Cincinnati & Pittsburgh, A Startup City Swap?

Pittsburgh, RustBuilt, Cintrifuse, Cincinnati Startups

Sports rivalries are intense between Pittsburgh, PA and Cincinnati OH (home to the Everywhere Else Cincinnati Conference). Of course there’s the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals but also the Pirates and the Reds. Enough to make a grown person very passionate. Another thing people in both cities are passionate about is entrepreneurship and startups.

Pittsburgh has several startup initiatives including Built In Pittsburgh and Rustbuilt. Cincinnati has Cintrifuse, The Brandery, and CincyTech. This year Cincinnati also has the national Everywhere Else startup conference.  Leaders in both startup communities thought the natural sports rivalries created a unique synergy of sorts that could help entrepreneurs in each city learn from each other.

So to further those ideas, Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse and Pittsburgh’s RustBuilt accelerator are holding a city swap on the last two Fridays of the month.

On Friday September 20th Rustbuilt will host a group of Cincinnati entrepreneurs from Cintrifuse at their facility in Pittsburgh, just in time for RustBuilt Night at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Entrepreneurs from both cities will enjoy each other’s company, share best practices, and then take in a night of baseball as the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Cincinnati Reds.

Then, the following week, Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse will host a group from RustBuilt for either startup speed dating or a startup crawl of sorts, still to be determined.  Then the startups will enjoy an evening of baseball at the Great American Ballpark as the Reds host the Pirates.

But wait there’s more. Pittsburgh entrepreneur Kit Mueller tells us that several of the Pittsburgh startups will stay all weekend long and attend the Everywhere Else conference beginning that Sunday night.

Tickets for Rustbuilt night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh September 20th can be found here.

Info on the Cintrifuse event at the Cincinnati Reds game can be found here.

Go register for Everywhere Else Cincinnati here.


Philly’s Novotorium Announces New Seed Funding Program

_novotoriumPUBPhiladelphia’s Novotorium continues to support health, wellness, and nutrition startups across the Philadelphia region. We’ve covered Novotorium quite a bit over the last 18 months and their progress has been fun to watch.

The team backing the startup support organization wants to get in with companies in their wheelhouse as early as possible, sometimes backing companies as early as a business plan stage or during the development of a companies minimum viable product (MVP). More often than not, companies at that early a stage are turned away and can’t develop without funding, especially in health and wellness sectors.

Novotorium has announced a week’s worth of programming geared towards the earliest stage companies. The program runs the week of September 16-20 and at the end of the week those that participated will be part of a business plan competition on September 23rd. The competition will have a $2500 prize, but Novotorium will consider all participants for possible future investments ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

Novotorium, Seed Funding, startups, Philly startups“Our goal with this program is to work with companies in the early stages of developing a business plan and creating the first iteration of their business. We are looking forward to helping them build out their plans and create their minimum viable products. We anticipate that we will be able to offer seed funding to several companies,” Novotorium Managing Director Stuart Segal said in a statement.

Novotorium’s Marketing and Business Director, Chuck Hall, summarized the program on their blog:

During each day of the week-long program — September 16 through 20 —  Novotorium partners will be on hand at Novotorium in Langhorne to offer classes and hold office hours on key parts of creating and launching a business — finance, law, marketing, sales, operations, lean startup, agile development, technology, health care products and markets and more. This is a completely free week of sessions, with the goal of helping entrepreneurs accepted into this program move forward with their business plans and business implementation efforts.

On Friday, September 20, business plans and business development efforts will be vetted, with approved startups slotted into presentation times for Monday, September 23. Entrepreneurs will be asked to present to a Novotorium panel that will then determine the winner of the competition. The winner will receive the top prize of $2,500 in cash and $3,000 in services at Novotorium over a 30-day period.

Companies wishing to participate in the program must apply on the Novotorium website using the ordinary application form. Applicants should note “TBD” in any part of the application that is yet to be determined. Applicants should also note “Applying for September Program” in the “What Else?” section of the application.

