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This week's feature

Start-ups that LOVE pop culture

Shine bright like a start-up.

What if Rihanna changed the lyrics to her song to honor the world of start-ups? Why not? Lots of them are using their grey cells in favor of pop culture yet not even one popstar to show them love?! However, no pop culture stone is left unturned: gaming, music, sports, cinema, television, literature, photography… Start-ups are everywhere and their mission is to blow your mind.

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For our 104th mag, we’re turning into business angels looking for some some ‘Pop Style’ diamonds in the rough.

  1. The start-up lingo
  2. 5 Start-ups for pop culture, supported by Orange
  3. How to listen to a vinyl without a turntable?
  4. Baobab Studios: VR’s Pixar!
  5. Stephen Phillips, the man behind PopGun
  6. Axiom tells us about KEAKR
  7. #Phonotonic: when dance becomes music
  8. Foosball Society: bringing foosball back!
  9. Cozmo, the robotic pet!
  10. EmoJam, the musical emojis are here!
  11. Startup Vitamins, the inspiring e-shop

So hold on tight as we zoom once again into pop culture!

And just like they say in the start-up world:

Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

The start-up lingo

The infographic - June 07, 2017

To each culture its language and its vocabulary. The start-up lingo is a very special one. True to its era, it was largely inspired by pop culture. Here are a few examples:

Impression

 

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5 Start-ups for pop culture, supported by Orange

Gimme 5 - June 07, 2017

Orange supports innovation and start-ups willing to come up with fresh and original concepts: Orange fab, La Ruche.
Some of them are highly inspired by something we all know very well: pop-culture

1. Advir.co, immersive advertising:

This start up has chosen VR to attract its audience of advertisers. The idea is simple yet very innovative: include adverts in VR and AR videos and experiences. Whether promotional videos for video games, sport broadcasting or upcoming VR movies, the possibilities are endless.

2. Zaptogethercontrol the feed:

The creators of this platform have relied on the collaboration, tastes, insight and influence of Internet users to design a great sharing tool and find Internet’s best videos. You like a video? Keep it. The rest? Toss it! Via a real-time voting system, you can create your own stream of videos and influence the general ranking of this web TV. Their promise: “Become the real time programmer of a collective, participative and innovative flow”.

3. Shadow, the future of PC gaming?

Will the future of PC gaming be in the cloud? That’s what Blade (the parisian start-up behind the Shadow) thinks, so they launched a miniature box connected to a powerful computer … but installed far from home and available through a monthly subscription. Capable of the same performances as a “traditional” gaming computer, the Shadow allows you to play any video game in high-definition. From jeuxvidéo.com à journaldugeek.com ou 01net.com, the critics all agree, Shadow will be a hit!

4. OmniLivethe new generation of video broadcasting

It is now possible to attend lectures of the best universities, concerts, conferences and events of all kinds all over the world from your home. That is all thanks to OmniLive, a live recording system that puts you in the drivng seat and allows you to choose your point of view with a single click. Already available for the Sorbonne, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but also french show Taratata, its founder Cyril Zajac hopes that gaming events and concerts will follow through. OmniLive is clearly the future of live broadcasting.

5. FabLabchannel – Les Haut-parleurs, the channel for and by millennials

Clearly, our youth is full of resources! Case in point: Les Haut Parleurs, a bunch of francophone reporters who get together on through the FabLabChannel (supported by TV5Monde, Audiens, La Netscouade, Orange, l’Institut Français and l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie). Their goal: to express themselves freely, each trimester, in short YouTube videos on global social issues. Their strength lies in being part of the Erasmus network and programs, and therefore able to deal with a multitude of topics in a multitude of countries. Environment, climate change, employment, and representation of women … you name it, they address it!

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How to listen to a vinyl without a turntable?

The killer question - June 07, 2017

Using RokBlokBoth vinyl player and pocket speaker, this small case designed by designer Logan Riley can even be connected to a bluetooth speaker to amplify the sound.

The inventors of this little jewel of ingenuity were able to combine the imperatives (or inconveniences) of modernity with the demand of the most purists of music lovers. If you live in a small studio and for those of y’all who are vinyl enthusiats, then Rokblok is the solution to your space issues.

Launched in December 2016, the crowdfunding campaign brought together 3,615 contributors who gave $ 351,816 to support this project and the young start-up Pink Donut. However, you still have to wait a few months before you get your hands on Rokblok, which is scheduled for sale in September 2017.

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Baobab Studios: VR’s Pixar!

A picture says it all - June 07, 2017

The future of animated cinema is perhaps hidden behind Californian start-up Baobab Studios. Described by Forbes magazine as “The Pixar of Virtual Reality”, it is at the forefront of animation in virtual reality and its latest project in production is likely to make a lot of noise. Its name: Rainbow Crow.

Presented on the sidelines of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, this animated RV series is co-produced by John Legend, whose voice is also that of the central character. Co-founded in 2015 by Eric Darnell (who used to work at Dreamworks and has directed the Madagascar saga), Baobab Studios is not a newbie. The start-up already has several successes to its name including the shorts Invasion! et Asteroids!.

