Based in the North East of England, the Difference Engine is a seed accelerator program that is publicly funded. Each year the Difference Engine selects ten startup companies and supports them with advice, mentorship and £20,000.
This year, the first participants graduated and the program showcased the nine start-ups to angel investors and VCs in London this week. These companies are three months or more old and have three or four founders. According to their website the program is open to ‘anyone from anywhere’ and is supposed to provide the sort of intensive support that businesses need at an early stage.
One of the first graduates is Geogoer. Geogoer is a social media transport network where ‘anyone can find passengers, cars and public transport, or publish their own journeys’ – in short, offering the public or a private network the ability to share rides. Plans to sell Internal Travel Networks for employers is in the mix and personal users have a fair say as to who has access to their profile, with 5 levels of security limiting access to references or recommendations.
Also amongst the graduates are Curated.By and Wishlist. Curated.By offers to provide curators (anyone) the tools to created cherry-picked streams of updated, tagged and categorised content which is sorted into bundles of information to be shared by others, a sort of live Wikipedia. Wishlist lets Facebook users create ‘wishlists’ of gifts in order for their friends to know which ‘virtual gifts’ to buy them, as opposed to the random gift-giving a lot of Facebook friends face. It also offers e-mail birthday reminders.
The Difference Engine has opened applications for their September 2010 intake ‘with immediate effect’, the deadline is 23 July 2010.
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