As a sponsor of the Social Innovation Camp, Optimise Web was happy to attend the SIC presentations yesterday held at the University of Edinburgh Informatics Ventures building. Overall there were six finalists that pitched their social idea to a panel of judges. Here are some brief notes that we made during the pitches:

1) Room for Tea – Runner-Up, unpaid interns offer 10 hours a week of their time helping an elderly (or socially isolated) homeowner with various chores who in turn supply a room for the intern.

  • Business case was very strong
  • Terms & Conditions and regulations sounds tricky to overcome

2) Invisible Ramps – this website would allow people with disabilities to identify the μ-adjustments which would help them and collaboratively build a database of common features and attitudes to allow architects, designers, etc. to become aware and consider making these changes to buildings.

  • Problem is addressed and even the website allows for display preferences
  • Any more maths on the % of persons in the population with such problems?

3) Volunteer Impact – a smartphone app that supports volunteers to measure the impact that volunteering is having on them and the communities in which they are volunteering.

  • Tracking progress of individuals seems to be an up and coming market
  • What about a competitor analysis?

4) Food Radar – Food Radar, the winner, helps consumers find bargain deals on luxury treats and food. It also addresses the problem of food waste.

  • The problem of food-waste is indisputable
  • The online payment method might not be suitable when buying a pack of crisps

5) Bubble is a mobile app for tracking and encouraging social contact in a social gaming environment.

  • The problem was well presented using great visuals and a real life case study
  • We thought the app / solution might appear to be a bit too expensive

6) Sharecareclub – A messaging tool for people needing support and care, or carers, so they can ask family, friends and neighbours at the same time for help with urgent tasks and unplanned events such as popping out to the shop or changing a light bulb. The aim is to reduce the frustration and isolation people can feel by drawing on their offline relationships.

  • A great idea for getting people with the health problem to make the decision
  • What is the motivation for a technical funder to pay for tool?

All of the presentations presented a social problem and offered innovative technologies to solve them. A good business pitch is a work-of-art and doesn’t usually happen over a weekend. Considering the time and resources that were available to the teams, their presentations were all strong and illustrated potential!

Did we miss something? Any comments ? Share your ideas via twitter @optimiseweb.