The story of Rainbow Crow is taken from an Amerindian legend of the LenapesIt tells the story and the journey of a rainbow plumage bird that asks, in the name of its friends of the forest, the Great Sky Spirit to bring back the beautiful days after an everlasting winter. A beautiful story about nature and altruism that virtual reality should bring to the next level!

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Stephen Phillips, the man behind PopGun

Who's who - June 07, 2017

Stephen Phillips is far from a new face in the business. Indeed, this American engineer came up with the algorithm We Are Hunteda few years ago, which was sold to Twitter in 2013 and could generate “tops” and dynamic playlists reflecting musical novelties from messages, comments and “like” on your Twitter, Youtube or Facebook accounts. In other words, music-centric artificial intelligence for the web.

The algorithm genius has since set a new goal with his start-up PopGun: to create an artificial intelligence able to identify the songs and musical styles that will become popular, and also to feed its system with music and sounds so that, one day, it is able to compose its own hits.

If the work and research of this “disruptive-engineer” come to fruition, this new artificial intelligence could become a great tool for music producers and composers of tomorrow. PopGun could also be at the origin of the first bands of robots musicians … Daft Punk who?

popculture-startup-stephen-philipps-popgun-musique

Stephen Phillips, the man behind PopGun, and maybe the 1st robot music group! © Colin Kinner

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3 questions to Hicham Kochman, aka Axiom, rapper, producer and CEO of KEAKR

The 3 questions - June 07, 2017

A true jack of all trades, rapper Axiom launched a few weeks back KEAKR, an app dedicated to the celebration of urban talents and Hip Hop culture. Find out about a start-up that will make you sing.

Orange Pop: Let’s start from the beginning. How did the idea for KEAKR come about and please tell us about how it was developing it then launching it.

Axiom: I though about creating a platform that would bring together the creative minds of Hip Hop and by extension urban music a long time ago. Quite early on, I realized that there was no digital representation for us. This future platform therefore had to allow us to expose our contents but also to connect with people. As time went by, the idea of social media had become obvious. Then, the form of an app came naturally to me, following the many meetings I have held in the community, with the youngest, in writing workshops or on the street, But also with developers.

Development has been difficult, finding the right formula and finding the right people takes time. When it comes to the launch, it was done by word of mouth, crisscrossing small events that bring together the Hip Hop community. Sounds simple, but Hip-Hop community can not be fooled. It only works with people whose activism and values it respects.

After launching an initial life-size test, we were quickly overwhelmed by the number of registrations. Stabilizing an application is a no mean feat. Now we are technologically ready to communicate on a larger scale and can rely on a truly international network that keeps getting bigger. It is a real victory, especially since only a few people – close friends and some clever visionaries – believed in us in the beginning. One of the first lessons I learn from this is that it is important to be balanced and well rounded when you engage in this type of project.

O.Pop: KEAKR is both an application serving urban cultures and “hip-pop” culture, and an innovative start-up that rides on new technologies and tools for sharing and communication. How do you marry these two aspects? Also, what are KEAKR’s sources of income and opportunities?

Axiom: The application is called KEAKR, which means “Kicker”, a rapper who “throws his lines, his rhymes”. It has become a word for “genius”. For example, you can be a kicker in math. The design is by HB District, a renowned graphic designer who has made my album covers. Although it’s bigger and more mature now, I usually work with the same team as I did in the beginning. The link between Hip Hop and start-up is therefore quite natural. Creativity has always been played a huge part in Hip Hop culture. Given the international reach of digital technology, the difference is reflected in the size of the markets. With the sole francophone market, the opportunities are endless. Other factors include the dual nationality of many of us, but also our American culture which we’ve gained after watching legendary trajectories like Michael Jackson’s, Michael Jordan’s, and also Dr. Dre’s (and his story with Beats). We’re also inspired by Frenchies such as Booba, Maître Gims, Dawala or Stromae in Belgium. Kenzy of Secteur A was already a reference in the matter back in the day.

KEAKR’s potential sources of revenue are numerous, but our main goal is to continue developing with the community that has been there from the beginning. It is with it that we will define the future business model. The idea is to remain faithful to the same approach that I have always taken as an artist or producer. This intelligent and philosophical environment is now global. It is not just dance or music. It is a culture in its own right.

O.Pop: You talk about connecting people, bringing communities together through KEAKR. Can you explain how it works?

Axiom: KEAKR was first released in France and Belgium. Its principle is simple:

  1. You chose the type of music you like (Boom bap, trap, cloud, trip hop, dancehall, jazzy, electro, etc.) or the a capella mode
  2. You chose a filter for your video
  3. You record your video
  4. You chose a voice effect
  5. Once the sound has been automatically mixed and mastered, you post it on social media
  6. Your video is hosted on KEAR under the « Street » category. People can now comment your video and share it
  7. You can also challenge the other users into a battle via the unique « Battle » option

 

startup-axiom-interview-application

The community is already there. Talents have already been revealed. Deals between beatmakers and rappers or singers have been signed already. Punchlynn, a young rapper, has recorded with MK-Zoo, one of the most talented French beatmakers. Mixtapes and joint videos have been made unsing the application. And in less than a month!

