Indy Startup Adproval Simplifies Direct Advertising For Any Blogger [VIDEO]

Adproval, Matthew Anderson, Indiana startup, startup interview

Most of our readers know I’m into my 7th year as a full time blogger. Both of the new media startups I’ve founded produced fresh content six days a week. After creating Nibletz in the summer of 2011, I sold Thedroidguy the following spring to concentrate on Nibletz full time.

Like many of the serial entrepreneurs we’ve profiled here at Nibletz, I learned a lot of lessons from my previous startup, and at the same time brought with me habits from my previous startup as well.

With a new media startup (in a lot of cases a fancy schmancy word for blog), or as a full time blogger, and now one with a staff, people often wonder how we do it. There are so many people out there that think they can buy a $1.99 domain name, activate Word Press, and be in business. Well as Indianapolis startup Adproval’s, founder Mathew Anderson talks about in the video below, it’s not that easy. A lot of bloggers either stop blogging altogether or move to part time blogging because they can’t figure out how to monetize.

In 2013 there are so many different things involved in monetization, the least lucrative of those is ad networks. Through both sites we’ve tried just about every available ad network. Now with tech focused sites we’re at an even bigger loss because most of our readers are trained not to click network ads. With advertising though, the trick is to be engaging and to capture the attention of the reader. That’s why our state and local partnerships are the best way to reach an engaged audience of millions across the site and social media.

But attracting those partnerships takes a lot of time.

Even with a permanent Managing Editor on board and a co-founder picking up a lot of the backend work, I spend a lot of time working on direct sales.  Anderson is hoping to solve that problem, not just for us but for everyone.  Anderson explains his “aha moment” in his conversation with Nick Tippmann in the video below, and he shared a lot about it in our interview with him back in November.

Adproval provides a platform that makes it easy to reach targeted direct advertisers for whatever your niche in blogging is.

Are you blogging recipes, kite flying, paintball, or even tech? Adproval helps you set up their system to reach those advertisers or sponsors that will engage the audience.

At Thedroidguy we used one of the biggest and best ad networks in the world, outside of Google AdSense. Still, an Android-focused blog, we would get huge skyscraper or interstitial ads for macaroni and cheese, cleaning product,s and Brita water filters. As internet sensation Sweet Brown would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Here at Nibletz for instance, the best ads would be for startup lawyers, PR firms catering to startups, accelerators, startup conferences, the latest mobile technology, incubators, and coworking spaces. Our readers don’t care about Velveeta Shells & Cheese; they’re still eating Ramen noodles.

Adproval’s knack for connecting bloggers with the sponsors and advertisers that will fill these needs and actually get eyeballs is making the Indianapolis-based company successful.

Check out our video interview with Anderson below and for more info visit adproval.com


Do You Want to Build a Startup — Or a Small Business?

Neil Thanedar, LabDoor, Guest Post, startup tips, YECA couple months ago, I officially left my rapidly growing, profitable small business to launch a tech startup with a huge vision and zero salaries. Why did I do this? For me, it came down to the huge differences between a small business and a startup.

First off, the biggest difference between these two company types is in their top objectives. Small businesses are driven by profitability and stable long-term value, while startups are focused on top-end revenue and growth potential. Steve Blank’s three-minute definition provides great insight.

Earlier this year, I also got the opportunity to meet Mark Cuban, Kevin Plank, and Scott Case, who asked me a classic question with a special motive: “What do you want out of your life in five years?” I knew how Cuban and Plank had made eight-figure companies in their twenties, so I said, “Thirty million dollars,” thinking it would impress them. Instead, Plank said, “That’s a terrible goal!”

That remains the best piece of business advice I have ever gotten. Instead of focusing on great products and huge customer bases, I was too focused on dollar amounts — a small-business mentality instead of a startup mentality. I spent the rest of the weekend working with Case on new business models and products, and left these meetings with a grand new business idea.

My startup journey led me to launch LabDoor. LabDoor provides report cards for  your medicine cabinet. Products are graded based on safety, efficacy, and price. Behind the scenes, technical experts analyze top FDA, clinical and independent lab data that informs the product safety apps. Building this startup has been the perfect opportunity to continue my obsession with science, while greatly expanding the amount of people that will benefit from this research.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with starting your entrepreneurial career with a small business. Building a solid financial base will help create a longer personal financial runway for future startup ventures. Also, establishing a successful small business can build credibility and networks through the business community that will be hugely valuable when launching a startup that requires outside angel and VC investments. But while you do that, be careful not to get too comfortable with a steady paycheck.

