500 Startups Company Waygo Talks To Nibletz [video][500 startups]

Waygo, 500 startups,Rhode Island startup,startup,startups,everywhere elseEarlier this morning we brought you the interview with Spinnakr founder Michael Michael Mayernick who talked with us about laying their foundation in Washington DC which helped them prepare for and then graduate from 500 Startups in Silicon Valley.

Ryan Rogowski, the cofounder of translation startup WayGo, also talked with us about their experience in Rhode Island before being chosen for 500 Startups.

In the video below Rogowski talks to us about  the much lower cost of overhead in Rhode Island, and how it allowed them to speed up their development process. Waygo was able to catch the eye of 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, who is a very frequent traveler, the kind that Waygo was designed for.

As for what they do?

Waygo is a mobile app that allows you to hover your smartphone camera over text or images and get a translation. For instance, if you want to order Chinese Food from a Chinese menu written in their native tongue, Waygo would allow you to scan the menu and get real time translations. The best part? Everything is done locally on the device side which makes the translations come extremely fast.

Waygo is designed with the tourist in mind. You can use Waygo to translate Chinese food menus, and signs on the road, bars and restaurants.

The idea came about over two years ago when Rogowski was living in China and realized how hard it was to translate things in real time.

Check out our video interview with:

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Meet Rhode Island 500 Startups Startup: Waigo Translate (Translate Abroad)


Here at nibletz we’ve been fortunate enough to be chosen as the first test site for Markerly, our good friend Sarah Ware’s DC based publisher tools startup, and member of the just announced, 5th class at 500 startups. Through this great relationship we’ve got an awesome tool on the site, in Markerly, and exclusive early access to some of their cohorts.

Earlier this morning as the embargo lifted on this years 500 startups class, we brought you an interview with Australian startup Kickfolio. We also brought you an interview with Boston startup Privy.

Now we turn our sites again to the north east part of the country and Rhode Island startup Waigo Translate.

Waigo Translate is one of those uniquely cool startups that Dave McClure, Paul Singh and the entire 500 startups organization prides themselves on.

Waigo Translate is an app that turns your iPhone camera into a translation device. Waigo Translate current works with Chinese, Japanese and Korean, with more languages on the way. Yes that means you could use your phone to translate the written lyrics to Gangnam Style.

We got a chance to talk with Waigo Translate’s Marketing Director, Rob Sanchez. Check out the interview below.

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Providence Startup: LoveGov, Politician Dating


With the second Presidential debate behind us and the third and final debate just days away, politics is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. No one with a Twitter account or Facebook account can escape the political races this year.

A new startup in Providence Rhode Island, is looking to add its hat to the political ring. The new startup called Lovegov is applying an algorithmic like approach based on user entries to political questions and statements to formulate possible candidate choices for the user. In other words Lovegov is the match.com for citizens to find political candidates to possibly vote for.

Now of course this is a machine designed to make the process easier and no machine should dictate the way you vote, however Lovegov is providing extremely valuable information to its citizen users.

For instance, you may not know where a candidate stands on issues that may be of importance to you and not necessarily a whole lot of others. Lovegov is going to pair you up with candidates that have commonalities with you. You may be surprised to find another candidate aligns more with you than the one you planned on voting for. What Lovegov really does is empowers voters with information so they can make a more conscious decision.

“These matching mechanisms help people understand and identify causes and organizations to get involved with,” Lovegov founder Joschka Tryba told masshightech,com . “And we feel this matching mechanism is innovative because it enables users to get immediate intuition as to how they relate to another political entity, person or group.”

Lovegov has three employees in their Providence headquarters and is seeing sign ups rapidly increase. For now they’re focusing on politics in New England, but plan a nationwide roll out over time.


Here’s Lovegov

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Paul Roustan Aims to Create First “6-D” Body Paint Hologram Kickstarter



Paul Roustan creates some of the most phenomenal images I’ve ever come across. His kickstarter project is to create the first high quality three dimensional body paint hologram . 3-D images on 3-d Holograms means this would be the first 6 dimensional image, ever? Am I correct?

He’s part of a small but dedicated group of artists known as body painters. Originally from the Windy City Paul earned a BA of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. During his time at the Art Institute Paul became interested in holography. He worked his way up from being “just” a student in ‘98 to become the holography lab manager in ‘99. Eventually Paul and his wife moved to Rhode Island and Paul earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 2006.  Between the Art Institute and RISD Paul began body painting and it has grown into his primary focus (raising his children actually comes first).

