Mobile World Congress (“MWC”) in Barcelona is fast approaching. All across the world, marketing teams are scrambling to get press releases, stand designs and meetings arranged ahead of the world’s largest, biggest and most influential mobile event. Flights, hotels and restaurant reservations are being snapped up as I type. Every single PR person I speak to is heavily focused on the third week of February.
I can’t wait.
This year I’m delighted to be moderating the main conference kick-off panel discussion between some of the industry’s heavy hitters. The topic is apps, apps, APPS. Or, perhaps more accurately put: Services, with a (native?) app front-end. It’s a big topic. And whilst I’ll shortly be cooking up a series of horribly direct questions for our panelists, we’ve got a bit of time for about ten 4-5 minute app pitches. The exact number and timings is yet to be confirmed.
The audience is primarily operator-focused and super-crazy senior. Seriously senior. A lot of the folk in the 700-strong audience are the kingmakers — the folk who, with one swipe of the pen (or tap on a keyboard) can turn a startup into an international ‘thing’. Don’t think just operators though — think about the big, big brands who come to MWC to learn what’s moving. Nowadays, MWC draws a huge cross-section of influencers from all sectors — from banking to insurance to advertising. And most of the key people will be sitting in the first session at the main conference.
And that, I thought, would be a flipping brilliant opportunity for some app pitches alongside our debate on the state of the mobile application. The gathered audience doesn’t need a 45 minute overview of your app or service. They’re accustomed to assimilating concepts and context within 60 seconds. They just need an extended elevator pitch, a few screenshots (or a super-brief demo), your web address and ideally an email address. Job done. They’ll be in touch. Or they’ll grab you afterwards and thrust a card into your hand. That’s how they roll.
I’ve seen this happen every year I’ve been at MWC — but in a much less structured format. If anything, these senior folk usually have to go pounding the Fira streets hunting for prospects. So I can’t tell you how excited I am at the prospect of participating in a more formalised opportunity for people to pitch their offerings.
We’re looking for the very best innovative, exciting, informative and compelling applications to pitch. We aren’t restricted to just stand-alone apps — if your app plugs into a service or acts as the front-end to a wickedly smart idea, bring it on.
My underpinning objective is to feature a series of stunning and thought-provoking apps for the assembled MWC conference audience. Should you be participating?
To qualify, you need to be a startup. A startup is defined — for this purpose — as a company with less than 5 full time employees and/or revenues of less than $1 million. That gives a good wide catchment. The app also has to be reasonably new. And we’re defining that simply: If we saw it (or could have seen it) at MWC last year, it doesn’t count.
Alas if you’re in charge of a wickedly smart app owned by a billion dollar international conglomerate, unless you’ve got a crazily compelling argument, we won’t be able to feature you. The focus is squarely on startups.
I’ll also be profiling every single app here on Mobile Industry Review and, ideally, I’ll be publishing a video interview with each presenter (to be filmed afterwards).
So, to summarise, to qualify:
- Your app must be downloadable and available on a major app store (the only exception: HTML5 apps)
- Any platform is acceptable
- You must be a startup — defined as either 5 or less full time staff or revenues of < $1 million in the calendar year (The exception: If you’re funded by a non-profit/educational institution, that’s fine, you qualify!)
- The app must be new: That is, the first version was launched between March 2012 and February 2013
- You need to demonstrate a reasonable grasp of business English as you must present in English (but your app doesn’t need to be in English)
- You must be able to be at the MWC Conference Village between 13.30-15.30 on Monday 25 February 2013
If you’re selected, here’s what you get:
- 1x MWC Gold pass (saving of about €2699/£2200)
- A pitch slot during the App Debate in the main conference (currently around 4-5 minutes but subject to modification)
- A video interview published on Mobile Industry Review
To apply, you simply need to fill in this uber-simple form. It’ll take you about 60 seconds to fill-in. I won’t be making the final decisions on those who’ll be participating — that’s down to the GSMA conference team.
The closing date for applications is 1 February 2013.
If you know someone who’s producing a simply brilliant application, please do forward this to them.
Right. There we go.
Any suggestions who you’d like to see present?