Matchmore, a start-up born at HEC Lausanne
Matchmore is an innovative start-up created at HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne (UNIL). It offers a cloud-based service for developers of location-based mobile apps and incorporates an innovative concept known as geomatching. Launched as part of a research project instigated around ten years ago by Prof. Benoît Garbinato, it has benefited from both InnoTREK funding and support from InnoSuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency. A look back at the stages in the launch of a cutting-edge start-up that combines research and technology.
What was the original idea behind Matchmore?
The original ideas that led to Matchmore were developed at HEC Lausanne in 2007, as part of the research carried out by Prof. Garbinato and his team. At the time, the focus of their work was extending existing algorithms and programming models, with the aim of facilitating the development of mobile apps using geolocation. Over the following years, Prof. Garbinato’s team began to explore other aspects from a scientific perspective, which allowed them to secure several SNSF grants. In 2010, their various research projects resulted in the creation of an initial demonstration app, which allowed people to communicate in their neighborhood using a smartphone, exchanging geolocated messages including some hash tagged words. Based on this initial prototype, Prof. Garbinato’s team then developed the Speak-Up application and Share my mood functionality, followed by the Smartcampus app. In 2011, Smartcampus became the first mobile app offered by a Swiss campus – in this case, UNIL – to its community.
One thing led to another and in 2014, the team secured an InnoTREK grant, followed in 2016 by financial support from InnoSuisse, two substantial backers of science and innovation. The funding allowed the team to productize and marketize the new geomatching technology. Professor Oyon (Department of Accounting and Control at HEC Lausanne) was also involved and thanks to him, and the co-founders Rafal Kowalski and Vincent Bozzo, the project was turned into a start-up, which was launched in January 2017, under the name Matchmore. The funding also allowed Matchmore to hire a team of full-time developers and business developers during the year of 2017. Two of them are HEC Lausanne Alumni: Michel de Marsano (as a Business Developer) and Jean-Marc Du (as an IT Business Analyst).
Matchmore is the result of both the extensive research carried out by the DOPLab – which is still ongoing – and the various developments of mobile apps, which have helped to pinpoint the needs that exist on the location-based apps market.
The tools of the future in a connected world
Today, mobile apps – notably on smartphones – are ubiquitous and offer multiple functionalities that are continuing to be developed in an ultra-connected world. Who doesn’t use at least one kind of social media or mapping app (such as Google Maps) on their smartphone on a daily basis? Yet all these platforms require numerous programming and geolocation tools, as well as specialist algorithms. Matchmore offers a cloud service to meet these needs, which allows developers to create dynamic apps quickly, with functionalities based on geographical proximity and geolocation. These are the technologies of the future, since they will be used increasingly by both businesses and individuals.
Along with the internet of things, which is fast becoming one of the next steps in the digital transformation, Matchmore appears to have a promising future ahead of it. Something the business angels clearly understood when they decided to invest in the start-up!
par Myriam Bango-Lepage (Faculté des HEC)