News & Background about Poikos
Poikos has always been media and blogger friendly. We’re happy to share what we’re up to and keep you up to date as our services and ideas expand. Drop us an email to get sneak previews of announcements.
Tell us if you’re on the deadline
We have a story that’s very visual (great for TV) but also works well on radio, on-line and in print. We have press materials available on request (including high quality video footage and photographs). Eleanor Watson also takes part in radio and television programmes that deal with tech-startups and innovative technology.
Download Press Materials here 108 MB download
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Contact us by phone on +44 121 288 2802 (we’re usually on Central European Time). Or fill in your contact details and question below. Select Press Enquiry. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Recent News Items & Articles
These articles are designed to give you a background to recent developments with Poikos. There is also a general backgrounder available with the history of Poikos and an interview with CEO, Eleanor Watson.
Nell’s latest pit-stop was in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Following IBM Smartcamp at The Waldorf Astoria, New York City, Brad Holtz, CEO of Cyon Research invited Nell to the Conference on the Future of Engineering Software (along with Laura Schewel of Streetlight Data).
This year, the theme was ‘Resilience’, with amazing talks from Alexander Rose of The Long Now Foundation and Esther Dyson, and someone particularly known for her resilience in life, the most admirable Ping Fu.
IBM kindly showcased Poikos for us at CEBIT 2013.
Here’s the German minister for Economics trying our technology out!
The lady on the left is Germany’s General Manager.
Here’s no less than Mike Maples!
Watson had the following comment on her wonderful experience:
“Blackbox Connect is an amazing opportunity to plant a foothold in Silicon Valley, for world-class startups born outside of the US. Join a selection of some of the best teams from around the world, as you learn together about the special culture of the Valley, and how things are different here.
Opportunities to meet with (and pitch to), truly amazing people, combine with practical assistance on visas, opening bank accounts and establishing a US entity. In essence Blackbox Connect is the gateway to Silicon Valley.”
Here’s an excellent BBC video on BlackBox for the curious!
Poikos was selected to receive an invite to participate in Singularity University’s FutureMed 2020 in Palo Alto in February. The event was held at NASA Ames Research Center, and also at the Computer History Musuem, where Watson met the founders of Genentech (and personally scanned them!)
Thanks for your support during the finals
of IBM Smartcamp 2013!
After winning regional heats in Amsterdam and Berlin, Poikos made it to one of 8 finalists taking part in the 2013 IBM Smartcamp Global Finals. It’s been an honour to get this far. For the last three days we’ve been in the Big Apple for an intense three day competition. Got some useful feedback during the pitching practice on Wednesday. The winner took away the title of Global Entrepreneur of the Year. Our congratulations to MoDe from Kenya for taking that top prize. Actually, in the end, we’re all winners because of the fantastic network we’ve been able to tap in to in the last few days.
In the video below, I’ve tried to explain why taking part is so important to us at this moment in our development. It’s also a great opportunity to thank all the developers, investors, mentors and friends who have supported us all the way. Thanks for sharing the vision.
Poikos – where are we now?
I gave an interview a few days ago to the organisers of the IBM Smartcamp Finals. It’s a good summary of where we are now.
1. Briefly, what is your company’s solution, how does it work, and where did the idea come from?
Poikos is a computer vision systems company which has developed a revolutionary patent-pending technology for imaging and measuring the body in 3D, using consumer grade hardware such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. Our first product is called FlixFit. We are developing a platform to deliver our technology to partners within the health, bespoke and fashion e-commerce, and entertainment sectors for a range of new capabilities across all industries.
We were shortlisted recently for a Cisco BIG Award, and Cisco tell us that they now want to work with us to see how our technology can affect the developing world. What the experts say:
“I just heard about Flixfit technology from a friend and was blown away by it’s potential. I’ve 15 years experience in the sporting goods industry, working for Nike, and believe technologies such as Flixfit will revolutionize the way we do business.”
2. Explain how Poikos was born; who are the key players on your team and how did they come together?
From CEO Eleanor Watson: “My dream was of a world where affordable mass customisation of apparel was a reality. This would mean that anyone would have access to custom-fit clothing within days, at prices roughly comparable to the mass market. I wanted to make a real difference for people all around the world who face problems in this area (I think most people do, to some degree, particularly women). There is a suite of technologies out there which is emerging (such as Direct Panel on Loom), which almost make this possible. I realised however that in order to customise something, one needed accurate data on what one should customise it to. All the solutions out there required expensive, bulky and inconvenient proprietary hardware, which I never really considered to be a viable solution. From my background in e-commerce, and from teaching post-grad computer science and computer forensics from the age 24, I reckoned that there must be another way.