How do you decide which one is for you? First, ask yourself, what is my tolerance for risk? And what is my tolerance for failure? Because no matter where you are in your life, it is a great exercise to stop everything and visualize your absolute top-end potential. It’s the kind of brainstorming you did as a kid, when you imagined being the President or, even better, an astronaut.

Then, start by deciding the biggest problem in the world that you want to solve.  Develop your ideal solution to this problem, and then invite your trusted friends and family to poke holes in it. Iterate until you’ve got an awesome idea. If you can build a great team around your awesome solution, now you can stretch one foot into the world of startups.

Finally, determine your top objective. Is your long-term goal to build a nest egg or make a dent in the universe?

What do you really want out of your life in five years?

Neil Thanedar is the founder and CEO of LabDoor, a mobile health startup providing consumer-focused product safety ratings. At 24, Neil is the visionary and scientific mind behind a company seeking to replace the FDA and Big Pharma as our top sources of safety information about pharmaceuticals, supplements, and cosmetics.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

Check out our interview with Neil Thanedar here.


BlueBridge Digital Founder Talks About One Year Journey From College To 15 Employees

BlueBridge Digital, Indiana startup,startup interviewLast year Santiago Jaramillo was a senior in college. From his dorm room, he created a business building apps for other businesses. What happened over the next year is a story much more common to Silicon Valley and New York than Indiana. Jaramillo took that app-building business and turned it into his startup: BlueBridge Digital, a company that does “apps as a service”.

BlueBridge Digital is an app development company that specializes in three verticals: travel and tourism, higher education, and religious institutions. Their clients include Gatlinburg, Tennessee, University of Arkansas, and several well known large churches.

One of the biggest things that sets BlueBridge Digital apart from other app development houses is their subscription model. They charge their clients a monthly fee rather than making them come out of pocket with one big payment, something that often times prevents companies in their verticals from going forward with their app projects.

By focusing on just three main verticals, making their service accessible to businesses, and offering superior customer service, Jaramillo’s startup is cash flow positive and employs 15 people, just a year out of college.

Jaramillo told Nibletz co-founder Nick Tippmann in an interview that one of the biggest keys to his success was focusing on sales and getting people to actually pay for his services. This made it easier to attract a great team of established co-founders, great employees, and more clients. With all that in mind, Jaramillo was able to bootstrap BlueBridge Digital to revenue.

Check out the video interview below and for more visit bluebridgeapps.com

37 signals founder Jason Fried talks about product design.


When Sh!t Hits The Fan, There’s Indiana Startup Evacua

Evacua, Indiana startup, innovation showcase, startup,startup interview

Bloomington, Indiana startup Evacua is a platform/marketplace for people when sh!t hits the fan. What kind of sh!t? How about evacuations.

Often times when an evacuation is necessary, nobody is prepared. That lack of preparation makes an evacuation take 10x as long as it would if more people were ready. Hurricanes, wildfires, and floods are just a few of the disasters that can displace you and your family. If you had a safety network in your back pocket ,you would breathe easier and know that anything dictating an evacuation would be more manageable.

Evacua is a network of verified travelers, companies, and transportation providers that can quickly pool resources together during an evacuation.

Evacua isn’t just about natural disasters and what you would think of as traditional “evacuations.” It’s an emergency travel safety net. If you were on a business trip and your wife went into labor or you had a death in the family, Evacua members would have access to last minute travel without the huge cost of paying commercially for it.

The startup accelerated at RunUp Labs, the travel industry accelerator based out of Bloomington, Indiana’s SproutBox. The idea is to quickly connect its members to be mobilized and ready travel companies and providers at a moment’s notice. At the same time, they are also working on the rideshare model for aircraft.

“Simultaneously, we are fixing the ride sharing model for aircrafts. By using a low cost to entry, we can appeal to a broader base of travelers. During emergencies, this base of travelers is more flexible with price, destination, and departure times, allowing for more likely matches of flights and passengers,” the company says on it’s AngelList profile.

Nibletz’ Nick Tippmann was in Indiana for the Innovation Showcase last week where he got to spend some time with Mike Beckwith the General Manager and co-founder of Evacua. Check out our video interview below and for more info visit evacua.com



NW Indiana Startup Just Food Brings Real Food To Feeding Tubes

Just Food, Indiana startup,startupsIt’s hard enough for someone that has to be fed via feeding tube. Typically they get corn syrup based mixtures packed with artificial ingredients mixed with vitamins and nutrients they need to survive. While the food used in feeding tubes is doing the job it’s not necessarily “good” for the patient.