Interested? Hit the application link above


Scholarship Funds Set Up On Indiegogo For Teenage Pennsylvania Heroes

Temar Boggs, Chris Garcia, Indiegogo, Crowdfunding

Back in July a 5 year old girl named Jocelyn Rojas was abducted from her Lancaster, Pennsylvania home. Meanwhile an incoming freshman, 15-year-old Temar Boggs, was helping a neighbor move a couch into her home. While they were moving the couch, Rojas’ mother hysterically asked them of they had seen her daughter. Boggs and friend Chris Garcia immediately joined the search for the little girl by foot.

Many sites, like the Huffington Post, reported that the two teenage boys thought it would be more effective to continue the search on their bikes.  The neighborhood they all live in is filled with dead ends and strange cul-de-sacs. The local police were already on the scene and congregating at some of the intersections in the neighborhood. This made the abductor drive in and out of the backstreets and look very suspicious.

Boggs saw that suspicious maroon car and kept up with it on his bike for 15 minutes, eventually making eye contact with the suspect and the little girl. The suspect eventually wanted to flee and knew his cover was blown, so he pushed the little girl out of the passenger seat. She ran straight to Boggs. Many news outlets report that once in Boggs’ arms, the young Rojas didn’t want to leave the boy’s protection. He eventually convinced her that it was safe to go with the police.

If you choked up a bit during this story, you did the same thing as Mary O’Donnell, a complete stranger from Dunkirk, New York.

“I just felt like, ‘God, I would love to do something for these kids’,” O’Donnell told Lancaster Online by phone. “And I figured there were probably lots of other people who felt the same way.”

She jumped into action, launching a college fund campaign on popular crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Now we typically cover Indiegogo when someone is creating a new and exciting gadget or product. We’ve even used Indiegogo to crowdfund our sneaker strapped startup road trip. But after seeing how easy it was for O’Donnell to put some action where her mouth was, we found this story about crowdfunding to be an amazing one.

O’Donnell set out to raise $10,000 which she planned to give to Boggs and Garcia’s families for college. However, four days after putting up the site it was already over-funded. In fact with 23 days left, as we publish this story there is well over $15,000 raised. It looks like they’ll have no problem clearing $25,000.

Right about the same time David Reed, a 59-year-old retired pilot from Missouri also established a fund for the boys. He is hoping to raise $100,000.

“I’m sure that’s a lucky expectation, but with the cost of college these days, I figured it would be great to help them out. They certainly deserve it,” Reed said in an interview. His fund has raised over $2500 to date.

Tamika Boggs, Temar’s mother, has also set up a scholarship fund in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. More information on that can be found here.

Crowdfunding will be a hot topic at this national startup conference.


Facebook Acquires Pittsburgh Speech Recognition And Translation Startup

Jibbigo, Pittsburgh Startup, Facebook, AcquisitionOn Monday morning Tom Stocky, Director of Product Management at Facebook, announced that the social networking giant had acquired Mobile Technologies, the Pittsburgh startup behind the app Jibbigo.

Jibbigo is an app with the kind of technology you’d think the NSA would be after. The app allows you to record someone talking in a foreign language and translates the voice snippet for you in both text and spoken word in the language selected. This is the kind of technology that everyone has wished they had at one time or another. You know, you’re riding the subway and you hear a loud argument in another language? Jibbigo is perfect for that.

Now obviously Facebook is going to use this technology for translating and speech recognition, but its specific uses have yet to be announced. What Stocky did say, by Facebook post of course, was “I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies, a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology.”

Facebook already integrates Bing’s translation technology into news feeds and posts. Anthony Sarvas at ITProPortal speculates that they could use the technology for improving their mobile ad network and expanding a mobile ad campaigns reach.

The Pittsburgh-based team will relocate to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters. Terms of the deal were, of course, not disclosed.

“With this deal we will welcome some of the industry’s most talented people to our engineering teams in Menlo Park, California,” Stocky said in the Facebook post.

Find out more about Jibbigo here.



