund and Péter Tánczos of Euroventures. They were convinced by the presentation, although noted that the business model was a bit rough-and-ready and generous with the idea of subscription-based service. They main advice was that the management should be able to demonstrate the sales power of the application.

Of the seven finalists, all basing their services of extensive smartphone usage statistics, Tikkin came in second with a service that aims to build a more effective relationship betweens shops and shoppers by personalizing special offers. The third prize went to a location-based iPhone application called Loki, that visualizes content created nearby the user on a comprehensive map for a limited period of time, to show only the current ones.

The conference's line up featured Lukas Maixner of Socialbakers.com, one of the largest social media analysts. Maixner talked about how Hungary emerges from the CEE region with its growth in Facebook user numbers and social acceptance and how such social channels are going to be the main areas for branding. Another presenter, Zsuzsa Erdei of Budapest Bank stressed that advancing webshops could make the SME sector more profitable: according to the bank's recent survey, a webshop boosts sales by an average 26% while costs might even decrease by 24%.
Anikó Jóri-Molnár