Startups worldwide are facing an unprecedented set of obstacles, including the instability rocking the sector since the burst of the COVID tech bubble and the associated waves of staff layoffs and cautious buyer behavior.
And while the dominant FAANGs – Meta (formerly Facebook), Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Alphabet (formerly Google) – haven’t been immune from the impact of these wider trends, they still represent a pretty significant force that any startup in the consumer space will have to contend with.
Yet it seems clear that early-stage companies still have plenty of fresh ideas to bring to the table, as witnessed during Connect: Consumer Tech. Held on February 28th, 2023, the event brought some of the most creative startups in the space together with a range of journalists to showcase the latest up and coming solutions that address clear gaps across the consumer market.
Let’s take a closer look at the three winners from the event in detail.
1st Place: An independent hosting platform for creatives
Coming in at first place during “Connect: Consumer Tech” was Disctopia, a dynamic streaming platform and podcast hosting company dedicated to supporting and empowering content creators.
Built as a creators-first platform, the company offers a range of services and tools relative to the process of creating, hosting and promoting digital content that have been tailored to meet the needs of the modern, online artist and podcast industry. This includes enterprise content delivery, advanced podcast hosting, and over 50 available integrations that help to streamline production workflows and reach wider audiences more easily without the reliance of any one private company.
Over 82 million people listened to podcasts in 2021. This number is estimated to rise even further, reaching over 100 million listeners in 2024. In addition, 50 million people consider themselves to be content creators. Disctopia offers access to a range of professional-grade tools that will help the explosion of content creators worldwide to hone their craft and reach more listeners than ever before.
2nd Place: An alternative investment marketplace
Prometheus bagged a close second with an innovative tech platform that brings investors and alternative fund managers together to connect quickly, simply, and socially.
The company offers a marketplace to invest in hedge funds, crypto funds, venture capital funds, and more plus a social network to get market insights from professional investors. While investors wishing to participate with Prometheus must be accredited, the platform offers an alternative to connect with funds and uncover deal opportunities that circumvent some of the more traditional routes with gate-posted access.
Given that investment activity from both investors and funds hit record lows in 2022, solutions such as Prometheus bring everyday investors and professional alternative fund managers together, fixing the problem of visibility and access to new opportunities in a way that suits both.
3rd Place: A pioneering men’s health product
Third place at the event went to MyHixel, a company on a mission to improve the sex lives of men. The company offers a direct-to-consumer solution to help men to improve their sex lives and master control with its device and associated app. The company also offers access to health specialists and a range of educational materials.
Studies suggest 1 in 3 men have suffered from a lack of ejaculatory control yet only 10% have consulted a specialist. MyHixel addresses this with a modern, consumer-friendly solution that puts training in the hands of the user in a fun, pleasurable way.
Removing the taboo surrounding sexual performance, MyHixel is here to offer a scientifically-backed methodology that puts education first to help remove the associated stigma and empower its users with knowledge and data.
Join next time
If you’re interested in joining one of our upcoming events or pitching your company idea to a panel of media judges, head over to the Connect Events homepage to learn more.
This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company