Now, a North West Indiana startup called Just Food is hoping to bring better food to the feeding tube. They resorted to indiegogo for a crowdfunding campaign for $10,000 to help get the project off the ground. With 22 days to go as of the writing of this story, Just Food has already past their goal.

While some people already blend foods for their feeding tubes it can be a long process and if the foods aren’t blended right they don’t have the same effects. Just Food blends the food mixtures for the patients at a cost of roughly $4 per meal. Several researchers and doctors have praised using real food over formula for feeding tubes.

“The patients I see with feeding tubes who follow a blended diet tend to be healthier than those who are fed 100% formula” -Dr. Beth Madonna, a pediatric surgeon and advisor to Just Food said.

The Just Food mixtures contain whole grains, lean protein, fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, spice and liquid.  Each Just Food meal is a complete meal of just 7 ingredients.

Just Food isn’t looking to replace people’s personally blended foods, but their packages are better than resorting to formula when the patient and their caretakers get too busy to blend up some food. Just Food is ready to go when it’s shipped and is ready to use. “Many in the medical community believe that a blended diet is (1) too hard on the families, (2) puts the patient at risk for contamination, (3) formula is just fine, (4) will clog the tube. Just Food addresses (and negates!) all these beliefs. ” Just Food said on their indiegogo page.

So how did Just Food come about?

“I started Just Food when my son, AJ, couldn’t tolerate any of the commercially available tube-feeding formulas, despite the fact that he had no allergies,” said Julie Bombacino, Founder, Just Food said in a statement. “When I started blending AJ’s meals from 100-percent real food, he started to thrive; he stopped vomiting daily, began to gain weight and the color came back to his skin – he was just a happier and healthier kid. My ultimate goal with Just Food is that people with feeding tubes know that real food is not only possible, but easier to obtain than ever before.”

You can check out Just Food on Indeigogo here and on their website here.

This startup could be world changing, but what about all the other “world changing” startups.


Learn to Pitch BEFORE You Start Raising Capital

Dr. Tony Ratliff - tonyratliff.comIt only took about six months of deal flow and a handful of “pitches” before I realized that most entrepreneurs are really, really bad at “selling themselves” and “pitching” their ideas and companies to investors.

I cringe every time I listen to a great start-up idea or read a well-written executive summary, and then watch in horror as the founder stumbles and trips throughout the “pitch.”  So many good ideas and businesses never get funding and/or fail to receive the benefits of a properly funded startup – all because of a poor presentation during the “pitch.”

The sad part is that as I’m sitting there taking notes, I’m thinking to myself, if only I could have spent a few hours with this poor guy or gal BEFORE his/her presentation. We could have highlighted “this or that,” deleted a whole section here, added more about “this” and not talked about “that” –then they probably would have at least gotten a second look and due diligence follow-up.

This is not the only way to give a “pitch,” but hopefully it will help improve your presentation and increase your chances of obtaining funds.  By following these eight simple suggestions you’ll be setting yourself apart from the other poor “pitches.”

1. Tell us what you do in as few words as possible.

Maybe it’s me, but it seems like most Angels and VCs are people with type “A” personalities. We have short attention spans and don’t like to waste time. Give us the “short version,” and if or when we ask questions, then you can provide us with more details. The first thing we want to do is understand what it is that you do – in plain and simple English. Next on the list, we want to know what problem you solve and why your solution is important to your customer.

2. What’s the plan? How does it scale?

As investors, we aren’t always interested in your product, but we are interested in “returns.” Your mission statement is important to me, but what is really rolling around in my head while you’re up there giving us the “pitch” is: Will this work? Is this the right guy/gal for the job? How much money will we be able to make when we sell our shares? Does this thing scale? Explain to me how you are going to market and grow the business. Most investors are in it to make a profit, and if your business doesn’t scale, it probably won’t be very profitable. I’m not interested.

3. Talk about the team.

This is very important to investors. Don’t just put up a slide of your team and their past job experiences. Tell us why you’ve assembled this team for this opportunity and highlight your expertise. We know everyone has to start somewhere. Personally, I like to see and hear your passion about the product. Because, I know that passionate people find ways to get things done when they hit the “bumps in the road,” and there will always be “bumps” along the startup highway. Startups are hard; passionate people can make it over the “bumps”.

4. What’s your go-to-market strategy?

Your great idea is useless if no one hears about it or knows it even exists. So many people spend time developing a great product, only to find out no one wants it. How are you going to get it into the hands of your customers? What is your Marketing plan? What is your customer acquisition cost? Do you have any sales channels besides your sales team?

