TechCrunch hosted its third annual Hackathon this weekend. As expected, the NYC hackers were able to complete a tremendous amount of work in the allotted 24 hours. They also regrouped very well to deliver some engaging pitches. There were over 90 pitches in all. Four of the pitches were particularly interesting to me; two that were simply interesting products and two that have the potential to become businesses.
WhizCafe and Pickle are both interesting products that could have various applications in social-commerce. Both could be used to make purchasing decision more social; WhizCafe by allowing you to video chat with an expert, and Pickle by allowing you to poll your friends in a quick “this or that” fashion. Learn more about WhizCafe and Pickle below.
Although the event was mostly a showcase of different products that where hacked together in 24 hours or less, there were a few products that have the potential to become businesses. Most notably, ThingScription and Fantasy Buzzer. ThingScription, which WON the entire event, is a website where you can order a subscription of anything sold on Amazon.com. This was one of the best pitches of the day, but, for me, the biggest issue is that Amazon already does this, its called Amazon Subscribe & Save. That’s not to say that ThingScription can’t beat Amazon at their own game, especially if they can create a better UI, and capitalize on their free publicity from TechCrunch Disrupt. ThingScription’s back-end analytics and business model will also help them remain competitive.
Fantasy Buzzer was the other product that I thought had the potential to quickly become a business. Fantasy Buzzer is a fantasy sports SAAS service. I’ve personally never managed my own fantasy sports team, so I can’t assess how truly breakthrough their solution is. But with >30Mil fantasy sports players in the US, this could be an interesting product for a passionate marketplace. Fantasy Buzzer’s goal of capturing 2% of the fantasy sports market, at $1 per team per league, is not large enough on its own for a venture fundable business. However, it could make for a good lifestyle business and potential product acquisition. We’ll see if the market sees the value as well. Learn more about ThingScription and Fantasy Buzzer below.
ThingScription Fantasy Buzzer
Check out the rest of the pitches here.