Founder Spotlight: Ryan Frankel CEO & Co-Founder VerbalizeIt

Ryan Frankel, VerbalizeIt, Pennsylvania startup, YEC
Ryan Frankel is the CEO and Co-Founder of VerbalizeIt, the company that delivers instant access to a global community of translators. Ryan received his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and a Bachelors of Arts degree from Haverford College in 2006. Ryan is a 2012 TechStars alumnus, former private equity investor for Goldman Sachs and an endurance athletics enthusiast. Follow him @rvfrankel.

Who is your hero? 

My dad, hands down.

What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. If you find yourself at the top of the intelligence chain at your company, you’ve done something wrong. In creating a team of intelligent and driven individuals, encourage healthy debate. Disagreement is a good thing, and many times, it’s the best of things in plowing the right path forward. Encourage people to air their opinions and take a stance, even if it’s against the broader consensus.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?

The biggest mistake has been spreading myself and our team too thin by chasing after too many different opportunities. One of the best pieces of advice I have received is that the worst word in any entrepreneur’s vocabulary is “and.” As in, “We’re focused on X, and Y, and Z ….” Be laser focused and avoid becoming a mile wide and only an inch deep.

What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?

I scroll through all of my emails and pick the highest value emails to respond to first. It’s my own 80:20 rule and it helps me focus on the most important outcomes. I also don’t neglect or push back emails to family and friends. When I first launched my business, family and friends naturally took a back seat and I have since re-prioritized my time to make time for those who support me beyond by business.

What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started? 

There’s a fine line between (a) being so scrappy that you miss out on the right opportunities or are not able to hire the best talent and (b) being ineffective or inconsiderate with cash management. As a naturally scrappy person, I have found myself in situations where being pennywise and pound-foolish has detracted more value than it has saved me capital. I make a conscious effort to remain mindful of our cash position but cognizant of how my naturally scrappy personality can be an impediment to meeting business objectives.

Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?

Find someone who will absolutely rip your vision apart and engage them in a constructive debate. Even if 95 percent of their feedback is off base, you’re bound to find some real pearls of wisdom in there. Accelerate success and failure by pushing yourself outside of your preconceived notions of the right approach.

What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?

Success for me is encapsulated in both personal and professional achievements. Finding personal satisfaction and enjoyment in my work and ensuring that I’m enjoying the journey and not just focused on the destination is important to me. I know I have a penchant for being too focused on the end result. Professionally, setting and achieving specific goals for revenue, market share and brand awareness is how I evaluate when I’ve finally “succeeded.” I constantly revisit these goals and our relative progress.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only 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.


Startups In The Fast Lane: Brandery Startup CoEd Supply A Subscription Box For College Students


Subscription boxes are nothing new. There are subscription boxes for shoes, women’s clothes, men’s clothes, gadgets, toys, and even dogs. Now two co-founders originally from Philadelphia find themselves in Cincinnati going through The Brandery with their startup Co-Ed Supply.

Co-Ed Supply, Brandery, Cincinnati, Fastlane, Startup InterviewMarissa Hu and Andy Forston’s startup takes the subscription box model and solve a problem for parents and loved ones of college students, the care package. While some may think by subscription-izing the care package you’re taking the “care” out of it, we all know that college students are hard to shop for and sometimes it’s just not that cool to get hearts, candies, and box scores sent from mom and dad every week.

Of course the Co-Ed Supply box is also perfect for working and busy parents, and with parents staying on the job, working the same long hours later and later in life, Co-Ed Supply makes sense.

While Co-Ed supply will have a revenue stream with their subscription customers, their other customers–their bigger customers–are manufacturers and vendors of products that want to make it into the dorm rooms of college students. By partnering with Co-Ed Supply, these brands get exposure and engagement at a whole new level. One of the best parts for the brand is that it’s of course, opt-in.

Coed Supply is currently in beta and getting ready to launch soon. You can get signed up on their website now. Check out our full interview with Forston below.


What is the name of your startup?

Co-Ed Supply (

Where is your startup originally from?

Philadelphia, PA

Tell us about your current team?

Marissa Hu, CEO – has spent the last four years in business development and sales. Most recently, she was one of the early members of the business team driving partnership development for the Shanghai Disney Resort. She’s also a recovering investment banker from Goldman Sachs, a UC Berkeley alum who’s now halfway through her MBA at Wharton, and on the investment team at First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund.