5. What is your competitive advantage?

Chances are that you’re not the first person to see this problem and offer a solution. There are probably about 28 people working on the exact same problem in some form or another. As VCs, we have probably heard a “similar” pitch within the last several months, if not weeks. More often than not, it’s not about the idea, but about “execution of that idea” that we are all betting on. Tell us “what it is” that your team brings to the table that can help you out-execute your competition – your IP, your marketing advantage, your knowledge or your network?

6. Let us touch and feel your product.

A short demo or actual product sample is really key. I want to use it, at least see it. Is it simple? Does it solve your customer’s problem? Is it easy to use from a user’s point of view? We don’t need to understand all the features or really any of the code – I just want to know that it’s clean, works and is simple to use. It’s hard to invest in things that look too complicated and things we can’t fully understand.

7. Expose your weaknesses before we do.

Successful people understand their strengths and weaknesses. Go ahead and acknowledge your weaknesses because I guarantee that everyone in the room is asking themselves: What is it that I don’t like about this? Where are the holes in this plan? What’s holding me back from investing in these people? Does this team have what it takes? Let us know about the risks you see moving forward and tell us how you plan to handle them. Be honest.

8. Show us the FINANCIALS.

It’s hard to forecast projections for an early stage company, but show us what you’ve got; we know they’re probably wrong anyway. Explain what it will take to double or triple the sales and what kind of timeframe you will need to accomplish this. We also want to know your “breakeven” numbers. Plus, as investors we don’t particularly like to see the funds going to Founder salaries; we want you spending money in marketing, development, and sales. Oh, and make sure you tell us how much money you are trying to raise. What’s the Ask?

This isn’t the only way to get funded, but I hope it helps. If you nail these 8 key points in the “pitch” and can answer some basic questions about your product, valuation, and your competition, you’ll have a much better chance of raising funds and building your awesome company.

Dr. Tony Ratliff is a dad, dentist, entrepreneur and investor in the Indianapolis Start-up Community. He practices dentistry throughout the week, but has a passion for angel investing, business strategies, technology and start-ups. You can follow him @drtonyratliff or check out his blog Venture Capital, Start-ups and Dentistry.

Indy Startup SteadyServ, A Beer Startup That Monitors The Keg

kegsWe’ve all been there, either a party where the keg is tapped dry way before it’s time, or trapsing through the bar district to find that bars are out of your favorite brew on tap. That’s how the story of SteadyServ actually started.

SteadyServ is an Indianapolis based startup founded by Steve Hershberger after a buddy came into town to visit him, only to find out their favorite kegs at their favorite spots were tapped dry. That got Hershberger’s entrepreneurial wheels turning. What he found out from bar owners and bartenders was that it’s very hard to monitor how much is left in a keg.

SteadyServ,iKeg,Indianapolis startup,Indy startup,startup“He flies into town, and we go to Mass Ave,” Hershberger told the Indianapolis Business Journal. “We went to four bars, and they were all out. So we finally went back to the hotel and ordered one of the beers the bar had. It was just a beer he wasn’t really looking forward to having. His parting shot was, ‘Gee, Steve, you really let me down on this.’”

Sure if you’ve got one guy sitting by your keg all night and keeping track of the filled Red Solo Cups you may get a rough estimate but other than that it’s a shot in the dark. So what’s an entrepreneur to do? Put sensors and an app in the keg of course.

The heart of SteadyServ is a sensor laden device that monitors how much is left of the keg. When the keg is getting low it can alert customers, bartenders and bar management that the keg is running low. Sure we can all tell when last call is upon us, but imagine hanging out with buddies, drinking your favorite brew on tap and then getting a notification that the well is drying up. This will insure that you can get that one last glass before you have to switch brews.

So is this for real? Absolutely. Not only that but Hershberger reports that he’s already secured $1.5 million from investors to develop what’s being called the iKeg prototype.

In addition to the convenience the iKeg will provide to bars and their patrons, Hershberger has developed a data protocol within the iKeg that will provide valuable information on real time beer inventory control for bar owners on how customers are consuming beer.  With the current keg inventory process so flawed, bar owners will quickly learn how fast their kegs are running out and they’ll be able to stop selling the beer that doesn’t sell and order more of the beer that does.

The data will also be valuable to distributors that SteadyServ will sell it too. As new bars and restaurants open up they ask the distributors what’s hot and what’s not. Now rather than base this information on what bars are really ordering they can base it on what customers are really drinking.

