The 2014 Dublin Web Summit was great and we met some very interesting people with great ideas, so let’s take a look at some of those that piqued our interest as we “networked” our way around the RDS, and also at our now legendary Rumble In Ranelagh after-party.
Borrow money, collect advance and divide – all with just one app! Lendstar is the social network for all your financial transactions.
Lendstaalr is an app which allows you to create groups which can lend, borrow and exchange money easily for trips away, Christmas presents and even the increasingly popular splitting of bills! It features a virtual wallet, which acts as your, eh…wallet, allowing friends and family to instantly transfer money to you. They’ll also be offering a prepaid debit card too, which will act as your ATM card worldwide once implemented.
Lendstar is a classic crowd-funding success story, with 215 investors helping them to reach over £180,000 , and they’re based in Munich. What pleases us even more than another startup destined for glory is their motto for this excellent app – Trust Your Friends, Not Banks.
Amen to that.
UniWink is a collaborative online learning platform helping college students pass their summer and autumn exam.
UniWink takes peer-to-peer sharing into the education space, allowing students to collaborate, create, share and download peer-generated course materials for a huge range of subjects and topics. They also help students schedule extra lessons and grinds online, connect to student groups and offer sample questions, lecture notes, exam tips and video tutorials. Their blog is also a fine resource for anybody looking to get accustomed with student life, and we don’t mean just sleeping/partying, although both activities do get plenty of mentions.
The idea for the site came from the lack of resources available to founder Sarah Dineen when she was studying, and her plan for UniWink is “to build a third-level virtual learning community in Ireland and the UK and, ultimately, become the number one peer-to-peer learning platform in Europe.”
An excellent idea, and another fine example of how peer-to-peer can improve how we get things done.
ThankFrank is a community of savvy shoppers who help others find the best stuff online, no strings attached.
ThankFrank is a community website for anybody looking for impartial advice on any aspect of shopping. Whether you’re looking for a nice restaurant, a new car, or to learn the difference between the HDMI and DVI ports on your laptop, somebody here will know the right place to find what you need. Users earn credits by receiving “thanks” from other users for the advice given. These credits can be used for online shopping or donating to a chosen charity at the end of each month.
It’s a sort of peer-to-peer shopping advice community, and we really like the idea.
Allpolyglot.com, the language marketplace. Easy, cheap and sofa language courses.
Yet another fresh idea with a peer-to-peer element, allPolyglot matches native speakers of languages with hopeful beginners from the comfort of their couch, or wherever else you’d feel comfortable talking to a relative stranger. Teachers can earn money in their spare time, and the website takes into account all the little issues that might arise, such as secure payments, differing time zones and every level from beginner to fluent speaker. You can even search for a teacher in a specific industry or career, so you can learn the exact phrases needed if you’re moving abroad for work.
How amazing would it be to meet your future fellows even before moving to your study destination?
Well, that’s exactly what AwayLikeHome offers – a website where you can meet your future colleagues, and even plan and organise payment for accommodation before making the trip abroad. ALHO offers local tips on transport, internet and mobile connections, leisure activities and everything in between, so you can get straight down to business as soon as you arrive in your new place of learning.
One of the most useful services they offer is a sort of expat student swap-shop, where previous students can put items up for sale that they purchased with their visit in mind – meaning newcomers to the same town or campus have even less to do when they get there!
FairChanges is the pro-human rights marketplace.
FairChanges is an online marketplace which brings producers of ethical and sustainable products to market without the need for middlemen taking their profit and ultimately costing both the buyer and the seller.
There is a strong ethical feel to the products listed, with environmental awareness and fair treatment of workers to the fore. The products on sale are beautiful in their own right too – everything from arts and crafts, health and beauty products to clothing, you’ll definitely find something unique here, especially in the run up to Christmas!
FairChanges together with Autismo Burgos Association have created the EYE Collection (Engage Yourself Entirely): A series of eco friendly framed prints in Ecolabel FSC certified paper featuring inspirational quotes. Each frame is handpainted with care by people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). “When nothing goes right, go left” says one of the prints. You can find EYE by FairChanges on Kickstarter.
TalkLife is committed to creating a space where our users can speak freely and help others get through difficult periods.
With over 100k users, TalkLife is a “peer-to-peer support network”, created with a distinctly human issue in mind – mental health and awareness. In today’s hectic world of Facebook updates and handheld conversations, there doesn’t seem to be much respite, especially for the younger generations who’ve never known life without a smartphone.
