Brazilian Startup Peela Is Gift Cards On Steroids [video][disrupt]

Peela,Brazillian startup,startup interview,TechCrunch DisruptBrazilian startup Peela is getting some major traction in it’s native country. Peela is a reusable giftcard app and platform that allows users (buyers) to purchase physical or virtual gift cards that can be reloaded from the stores, restaurants and businesses that they were purchased for.

Peela patners with major merchants and vendors to offer the gift card, but more importantly, with reloadable gift cards, they offer a loyal customer. Perhaps your dad really loves the coffee shop he goes to every day, now everyone in the family can continually reload his card, it’s almost like a prepaid credit card for one place.

Peela has three main marketing channels, retail, e-commerce and businesses. So far it’s taking off, Peela’s Executive Director Guilherme  Coelho, showed us a map detailing Peela’s penetration across every city in Brazil.

They are looking to expand the platform and were part of the Brazilian pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2013. Check out our video interview with Coelho below and for more info you can visit them at

We’ve got much more from Disrupt check out our startup coverage here.


Croatian Startup MediaToolKit Wins It’s Way To TechCrunch Disrupt, Here’s An Interview

MediaToolKit,Croatian Startup,startup,startup interview,TechCrunch DisruptCroatian startup MediaToolKit started as  a social media monitoring web app targeted towards journalists. Journalists from blogs, newspapers, video outlets and other media resources can tap into MediaToolKit and discover trending content on Facebook and other sources from their competitors. Southeast Europes called it a “spy tool”.

Media Toolkit’s Ivor Bihar was on hand at TechCrunch Disrupt New York after the startup competed in the WebUp startup competition as part of the conference last fall and won a trip over to the United States to present MediaToolKit to the US here at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Over the last few months MediaToolKit has continued to iterate. Now they offer a suite of tools for journalists, hence the name Tool Kit, including press clippings and alerts. The startup comes out of Zagreb based social media agency iStudio.

Check out our video interview with Bihar below and for more information you can check out

And here’s more awesome TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 coverage here at




Israeli Startup Is The Video Walkie Talkie [disrupt][video],video startup,TechCrunch Disrupt,startup interviewOne of my favorite messaging apps is Voxer. Voxer allows me to send and receive voice messages, much like an old audio pager or Nextel’s two way radio function used to work. Now imagine if Voxer had a video element. That’s what you would get from Israeli startup Glide.

Glide allows multiple people to have two way video messaging over mobile device in extremely close to real time. You can have a two way conversation, ala Facetime or you can send a video message and the recipient can get back to you when it’s convenience for them. The big differentiator though is time.

Adam Korbl, the co-founder and CMO at Glide explained that these video messages and sent and received within fractions of a second. It doesn’t take that 8-10 seconds you will find trying to get a Skype going and the waiting you sometimes get from Facetime.

Being on the road all the time, I’ve found a new love for Facetime. When I’m on the road I’m constantly Facetiming with my five year old daughter. Glide will give us the option of having a two way conversation or if one of us is busy we can leave the equivalent of a video voice mail message.

According to TechCrunch Glide has raised seven figures to date from stakeholders including; Orey Gilliam, former CEO of ICQ and AOL IM and Philippe Schwartz the founder of ooVoo.

Check out the video interview with Korbl below and for go download Glide here.

Seriously there’s a whole bunch more Disrupt coverage here, brought to you by



Indian Startup 500 Hours, Giving Away 500 Development Hours To Worthy Startups [interview]

500hrs,Indian startup,startup,startupsVishesh Duggar and Shreya Tiwara are both Indian natives and both attended college at Northeastern University in Boston. After finishing college both Duggar and Tiwara returned to Pune India where they immediately got their hands dirty in the budding startup community out there.

Now, Duggar who graduated with an MS in Computer Science, and Tiwari, who graduated with an MS in Electrical Engineering, are anxiously looking forward to giving away their services.  Duggar was also a CTO with a MassChallenge company.

Both founders of 500 Hours have experience in startups dating back over the last 4 years. Now they are looking for 3 startups that are worthy of getting their services for free.

In a program they are calling an “accelerator”. 500 hours will take applications and then they will determine the top three startups. The top startup will receive 400 hours in services, the second place startup will receive 90 hours of development time and the third startup will receive 10 hours of development time.

