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Meet the Winner of #IMEX14 Startup Competition: Speecheo

By Julius Solaris
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Last week IMEX America hosted its first #eventtech Startup competition in collaboration with EventMB. As part of the prize, the winner secured coverage on this blog. So let's meet Speecheo, a new startup on the block, who managed to beat the really tough competition.

Speecheo Winner  IMEX14 Event startup competition

Before leaving for IMEX America, I mentioned how the Event Startup Competition was going to be one of the most anticipated events during the exhibition.

It was a great pleasure to see a lot of you readers, shake hands IRL and enjoy some great #eventtech. I was joined by amazing fellow judges Miguel Neves, Liz King, Dahlia El Gazzar and Brandt Krueger.

We listened to some great pitches with a scary 2 minute time limit that tested the nerves of all those involved.

The winner was Speecheo. Let's look at what they do and who they are.

Speecheo in Less Than 140 Characters

Speecheo is a presentation app which gives great learning experience to the audience and speech analytics for speakers and event planners.

Hey There! Introduce Yourself and Your team

Damien, Raphael and Morgan are the core elements of Speecheo.

The story started in 2013 in a hackathon where the 3 of us worked on 2 complementary projects about conferences. After the hackathon, we decided to merge them by creating Speecheo and won the HTML5 prize at the Dev Kings 2013 hackathon. After this competition, we were selected to join the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator for 3 month in Paris.

There, we made a deeper market research by interviewing a lot of event professionals but also experts in education and training. This helped us refine our business model, following as much we could the Lean methodology. We were helped by experts like Sebastien Sacard in France who was also one of our first enthusiastic early-adopter. We even got a coverage by Techcrunch which wrote about us and our demo day.

From May to July 2014, we were selected to join the Lisbon Challenge Accelerator where we kept testing our alpha version. We got some great interest from event professionals and also major IT and pharmaceutical companies which send speakers around the world to advertise their products. This accelerator was a great experience and their awesome team helped us a lot to meet big players.

We also work with 3 other collaborators and several advisors we met in these innovation programs to help us go faster.

What Did You Do Before Speecheo?

We all have completely different experiences which makes us really complementary.

Damien is a mobile application developer expert, also deeply interested by UX. After his software studies in Europe and Brazil, he built well-known mobile apps for major media companies like Arte and Le Monde (the 1st info app in France). They were downloaded more than 2 million times.

Morgan studied media management and entrepreneurship in Sorbonne and Celsa. He then got interested in entrepreneurship, joined the Founder Institute and created his first startup. He also has a great sense of product: he studied art and worked as a designer in Japan.

Raphael is an engineer with 10 years of IT experience. He worked for global companies like Sony and Alcatel-Lucent, implementing supply chain management tools and delivering trainings. He then built a first startup Intermedia Paris which developed mobile cross-platform technologies for TF1 and France Télévisions, the major TV channels in France with more than 2 million downloads.

He is also part of the organization of a yearly IT conference, the World Wide Haxe which is one of the reasons he was convinced that the event experience could be improved.

What Gave You the Idea?

All started with a frustration from our years at University and the following ones when attending professional conferences.

When you are attending a presentation, it is hard to capture all the information which matters to you. Even if you try to be take notes and take pictures of the slides, you will end up missing a lot of important information. And when you go back to your notes, it is extremely time-consuming to gather all the data and to easily find information which is important to you.

We were sure that we could improve this learning experience with a better designed tool than the existing ones. So our first idea was to build the best mobile app for attendees who wanted to learn.
We then understood that if your notes and bookmarks could be synced to the speech, when you would go back to find them, you would have everything you need. Almost like a virtual “time machine”.

But the eureka moment came from market research. A lot of the event organizers we interviewed had the same pain: they had no way to retrieve relevant and actionable feedback.

It sounds far from the first problem but it’s actually not. To solve this issue, we just had to analyze what attendees noted, bookmarked, shared and read afterwards (while respecting privacy) and to provide speakers and event planners a reporting tool, for them to know who is interested by what.

Each type of user (speakers and attendees) could finally learn a lot from each other.

And that’s extremely important to improve the quality of knowledge sharing.

Who is Your Audience?

Speecheo is relevant every time there is a presentation where the audience has the objective to learn. Speecheo is especially powerful for medical and scientific congresses, IT events and all conferences where knowledge sharing matters.

Speecheo is also relevant for event planners and speakers who want to know which attendee is interested in what.

We also have direct demands from companies that send speakers to events, because Speecheo help them to measure the ROI of those high expenditures, improve the speeches and follow-up with attendees in a more efficient way, depending on what they liked, what they did not understand and so forth.

What Problem do you Solve for Event Professionals?

Speecheo helps event planners to better know their attendees while making them happier.

We help event planners enhance speakers and attendees’ keynotes experience and get relevant analytics about it.

Attendees have a better way to learn and share content. Speakers can get relevant analytics about their speeches and reach their attendees in a more effective way.

We also help event planners and speakers to have a single place to gather their content.

This help them to display their content in a user-friendly way and to share it to make it viral if needed.

How Do You Help Speakers?

With Speecheo, speakers can :

- Share their content in real-time to the audience
- Enhance the presentation experience of their audience
- Improve their speeches
- Follow up in a targeted way
- Share their content online and get analytics on it

What’s Next for Speecheo?

Our priority is to release the best experience for our first partners who pre-ordered. We focus on building strong partnerships with event planners, event associations and professional speakers.

For now, we are working with a selective number of clients to stay focused on building the best product possible. The companies interested in using Speecheo in advance can contact us directly on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter. They can also subscribe to the waiting list on http://speecheo.com.

We will be at EIBTM in Barcelona where we will show the next version of Speecheo. In January, we will launch the SaaS public version, and there will be some awesome features that we can’t wait to show the world!

about the author

Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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