Hershberger already has some heavy hitters on his board of advisers including David Coors of Coors Brewing Company, the namesake family. Jeff Ready; CEO of Indianapolis-based Scale Computing Inc.; and Pat Canavan, former senior vice president of global governance for Motorola are also board members.

Most of their $1.5 million dollars came from angel investors however Indiana’s Elevate Ventures has committed $125, 000 to SteadyServ.

“The iKeg solution is breaking into a $21 billion draft beer industry where there’s incredible potential,” Elevate CEO Steve Hourigan said in a prepared statement. “It’s exciting and gratifying to see a company like SteadyServ make its home in Indiana, and we’re proud to say that we support their team and the business they’re building.”

You can find out more about SteadyServ at SteadyServ.com

SplitBin says they’re the Wolverine of Wine Startups. 


Cancer: Bad Ass Startup Chick Denver Hutt Reminds Us We’re Entrepreneurs, Not Super Heroes

Denver Hutt, Speak Easy Indy, Indianapolis startup,startup,startup news, Cancer

Denver Hutt (center) surrounded by entrepreneurs. (photo: Facebook)


Back in March, Executive Director of the Speak Easy co-working and startup event space in Indianapolis, Denver Hutt, was our Bad Ass Startup Chick here at Nibletz. We chose Hutt because she’s an Indy lover by choice, deciding to stick around Indianapolis after college. She’s a native of Santa Monica, and who gives up the gorgeous weather, sandy beaches and west coast lifestyle for the middle of the country?

A woman who is uber passionate about startups, entrepreneurs and community, that’s who.

Well like many of us Hutt lives the entrepreneur lifestyle. We originally met her last year on the sneaker strapped road trip when we stopped at a Verge Indy event held at the SpeakEasy. She then came and visited us in Memphis in February for everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, and a month later we spent most of the week with her at SXSW.

Hutt’s been shoulder deep in running Indy’s awesome coworking space, finding mentors to help the Indy startup scene and working on the next big thing for Indianapolis startups. With a plate that full she lives the round the clock pace that we’re all accustomed to. She’s the kind of person you can ping at 3am on a random Tuesday to fact check a story or 8am on a Saturday morning to confirm details of events. She, like many entrepreneurs, goes round the clock.

That’s why when she came down with a cough over a month and a half ago, she just kept going.  The cough became pneumonia. The pneumonia became double pneumonia and she ended up with two fractured ribs from coughing so much.

“I have had a cough for quite some time. More than simply being annoying, after weeks of coughing I developed pneumonia, and because I don’t like to give things just 50%, my pneumonia turned into double pneumonia. And two fractured ribs. (How’s that for commitment?!) As my cough continued despite multiple antibiotics, my doctor and I decided to begin more serious testing to determine the underlying cause.” Hutt said in an email to her community members at the Speak Easy which she shared with Nibletz today.

It was determined that the 26 year old bad ass startup chick was staring down the barrel of cancer.

On May 17th Denver began treatment at the IU Simon Cancer Center. She says she’s in good hands at her alma mater. She seemed in very good spirits when we talked with her today, and she is determined to continue to grow the Speak Easy while undergoing treatment.

There’s no exact prognosis just yet. Treatment has just started and her doctors are still determining exactly what kind of cancer it is. Denver is obviously a fighter and she will attack this cancer with the same vigor she’s been leading the Indianapolis startup community with.

When we spoke with her this morning we didn’t want to tell the, “oh my god Denver Hutt has cancer story,” instead her and I decided the story that should be told is that no matter how fast you’re moving, what you’re working on or how close you are to closing that round, you need to take care of your health and your body. That $1 million dollar series A round isn’t going to do you a bit of good if you’re not around to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Denver had previously committed to being on the “Bad Ass Startup Chicks” panel at the next everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference. She assured me today that she will still make that appearance next February.

STOP When’s the last time you took care of you?

Find the SpeakEasy here
Denver’s message to friends and family here
Information on health insurance for entrepreneurs available through Startup America here

Indiana Startup Stacked Labs Takes To Kickstarter With Their Go Go Gadget iPhone Case System

GoStacked,StackedLabs,Indiana StartupIndiana startup Stacked Labs, headed by Ryan Lantz is taking to Kickstarter with one of the most ingenious iPhone accessories I’ve ever seen. I was originally going to title this story “Indiana Startup Stacked Labs Takes To Kickstarter To Take On Mophie” but once I spent a little time on their website at gostacked.com, their product is about so much more than charging.

