How would you improve public transport?
That was the question Centro, responsible for the delivery of public transport in the West Midlands, put to our Oxygen Startups Transport Hack weekend guests.
More than 60 techies, creatives and aspiring entrepreneurs from as far as Lithuania and the Netherlands descended on Birmingham this weekend (October 17-18) to take part in a 48-hour challenge to develop the next top European transport app.
We kicked off with 60 second pitches for any app idea that could transform transport. A few pizzas and beers later, 36 ideas in total were pitched before voting took place, narrowing down the shortlist to the final 16.
10 ideas were chosen, teams were formed, and everyone left with brains buzzing, ready to start get to work the following morning.
Rise and Shine
“If you don’t have any pain, you probably don’t have a startup.”
Simon Jenner, Oxygen’s CEO gave our entrepreneurs a whirlwind workshop on Lean Startup methodology and Pirate Metrics, and then teams got to work on their ideas maps.
Meet the teams
Assisted Travel and Alerts for the visually impaired.
An app which takes the data around your most common journeys and & provide updates if there are delays & make alternative suggestions. This includes learning user travel times, travel preferences and at the same time suggesting travel which is efficient (in terms of time of travel, total journey time etc) and affordable.
An app that analyses your location and travel information, and tells you if you have time for another drink before your last train.
An app that will calculate how long you actually spend travelling & on public transport.
Exploring cities using crowdsourced ‘tours’. Users create tours of their city using existing transport routes & visitors use public transport to visit interesting sites.
Gamifying public transport – this app will give you points, allow you to level up, and unlock achievements when you reduce your CO2 emissions through using alternative travel arrangements such as cycling to work, lift sharing and choosing to travel by bus/train instead of by car.
Buy all your tickets for a journey in one app.
An app that you will locate your bicycle and allow you to demand on the go services such as repairs.
Rate my Ride
A real-time consumer feedback app for public transport.
City Points helps you navigate by providing visual travel instructions based on local landmarks & images rather than distances.
Founder’s Pep talk
Saturday lunchtime and our startups were given a Founder’s Pep talk from Director of Carbon Voyage James Swanston, who shared his warts-and-all startup journey.
Then our host of Mentors were unleashed on the teams.
— Alex Burrows (@alexcburrows) October 18, 2014
Pivots were a-plenty on Saturday night, customers were pulled in off the streets to test prototypes, and LOTS of coffee was drunk.
Simon gave a pitch prep workshop to the entrepreneurs, who would have just 5 minutes to present their idea to the judging panel, and then it was time for a few more hours frantic work (and more coffee) before all-important pitch time.
Time to face the judges
Our startups presented their final creations to a panel of experts including Rafael Cuesta, Centro’s head of strategic development, Conrad Jones, Centro’s head of sustainability, Alexa Torlo of Birmingham City University’s new technology department and Simon Jenner Oxygen Startups CEO.
— Will (@whizzell) October 19, 2014
Live demo worked flawlessly in our pitch. Job done. #transporthack
— Dan Rice (@Rice) October 19, 2014
And the winner is…
‘Chug It!’ Who came up with two variations of their app, to help people never miss their last train again.
Luke who came up with the idea said: “Being a developer at heart, I wanted to create an app that made people’s lives easier. I think the simplicity of the idea, how long until you need to leave for your next train, really helped the judges really understand our proposition in the fast-paced pitches. We can’t wait to move forward and get the app in the hands of the public!”
Luke (@Dachande663) and Paul (@paul_freshface) will be working on their app before being flown to Frankfurt next week to showcase their app in front of a team of top transport chiefs from cities including Madrid, Prague and Rotterdam at the INVOLVE conference.
— Alexa Torlo (@alexatorlo) October 19, 2014
Good luck to all of the other startups too – we can’t wait to see some of the ideas launch fully into brand new startups.
If you’re interested in exploring whether a Corporate Hackathon might be good for your company, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject title Corporate Innovation.