VROOM 2017: The latest techy startups

On the 27th of April the exclusive Vroom Startup Event took place at the Monte-Carlo Yacht Club – a fundraising event with the purpose of uniting select tech companies with extraordinary potential, such as tech executives and investors. It creates an exclusive international networking environment for all those present, and the opportunity to invest in impressive and innovative businesses at the beginning of their journey.

HelloMonaco met with the CEO’s and founders of the selected startups, to find out more about the ideas behind these startups, what inspired them, the biggest challenges they have faced so far, their plans for the near-future and advice they may have for other hopefuls. We asked them all a range of questions on the topic and selected their most interesting and surprising replies, so you can find out more about the latest techy startups that might just turn out to be the next big thing!

Chewchunks was the first to present their idea to the public – a startup that ‘unleashes the power of mass video production to professionals and their customers’. The Chewchunks team have created a mobile app that allows anybody to create a video in just a couple of easy minutes; you can compile a short video for any occasion that includes messages from friends all over the world.


HelloMonaco: “How did you come up with the idea for this startup? What is your story?”

Chewchunks: “I was searching for a personalized gift for my wife’s birthday, something unique and special, so I decided to make her a birthday video. My wife and I have many friends from all over the world, in Brazil, New York, and Tokyo, and I wanted to find a way to compile video messages from all these friends where they could express themselves for her to see.”

HelloMonaco: “What is your 5-year goal?”

Chewchunks: “Our goal is to receive financial support now so we can develop as a company.”

Pepper develops mobile apps for hospitality and retail quickly and at low cost, ‘enabling them to harness the power of mobile commerce to decrease pre-order serving time, increase order value and improve brand loyalty through automatically generated rewards’. The startup powers apps across 90 locations in the UK and US.


HelloMonaco: “Could you give some advice to young entrepreneurs who have only just began thinking about starting their own business?”

Pepper: “Absolutely give it a go! Take the time to study your market and learn what you can – paths have been travelled before, so you need to be aware. It’s important to know when to fail as well as when to succeed; don’t be afraid to put an idea aside if you feel it’s not working and work on something else”.


HelloMonaco: “What is your 5-year goal?”

Pepper: “Now that we’ve got a well-seeded product, it’s really all about scaling the business quickly over the next 24 months by gaining resources and reaching new territories. Realistically, we’d also look to sell the business in that time frame through partnerships we’d build.”

HelloMonaco: “What qualities do you think the CEO of a startup should have in order to be successful?”

Pepper: “You need to be determined and dogmatic, be able to ‘roll with the punches’ and be a leader, as in any business you’ve got to build a team and have a vision that you carry with you everyday. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and bring in others to fill in the gaps”.

Smartech specializes in developing mobile applications for the tourism industry with futuristic Augmented Reality, creating interactive maps where tourists can view 3D models of attractions, watch videos, listen to audio guides and buy tickets straight from the app! Their vision is to create an interactive experience through this new technology and improve communication with its users.


HelloMonaco: What was the most difficult hurdle in getting things started and creating your own business?

Smartech: “At the beginning, the most difficult thing is having a clear idea – the project must be clarified and a business model must be built in order to evolve and for others to understand your concept. Once the idea is clarified and your team has a defined purpose then the process becomes a lot easier.”

HelloMonaco: Who or what inspired you throughout the process of starting your own business? (Famous businessman, politician, singer, organization, etc.?)

Smartech: “When I left university, I worked for a small consultancy company that had been built from the ground up by just two people, and maybe subconsciously that inspired me to create my own company later on. Being in that startup style environment allowed me to identify the elements that go into building a company and make those crucial connections.”

HelloMonaco: What is your 5-year goal?

Smartech: “As a startup, we are looking at our 3-year goal. I believe that as we continue to develop more content and integrate our service, a bigger player will want to work with us. They’ll either take over the company or collaborate with us, but I do think we’ll be working with other big tourism brands. It would be interesting to implement our content directly into the phones inbuilt apps, that way our service is automatically integrated in any new phone removing the need to download the app.”

Metigate is an innovative company specialised in climate business intelligence. They use Weather-to-actionTM software and weather impact diagnosis to help companies be successful whatever the weather and capitalize on their weather-sensitivity potential, assisting them in adapting their commercial and operational actions in order to meet customer’s expectations.


HelloMonaco: Could you give some advice to young entrepreneurs who have only just begun thinking about starting their own business?

Metigate: “If you want something you have to work for it’, that is my advice. Don’t expect people to do you any favors or give any free help – you need to create your own success and try your hardest.”

HelloMonaco: “What is your 5-year goal?”

Metigate: “We’d like to be the European leader in the field of climate business intelligence, reach a turnover of 50 million euros and employ 100 members of staff”.

Findster uses ‘revolutionary technology in order to reinvent the current state of the tracking industry’, creating the first innovative GPS tracking system for pets and kids without monthly fees!


HelloMonaco: “Could you give some advice to young entrepreneurs who have only just begun thinking about starting their own business?”

Findster: “Make sure you build something that people want, not just something that you like. Use ‘crowd funding’ to gauge the publics interest in your product and the level of demand.”

HelloMonaco: “Who or what inspired you throughout the process of starting your own business?”

Findster: “FitBit inspired the creation of this product, it is an activity tracker that is now used worldwide as it is inexpensive and cost effective. We developed a similar concept for Findster, creating an affordable system accessible to anyone and which gives the user peace of mind.”

HelloMonaco: “What is your 5-year goal?”

Findster: “Our goal is to be the market leader for pet tracker GPS systems.”

Go Boony is an online platform where motorhome owners and travellers meet; travellers can easily rent a motorhome from a local owner through their site, allowing everyone to experience the freedom of travelling in a motorhome to unknown areas, deciding at any point whether to stay put or move on! It is a platform that benefits both the owner and traveller, as it offers a simple, secure and safe rental service.

Go Boony

HelloMonaco: “How did you come up with the idea for this startup? What is your story?”

Go Boony: “Mark and I (co-founders) met in New Zealand while we were both on a caravan holiday, as we were both Dutch and happened to be on the same campsite. Mark later bought his own caravan back in Holland and quickly realized he only used it 3 weeks a year, so decided to rent it out and found that demand was high. This led him to wonder why there wasn’t an airbnb type service for campervans and the idea for Go Boony was born. Mark then contacted me, 5 years after we met in New Zealand, as he knew I was involved in startups, and we began our collaboration.”

HelloMonaco: “What is your 5-year goal?”

Go Boony: “We’re thinking in terms of the ‘3 year plan’, as 5 years is too far ahead in startup terms. We’d like to explore other markets, but everything is new and you cannot predict the outcome.”

HelloMonaco: “What qualities do you think the CEO of a startup should have in order to be successful?”

Go Boony: “I don’t know that a startup needs to have one sole CEO as they are different to the corporate world, there shouldn’t be a hierarchy but more of a division of power and good collaboration. Each member should have their own area of expertise that they merge together in a team, creating a company with a range of skills.”

Read our next article about other 7 interesting and innovative startups discovered at the VROOM summit.

All photos credit to VROOM.

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