While many believe that access to capital is the number one thing holding startups back, Druggar and Tiwari feel that without capital or good technical resources startups can’t build out their products.

“We’ve been working with startups for the last 4 years and the biggest problem that We’ve come across is the lack of funding to build something that they can use to get  funded or attract customers. We will reduce the cost of building the MVP to close to zero and provide tech mentorship to startups, giving them a better shot at succeeding.” Druggar said in an interview with He continued, “After 2 years of reaching out to more than 160 startups and talking to close to 50 of them the biggest challenge we’ve come across has been a startup’s ability to fund developing their minimum viable product and this accelerator program is the answer to that.”

When we followed up with 500 Hours Druggar explained that they aren’t looking for an equity position in the three startups and are doing this just to help launch good startups. They also hope that it’s successful and they can hold the program annually.

Check out the rest of our interview with 500 Hours below.

What is your startup, what does it do?

500Hrs is a new development accelerator we launched at CauseCode Technologies. We give upto  500Hrs of development time to top three startups who apply to our program. 400, 90 and 10 respectively. We recover some of our cost of evaluating the applications and development time from the application fee and sponsors.

But the larger goal is to accelerate high impact startups that have a strong web/mobile component. And this program will catalyze a startup competing at other seed fund based accelerators.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Vishesh Duggar, MS Computer Science from Northeastern University, Boston. Has been involved with the startup community for the last 4.5 years. Currenlty the acting CTO of AltruHelp and CEO CauseCode Technologies. He has a strong technical background but also has a lot of experience with business development, marketing, hiring and more.

Shreya Tiwari, MS Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston. Experienced engineer with an inkling towards marketing and strategy. Currently, Senior Product & Marketing Manager at CauseCode Technologies.

Where are you based?

We are based out of Pune, India, but the program will be open to startups all over the world

What is the startup culture like where you are based?

There is small startup community here with and There is definitely significant growth being seen across India in the startup community for the past 3 years. We are hoping to add some fuel to it through this program as well.

What problem does your startup solve?

We’ve been working with startups for the last 4 years and the biggest problem that We’ve come across is the lack of funding to build something that they can use to get  funded or attract customers. We will reduce the cost of building the MVP to close to zero and provide tech mentorship to startups, giving them a better shot at succeeding.

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

After 2 years of reaching out to more than 160 startups and talking to close to 50 of them the biggest challenge we’ve come across has been a startup’s ability to fund developing their minimum viable product and this accelerator program is the answer to that.


What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

  1. We have helped AltruHelp, ClothesCritics, CheersMeUp and CalBill with building their MVP and beyond
  2. Designed and chalked out the 500Hrs program
  3. We have a landing page with a CRM integration to capture interest by other startups
  4. Marketing plan to reach out to various startup community entities across the globe to validate the program


What are your next milestones

  1. Getting the word out there by starting a conversation with Nibletz, NextBigWhat, TheNextWeb, TechCrunch, Forbes,, StartupDigest and friends in PR
  2. Getting intent to apply from 50 startups
  3. Reaching out to other accelerators for mentorship
  4. Seeking a few community volunteers to judge and mentor startups
  5. Developing feature set to accept application fee and application
  6. Starting to accept application
  7. Closing applications
  8. Judging
  9. Starting development on the startups

Who are your mentors and role models?

Our role model is Steve Jobs and we constantly try to make things as simple and beautiful as we can. We are very inspired by MassChallenge, StartupWeekend, 500Startups, TechStars and AngelList

During my(Vishesh) work with MassChallenge I was fortunate to make a lot of connections within the startup community in and around Boston. Some of my friends that I seek advice from are Mark Shiffer, Ex CTO MassChallenge, Stefan Baytarian, Founder ClothesCritics, my father Vijay Duggar who has been a successful entrepreneur for the last 25 years.

What are some of the advantages/disadvantages growing your startup outside of Silicon Valley.

“Everything is possible, nothings is easy. Lots of ‘Frictions’. – World Startup Report India

It is definitely harder to bootstrap from here in India. Poor infrastructure, raw startup community, hard to find entrepreneurial hires and  not enough startup oriented events are a few challenges.

But it also results into a lot less competition and tons of opportunities.

What’s next for your startup?

Getting our story out there and attracting startups, judges, mentors and sponsors.