Andy Fortson, CMO – has been a digital and social media marketer for consumer, entertainment, and technology companies for the past seven years. Most recently he led marketing at mobile couponing app SnipSnap, and previous clients have included Gilt Groupe, Red Bull, Paramount, Fox, Microsoft, and Sony.

What does your startup do?

Co-Ed Supply delivers a curated box of college essentials to students every month starting at $20. The contents of each box is a surprise but all contain healthy snacks, personal care items, and entertainment. For students and their parents, basically we’re offering a cheaper, healthier, and more entertaining alternative to traditional care package options.

On the flip side, we work with brands who are trying to market to college students. Right now they hand out samples on campus, and when that sample walks away they don’t know who the student was, if they enjoyed it, purchased more, or shared with their friends. With Co-Ed Supply these brands can measure these types of results because we deliver data back to them on how well their campaign did.

What are your goals for the accelerator program?

Our goal was literally to accelerate our progress headed into the new school year and to establish relationships with large consumer brands. The Brandery has been super helpful for us in reaching our goals so far.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in the accelerator?

It’s taken some time but we feel like we’ve really gotten to understand how to work with mentors. The most helpful part is how to ask the right questions so that we can identify issues we weren’t aware about and how to get answers to questions we didn’t even know we had in the first place.

What’s the hardest piece of advice you’ve had to stomach so far?

We haven’t gotten any hard-to-stomach advice necessarily, but we’ve received a lot contradictory advice. The hardest part is identifying the right path or to not waste too much time going down the wrong path.

What is your goal for the day after demo day?

Just to continue on building more relationships with brands, expanding our reach into more college campuses, and growing our subscriber base.

Why did you choose this accelerator?

We chose The Brandery because of its focus on building a strong brand and it’s relationships with a lot of consumer goods companies. These have been super valuable to building our business.

If you relocated for the accelerator are you staying in your new city?

What our presence in Cincinnati is after The Brandery is still to be decided. There are definitely a number of really good reasons to continue some sort of physical presence here.

What’s one thing you learned about an accelerator that you didn’t know when you applied?

We didn’t really expect all the companies to be as supportive of each other as everyone’s been. All the teams have very diverse backgrounds and have been super helpful for everybody with connections, technical help, and marketing knowledge.

Where can people find out more?




Pittsburgh Startup Wants To Help You Monetize Your White Papers

DocumentLeads, Pittsburgh startup, startup interviewWhen companies put out white papers they are typically very proud of their work. A lot of research has gone into these papers, but in the end most of them are distributed freely via pdf. Some may view white papers as research tools, and a way to get a company’s name out there. Or perhaps white papers are used to thoroughly explore a new product. Either way, they are one of the most in-depth forms of content marketing, and these days content marketing is huge.

Outside of content marketing though, but still quite related, white papers can serve as an excellent lead referral source. The problem is most companies don’t know how to utilize the white papers for lead generation, thus leaving them undervalued.

“You would be surprised how few companies correctly leverage their whitepapers and research studies for new customer acquisition. These documents are valuable resources and while it’s OK to give them away as free PR, we feel a lot of consumer leads are being left on the table when a company simply links to the PDF for an instant download,” DocumentLeads founder Chris Cagle told us.

Cagle went onto explain, “If the value of the white paper is correctly explained and presented, many people will not even hesitate to give you their name and email in order to download it. This is where DocumentLeads comes in. While there are currently a few services out there that do this as part of a larger offering, DocumentLeads is the only company that focuses solely on allowing you to create a lead form for the sole purpose of capturing and nurturing leads off a digital document in a completely white-labeled environment. We’ve put all of our skill and attention on doing this one thing, and doing it very well. ”

Cagle is a Pittsburgh-based serial entrepreneur who had a string of misses before launching GetSimple CMS. Cagle used a lot of the knowledge he gained from building GetSimple CMS and put it into DocumentLeads.

Check out the rest of our interview with Cagle below.


What is your startup, what does it do?

