December 15, 2014
For consumer-facing startups, there’s no larger validation than having consumers actually purchasing and using your products or services. Hence goes the primary premise behind Startup Rounds, a hybrid crowdfunding platform, startup incubator, and startup competition, which has just announced that January 27th will be the date of its final showcase for its consumer startup competition.
“We looked at existing competitions for new or aspiring ventures and saw that the decisions were in the hands of a few people that don’t necessarily see the value of the products for the current consumer market,” said Startup Rounds cofounder Paul Hammond. “We are creating not only a funding space, but a platform where customers are empowered to be the judges, essentially democratizing business competitions to let the people who use these products decide on the most deserving winners.”
Startup Rounds is a unique platform and competition that allows startups to showcase their various products and services, and consequently attempt to gain the interest of potential consumers. By allowing people to actually get on Startup Rounds and make purchases from the startups themselves, such nascent companies in the competition are provided with desperately-needed market validation; the more sales and pre-sales to consumers each company is able to make, the higher their ranking on the platform and overall competition.
Currently in the final round of the competition, the top 10 remaining startups that survive this round will move on to compete in the Startup Rounds Final Showcase, where each of the startups will compete for the top prize. This top prize package includes $30,000 in cash and over $100,000 in additional resources, such as $10,000 in legal, $5,000 of monthly Cloud computing for up to one year, a shared workspace, as well as marketing and accounting services.
As it stands, some of the companies currently placed in the top 10 slots in the competition include Freight Frog, a company that provides an app that finds and coordinates the cheapest services to use for cross-country moves; Jubali, a producer of healthy beverages; and Blanc, Inc., which has designed the Spark smartwatch, which gently vibrates to keep you awake when it detects you dozing off. Whether these companies will remain in the top 10 depends, of course, on the consumers who choose whether or not to support their ventures – which can all change by the time this round ends on December 15.
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