In the startup accelerator of B.Amsterdam, the Watson team hosted a pitch competition between 10 Netherlands companies. Over 230 people attended to enjoy local snacks, beer, and most importantly, 10 creative Watson application ideas. Each company had just three minutes to pitch their idea to an all-star panel of executives from Watson, The Next Web, and Startupbootcamp. While there was just one winner, every company presented a unique idea for a Watson-powered solution.

For example, Tribe of Noise pitched using Personality Insights to correctly match the consumer personality of a brand with musical artists to create a personalized in-store experience. Dashmote proposed using the Visual Recognition and Retrieve and Rank APIs to enable users to receive targeted and personalized image results when searching for pictures. Ultimately a company called StartMonday won the competition.

The pitch by StartMonday to enhance their current mobile recruiting and job discovery offering with Watson cognitive capabilities won them a 16kg wheel of cheese (see picture) and access to the Watson APIs. StartMonday will create their “Powered by Watson” application using the Dialog, Natural Language Classifier, Concept Insights, and Retrieve and Rank APIs. This will allow them to effectively match prospective employees to employers and recruitment agencies.

AmsterdamWe caught up with StartMonday after their win:

IBMWatson: Describe how StartMonday will enhance its mobile recruiting solution with Watson.

StartMonday: StartMonday is building on its 15-second video intro product to create the world’s first truly mobile jobs platform.  Rather than just duplicating what web-based job boards have been doing for decades now, our next-generation solution will use natural language conversation along with data already available in the cloud to help job seekers target their ideal job quickly – without having to sit at a computer.  

 IBM Watson:
Why did you decide to pitch your solution in the Watson pitch competition?

StartMonday: We want to partner with the best people on the planet to help create an intelligent mobile jobs platform.  Watson’s proven ability to interact through natural dialogue is a great way to bring candidates on smartphones into a career conversation.


IBM Watson: How will Watson’s capabilities augment your existing recruiting and staffing solution?

StartMonday: From a simple dialogue, StartMonday will guide candidates to their next job.  Using Watson, our “career guide” will help candidates identify where they should be moving next – not just serving up more jobs like the one they currently have.  At the same time, Watson will form the core of the first “candidate recognition system℠” – helping companies find the right new employees in a crowded field of prospects.  These employees will be happier, more productive and will stay longer because there is true fit.


 IBM Watson: What aspects of Watson are you most excited to work with?

StartMonday: We remember watching the first 15-second videos coming through our platform and those people getting hired by our launching customers.  When this new prototype is built, Watson will be reading responses and questions from [job] candidates and will really understand their job needs at a conceptual level, and how they align with our customers (employee agencies and employers).  It’s going to be magical to see these dialogues develop with candidates and having them be guided to great jobs that will actually fit their lifestyle.  Our vision of applying for any job from a phone will have become a reality.


IBM Watson: What are your favorite parts about the technology/startup scene in Amsterdam?

StartMonday: Amsterdam and The Netherlands as a whole is a great place to try out new concepts.  The Dutch economy is open to new technical solutions and large corporations are willing to engage with small teams and startups.  As an international team, made of British and Americans in our management team, we are also happy with the willingness to accept English as a business language.  It’s so easy to zip around as well. Nowhere is very far by bike, tram or train… and we sit at one of Europe’s busiest airport hubs, too. 

A list of all participants in the pitch competition (in no particular order):

  1. Start Monday 2. Dashmote 3. Tribe of Noise 4. Netwinst 5. Clustr 6. Synappz Medical Apps 7. Capgemini 8. On Wheels 9. Colimbra 10. Sightcorp

You can find demos, videos, and documentation for the Watson APIs on the Watson Developer Cloud.

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