Showcasing the Best of Berlin with a TWiST

By Lynsey Anderson |

The first TWiST meet up in Germany was a big hit, with the AHOY! co-working space and cinema packed to the rafters on Friday. And the big winners were… Meine Spielzeugkiste and KeyRocket. They were given the nod by the judges ahead of some very stiff competition.

And Jason Calacanis, one of the hosts of This Week in Startups, also earned the cheers of the Berlin crowd with a rant against the Samwer brothers and clones.

Here’s a rundown of the finalists, determined after a preliminary round earlier in the evening.

Coming joint first, Meine Spielzeugkiste (German for ‘My Toy Box’) delivers children’s toys straight to your door for a monthly fee of €19. The subscription model allows users to receive a new toy box every two months, and each one builds on the previous topic.

Each box is valued at €150-250, and Meine Spielzeugkiste gives its users the option to keep and purchase the toys at a discounted price. The site also offers an online test to make sure that each child gets a toy box that is best suited to their age group, gender and creative needs.

The other winner was KeyRocket. Currently in open beta, KeyRocket is educational software that allows its users to learn keyboard shortcuts to programs like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The program adapts to the daily routines of its users, increasing its productivity and making it easy to use.

There were three other finalists who pitched their ideas on the show, including Fashionism, the first location based mobile shopping and style guide that allows its users to discover and follow fashion trends from around the world. By downloading the app, customers can also receive exclusive offers and share their style inspiration with other users in the Fashionism community.

Also in the running was SquadMail. Currently in private beta, it is a program that allows companies and teams of people to create a common folder structure for email to enable the sharing of emails, notes, pictures and attachments across organisational boundaries and with outside customers. Described as a Dropbox for email, the folders can be automatically synchronised.

The night’s other finalist was Cinovu, a platform for independent film directors to upload their movies and documentaries for viewers across the world to access. Based on a subscription model, customers pay a certain fee each month for a certain number of minutes. Film makers then get paid per minute of film watched, times the number of views. Creating a community of film buffs, Cinovu viewers can also recommend films to other users and follow people with similar interests.

So TWiST put on a good show – not least in showcasing the considerable innovation and creativity currently on display in Berlin, cloning or no cloning!