I spent six months travelling around and picking the brains of very smart individuals and groups of professors all over the world. Everyone basically said it was impossible, but I kept digging, like a detective, and eventually I had amassed enough information that we could begin to put a system together which can work on any PC, tablet or smartphone.
I raised a brilliant team, and we got straight to work. One year later, working with no less than 8 Universities here we are, finally bringing our UK and US patent-pending technology to market.”
- CEO — Eleanor Watson — Taught Post-grad Computer Science and Computer Forensics, co- founded Graffiti4hire.co.uk, career in e-commerce prior. Insatiable obsession with actualising new technologies which can be massively scaled.
- CTO — David Evans — has been presenting at hacker conferences since the age of 12, recently graduated with an MSc Computer Science. David has a background in Math and Physics to design incredible computer vision technologies.
- CFO — Derk Jolink – an entertainment industry veteran who held several key positions at major record companies. Starting off by recording artists in the seventies, he became A&R manager and international marketing director for CBS/Sony, marketing director for Warner Brothers, managing director for BMG and international VP for Wegener Arcade.
- CCO a.i. — Mark Schiefelbein — has worked with Internet and technology startups for many years, as a growth hacker, helping founders and investors unlock growth.
3. How will your solution impact people’s lives for the better?
A Mintel Report on Fashion Online 2010 shows that almost 36% of online buyers feel that the clothing they order do not meet their expectations. This figure is even higher for women at 46%, because women tend to have more difficulty finding clothes that flatter various body shapes.
With our FlixFit solution, we will eliminate the stress felt by online retail customers when they don’t know their size. They will be able to shop online with more confidence and experience fewer returns and exchanges, saving them time, effort, and money.
From a business perspective, FlixFit enables retailers to increase their conversion rate by a substantial margin– we’re constantly reading articles in Europe about the very high return rate . Just a few weeks ago, one of the newspapers in the Netherlands reported that more than 50% of all clothes bought online are returned to retailers. The reason give is that the clothes don’t fit. (source: Spits, ). That’s confirmed by dozens of online retailers we have been speaking to over the last 9 months.
Since nominal sizes offered by brands differ, FlixFit would allow customers to know their size irrespective of the retailer they are buying from. The concept also ties in with campaigns for real sizing, celebrating the fact that every person is unique.
4. What is the best advice you’ve been given or the most important thing you’ve learned in the SmartCamp competition so far?
The most interesting advice came from tech investor Bill Liao, who suggested that we found our own accelerator based around our technology to help push it forward. That really blew our minds!
5. In what ways do you hope working with IBM will help your company grow and succeed?
IBM has a very strong and well-known brand; IBM is solid, enduring and dependable. Poikos’ association with IBM provides us with respectability and credence, which for a small startup doesn’t always come easily. IBM has great connections here in New York, which is clearly the fashion capital of the world. And we also believe the IBM network that they have in Silicon Valley is going to be extremely useful. Furthermore, IBM’s suite of powerful cloud-based technologies and software which it has offered us has the promise of really helping us to drive our innovation forward.
6. What is the main reason your company should be named IBM SmartCamp’s Entrepreneur of the Year?
Remember that we are a platform technology company. Poikos has an opportunity to powerfully disrupt a wide range of sectors in business, including mass customisation, e-commerce, and health. It is this mix of disruptive change to business and everyday life, lead by a vision of a more intelligent sharing of personal biometric information which we believe makes our company so exciting.
Poikos is the audience favourite at Amazon Web Services Startup Challenge in San Francisco, and takes home a nice chunk of Amazon Web Services credit (along with some amazing new connections)!
Yes, it’s what you’ve all been waiting for, a smartphone version of our technology to complement the web (Flash/HTML5) version.
Give it a whirl today! It’s an alpha, so you can expect a lot development to polish the UX etc to come soon, but we held to our promises. We are LIVE in your pocket baby!
The real purpose of this little example app is to show just how simple it is to embed our tech in an app, and we’re now preparing an SDK for developers to plug our functions directly into their own third-party apps!
