From pitch to prototype, London's Launch48 produces four potential startups

By now you probably know the format: Bring together entrepreneurs, designers and developers, put them in teams, and in a caffeine-fueled frantic 48 hours they’re charged with creating a potential new Internet startup each, from the initial pitch to a working prototype. Some, if not all, of which will then go on to become actual long term businesses. At least that’s the idea.

The latest Launch48 Weekend, sponsored by PayPal and Yahoo, took place last weekend at PayPal’s London HQ, producing four startup ideas, my favourite of which is probably MatchFounders, a sort of online dating site for entrepreneurs, without the dating bit. Never sleep with your co-founder, remember, unless it’s for charity.

Read on for full details of all four.

Find a co-founder for your business idea. With expert mentoring from a representative of Lovestruck, the team built a matching system to pair up people looking for projects to work on. Search can take place by skill set and using preferences for criteria such as growth, commitment, funding and equity share.


Middleware for any service that needs to know travel times instead of distance. Charging per block of calls to the API. Possible uses for this technology include searching for property to buy or rent based on commute times. The team spent the morning of Day 1 developing “Move Nearby” – a service that could find ideal homes for users based on local services, school catchment areas and commute distances.


An overhaul to the traditional dreary and unhelpful careers advice system. The team built a content management system that allows users to browse jobs and career paths, but accessing richer information about those prospects in the form of “a day in the life of a…”. Several revenue models were suggested and explored including corporate sponsorship – this lead to questions at the final presentations about objectivity in the job descriptions.


A dashboard for SMEs to better utilise the web. There are 4 aspects to the service – Chatter Intelligence, Reputation Shield, Customer Connections and Blink Promotions. Very similar to competitors in the space such as Postling and uberVu, but the business will focus on owning specific verticals, initially restaurants and bars. This team redeveloped an idea that had already been worked on, porting the platform from Ruby on Rails to PHP.

Moving forward, the next Launch48 event will be a mini-conference on Friday 29 October followed by the Launch48weekend from 29- 31 October, both taking place in Edinburgh.