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Online clothing mix and match idea wins StartupCamp

Monday, 11 October 2010 | By Oliver Milman

A start-up that allows people to digitally mix and match items in their wardrobe has been named the winner of the latest whirlwind StartupCamp in Sydney.

 

The concept, called PolyCloset, builds upon the success of Polyvore, which allows consumers to browse clothing items and see if they match together well online before purchasing them.

 

PolyCloset takes this further by offering  users the chance to photograph their own items and build collages to test outfits before wearing them.

 

The idea was voted by a judging panel, which included VCs and executives of HP and Microsoft, the most likely to succeed out of a 10-strong list of website-based businesses devised during StartupCamp.

 

Around 50 people, mainly a mixture of entrepreneurs and students, were put into randomly-chosen teams on Friday, with each group coming up with an idea by midnight the same day.

 

The groups then worked on their ideas throughout Saturday, with their websites launching on Saturday night. On Sunday, each group pitched their business to a panel of venture capitalists.

 

Ideas unearthed during the frenetic start-up project include DateRate, which allows people to give anonymous feedback following a date, DealPinch, which aggregates offers from the various coupon sites launching in Australia, and iapps4.me, which encourages people to vote on iPhone app ideas, with the winner built by developers.

 

StartupCamp was launched four years ago by entrepreneur Bart Jellema after he sold his own online coupon business. The event has been held four times in Sydney and twice in Melbourne. The next scheduled event will take place in Melbourne on November 12.

 

“The VCs were very impressed by the quality of ideas,” says Jellema. “StartupCamp is focused on the experience of brainstorming, building a pitching a business, but we got some approaches afterwards to the businesses.”

 

“A lot of people go back to their day jobs afterwards, but it gives them a great idea what it’s like to be in a start-up and work with people they don’t know.”