Where can people find out more?, @causecode, @500Hrs,


 That was 500 Hours, looking for 500startups, check out these stories?

Gangnam (style) SpringBoard Startup Flitto Is THE Translation App

Flitto,S.Korean startup,startup,startups,startup interview,sxsw,sxswiFlitto, a SpringBoard London graduate has the Gangnam style for sure, that’s because they are based in Gangnam South Korea. They are truly rockstars for graduating from SpringBoard London which has become TechStars.

When you think about Flitto don’t think translation app. Simon Lee, Flitto’s founder describes the app as: “a social translation platform that lets you access all kinds of content in your own native language. Any user can add translation and earn points and ‘karma’ from other fans for your translation work.”

Flitto serves up translation from the crowd, making it easy to get quick, real life translations on content rather than mechanical translations which can sometimes leave the user just as lost as before the translation.

The language barrier can be broken down by hiring professional translators. But we’ve tried to be smarter than that. We can get rid of the language barrier without hiring one single translator just by using the greatest tool humans have ever made – the Internet.” Lee said on the SpringBoard/TechStars London Blog.

We got a chance to catch up with Lee at the SXSW Interactive Tradeshow in the Gangam Style startups showcase.

Check out these other stories from SXSW

We’ve got more TechStars coverage here.

Italian Startup FileRock, Protecting You In The Cloud

FileRock,Italian startup,startup,startup interviewFileRock aims to bring complete security to cloud storage. Cloud storage is getting more and more popular since it can save a lot of money, but concerns about security are growing, particularly in the enterprise world. FileRock’s focus is the complete security of data, meaning both the confidentiality and the integrity of data. Our technology effectively allows individuals and enterprises to store files and databases in the cloud, while keeping security under their own control.

With FileRock, you can store data in the cloud without having to trust the cloud provider. Cloud providers cannot access your data, and if they delete or modify some of your data (by malfunction or deliberately) you will notice it immediately, before the data enters your business process. Bottom line: enterprises can save a lot of money by storing their data in the cloud, without having to worry about security.

So how do they do this?

“Our technology is implemented in two different products: FileRock Client, a backup/sync client (Dropbox-style, to be clear) aimed mainly to professionals and small-medium enterprises. And FileRock for Enterprise, a software layer to be integrated in enterprise software environments.” Daniele Arena CEO of FileRock told in an interview.

Bernardo Palazzi, Maurizio Pizzonia, and Giuseppe Di Battista round out the founding team hoping to ease the security concerns of everyone using cloud storage.

These Italian entrepreneurs are building FileRock in Rome a city associated with romance and not necessarily startups, but Arena tells us that’s changing:

“There’s quite a few things going on in the startup world in Italy. There are several startup events (we just participated to the 2013 final of TechGarage Roma, a showcase/competition of startups that has been held for several years) and a growing community of startuppers (the Facebook group Italian Startup Scene, for example, has more than 10,000 members). Obviously, we are not at the levels of Berlin or Silicon Valley: there are still limited options for startups to get funding. But the culture is growing: for young Italian graduates, a few years ago it would have been a crazy idea to get a job in a startup. Not anymore.”

So far FileRock has started a private beta and revealed the source code for the File Rock client at GitHub. Their hoping to get feedback from the user community on GitHub and they’d also like to see users customize FileRock for their specific needs.

So what’s next for FileRock?

“We are currently looking for a Series A Round of 1 million Euros, that we will use to radically scale operations, marketing and sales. We are also looking for partnerships with system integrators and software vendors who would be interested in integrating our technology in their solutions, both in the form of FileRock Client and FileRock for Enterprise. Meanwhile, we’re working hard on building traction and adding features to our software.”

Find out more about FileRock here

Nibletz is back on our sneaker strapped startup road trip, find out more here.

Twelfer Is The Self Curated Photo Sharing Platform

Twelfer,Netherlands startup, dutch startup,photo sharingLately there’s been a lot of talk about Jon Oringer and his startup Shutterstock. Business Insider ran a story the other day talking about how Oringer took 100,000 photos to launch his latest startup.

With all that hard work Oringer was able to take Shutterstock public this year. It was the first New York tech company to go public in the last two years.

Shutterstock is one of many photo sharing sites that encourage folks to go out, fill up their memory cards and share until their hearts are content. With Netherlands photo sharing startup Twelfer, the idea is just the opposite.

