Startup Launchpad Spring 2018 Roundup

Startup Launchpad wrapped up its largest show yet on April 14th, bringing nearly 220 startups together with investors, buyers and distributors from all over the world. Speakers were able to pass along their expertise at both the Startup Launchpad Conference and Startup Investors Forum. The forum also served as the platform for the three finalists of the Startup Launchpad Investment Competition to face off for the chance to win $40,000.

Yomee Yogurt wound up taking the top spot, with the company’s new CEO impressing the investors in the room with a comprehensive business strategy based around recurring revenue through the selling of yogurt pods for the Yomee machine. The judges noted the similarity with Keurig, which became enormously successful through selling easy-to-use coffee pods.

The competition was tough, though. Yomee won by a single vote, pushing MovieMask to second place. MovieMask impressed judges with the innovative lenses inside its mobile VR/AR headset that allows content to be shown in much higher resolution than any other similar headset on the market today.

Investors were a little concerned about imitators, something hardware startups always have to guard against. The founder noted that while one of the large technology companies may figure out the secret of the lenses in the future, companies attempting to replicate the manufacturing process so far have failed. For now, MovieMask is enjoying a healthy first-mover advantage.

The third place winner in the competition was Dreamlight, which makes a smart sleep mask. Through an innovative use of light and sound, Dreamlight promises to give people a better night’s sleep. The technology looks promising, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to break through the tough competition to the top spot.

Needless to say, all of SLIC finalists proved they have products worth paying attention to. Investors at the show certainly took notice.

These were far from the only notable startups at the show, though. The floor was replete with innovative ideas from around the world and from within Mainland China. A large number of startups this year are coming out of China such as Smacircle Technology.

Smacircle is a Shenzhen company that makes an ebike capable of folding up into a small size that can fit in a backpack.

Another company proved popular at the show thanks to its Holofans, which display video through the use of LED-lined fans. The effect was visually stunning on the show floor since it shows images seemingly floating in mid-air. It was enough to grab the interest of many passersby.

The floor was also rife with robots, which is a recurring theme at startup launchpad thanks to the boom in artificial intelligence. One of the favorites at the show was a Pudu, another take on the robot waiter.

Pudu dispenses with the idea that people want a humanoid robot to assist them with their dining experience, though. Instead, the robot is much more utilitarian with the ability to carry several trays of food at once. It does have an LCD that displays some minimal facial expressions and provides people a way of interacting with the robot, but the real appeal is its boost to productivity in a way other robot servers have left buyers wanting.

The show also saw the return of popular startups such as the Finish company Flexound and Taiwanese company Vago. Organizations like Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Hsinchu Technology Park from Taiwan were back with their latest and greatest startups, as well.

Startup Launchpad has proven a valuable platform for startups to find distribution for their latest products, attracting newcomers and returnees alike every six months. The show continues to get bigger and better, so remember to stay updated on everything upcoming in October.

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