Tuesday, 12 July 2011

You've got to be in it to win it! Nokia Pitch n Win event

Well, I was in it, though I didn't win it. But I was selected as a finalist!

What am I talking about?

Nokia's Pitch & Win event with a prize of £25,000 development funding and support for a Nokia app.

When I heard about this opportunity I really wanted to go for it on behalf of the 4am Project. I've been thinking for a year or so about an app to support/compliment the project as an addition to making it even easier for people to take part. Not everyone carries a camera with them all the time, but nearly everyone has their phone with them thus allowing for more impromptu photo moments at 4am....

I submitted my application with my ideas for an app and kept my fingers crossed. Soon after I got the news that I/4am Project had been selected as a finalist! Whhhoooo!

Eight finalists were invited to the Pitch n Win day. As you can guess, we all had to pitch (in front of each other) and at the end of the day Nokia and the selection panel would select the winner.

I haven't got any technical knowledge about app building and so I teamed up with another finalist, Anna Powell-Smith. Anna is a whizz in many areas including app building. Just take a look at one of her projects, The Domesday Map, an online copy of the Domesday map. Amazing! We put our heads together and came up with A Plan.

The day itself, held on 22nd June, consisted of a full agenda. It was held at Zellig, the sparkling new addition to the Custard Factory in Digbeth.

The morning consisted of interesting keynote talks from the judges; Andy Cameron who is the Interactive Creative Director at the advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy, Greg Merten who is Nokia's Head of Developer Relations in Western Europe, David Tomson, the found of Ludometrics, and Sten Selander who is the Business Development Director at Nordic Game Programme.

With a break for lunch and a hour to perfect our pitches, it was on the with show in the afternoon! It was a great opportunity to hear other finalists app ideas and hear about their work. There was such a diverse mix!

I didn't feel too nervous come 4am Project pitch time with Anna, my only concern being able to stick to the strict 10 minute time slot. We did. Whew!

After all the pitches were in the panel went off to deliberate. In the meantime, us pitchers had a photo opp and a drinks reception with a chance to mix, meet and mingle.

About an hour or less later, the judges were back with their announcement. Naturally I wanted the 4am Project to win, but it was not to be.

The prize went to the very deserving Alison Smith from Pesky People!
"Pesky People harnesses digital media, content and social networking to profile, challenge and change the lack of inclusion and access for Disabled and Deaf people."
Alison's app idea is brilliant and I can see how it won! It's called Go Genie and it helps disabled and deaf people (and their family and friends) research access to places and plan trips to such places as the cinema, bars, restaurants, theatres, supermarkets, you can read more and watch a video about it here. Congrats Alison!! :)

Even though the 4am Project didn't win on this occasion, the Pitch N Win day was worth attending, it was a great experience and a chance to hear some really interesting key note talks too. A big thank you to Anna for joining forces with the 4am Project. I think we made a great team!

So, the 4am Project app idea is on hold again. For now. Until the next opportunity comes along. It's definitely something I would like to explore at some point for the project! :)

Say hello on twitter! @karenstrunks

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