DocumentLeads is a document management SaaS application. We give online businesses the ability to generate and capture leads directly from the downloads of their whitepapers and other digital documents. We have a built-in CRM management tool that allows customers to view and nurture the leads they capture. Additionally, if a customer of our service uses an outside CRM tool, we have integrations with some of the top online CRMs such as Nutshell, CapsuleCRM and Highrise as well as similar services like MailChimp.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds

DocumentLeads is a product and service created by Chris Cagle. Chris is a tech entrepreneur located in Pittsburgh, PA (USA) and has been creating products on the web for over 10 years. Chris got his start building a lot of online properties that no one used, then moved onto founding & developing one of the most successful lite-CMSs on the market currently – GetSimple CMS. While building GetSimple, Chris learned a lot about application security, great user experience and the downfalls of feature-bloat. All of these skills were used when creating DocumentLeads.

Where are you based?

We are based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is a budding tech town (because of all of our colleges) and is home to a rabid Black & Gold fan base for the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.

What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?

A large challenge we’ve overcome is how to correctly handle any type of document in any online environment. With DocumentLeads, you can now upload a PPT file (or DOC, XLS, PDF, TXT, etc.) and have it be viewed as an HTML file, then downloaded as a PDF. Most solutions out there force you to use JavaScript (only PDF-friendly) or Flash (not mobile-friendly). At Dcoumentleads, we’ve solved this and have a solution that works for any document on any device. Another large challenge we are currently running into is operating in a bootstrapped environment. Because we are 100% bootstrapped, we don’t have the marketing budget that some of the others in our field have (SlideShare & HubSpot). This is a constant weight on our shoulders that forces us be creative to get the publicity and some visibility needed to be successful in our market.

What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

The first and most important milestone we’ve achieved is our initial launch. Coming up for the idea for the business was easy (all ideas are born out of a need, right?), but executing on it was a multitude of difficulty more. There were some late nights, countless “how do we do this?” moments and plenty of code rewrites. In the end, we produced a service that we are extremely proud of and feel can make a difference for many businesses out there looking to take advantage of their digital documents.

What are your next milestones

Integrations. While we have a good stable of CRM integrations at this moment, we need more to make it as useful as possible. This means integrating with entrenched and enterprise-level products like Salesforce, ZoHo, Campaign Monitor and other big name CRM and email management products.

Who are your mentors and role models?

I, like many other self-started entrepreneurs, grew up reading blogs like RRW and Techcrunch. Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the blog and email newsletter of Patrick McKenzie. This guy is a genius (and extremely transparent!) on how to build, price and run your SaaS business. I have learned a lot from him, and would recommend anyone reading this to sign up for this “Grow your software business” email newsletter… it’s fantastic.

What’s next for your startup?

We need to grow. Period. We are still in our infancy (we officially launched only a few short months ago) and we need to grow in terms of customers and mature feature sets. We are constantly striving to harden and shape our business to be the best it can be, but we also recognize it can be a long process. Aside from the integrations we mentioned above, supporting our current customers and the ongoing marketing that needs to occur, our schedules are stacked full (just the way we like it!).

Where can people find out more, and what is your Twitter username?

You can learn more about DocumentLeads on our website Our Twitter handle is @documentleads and you will find us posting our product updates and news on there.

This Pittsburgh startup wants to make sure you never lose your wallet again.


Pittsburgh Startup PayTango Will Make Sure You Never Lose Your Wallet Again

Paytango,Pittsburgh Startup,YCombinator,TechCrunch DisruptLast month we brought you this story about Pittsburgh startup, turned Y-Combinator company, PayTango. They were one of the first in the biometric wallet space.

When we spoke with PayTango co-founder Brian Groudan at TechCrunch Disrupt he acknowledged how crowded the biometric mobile wallet space has gotten after their videos and pitch decks started popping up online. We talked about New Jersey startup PulseWallet, that we met at CES 2013 and Groudan pointed out another biometric mobile wallet startup that was also in the Startup Alley at Disrupt.

PayTango was one of the first in the space and for now they are focused on smaller networks where they can really get a feel for the technology and what it can do.