Poikos has done it again! We took the Overall Winner position at the IBM SmartCamp Berlin EMEA finals. We’ll now soon be off to New York for the Global Finals to be held on February 5th 2013 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, along with Parisian Startup CaptainDash.
The IBM Berlin Jury report issued this afternoon says that Poikos has a “clear view of the customer problem, a strong vision for current and future business, great passion and drive (the pitch really connects with the audience). Poikos had the best overall pitch of the ten teams”.
We also got a special prize just for us – a year’s membership of the CEO Collaborative Forum, sponsored for us by the European Investment Fund. What an amazing opportunity to learn and grow in the company of fellow CEOs.
We’re again thrilled to reach another level of IBM SmartCamp, and look forward to showing North America what Europe is capable of!
We did it.
We won the Pioneers Festival Startup Challenge in Vienna, with an incredibly beautiful big trophy, and €25k.
Wow. We now understand that Vienna has emerged as a real core cluster for Startups in Europe, providing a crucial backbone in central Europe.
This is really going to shake things up!
You can watch the final award ceremony here (the big reveal is 17 minutes in!)
The shortlist for the Startups Awards 2012 has been announced and Poikos is amongst the finalists. Poikos is hoping to win one of the 14 trophies up for grabs at the glittering ceremony in London this December.
The Startups Awards, sponsored by NatWest and organised by Startups.co.uk, celebrate the success of businesses in the UK that have been trading for less than three years.
Poikos Founder & CEO Eleanor Watson has been shortlisted for the Startup Business Woman of the Year award, along with two other companies.
Duncan Bannatyne, of Dragons’ Den fame, will lead the judging panel alongside a number of other highly successful entrepreneurs and business experts including James Hurley, enterprise editor for the Daily Telegraph and Kevin Byrne, managing director of checkatrade.com.
David Lester, founder of Startups.co.uk, commented: “We are delighted with the response to this year’s Awards. We received hundreds of entries from an incredibly diverse range of companies. [...] Congratulations to all the companies who have made it this far and good luck for the Awards ceremony!”
Poikos wins IBM SmartCamp Amsterdam! This affirms IBM’s belief that our company is the best Startup in the BeNeLux region with regards to working towards IBM’s concept of Smarter Cities and a Smarter Planet.
This is a tremendous honour, and we’re thrilled to have been given this award, along with an opportunity for future technical and business assistance from IBM.
There’s a nice write-up on this by media guru Jonathan Marks on the StartupBootcamp Blog, another on the IBM Smartcamp blog, and an interview with Martin Kelly of IBM Venture Capital Group, by Nu.nl, featuring Eleanor.
What a week for Poikos – not one but TWO conferences in a single week!
The first was the 3D Body Scanning Technologies 2012 conference in Lugano Switzerland, where our lead developer and CTO David Evans was invited to present our technologies. This lead to poor David being mobbed somewhat by delegates wanting a go – we definitely shook things up!
(Thanks for the image above goes to Vanessa and Lara at 3d-a-Porter!)
The second event was The Dublin Web Summit 2012, where we were again invited to participate in START, a sort of ‘F.ounders junior’, for the most exciting startups around the globe.
Dinner that evening was courtesy of Niklas Zennström, founder of Atomico (née Skype and Kazaa), and very much enjoyed (thanks Nik!). There’s Niklas on stage, with Paddy Cosgrave, the relentless CEO of the Dublin Web Summit passing up front.
Best of all though was the opportunity to liaise with some of the most exciting and inspring entrepreneurs and startup companies in the world today.
Our technology is no longer limited to the (fairly generous) 35 or so measurements which we were before. We can now take unlimited body measurements, from anywhere, to any point, even diagonal cross-sections. We created this in response to our early adopters in the bespoke sector.
Well, we’ve officially come to the end of the Startup Bootcamp Amsterdam accelerator. Now it’s time for us to explore some intriguing new opportunities…
Our technology is coming on leaps and bounds very quickly. It’s a fantastic sign. New customers, new technological capabilities – everything’s really taking off!
Poikos CEO Eleanor Watson presents at the first Founders Hive in Birmingham, England, at Birmingham Science Park Aston. It’s wonderful to come back and share all that one has learned in the past 18 months since the inception of this project.
