All posts by victorrt


Geo-location based pictures of any incivilities or disorders noticed in public areas

BetterStreet is a mobile application available on App Store and Google Play and takes also the form of a service online. Launched in 2013 as result of a small start up competition in Belgium, the service enables any citizen with a smartphone to take a geo-location based picture of any incivilities or disorders noticed in public areas, and to communicate it to the responsible municipality of the region. The picture can also be complemented with a brief comment of the issues to be solved by public authorities. The objective is not simply about creating a platform where people can complain and criticize the authorities. The approach is much more constructive and allows the citizen to follow the progress of their notifications, get informed when the problem is solved, and even reward municipalities for their good job! The company assures the maintenance and the development of the platform and propose integrated services of data management and processing to municipalities for annual subscription fee around 5000 euro, depending on the number of citizens living in the municipalities.


In practice, this Cloud service is very user-friendly and directly proposes three basic options at the opening of the app: Continue reading BetterStreet

An Unexpected Application of Crowdfunding

Nowadays, the crowdfunding has become a very accessible and common way for start-up firms to raise substantial initial funding to launch new innovative business ideas. However, the use of crowdfunding practices seems not to be attractive to start-ups only. Indeed, crowdfunding practices start to be incorporated at the root of new innovative business models, for instance in the real estate industry. Here is an illustration of how building house companies can effectively benefit from crowdfunding uses with the presentation of a real case launched in 2014.

The crowdfunding platformTo begin with, it is important to distinguish two different business models in the house building industry, since the crowdfunding can only be relevant within one of the two. The first business model consists of the situation when the firm already have a certain client and is creating a project especially tailored to the client’s requests and budget. Since the client is paying as the construction goes on, the firm uses directly this entry of money to cover the construction costs and typically does not need any extra funds. The second business model is the situation where the firm undertakes the construction of a house on an acquired land, without having any clients prior to the construction. When the construction is finished, the firm put the house on sale on the regular market. This latter business model required construction firms to raise funds themselves to cover the costs throughout the construction phase. The firms typically use to issue debt to raise funds for such common projects. An interesting alternative to debt consists of the crowdfunding. One of the lead pioneers in this practice is Blavier, a Belgian company that has recently launched its own crowdfunding platform called ConseilB+. Here is how it works in practice.

Continue reading An Unexpected Application of Crowdfunding

TagTagCity, a Smart Two-Sided Platform

TagTagCity is a recent start-up launched by the cofounder Geoffroy Simon in Brussels in 2011. The idea is born considering the fact that it’s quite complicated and time demanding to obtain sufficient and relevant information about a city, such as the location and basic information about restaurants, hotels, shopping, culture and touristic places, etc. This problem is encountered either by tourists visiting a city, or simply by citizens living in a city. Even though loads of information is actually available, either on guidebooks, on tourist brochures, on diverse websites or simply using word of mouth, it may often become very inconvenient and difficult to use and integrate all these different sources of information while walking on the streets of a city. TagTagCity brought in an efficient solution to that particular problem.


Their main idea was to centralise all this information on a single world map, online. This idea resulted in the implementation of a two-sided online platform presented in the form of a Google world map. On the first hand, any business owners could tag the location and basic information about his business on the map for free. On the other hand, any user could simply go on the website,access the map for free, and benefits from all the information tagged on it. The users has two basic options, either he enters a specific place in the world to check on the map, or he asks the website to localize himself to check nice places around him. Continue reading TagTagCity, a Smart Two-Sided Platform

Recommendation System

Nowadays, interactions between consumers and firms are increasing in complexity and intensity. Companies need to learn how to deal with it in order to remain competitive.


Moreover, when looking at the world pyramid of ages, we can see that if a 26 years old male is looking forhis optimal female partner (assuming that “optimal” implies the girl is in the same age range and also that there is only one optimal choice), he has only one in 275,001,000 (- the number of females he already met) chance to meet her. His chances fall even lower if we consider that there is no reason why both partners should be in the same age range. Thus unless the guy is very lucky, he might need some help to find the right partner. Continue reading Recommendation System

Recommendation system at Netflix

Netflix was initially an American company in the business of DVD’s rental and was launched in 1997 and headquartered in California. Its initial core business was renting and mailing DVD’s to their clients. They launched their own website in the same year and developed several new rental models such as the online rental model and the monthly subscription model. At that moment, they had already developed video recommendation systems based on the experience of their customers that they cautiously recorded. For instance, they implemented systems for the clients to express concern about movies and to create movies’ ranking.

However, the market significantly changed over the last ten years with the development of the digital movies at the expense of the physical DVD’s. As a result the market was progressively moving away from the physical DVD’s to a more digital business based market. Netflix has subsequently responded to this trend and has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Continue reading Recommendation system at Netflix