What is PayTango and a biometric wallet?

Well by now everyone has heard the term mobile wallet. We all know that you can use your NFC enabled phone and other forms of mobile commerce without having to bring credit cards along. What PayTango and other startups in their space hope to do, is to eliminate the wallet altogether and use your finger print as your wallet.

Using a biometric wallet is not just easier and more convenient but it’s a lot safer when it comes to fraud.

PayTango tested on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University and has also tested in some health clubs as well. While students who signed up for the beta can use their finger print to pay for meals, there’s also the capacity to store your entire academic history in the cloud, accessible by finger print.

While only saying that PayTango is looking at a lot of different uses, it’s easy to see that the team behind PayTango is looking at a much bigger picture than just syncing your American Express card with your index finger.

Groudan was actually excited about all the competitors in the space because it gives PayTango more market validation.

Check out our interview with Groudan below and for more info visit

We’ve got more startup coverage from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 here.


WebKite Can Help You Easily Create A Kayak For Anything

WebKite,Eric Silver, Pittsburgh Startup,TechCrunch DisruptPittsburgh entrepreneur and angel investor, Eric Silver, was in the Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 on Tuesday showing off his latest startup called WebKite. The idea behind WebKite is to aggregate data in a comparative analysis format enabling anyone who wants to create a site like, do just that.

Silver and his team noticed the value in comparative data sites like Kayak but quickly realized there weren’t more of them because the back end coding and data aggregation is a long lengthy process. They’ve simplified that process by allowing anyone to create a comparative data site.

As Silver explains in the video below, the data can come from a variety of sources, API’s, spreadsheets and data scrapes just to name a few.

Once the data is put in it’s output is fully customizable, easily updatable and comparable. For the example at their Disrupt booth they showed off a site that compares juicers. With this particular “kite” when new juicers are added to or they are automatically added to the juicer site.

It seems that Silver has found a hole and was willing to put his money where his mouth is. He is the principal with alt-capital which invests in early stage startups. He invested in ModCloth and has also founded a startup called Pikimal that has since pivoted to WebKite.

Pikimal is a decision making platform that makes fact based recommendations over a wide range of categories. The startup was growing fast, until the “Google Panda” changes back in February 2011 just about crippled it.

Silver, a Peace Corps alum, is a natural born problem solver who had the patience and foresight to solve his Pikimal problem. What he decided to do was pivot to offering the technology that Pikimal was built on, as a white label service, and eventually turning it into the WebKite product we saw at Disrupt.

It’s not sexy or a cool new social food restaurant finding comparison app in the cloud, but if Silver executes on this the way it looks, WebKite could be one of the biggest things to come out of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.

Check out our video interview with Silver below, you can check out WebKite here.

Here’s more great startup coverage from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013


AppArchitect Could Be The Easiest Way To Build An App [interview][disrupt]

AppArchitect,Philly startup,startup,techcrunch disruptAppArchitect is an idea that was actually born at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2011. It was there, at the Disrupt Hackathon, where the first lines of code were written.

Over the last two years the team behind AppArchitect has been refining the product. They’ve also been through the DreamIt Ventures accelerator in Philadelphia and raised $325,000 from Actinic Ventures, BHV, DreamIt and other angels.

They finally went live just before 4:00pm on the Battlefield stage at Disrupt 2013.  Co-Founder Ilya Zatulovskly took to the stage and showed off what could be the easiest platform ever to build a native iOS app.  AppArchitect sets itself apart from other DIY app generators because it’s not template based and not just a “wrapper”.

Users who want to create a new app simply need to know how to drag and drop things, to create an app using AppArchitect. Zatulovskly says “if you can build a slide deck you can build an app”.

It’s such an easy platform that Zatulovskly created an app during the quick Battlefield presentation.

That may not have been enough to wow the judges in their Battlefield session called “Get Things Done”. The judges: John Frankel, Hilary Mason, Megan Quinn, and Sam Yagan seemed to take notice that the competitive landscape in the DIY app creation space were plentiful. They also weren’t exactly sure who the end user was.

