Mobile Monday Chicago’s Inaugural Mobile Pitch Challenge

Last night the Chicago chapter of Mobile Monday hosted their inaugural mobile pitch challenge at Morningstar, Inc. During the challenge five local mobile startups pitched to an audience full of mobile heavyweights, developers and app enthusiasts. Mobile Mondays invited three judges to the pitch who were tasked with leading the Q&A and picking a winner. Last night’s judges were Gary Slack, the chairman of Slack and Company, Dave Hoover, the co-founder of Mobile Makers Academy, and Doejo’s very own Phil Tadros.

Here are last night’s winning pitches.

Arc Mobile
Spolier alert: The winning pitch of the night was Arc Mobile, a mobile payment solution that was created when CEO Tyler Mendoza took a step back and began looking at the process of mobile payments as a whole. After realizing that mobile payments are only part of the solution he set out to create a product specifically targeted towards the service sector, like restaurants. Arc Mobile allows users to pull the bill directly from the merchant to their phone, enabling them to split the check by number of diners, percent or item with no additional hardware on the merchant side. Arc Mobile is not just focused on providing an easier payment solution: they also want to help restaurants verify problems and fix them before the consumer goes home. “The future is everything around mobile payments,” Mendoza said.

Second place went to Curve, a mobile app aiming to streamline the complex, outdated and unfriendly design of digital calendars. Completely visual and simple to use, Curve works with existing calendars such as Outlook, Google and Yahoo, among others. Curve is a “visual time machine that graphically represents life events,” said Peter Jameson, CEO of Curve. More than just logistics, Curve allows users to share data, helping them stay synchronized and connected. Curve can also be used as a crowd-sourcing platform to gather photos, video and attendance from events, thereby helping users visualize their memories.

Echo, a mobile payment experience targeted toward small and medium businesses, took third place. Empowering mobile employees to accept payments anywhere, Echo helps businesses to build an inventory that is stored in the cloud directly from the app. Their truly encrypted card reader is PCI compliant, providing a scalable solution that works for businesses with multiple employees. Echo’s CEO Trent McMurray is confident that this mobile application will solve the issue of hidden cost fees, a major pain point for small business.

The other two mobile apps that pitched last night were SparkReel and MobileX Labs.

Sparkreel allows you to share your mobile videos, creating groups that let users easily re-visit memorable mobile moments. There is no app required for the service that partners with brands, businesses, publishers and events allowing users to send in footage via email. MobileX Labs is a platform that allows users to create fully functional apps at a low cost without knowing how to code. With no large initial investment, businesses can use these apps to get information about their users, send geo-targeted push notifications and engage with their audience in a new way. 

Filed in: iOS, Startup Community