“Just imagine that you want to shoot some photos but instead of using a memory card, able to hold more than 1200 photos, you only use one roll of film of 12 shots. We bet you’ll be more focused before shooting a photo, thus at Twelfer, we bet you’ll be more focused before showing a photo.” Edwin Janssen, co-founder of Twelfer told in an interview.

Their platform requires self curation. When DSLR cameras have made it easier than ever to shoot 1000 photos at one event, picking your 12 best is a task that’s much harder than it seems. It’s not only good for the photographer it’s good for the viewer as well.

“Do you think it’s easy to mark your absolute best photos from your good ones if you can show a couple of hundreds? If not, go to our website and show your 12 best photos. In addition, your viewers will never fall asleep again due to browsing through your portfolio endlessly.” Janssen said.

Janssen is himself a perfectionist, at least when it comes to photography. Being overly critical of his own work made it possible for him to win first place in the Photo Academy Awards (Netherlands & Belfium) and several International Photography Awards and honorable mentions.

Twelfer’s technical co-founder is Senno Kaasjager. Kaasjager has been programming since he was nine years old, starting out on a Commodore 64. When Janssen explained the idea around Twelfer “…he was immediately interested, since he also believes, that the “information age” is more and more becoming a “non-information age”, because of the lack of filtering of content that is being put online nowadays”.

While Janssen refuses to use the word lazy, moving from film to digital allows photographers to have multiple chances to get the photo right. Digital can actually help photographers get the absolute best picture, but that’s no reason to upload 50 shots of the exact same pose.

Twelfer solves two fundamental problems:

  • Maintaining your focus on your absolute best photos that you want to show – instead of trying to fill up your ‘online storage’, not removing your good photos from your best photos.
  • Giving a very clear focus to your viewers – instead of them browsing through your portfolio endlessly, processing large chunks of information and therefore naturally losing their focus.

They have no real secret sauce other than the fact that you can only post 12 pictures, making it more of a gallery rather than a photo sharing site. “Flickr and other photo sharing communities are more like ‘storage solutions’ instead of them being a platform for you to show your best work only. “

For more information you can sign up for early access to Twelfer here at

The nibletz team is back on our sneaker strapped nationwide startup road trip, part deux, here’s how you can help!

Starter Pad Is A Collaborative Online Community To Build Startups

Starterpad, International Startups,startup,startup interviewLithuania has a bubbling startup community and Lukas Gediminas Sukys, the founder of Starter Pad, is hoping to broaden his reach way beyond his home country.

He bills his startup, Starter Pad, as a new way to build startups online. It’s a collaborative platform for entrepreneurs to reach other entrepreneurs, create ideas and then build them remotely.

“…I was thinking about ways to improve Startups building process and make new connections with entrepreneurs. After some tries to achieve these goals, I understood that Startup people using computer as main tool for building startups, so that means website would be ideal place to begin from” Lukas told in an interview.

For those new to starting up, Starter Pad has four main objectives to helping founders find each other and build.


We bring all Startup specialists to one place with fully completed profiles. It’s so easy to find your CoFounder or research to hire these startup specialist. Just what you really need.


You can learn from our community of specialists every day by watching their activity in groups, startups, questions page and other places. Give direct questions to them and ask for feedback.


If you have your startup idea, you can add it to our Startups list and begin to search for a cofounders, mentors, advisors or even investors at our Pad. StarterPad Advocates and our community are at your disposal to get the feedback you need.


The final step after being successful of building your Startup: We help you to grow your business. get specialists which will help you to grow. Experts from every IT business role, working on the biggest StartUp hive-mind on the internet to help you grow responsibly.

Starter Pad also provides resources and ideas for legal issues, pitch development, marketing and business development.

Lukas, along with co-founder Joseph Martz, are hoping that Starter Pad can become an international place for startups to launch.  As for Lithuania though, the startup scene is growing.

“Lithuania is a small Baltic country, with a population of about 3 million. Our entrepreneurial culture is relatively young: Lithuania has only 20 years out of the Soviet Union, so its a too short timeframe to have a strong entrepreneurial base. However, it seems to grow very fast. Here are based international startups like YPlan or GetJar. Lithuanians specialists are known because of their high productivity in addition to their technical skills, but our roots are a bit conservative” Lukas said.