Rappers like Seultou, Seultou, Sado MC, Jack Ardi or the rapper A2N were able to show their performances. Most of these artists are releasing videos and even albums, like The Original K for example. We got more and more beatboxers. The triple world champion of Hip Hop dance, Sofiane Felouki, has performed on KEAKR. But also DJs, like DJ Wars. Beatmakers aren’t represented enough in France, with KEAKR they have a platform.

All these artists have talent. Most do it for fun, others try to live off their art. These are all issues KEAKR is trying to address. It is not just a platform or a simple application, but a laboratory.

Put simply, KEAKR is Us.

 

axiom-rappeur-interview-application-startup

Rapper Axiom

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#Phonotonic: when dance becomes music

Music - June 07, 2017

We have something for the music conductor AND the dancer in you: here is Phonotonic.

Behind this oh-so-cool cool name hides an even cooler connected gadget that can transform movement into music, don’t believe us, see for yourself.

We love the idea … but we’re not sure that our neighbors will love it as much. Indeed, just imagine what would be an evening with friends where everyone would have their Phonotonic gadgets…

The fact remains that it is fantastic to be able to dance to your own rhythm and associate sounds to your very own dance steps, so as far as we are concerned, Phonotonic is validated!

As the brand’s tagline says: “do not play music, be music”

 

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Foosball Society: bringing foosball back!

Stories - June 07, 2017

Here comes the future of “foosballing”. Ladies and gents, we give you Foosball Society.

The « society » in the product’s name refers to the fact that it is actually a digital platform that connects foosball players all around the world.

The french start-up, that is supported by Orange, was at SXSW in 2017, where it got a very positive response. No more abacuses to keep the scores it’s all about digital display and a camera which allows you to re-watch your actions… in slow motion!

Judging by the initial feedback, the activity is suited for kids as well as adults, team buildings as well as nights out with friends, pros as well as newbies. Talk later, guys, we’ve booked ourselves a session of e-foosball!

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Cozmo, the robotic pet!

Stories - June 08, 2017

When you were a kid you dreamed of having a pet but you had cat or dog allergies… so you couldn’t 🙁 . Well, turns out American start-up Anki might have found the solution to this very annoying issue: a robotic pet!

Introducing Cozmo, an artificial intelligence that wants to normalize the presence of AI in our daily lives. We understand that the concept of having a “thinking” tech object can be overwhelming to some, that’s why Cozmo is this cute and dreamy robot that will get rid of any preconceived ideas at the same time making your heart melt.

It is kind of like a Tamagoshi 2.0, and we can’t wait to have it running around in our living room!

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EmoJam, the musical emojis are here!

Stories - June 09, 2017

We cannot stop progress: flying cars, 3D movies… and now musical emojis. The future is now!

You guessed it, you can now punctuate your emojis with sound and it is Franco-American start-up EmoJam that is at the origin of this revolution.

With the aim of supporting musical artists but in an original way, the application already has 80 EmoJams.

When you see the number of users and especially the income generated by applications such as Kimoji (by Kim K.) or Justmoji (from Mr. Bieber) you realize that the start-up has made the right choice by moving forward with an emoji app.

So what’s next for emojis? Larger than life versions, probably

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Startup Vitamins, the inspiring e-shop

Stories - June 12, 2017

If you were inspired as we were by the tech mantra “Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.”, well we found the e-shop where you can bag yourself many items with inspirational catchphrases. Whether on a poster, a mug, a t-shirt, an iPhone case or a cushion, Startup Vitamins got you covered.

Basically, what you’ll find at Startup Vitamins will make you want to redecorate your house or the headquarters of your start-up. The brand uses inspirational quotes by famous entrepreneurs in the coolest way… and yeah, Start Up Vitamins is indeed a start-up!

So in case you were in need of inspiration today, or if you wanted renovate your place or office, you should definitely get your dose of positivity at Startup Vitamins.

YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS: ENTREPRENEURS… BUT PHILOSOPHERS TOO

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Silicon Valley takes on Jay Z and Kanye West

Stories - June 13, 2017

Have you ever wondered what the startup anthem would sound like? Well, no need to anymore, Gabriel Gervelis and Manish Gaudi have written the ultimate start-up song, the one every entrepreneur should know by heart… oh and it’s a rap song too!

Gervelis and Gaudi, two tech CEO’s, decided to take on Jay Z and Kanye West’s infamous “Ni**as In Paris”, except instead of talking about designer clothes, luxurious hotels and Mary Kate & Ashley, the guys reference Jeff Bezos, big data and market share.
Still, the two songs have a common point: they both talk about expensive champagne bottles.

As we said in mag 96, entrepreneurs can be quite the philosophers as well, and they have become true fixtures of pop culture. That’s why they love having fun with it and come out with the craziest and funniest innovations.

Pop culture and start-ups are a match made in heaven!

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See you soon!

To be continued - June 07, 2017

See you soon, and stay “pop”!

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