Paul is known for his amazing 3D images that look almost too real to believe. He says on his kickstarter page,

The biggest problem I face with my work is the viewer’s perception of what is real and what isn’t. I’m often asked, “Is this photoshop or is it real?” As a result, to erase any doubt, body painting is best viewed via video and live performance. Here is a link to a video of the body painting process.

Paul has tried to raise the funds to do this over the past two years by applying for grants. The grant jurors typically reacted positively or negatively without much middle ground which seems to be par for the course in this form of art.  The costs of doing a series of holographic images is significantly higher than other forms of “3D art.”  This is an actual 3d form without the need to wear special glasses and without any trickery.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a hologram “really” is here is the definition

To produce a simple hologram, a beam of coherent, monochromatic light, such as that produced by a laser, is split into two beams. One part, the object or illumination beam, is directed onto the object and reflected onto a high-resolution photographic plate. The other part, the reference beam, is beamed directly onto the photographic plate. The interference pattern of the two light beams is recorded on the plate. When the developed hologram is illuminated from behind (in the same direction as the original reference beam) by a beam of coherent light, it projects a three-dimensional image of the original object in space, shifting in perspective when viewed from different angles. 1

At the Art Institute the holography lab was made up of lower-powered lasers which could only capture immobile objects.  In order to capture those objects needed to be placed upon a vibration isolation table because the slightest movement can ruin the capture.  By using pulsed holography Paul can capture an image of a person or even moving water.  There is no need for massive vibration isolation tables and it is possible to get several different captures in a single day.  Once the capture has occurred the next step is to create a positive from the master.

When a light wave hits the Master holographic film, it acts as a (diffractive) filter, allowing some light to pass through and pick up the imprint in the medium. However, unlike a photographic image, it is the interaction of the new light wave with the recorded interference pattern that is seen as a 3D image. It is 3D because the new light wave becomes modified by the wave-interference pattern recorded in the emulsion and appears thereby as the ORIGINAL light wave emitted by the object itself. 2

This is going to be a one of a kind item due to the process being similar to photography in developing the captures, the model will be painted with an airbrush, and only the lasers really need computer intervention.  Paul is offering those who back him a number of rewards.  He explained the costs that are involved in this process and he’s actually going to be losing a small amount on each of the 12’ x 16” 3D Holograms but that’s a small price to pay to make his dream come alive.

  • 1 12″ x 16″ 3D Hologram of the proposed Holographic Body Painting With Halogen Bulb for illumination Matted and Framed securely Limited Edition Signed and Numbered with Certificate of Authenticity
  • Sonar Scar A 30″ x 44″ limited edition 2D Digital C Print of one of my photographic body paint images from the selection in the description. Signed and Numbered (with certificate of Authenticity)
  • 1 Roustan Body Paint Airbrushed Tee Shirt Hand airbrushed by Paul Roustan You will need to specify size.


Go check out his kickstarter project here

Paul can be found on Facebook, YouTube, and Google+

Check out the gallery below for more of his body paintings.


Startup Weekend Heads To Providence October 5th Doing It Big & In 3D

An official Startup Weekend event is headed to Providence Rhode Island on October 5th 2012. Startup Weekend is a 3-day hackathon style competition drawing founders, entrepreneurs, developers, coders, designers and more to put together businesses in 54 hours.

Startup Weekend Providence is an officially sanctioned event being administered in conjunction with the Startup Weekend organization based in Seattle, which receives major funding from the Kauffman Foundation. All “official” Startup Weekend events follow the same general format.

Registration will begin on Friday evening at 6:30pm at Johnson & Wales University Pepsi Forum. That will be followed by great networking dinner where attendees will be able to size up the competition and the possible teammates for the weekend.  At around 7:30pm the “Friday Night” pitches will begin. We’ve covered a lot of startup weekends and you can see plenty of Friday night pitches here at nibletz.com.

The Friday night pitches are 60 seconds and hard timed by a Startup Weekend official. In that 60 seconds you need to sell the audience your idea and why it should be built over the next 53 hours.  After everyone who wants to pitch has been given the opportunity, community voting will commence. It’s a rather diplomatic process. Usually the pitchers will hold up a sign with their startup name on it and attendees will put a sticker on the idea they like the best. At the end of the process, those with the most stickers will have their ideas developed.

Friday evening typically tops off with team selection and then some icebreaker time with the teams. From there the teams break off and start working on the startup idea.

Saturday, the community coaches come into play. These seasoned entrepreneurs and local business folks are there to help answer questions for each team and provide ideas and suggestions. The coaches in Providence include; Kipp Bradford, Technology consultant and entrepreneur; Coryndon Luxmoore, Buildium Interaction Designer; Charlie Kroll, President and CEO of Andrea; Cary Collins, Bryant Trustee Professor of Entrepreneurship;Eric Parrish, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, G-Tech; and Jason Barrs, Product/Solutions Manager, GTech.