GoStacked is an interchangeable iPhone case system, now we’re not talking about pink cases, neon cases or rhinestones, we’re talking abut accessorizing your iPhone with things you could really use.  The GoStacked system features a protective case with a port where you can slide in a GoStacked card.

Right now, Stacked Labs is prepared to launch with a GoSolar card and a GoBattery card for those that need charging power on the go. The cards are much more easy to manage when you’re on the go. Three or four cards will actually fit in your pocket. GoStacked has just about answered the call as to what to do when your JuicePack runs out.

With the GoStacked modular system you could in essence by three battery cards and insure your phone will never lose charge.

Now in the infamous words of the late great Billy Mays, “that’s not all”.

StackedLabs is working on developing some other really cool cards. These new card ideas include:

A wifi booster card
Key Fob to interact with your car
Hard Drive
NFC Reader
FM Transmitter

We hear there may be even more ideas beyond those.

Stacked Labs is an Indiana startup focused on technology to help people with their every day needs. It’s founded by brothers Ryan and Troy Lantz. Who have the technical and business backgrounds to pull something like this off.

Right now they are a little over 20% of the way to their $75,000 kickstarter goal. I’d fund the whole thing if I could, the GoStacked case system adds just about every function you could ever want for your iPhone in one modular system.

You can support GoStacked on Kickstarter here and find out more about them here.

What else is going on with Indiana startups find out here at nibletz.com The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else.

Indianapolis Startup MileTrack GPS Makes Tracking Miles & Reimbursement A Breeze

MileTrackGPS,Indianapolis startup,startupsIndianapolis based serial entrepreneur Andrew Westberg has shifted focus back to his hardware startup called MileTrack GPS. This GPS device combines wireless communications with GPS coordinates for the express reason of tracking your mileage.

The device, that plugs into your cars cigarette outlet adapter, is perfect for recording mileage and then getting reimbursed for it. It’s also perfect for companies that need to track the whereabouts of their field employees without systems that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Now of course with smartphones and the latest stand alone GPS devices there are several ways of tracking mileage, but none are as easy or plug and play as MileTrack GPS. The compact device plugs into the car and then shakes hands with a wireless network. It’s doing this for almanac data, to get a better fixed GPS signal and then to dump data back to the cloud-based MileTrack GPS website.

Westberg’s demo video below, shows exactly how the device operates. You may notice in watching the video though, that it can be as easy as just putting in the car and letting it run. The device and website are doing all the work for you.

At the end of the month (or day, however you calculate your mileage) you can see all of the trips you’ve taken. You can label the trips you take most frequently and then you can notate next to the trip whether it was business or personal.  The settings tab allows the user to input the reimbursement rates for business mileage and it has the ability to input different mileage for different businesses.

This is ideal for freelancers who bill clients by the mile at different rates.  You can easily notate personal trips as well and take them out of the reimbursement calculations.

After all of the data parameters are set, the system just about runs itself. After the user has reconciled their mileage it gives an overall calculation for reimbursement that can then be printed off, along with a record of the miles actually driven.  You can even go back in the MileTrack system and see where you went, what streets you were on and what places you stopped.

You can find out more about MileTrackGPS here

Or support them on Kickstarter here.


Startup Front, There’s Something Brewing Outside Of Chicago

We’re pretty confident that over the course of the last year Chicago’s thriving tech startup scene has proven the folks at PandoDaily wrong, very wrong. Chicago has one of the fastest growing startup tech scenes in the world. Their 1871 incubator and startup epicenter is amazing, producing hit after hit and now home to TechStars Chicago.
It’s this eruption of startup activity that got serial entrepreneur Kelly Schwedland and entrepreneur Nat Finn talking about what they could do on the other side of Chicago, in Valparaiso Indiana.

We’ve reported on Indiana’s other thriving startup communities, like Indianapolis, home to the Speak Easy, Developer Town and Verge Indy events. We even featured Speak Easy Executive Director Denver Hutt as one of our Bad Ass Startup Chicks.

Now, those in Northwest Indiana don’t need to head into the big city to have access to startup resources thanks to Schwedland, Finn and a host of other collaborators.

Startup Front started out as a lunch meet up for tech leaders, entrepreneurs and startup founders. Like every great startup though, they pivoted and have now become an accelerator, which will launch next year, with a ten year plan of cranking out at least 2 startups per session ripe for an IPO.