We’re now working with 9apps, experts in scalable and secure infrastructure on Amazon Web Services. 9apps are working with us as a partner to ensure that our solution can scale dynamically and easily in the cloud, to countless thousands of simultaneous users, in keeping with the viral growth of our userbase.
They also have one of the coolest offices in Amsterdam (yes, it’s official!)
Eleanor Watson, Ivo Minjauw (SocialExpress), Phuong Do (LayerGloss) and Patrick de Zeeuw (Startup Bootcamp Amsterdam) all came together to judge and coach a pitching competition ran by Vodafone Firestarters (with Lucas Tieleman as Master of Ceremonies). The prize: 2 free hours with media guru Jonathan Marks.
We’re looking for genuine early adopters who want to work with us to create amazing solutions to difficult problems, today. The challenge has 12 slots open until September 12th. We’ve already had a fantastic response, so if you’re true pioneers, get in now!
30 days after Demo Day, Jonathan Marks, Senior Editor at Critical Distance, created a profile on our CEO, Eleanor Watson. It provides key insight into the experience of developing the company at StartupBootcamp Amsterdam, and of the road ahead for Poikos. It can be downloaded here: Interview with Eleanor Watson
Demo Day arrives for all 10 companies chosen for StartupBootcamp Amsterdam 2012!
Poikos pitches FlixFit as a solution for e-commerce at StartupBootcamp Amsterdam Demo Day, and is very well received!
Jonathan Marks, a much revered mentor of ours, interviewed Eleanor and David on the FlixFit technology.
A high quality copy of this video is available for media journalists. Just contact us for more info.
Poikos is featured in Business Desk.
This is followed shortly thereafter by another article in Insider Magazine.
Poikos is one of the lucky teams who have the power of StartupBootcamp Amsterdam behind them.
Here Eleanor explores the new company offices…
Poikos makes it to Amsterdam. Here’s our working space during holiday time! ;)
Poikos CEO Eleanor Watson speaks on BBC News 24 regarding the Budget 2012.
Turkey beckons our CEO Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson, as she is awarded an exclusive and prestigious Global Entrepreneur Fellowship from MIT. She has an opportunity to participate in panel discussions and pitches at the annual MIT Global Startup Workshop, this year held in Istanbul, Turkey.
It’s an incredible opportunity to make long-lasting connections in the near-East.
Poikos CEO Eleanor Watson delivering her opening keynote “On choosing the path of disruption” at NSEC 2012.
We’ve been honoured with TWO awards in quick succession!
First off is our Startups 100 award, which has given us great recognition and interest from a range of potential partners and investors.
Second, is the 100UP award, presented to our Founder & CEO Eleanor Watson. This award is presented by the well-known financial software company Intuit and comes with a package of ongoing mentorship, software, and support.
In the great tradition of all things of Irish origin, this calls for celebration!
“This technology has many implications for mass customisation (i.e. the personalisation of products at prices comparable to mass production). Poikos has set itself a
mission to master a competence in this field.”
Eleanor had this to say about winning the Shell Livewire Award:
Poikos unveils a sneak preview of the fruits of a new generation of their body measurement technology. The first prototype is publicly demonstrated, before being scrapped to make way for an immediate jump to a next-generation technology, with even greater utility.
It took a while to calibrate our early pre-alpha version. Yep, that’s a broom-handle borrowed from the cleaner’s closet!
Meet ‘Bob’ our test ‘face’ for the facial feature tracking system.
At CEME Launchpad, Poikos’ founder and MD Eleanor Watson:“Our technology resolves a major obstacle in the way of mass customisation of garments and personal items becoming a viable, powerful industry.”
Poikos wins the Launchpad@ceme business plan competition, securing free office space and business support worth £35000 at CEME Complex in East London.
“The winner of this year’s Launchpad@ceme event, Poikos, will benefit immensely from the capability at CEME and will, I hope, accelerate their business growth with their fantastic concept.”CEME Chief Executive Bill Williams
We received a fantastic plaque, and a very beautiful (and heavy) piece of crystal also. Thanks CEME!
Poikos MD Eleanor Watson talks about the MeasureCAM technology live on BBC Radio West Midlands live, with Joanne Malin.
Article published in The Birmingham Post about Poikos MD Eleanor Watson, and Poikos’ breakthrough technology MeasureCAM, the most audacious software they have under development.