Techstars start-up success

Techstars Start-up winners, Your Home Finder

Local entrepreneurs, creatives, developers, and business experts joined forces last weekend (May 20-22) at Cornwall’s first Techstars Start-up Weekend, hosted by Falmouth University’s venture studio, Launchpad.

Over a packed three days, 25 ideas were pitched with the top seven chosen for development. Teams were formed, ideas product tested, validated, and honed at speed, culminating with a presentation night to a panel of judges on Sunday with the winners crowned.

The diverse range of business ideas included everything from how to link product designers with local manufacturers; a sustainable solution to luxury wooden wine boxes; an app that directly connects local fishermen with their consumers and a standardised certification of AI ethicality.

The winner, Your Home Finder, was on a mission to turn landlords away from the Airbnb model and consider long-term rents, demonstrating how the differential between a short term let and its associated costs was less advantageous as a business model than renting long term.

Lucie Hackney, who came up with the original idea, said: “It was wonderful for our idea and team to be chosen as the winners for the weekend. We were really surprised as the standard of pitches was so high, they were all fantastic and innovative ideas.

“My biggest takeaways from the weekend were: learning yet another acronym – MVP, how important it is to focus on reaching those first 100 customers, and that standing up in front of a room full of people you do not know isn’t scary when you speak from the heart and believe in your idea.”