Saturday is also the day that most teams take to the streets, the phones, the emails and the interwebs to get customer validation on their startup project. All the while designers, developers and coders are working on pitch decks, wire frames, prototypes and products.

Sunday is the day the teams put the finishing touches on both their products and their presentations. At 5:00pm and not a second later, the selected teams will have five minutes to pitch their idea and have a brief Q&A with the judges. Startup Weekend Providence judges are: Don Stanford, Chief Innovation Officer at GTech; Allan Tear, Founder & Managing partner at Betaspring; and Tom Napolitano, also with GTech.

Things got a little more interesting yesterday when the organizers of Startup Weekend Providence announced that Johnson and Wales and AS220 Labs would give the Startup Weekend teams access to their 3D printing equipment for prototyping. These labs have a variety of 3D printers and tools that will help teams working on physical products develop actual prototypes to show off on Sunday during presentations. This isn’t a typical part of Startup Weekend but it shows how the organization lets the local organizers innovate their events in their own special ways. It will be amazing to see these ideas come to life through the use of 3D printing.

Startup Weekend Providence has a great list of prizes to, including legal packages, branding packages, press opportunities and more. What are you waiting for, hit the link below to register:


Startup Weekend Providence is here

Check out some of our past Startup Weekend Coverage

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GM Ventures Invests In Rhode Island Startup NanoSteel

NanoSteel, a Rhode Island startup, with 34 employees is working on the future of steel. According to this report NanoSteel has created a new class of steel that will allow automakers to reduce the weight of vehicles without compromising the structural integrity needed for safety.

“We are investing in NanoSteel because of the opportunity associated with their new steel alloy technology,” said Jon Lauckner, GM’s chief technology officer, vice president of Global R&D and president of GM Ventures LLC told the Detroit News. “Over the next several years, light-weighting of vehicles will be a major focus area to improve fuel economy. NanoSteel’s nano-structured alloys offer unique material characteristics that are not available today, making them a potential game-changer.”

While it’s no secret that innovation is needed in the auto industry, automakers in the United States are tasked with the fact that U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards will almost double to 54.5mpg in 2025. While that’s still twelve years away GM is aggressively trying to start development on this project. Finding a lighter steel product, thereby reducing the weight of vehicles is definitely a viable option.
GM Ventures is General Motors $100 million dollar venture capital arm. In 2010 they invested $3.2 million into an Ann Arbor startup called Satik3 Inc. They are a battery company working on developing advanced solid state rechargeable technology for cars and electronics.
They also invested in Bright Automotive, a Rochester Hills company which is developing a plug in hybrid commercial vehicle set to launch by 2014.
GM Ventures has also invested $7.5 million in Sunlogics. That company is also based in Rochester Hills and is producing solar powered charging stations. GM plans to deploy these charging stations at GM dealers and at their other facilities.
The terms in the NanoSteel investment were not disclosed. They are joining NanoSteel’s current investors; EnerTech Capital, Fairhaven Capital Partners, and others for this Series C round.
Source: Detroit News
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Providence Startup: JumpOffCampus Connects Students To Off Campus Housing

JumpOffCampus is a Massachusetts startup designed to connect college students and landlords with off campus properties. While it’s a useful service for students, it’s just as useful for landlords who are looking to rent rooms, and apartments to students.

The startup was developed after two friends Mark Abramowicz and Kyle Nichols-Schmolze struggled with finding a good place to live off campus while they were attending Tufts University. There was a lack of resources to find good housing. If you’ve been a college student then you are well aware of the problems with signs on the side of the road and posted on bulletin boards. Come August all the places are rented and everyone forgets to take their signs down.

Out of this need Abramowicz and Nichols-Schmolze became co-founders of JumpOffCampus. Their goal is to solve the off campus housing issue faced by every student in the US.

We got a chance to talk with Abramowicz about JumpOffCampus.

Briefly tell us what JumpOffCampus is.

JumpOffCampus is an online resource for university students, facilitating their off-campus housing search. In addition to a map-based apartment search, we also have added functionality like the ability to share progress with friends and family, as well as a roommate finder, marketplace, and the ability to post and search for sublets.

How did you come up with the idea, are their other founders involved?

The idea for JumpOffCampus was born out of a general frustration with the process of finding an apartment while we were sophomores at Tufts University. We couldn’t believe that there was no resource and so we sought to make one, using our own experiences – and those of our friends – as inspiration.

More after the break
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