wiRide – the first Portuguese carpooling app, Xtourmaker – designed for tourism professionals, and TaxiMotions – dedicated to the modernisation of the taxi sector, were distinguished in the Vodafone Portugal Head Office, in the Parque das Nações, by the national and international panel of judges that included several renowned entities. Parallel Planet – an app which includes entertainment as a key factor in the way one visits Lisbon, received the award selected by the public, as the most voted app on the contest website (http://lisbonbigapps.com).
More than a competition of ideas, the Lisbon BIG Apps is a programme to develop and push forward projects in order to create feasible businesses. As well as the cash prize of €20,000 for each of the three winning projects, the teams can take advantage of a six-month incubation programme in the Tec Labs – Innovation Centre, of the ISCTE and FCUL universities, several training initiatives and monitoring by specialists in different commercial and technical areas, free access to cloud data hosting services, a marketing plan to publicize the apps on the market, through the Vodafone Portugal communication channels, and support from CML in the legal formalisation of the project.
The 15 teams that reached the final were selected from over 200 candidates, and went through several prior sessions with mentoring to develop their projects, working on aspects such as the value of the idea for the city of Lisbon, making use of the vast set of data (around 130 datasets) supplied by CML with wide-ranging information about entities, monuments and other amenities of the city, and the business model that underpins the project.
Through this incentive to entrepreneurship, Vodafone Portugal will continue to create opportunities, with its ‘Vodafone App Factory’ seal, so that Portuguese developers and start-ups can become known and achieve national and international renown, thus contributing to the growth and internationalisation of the technological areas of the Portuguese economy.
Attached: Detailed description of the 4 winning projects
Description of the 4 projects distinguished in Lisbon BIG Apps
The wiRide app came about thanks to the Changeathon technology contest, in Braga, and ended up winning with a positioning very focused on students: Its aim was to be the first mobile application in the Iberian Peninsula that organised lifts among students living in the same district, giving more transport options to an age group affected by the scarcity and high costs of transport options. Now, after winning the Lisbon BIG Apps, this team wants to change the world in this field. It took a step back and reworked its business model to better serve the needs not only of students, but of the community at large. Gil Gomes explains that they are very focused on overcoming a challenge that is not restricted to Lisbon. They would rather come up with a piece of innovation that creates a clear leading edge and paves the way for entrance into the international market, which is one of the goals of the programme.
Further information at http://wiride.lisbonbigapps.com/
Xtourmaker was the only finalist app that was not aimed at Lisbon visitors, residents or citizens, but instead at tourism professionals. It is an application or service that allows companies to create their own route or interactive tour. As João Paiva Mendes of Xtourmaker explains, tour and tourist event companies, hotels, tourist operators, travel agents, team-building companies and even families and groups of people can easily and intuitively think up and design routes, and through a back office add photos, videos, content, augmented reality, challenges, different languages, and so on, in order to provide interaction with their clients, through the app, in a simple and innovative way. Xtourmaker wants to act as a catalyst that operators in the tourist industry need to add value to the experiences they provide their clients.
Further information at www.xtourmaker.lisbonbigapps.com.
The Taximotions team is made up of experts from several fields, from taxi drivers to transport engineers, from programmers to designers, and has a resolute vision and ambition: they want to solve some of the problems of the taxi industry. While at first sight the application appeared another one to call taxis with little innovation, a second analysis reveals the aim is something far more innovative. Bernardo Alves and Fernando Cardita believe the taxi industry is a sector that has suffered from stagnation and which needs to be modernised not only from the consumer/user point of view, but above all in the eyes of the taxi drivers and taxi companies. The Taximotions platform, through a back-office system, intends to help taxi drivers manage their resources better and identify the opportunities, namely with regard to demand. To do so, the app enables them to supply added value to their consumer, namely through a simplified system of calling a taxi, which also allows special transport needs to be requested and easy payment methods.
Further information at http://taximotions.lisbonbigapps.com/
The Parallel Planet team comprises João Ribeiro, Manuel Mendes and Ricardo Machado, who together with a team of script-writers and other partners, created an application that consists of a new form of storytelling. Parallel Planet allows the readers or users to dive into the story, guided by a set of interactive clues based on the location and augmented reality. It enables one to discover and rediscover the city. The user will play a specific role in the narrative and must follow the clues and steps indicated, doing everything to gain more points and rise in the rankings and also exploring the social side of this process.
Award: Support from CML in the legal formalisation of the project, technological support from Microsoft, technological and go-to-market support from Vodafone.