From Berlin around the world
To some extent, the technology industry will always be driven by trends. What is unknown today, might be all the rage tomorrow. At the moment, there are two things that are stirring up the tech scene: 360 degree videos and virtual reality applications. The Berlin startup Viorama has dedicated itself to both. With their "Splash" app it is possible to easily create 360 degree videos using your mobile phone and share them with friends all over the world. The app has been published recently, just in time for the digital festival "South by Southwest" (SXSW). The team didn't start out for Austin on their own: Under the motto "Berlin goes SXSW", the federal state of Berlin - organised by Berlin Partner for Business and Technology - delegated around 80 stakeholders from Berlin's digital, music and movie industries.
A clever move, since in the past the digital festival has proven to be a stepping stone for startups. Foursquare drew attention to themselves for the first time there as did a company that today has a market value of around 24 million US dollars: Twitter. That was back in March 2007.
This year, the Berlin startup managed to bag a Founder's Award in the category "Virtual Reality" with its "Splash" app. There were 48 other teams in the run for the award. With that, the award is going to Germany for the second time, and for the first time to Berlin. Last year, Hamburg-based company Sonormed won the competition with their "Tinnitracks" app - a music therapy for people suffering from tinnitus.
In his acceptance speech, Viorama co-founder Michael Ronen said: "We have developed the first app that democratises virtual reality." Now he and his colleagues received a small cash injection. But the award itself is worth more than the 4,000 US dollars in prize money: there will be a considerable image boost and the makers of "Splash" can count on the attention of investors.