Naturally, the end user is anyone who wants to build an app. However, design agencies and advertising firms are already employing developers and DIY app creation tools that have already been on the market. With over 1 million apps across all of the app stores, it’s getting harder and harder for any app to stand out.

AppArchitect could come in handy for mom and pop shops, small restaurants and small businesses who are looking to get into the app world with something specific for their business.

Regardless, Zatulovskly and the AppArchitect team are hoping to use this experience, coupled with the knowledge and experience gained at DreamIt, to raise another round of capital and continue building AppArchitect.

Check out our video interview below and for more info or to try it out yourself you can find AppArchitect here.

More startup coverage from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 here. 


Pittsburgh Startup PayTango Moves Mobile Wallet To Your Fingertips

PayTango,Pittsburgh startup,PulseWallet, Mobile Wallet, YCombinatorAs the mobile wallet begins to catch on, the next wave of mobile wallet startups are starting to come alive as well. Back in January we interviewed New Jersey startup PulseWallet at CES 2013 in Eureka Park. There we learned that PulseWallet is working on biometrics to serve as someone’s mobile wallet.

Simply put, with this kind of technology you’ll be able to ditch your credit cards, debit cards, and loyalty cards. Instead, your finger will become your secure wallet. With a finger scan and a pin you’ll be able to pay for anything with any number of payment forms in a much safer, fraud resistant way.

PulseWallet isn’t alone. Biometrics is a hot space as is mobile wallet. Four Carnegie Mellon University students have also recently launched a biometrics based mobile wallet called PayTango.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, using PayTango a customer would swipe there finger and in less than 15 seconds they would be linked to their payment sources.

“We wanted to eliminate the need to carry anything around to identify yourselves. Like you have these plastic credit cards and if you lose them or get the numbers stolen off them, essentially someone could wipe your bank account,” said co-founder Kelly Lau-Kee.

Lau Kee says that credit cards are antiquated and haven’t really evolved in the last 40 years since their introduction. Yes security has gotten better and reconciliation is much more reliable with phone lines and the internet,but storing the information on the magnetic strip is still the same technology today as it was back in the 70’s.

PayTango was brewed in Pennsylvania. All four founders; Brian Groudan, Umang Patel, Christian Reyes and Lau-Kee, are all either seniors or recent graduates of Carnegie Mellon. They conceived the idea in the fall of 2012 for a TechLab startup course at CMU and then continued working on it during the University of Pennsylvania’s PennApps Hackathon.

The technology is currently up and running at three eateries on the Carnegie Mellon campus. For the live beta at CMU, over 700 students have registered their fingerprint which was linked to their student ID which has their meal plan attached. To eat at those eateries, students in the beta just swipe their finger at checkout.

Now they’ve relocated to Mountain View California after being accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program.  They’ve already expanded PayTango into gyms, restaurants and convenience stores in Silicon Valley.

What they’re doing is bringing a very simple idea into reality,” said Garry Tan, a partner at Y Combinator. “Payments should be easier, and we’re now capable of doing it without fancy cards or readers or anything besides what we carry around with us all the time right now — our fingerprints.”

Find out more about PayTango here 

Now check out New Jersey startup PulseWallet


Student Organization nvigor Hosting Philadelphia Student Startup Summit April 20th

nvigorAn organization hoping to raise awareness and collaboration between Philadelphia’s college student community and business and industrial leaders in the region is hosting a startup event at the University of Pennsylvania. The event called the “Philadelphia Student Startup Summit” takes place this coming Saturday as part of the Philly Tech Week festivities.

The students in the organization come from a variety of schools in Philadelphia including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple and Drexel University where nvigor co-founder Abhiroop Das is a junior.

The Philadelphia Student Startup Summit is hoping to serve as an “Introduction To Philadelphia Startup Community” for many of the students, and business people who attend the day long event.

Event organizers have done a great job of keying up some of Philadelphia’s top startup community leaders as speakers. Josh Kopelman managing partner of First Round Capital and Karen Griffith Gryga, managing partner at Dreamit Ventures are both on tap to speak at the inaugural event.

