Home mechanic service beats out 30 other startups to win the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield trophy.
TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF conference came and went with a bang this week.
Among the action were public interviews and talks with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, who gave his first post-IPO interview during hte event, an energy-drink fueled Hackathon, and startups showcasing their ideas, products and services to attendees. One of the main focuses of the event, however, was the shortlist of new companies, fighting it out as part of the Startup Battlefield.
Presenting to a group of the world’s most respected businesspeople and entrepreneurs, including Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and David Sacks, came together to hear 30 start-up pitches. With ideas ranging from a new electric car-bike, to a digital gift card service, and an app that not only predicts the next 10 seconds of conversation but also produces web resources and links that enable you to stay fully engaged, the competition was strong.
YourMechanic eventually took the crown, beating the other entries with a service concept that is simple yet much-needed. The website allows you to look up approved mechanics who will come to your home or office to fix your car. Simply describe the problem, enter your location and choose the mechanic with the best quote and credentials.
The founders based the service on the fact that 80% of car issues can be fixed without needing to go to a mechanic shop. Therefore, customers end up paying directly for the service they’ve received, rather than lining the pockets of a store owner.
The team uses independent, insured mechanics and provides a service that is both more convenient and cheaper than the traditional method of taking the car into a shop. Car owners can see previous customers’ reviews of mechanics and generally save about 30-50% per fix compared to taking their car to a dealership.
Not only is YourMechanic confident in the value of their service, but they also believe in the quality of their mechanics. Customers get a 12 month or 12,000 mile guarantee on work done. You don’t need to give a technical description of the problem (it can be as vague as “the car is shaking”) and you don’t have to spend your day waiting around at a dealership.
Prior to winning the TechCrunch Disrupt contest, YourMechanic had already charmed investors out of $1.8 million of funding. The company make money using transaction fees from selling parts.
YourMechanic currently has 10 mechanics operating in the Bay area of California. The service is only open to senior mechanics and, to be part of the team, an applicant must go through background checks, certificate verification and an interview. The company plan to open the application process up to mechanics anywhere in the country within 6 to 8 months.
Other notable entries to the Startup Battlefield included Lit Motor’s 100% electric motorbike-meets-car vehicle, which is impossible to tip over and can communicate with your smartphone and the cloud. Veritable, by Prior Knowledge, is a predictive database developed at MIT and is designed to make applications smarter. Meanwhile, Expect Labs’ MindMeld iPad app also impressed both the reporters and the judges, with its surprisingly accurate ability to analyze the last 10 seconds of a conversation, predict the content of the next 10 seconds and pulls relevant information off the web so you’re always in the know.