Whatever issue might be playing on your mind, TalkLife offers anonymous and convenient support and conversation to help you through.
Founded by professionals who passionately believe in the transformative power of the internet in education and in bringing together people from across the world for the exchange of knowledge, culture and understanding.
ClassDo is another teaching website which offers a range of subjects to learn remotely, from language classes, academic subjects, hobbies, music, even travel advice about Paris that only a local would know! Once you have a laptop with mic and webcam you’re good to go.
The world’s only online freight network
Freightos founder, Zvi Schreiber, said in an interview with NextWeb that his company is simply – “….the equivalent of Expedia/Orbitz/Kayak for the shipment of goods rather than people. We help the sellers to automate their quotes online and we help the buyers to compare prices and quality and find the best deal.”
Freightos is aiming to automate an outdated system by providing live quotes for shipping routes all over the globe, and through it’s low-cost cargo network, it can match carriers, freight forwarders and their customers in real time, saving all parties time and money. According to Schreiber, around $19 trillion dollars of goods were imported/exported globally in 2013, so improvements in the system can mean a lot to all involved.
Dramagame is a technology for building social simulations for learning and entertainment. Each simulation is a small virtual world where participants are pushed into meeting each other.
Dramagame is a toolkit for creating virtual social environments for problem solving or brainstorming. It allows you to set up a social world where users can anonymously interact to achieve a set goal, whether it be decisions around products or services, or a collaboration of any sort. Playing these through a virtual game can increase participation, creativity and even facilitate remote involvement, and gives the opportunity to set up scenarios that might be impossible to do in the real world.
Thankfully, it’s not just work based worlds that can be created. Role playing and mystery games seem perfect for this platform, and an excellent example of this is VelvetSundown, where you enter a mystery/thriller/espionage type setup, solving clues and interacting with other players in a stunningly rendered virtual world. It really gives a sense of what Dramagame can accomplish.
Warning – could be quite addictive.
Create and share step-by-step instructions from your photos and video instantly on any device.
SwipeGuide makes it really easy to make guides and instruction manuals and presentations. Using an online WYSIWYG editor, you simply upload your photos to the site and edit and add text and images to your heart’s delight. It makes sharing these guides easy too, and as its default template is responsive, they’ll look good any whatever device you want to view them on.
nomadmovement is a social network that alows you to create a travel diary and share with the rest of the world in the simplest of ways!
NomadMovement allows you to easily create a travel diary, so you can share photos and memories with all your friends. Although still in beta (so we can’t get a proper peek yet), it will, presumably, allow you to share with selected friends and families outside of the usual Facebook environment, which is always crowded with pictures of cats wearing trousers and the likes. With your dedicated travel diary, you can blog away confident that anyone who’s interested in your adventures will be able to see exactly what you want to share. It also cuts out the need to manage your own blog/website to do this, which is always welcome.
You can sign up for NomadMovement right now, and you’ll get notified as soon as they’re up and running.
Crowd – having fun just got easier! Discover fun activities and bring your friends along.
Have you ever tried to organise a night out with your mates only to be frustrated by their indecision? It can be tricky to get everyone on the same page and to commit to a plan, but the CrowdApp could solve this in a quite creative way. You can browse locations and activities as you would normally, but the app allows you and your friends to vote on the idea they like the most. Once the votes are in, everybody knows what the plan is and only the laziest of the lazy won’t bother turning up.
The creators claim CrowdApp can cut the time spent planning by quite a bit – “Meet your friends for a beer, up to 90% quicker and easier than using your favourite messenger.”
A bold claim indeed, but anyone who has experience of getting lost in massive email threads or rambling text message chats will certainly benefit. In beta at the moment, but you can register for updates on their website.
In a world where friendly physical contact is fading away we introduce to you Hug me, the app to rediscover the pleasure of hugging someone
Having a bad day? Need a hug? This is the app for you.
It’s a peer-to-peer hug network. Users simply search for someone in need of, or willing to provide, a hug in their area. Then, simply (and cautiously) approach the complete stranger and throw your arms around them. Although that might seem a little odd, it probably shouldn’t – a result of all the technological wonders we’re surrounded with 24/7 is a loss of human contact, which is very important to our personal happiness.
Although it’s a quirky solution, we have to applaud thinking outside of the box, and HugMe app certainly does that.
There were many more brilliant ideas at the 2014 Web Summit, but we’ll leave it there for now. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and stay up to date with the world of currency exchange through the eyes of the CurrencyFair team!