The event will also feature a “startup alley” showcasing some of the regions best startups. Some of the startups are also looking to hire students right out of college.

Tickets can be picked up here, they are free but they’re running out quickly.

You can find out more about Philly Tech Week here.

Startup Grind Announced For Philly!

StartupGrind,StartupGrind Philly,startup,startup eventStartup Grind, the global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs through monthly top tier fireside chats is sweeping the nation. Philadelphia is the latest city to add a chapter for the organization.

Startup Grind Philadelphia is being headed by Mike Maher the founder and CEO of Benjamin’s Desk, Philadelphia’s premiere shared office and coworking space for professionals.

“The Philadelphia Chapter of Startup Grind is seeking to fill the gap in programming that currently exists in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. There are workshops, panels, and demos, but entrepreneurs are craving to hear the stories from the horses mouth and are looking for those little keys to add to their startup toolbox.” Benjamin’s Desk community manager Katie Cohen said in an emailed statement.

The first Startup Grind event in Philadelphia will feature Venture Capitalist Wayne Kimmel, the founding partner of Artists & Instigators who’s firm has invested in Dwolla, Seamless, Indiegogo, Reverbnation, Zaarly and Nutrisystem, just to name a few.

The event is Wednesday May 1 from 6-9pm following Philly Tech Week. Interested in attending, get tickets here.

Philly startups your chance to get on Shark Tank is May 11th, details here.

Dreamit Health Announces Inaugural Class

DreamIt Health,Philadelphia startup,startups,acceleratorYou may think that today is all about accelerators and healthcare, well we didn’t intend it to be that way but there’s major startup news on the accelerator and healthcare front.

DreamIt Ventures, the multi-city startup accelerator brand, announced late last year that they would be teaming up with Independence Blue Shield and Penn Medicine to hold their first medical focused startup cohort. They announced that cohort on Wednesday.

For the first DreamIt Health accelerator they put out an application call for startups seeking to develop tools for healthcare providers to speed up diagnoses and improve outcomes.

“At IBC, we believe that innovation is the key to bringing fresh ideas into health care, and are working to transform the Philadelphia region into a national magnet for health care innovation, investment, and employment,” said IBC CEO Daniel Hilferty in a company statement.

The first cohort includes big data startups, mobile startups, devices, and even fitness startups aimed at curbing childhood obesity. Each team will receive what MedCityNews called a “stipend” of $50,000 and of course access to the DreamIt, IBC and Penn Medicine entrepreneur and mentor network. The program will end with an investor demo day showing the progress these early stage teams made in the program.

The 10 companies selected are:

AirCare: A mobile startup to help hospitals prevent readmissions and improve patient outcomes using telenursing and patient-specific analytics.

Biomeme: A mobile molecular diagnostics device to help point-of-care clinicians and epidemiologists diagnose and track infectious diseases in realtime with smartphones.

Fitly: The company wants tohelp health plans deal with the childhood obesity epidemic by engaging and motivating at-risk families with gaming and convenient delivery of healthcare.

Grand Round Table: Its application helps clinicians rapidly diagnose complex cases by matching the patient’s electronic record against millions of other cases drawn from around the world.

Medlio: The mobile app aims to help physicians get paid faster and get rid of paper-based registering forms with a virtual health insurance ID card to sync the right information among patients, providers and payers at the point-of-care.

OnShift: Helping hospitals improve patient outcomes through instant communications between clinicians caring for the same patient is the goal of this healthcare communications system. It also wants to remove obstacles to effective care delivery and care transitions.

Osmosis: The learning management system helps medical institutions develop clinicians who better retain and apply knowledge through a Web and mobile platform that uses cutting-edge cognitive techniques.

MemberRx: A solution intended to improve the way pharmaceutical costs are controlled by enabling selection of the best generic or on-formulary branded drug for a specific patient through an electronic medical record system.

SpeSo Health: The online analytics platform identifies and accesses medical expertise in rare and complex diseases.

Stat: The Web and mobile app helps providers and payers make patient transport more efficient and lower costs by matching and dispatching idle transportation resources.

 The application deadline for Memphis’ highly successful ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator is tomorrow.