Nibletz co-founder and new CEO, Nick Tippmann,  was a guest speaker at the kick off event for the new Startup Front last week in Valparaiso. Over the next two weeks we will feature a series of videos from Startup Front that discuss building startup communities in the heartland.

Check out the video below where Tippmann interviews both Finn and Schwedland. They discuss bringing some of the attributes of the third largest city in the United States, just miles down the road to North West Indiana.

Check out Startup Front at startupfront.org

We’ve got more startup stories from Indiana here at nibletz.com

Tourize Gamifys Sign Up Process With Madness In March

Tourize,Indiana Startup,startupIndiana startup Tourize is working on a new way to travel.  Where most travel apps focus on booking flights or hotels cheaply, Andrew Heil, founder of Tourize, wants to put the “tour” back into travel.

“We believe that often times knowledge is missing as each tourist experiences a new attraction or is planning a new trip.’ Heil told nibletz.com in an interview. They’re currently accelerating in the “RunUp Labs, the travel technology accelerator which runs through demo day on May 10th.

RunUp Labs is part of a new wave of vertical accelerators, that many accelerator proponents feel is the model to go with. This accelerator only caters to startups in the travel sector and as such they can refine their mentors.

” It’s been great.  My team and I have been working around the clock and of course learning a whole lot.” Heil said about RunUp Labs and the program they offer.

So how do you get people to sign up for a beta of a startup that’s doing things differently, especially if you’re based “everywhere else”. Well you do what it takes to create excitement and buzz and in the case of Tourize that means taking advantage of the NCAA tournament with their Madness in March sign up promotion.

Heil said “I thought if “Hipster” could get 10k signups with just a launch page and mailbox app could make a que of 600k signups, certainly I could make madness in march happen!”

“And it’s starting to – we launched on Sunday 3/24 and have already passed 1,000 page views rather quickly in the first 5 hours.  We’ve continued to that rate and are at 2,500 page views in the first 36 hours.  After reaching out to people who have signed up, people are interested in the hype of a new way to travel and of course, being part of the tournament!” Heil continued.

Tourize is tweeting out the tournament stats via their Twitter feed @tourizeapp.

They will shortly narrow down the field to see who the final four early adopters of Tourize are.

You can find out more about Tourize here.

Thinking about an accelerator check out these startup accelerator stories.

Bad Ass Startup Chicks: Denver Hutt, Executive Director Speak Easy Indy.

Denver Hutt,Speakeasy Indy,bad ass startup chicks,startup,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiWe first met Denver Hutt in person when the first leg of the nibletz nationwide startup roadtrip went through Indiana. We were at Verge Indy that particular night and the co-working space for startups was packed. That’s because Executive Director Denver Hutt plays an integral role in the Indianapolis startup community.

Hutt oversees the SpeakEasy coworking space, plans events and mentors startup. She is also working on developing the first ever nationwide network for coworking spaces.

Hutt is in tune with the startup community in Indianapolis and wears many hats. She also loves to check out what works and doesn’t work for co-working spaces and like any true founder, she knows that iteration gets to perfection.

One of the main reasons she’s a bad ass startup chick is because she doesn’t just stay in Indianapolis, she likes to go to where the action is and help startups wherever she can. She was one of over 1200 attendees at Everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, 2013.

Check out our video interview with Hutt below and for more info on SpeakEasy, visit speakeasyindy.com


Here’s more startup coverage at SXSW 2013

Seed Hatchery Announces 6 Team Class Of 2013

Seed Hatchery, Accelerator, Memphis Startup, Indiana Startup, startup newsMemphis’ tech startup accelerator program, now in it’s third year, Seed Hatchery, has unveiled the six startup teams participating in it’s 2013 cohort. The cohort will begin next week on February 8th and end with a Demo Day during the legendary Memphis in May Barbecue Festival.  The applications were plentiful and this years class features five local startups as well as one startup from Indiana. Also new for Seed Hatchery, and a growing trend across America, three of the startups are led by women.

Seed Hatchery teams will receive seed funding as well as an intense mentor driven program designed to cultivate their idea stage businesses and turn them into viable companies/products.

This year’s Seed Hatchery program will be full time. It also features teams that have been heavily vested in the Memphis startup ecosystem driven by the efforts of Launch Your City/Launch Memphis. Most of the teams, prior to even applying to Seed Hatchery, elected to participate in the Startup Village as part of the upcoming evverywhereelse.co, The Startup Conference.

Here are the teams:


Mentor.me is led by Brittanny Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick pitched her startup at the Upstart Memphis 48 Hour Launch in December. Fitzpatrick has been working for the Ronald McDonald House in conjunction with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which led her to developing this idea.

