They arrived in Dublin with a flight from San Francisco: a “self-managed” tour from Silicon Valley searching for contacts with startups and investors. Domenico Colucci, 25, and Vincenzo Dentamaro, 29, left from their hometown of Bari one month ago. «The Web Summit
was a fundamental step that has made us grow a lot». And they have returned from Dublin with the satisfaction of having theirNextome.org,
a startup technology that can locate people indoors, chosen by the Web as the best startup of Web Summit 2014
It was won by popular vote, making the victory even sweeter. «We didn’t expect it, an avalanche of votes», exclaimed enthusiastically Domenico Colucci, 25, born in Noci, in the province of Bari. The announcement was made on Saturday afternoon. They had received 5,999 online votes. Second place, which went to Israeli startup Sling, got half that: 2,393. The votes were not managed by the staff nor the jury of the Web Summit, but byResponser.com
. It collected the votes and published the results. «It was a huge satisfaction for us. In reality, we didn’t even know how viral this vote was, we participated with the other 2,000 startups from the Summit, then the news arrived. Almost six thousand votes, we couldn’t believe it», continued Colucci.
The Web Summit of Nextome. And Silicon Valley
Nextome had its exposition on Thursday, 5 Novemberduring the three-day Web Summit in Dublin. «We met hundreds of people and there was a lot of interest. Though we still had a bit of jetlag». Because, just before Dublin, the two computer experts from Bari took their first steps within an international context in San Francisco, it was «our first big startup fair, a unique event ».
«There, the important thing is networking. In the end, it is a tight community, difficult to crack. We did it thanks to the startup community in Silicon Valley. But, above all, thanks to Marco Bicocchi Pichi», their first investor. He had believed in them from the start. On Facebook, Bicocchi Pichi announced in a post on Italian Startup Scene: «I am the happiest investor in the world». It received 105 likes in just a few hours. He was the one who took them to Silicon Valley; he started them off from zero less than one year ago. Bicocchi Pichi, who covers the role of internationalization manager at Italia Startup,
noted in an interview withStartupItalia!
that «it is the most delicate role but also the most exciting for those who work in the ecosystem».
«In San Francisco, it was a success» continued Colucci «thanks, above all, to Marco who sent emails to all of his contacts. And it really worked».
The homage from the San Francisco Consul (and that of Microsoft)
«The reception by Batocchi’s Consul was super, he even dedicated a post to us in his personal blog
». But it’s not just praise, it’s also business. Yes, because the Art Exchange Museum has decided to use their technology for expositions. Their technology in the heart of Silicon Valley: theirs, which, less than six months ago, they had experimented with in another museum – that of the Diocesano di Bisceglie
. It is quite a step to take. Then, immediately after that it was Vinitaly in Milan, where they connected Nextome to the Puglia Pavilion. The App by the developers originally from this region was downloaded 2,900 times. «The pavilion was always full. And that’s where we met Bicocchi Pichi. And that’s basically where everything began». Then they received a recognition by Microsoft,
which had selected them, along with nine other startups from all over the world, for indoor geolocation services, and then awarded in Berlin. And, then, it was on to Maker Faire Rome, where their service was tried out in one of the pavilions of the startup fair held in October. So, admit it, you aren’t exactly an “Alpha” startup: «No, actually we aren’t. We still don’t earn millions of euros but we are more than just an idea», jokes Colucci.
What is it and what can Nextome do
Nextome proposes an indoor positioning technology. Where, in essence, GPS doesn’t arrive. The startup from Bari was born out of the desire to create a scalable solution, that is, easily extendable, to realize this. It’s based on Beacon
technology (which Apple then turned into iBeacon
with iOS7). It allows for the locating of positions by smartphones and tablets, but it also allows devices to do things via Bluetooth. What things?
1. Locate the position of a person with a maximum error of one meter. This can work if the user has installed the Nextome App.
2. Know which areas are the most (and least) full in a museum, at a stand, or even in a supermarket.
3. Share places and positions on social networks.
4. All of the technology is powered by a battery that lasts, on average, three years. No plugs, no generators.
«In the beginning we had imagined Nextome for use in museums», continued Domenico. «Now we are opening up to new market possibilities. Like malls, and supermarkets, where it is necessary to know where one is. But this could allow operators to invent tools for visiting places where it is less so». How? «Possibly with treasure hunts, or, gamification systems. The potential is infinite. At the Summit, speaking with other startuppers, we came up with a lot». And this is what counts, and not only at the Summit: sharing ideas, finding new ones, possibly even others finding new ones, and finding further development for one’s own idea. Possibly infinite, just like the symbol that Nextome uses for its logo.