Mentor.me is essentially a match.com system for matching mentors with mentees. Every year mentor organizations are faced with a problem stemming from mismatched mentors and mentees. This problem actually takes up more time and resources than originally matching mentors. Mentor.me will be an algorithm based platform that matches mentors with mentees in a more efficient way.


IncreaseIF plans to match provides cost-analysis software to help scientific researchers figure out which in-house resources should be used. Several factors go into the decision making process for evaluating using an outsourced firm by scientific researchers. These factors include cost, quality, delivery responsiveness, technology and cycle turn around time.

IncreaseIF, where the IF stands for, impact factor, will help automate these decision making processes and speed up the time of scientific research. The startup is led by software engineer Scott Finney, a Memphis local who’s been dabbling in the startup scene and anxious to push forward with this new idea.


Kangaroo is another local startup co-founded by CEO Nick Redmond and Rachel Hurley, one of the three startups featuring a female founder. Hurley is very active in the Memphis local music scene where the passion for this startup came about.  She’s constantly promoting singer songwriters and local bands through venues in town.  Redmond is one of the songwriters and founders of Star & Micey a local band which was named the number one band to see live  in Tennessee by Paste Magazine.

The idea is to create a social network around bands and music.  Sure that idea has been done a hundred times but Hurley and Redmond are putting a brand new spin on it by incorporating geocaching. With Kangaroo they plan to create a platform where touring bands and bands in town can leave behind hidden treasures. Fans can also turn around and leave tokens of appreciation for their favorite bands

“We want to abolish the limited creativity and loss of the personal touch with social media today. Connecting with fans is the only problem musicians have, and this is a huge opportunity to connect people and musicians in a active, real-time environment. From seeking out left behind items by musicians, to taking their personalized walking tours, to following them across a coast, this app and site allows the fans the most hands on experience in social media.” Hurley said.

ScrewPulp Publishing

ScrewPulp is an exciting startup for Memphis. It was originally pitched at the 48 Hour Launch event in June of 2012, the same 48 Hour launch that attracted nibletz.com to Memphis in the first place.

At the event, founder Richard Billings described the problems with self publishing. Self publishers live off reviews, ratings and recommendations which are impossible to drive in any organized way.  Screw Pulp allows authors to give their book away to the first 100 readers, in exchange for a review (good or bad), rating or recommendation. Once the engagement is made the “promo copy” of the book is the readers to keep.

After the first 100 books Screw Pulp goes with a sliding payment scale increasing the cost of the book while it gains popularity. Billings has become a fixture in the local startup scene. Since pitching ScrewPulp in that 48 Hour launch he has been to subsequent launch events where he’s provided feedback and mentorship. They also won the “Risk City” challenge in November as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week in November. That contest involved the startups pitching their idea to Federal Court Judge John Fowlkes in open court.


Sodbuster is the startup that is relocating from Indiana. This startup has a different spin when it comes to founders. The husband and wife team of Tom and Pam Cooper both graduated from college in the early 80’s. They both have had long and prosperous careers in their field. Now they’re going all in on their social entrepreneurship startup.

The team has the benefit of Tom’s 30+ years of experience in programming running the gamut of programming languages from COBOL to C++ and newer languages like HTML 5 and Ruby on Rails.

Sodbuster is reinventing the way local nonprofits connect to their communities to communicate and raise money. They plan on doing this with a new e-newsletter format.


Musistic was founded by Justin Olita, Vince Rogers and CTO Brian Wentzloff. This Memphis based startup wants to become the universal place for musicians to connect in a social network type setting. Once the musicians are matched up through an algorithm the platform will offer the tools necessary to collaborate with each other across the internet and even save the recordings.

Basically imagine a guitar player in Memphis, a bass player in New Hampshire, a drummer in Los Angeles and a singer in Texas. All four musicians can meet up through Musistic where their interests, styles and experience will be matched. They can then jump right into performing together from the comfort of their own homes.

The problem is that there is no universal network for musicians to create, edit and share in real time and all startups for musicians are focusing only on selling and promoting the artist’s work.
Musistic will focus on the creation process” Rogers said.

For more info on Seed Hatchery visit seedhatchery.com here

Seed Hatchery startups will be featured at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, do you have your tickets yet? Get them here!

 Disclosure: In the interest of journalistic integrity I am compelled to disclose that while I hold no equity interest in any of the startups in the Seed Hatchery program I am a mentor for the program and also on the selection committee.