Starter Pad isn’t alone in the collaborative, connect a founder space. There are other startups that we’ve written about here like LaunchTable, FounderSync and Cofounders Lab just to name a few.

To that end Lukas says; “Our secret sauce is to connect Startup people. There are a lot of specialists living in smaller cities and countries, who can’t attend to startup events easily. StarterPad gives an opportunity for them to connect with specialists from the biggest Startup stages and gather their experience. For Startup rockstars, it is a great way to find talents.”

What else can we expect from Starter Pad? “Our focus now is to make Startup building process more social. So we are planing to make feed for every startup, where you can post what your team is working on. We think this will engage to check StarterPad every day to see progress of Startups you are following.

“For Startup teams, it should give more motivation to build things. Community responses always trying to help to stay motivated and choose the right way for your Startup.”

You can find out more about Starter Pad here.

500 Startups And More Back Philippines Startup Payroll Hero

Payrollhero,Philippines startup,Canadian startup,funding500 Startups, LX Ventures, the Futura Corporation, 8capita Partners, Ryan Holmes (founder of Hootsuite), Dan Martell (CEO of Clarity), Benjamin Joffee and other angels have all backed Philippines/Canadian startup Payroll Hero to the tune of $1 million.

Payroll Hero was dubbed the IT Startup Of The Year in the Philippines for their back end HR platform that provides payroll, attendance and scheduling services for companies both large and small. Tech In Asia says that the company is software that makes sure “people actually work”.

The company currently has customers in the USA, Philippines, Canada, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India. They plan on using part of this investment to expand across South East Asia.

Payroll Hero was one of 16 international startups to participate in Startup Arena, a pitch contest held over the summer. Ben Joffee, who is sometimes referred to as “Mr. Asia” was one of the judges at that contest and then put his money where his mouth is by investing in this round.

More available at the source.

Calmighty Is The Twitter Of Calendars For Sports? INTERVIEW

Calmighty,Finnish startup,startup,startup interviewIf you find yourself toggling between apps like the official NHL app, the official NBA app and ESPN just to find out when your favorite teams are playing, than a startup out of Finland may have the answer for you. Calmighty, says they are the “Twitter of Calendars” for sports fans.

The app offers an easy to use interface which allows you to quickly scroll through your favorite professional sports leagues, pick your favorite teams, or an entire league and have one click access to when and who your favorite teams are playing.

This may not be the biggest of first world problems to solve, but their UI is both pleasing to the eye and a breeze to navigate. At the moment the NFL and MLB are not part of the app, which may be a downer for some sports fans but if you like soccer, NBA, UFC, or NHL you’re in luck.

Finland has had some luck with mobile startups in recent years. Rovio is probably their most well known mobile developer, with their Angry Birds franchise.

We got a chance to interview Calmighty co-founder Tomi Kaukinen. Check out the interview below.

Read More…

Add Your Portfolio To Your LinkedIn Profile With French Startup Dokker

Dokker, French startup, Linked In, startup,startup interviewLinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the most useful tools to connect with people from your work life. However, many users have complained that their LinkedIn profile doesn’t give them an adequate platform to show off their portfolio. This can prove to be an important missing piece for marketers, artists, designers, and even writers.

French startup Dokker is looking to change that by offering a platform for portfolios to sync up with LinkedIn accounts. Dokker is free and allows users to post any kind of document to their online portfolio. Once a user builds a Dokker portfolio they can share it with LinkedIn and also Viadeo, which is LinkedIn’s number one competitor in Europe.

Services like Dokker allow for a much more robust picture of someone’s work life rather than just text and recommendations.

We got a chance to speak with Fred Ducrot, Dokker’s co-founder, General Manager and Product Designer. Check out our interview below.

Read More…

Wedjinni A Bulgarian Startup In The Wedding Planning Space

wedjinni,Bulgarian startup,startup interview, startupWedjinni a Bulgarian startup founded by Theodore Batzakas is hoping to become an internet head turner in the do it yourself wedding planning business. More and more wedding sites have gone the route of integrating wedding planning tools, however Batzakas says that Wedjinni is easier to use and at the same time more robust.

After getting married himself, Batzakas realized there was a huge hole in the market for something like Wedjinni, telling in an interview:

“We got married. And while doing it, we found that organizing this thing is not easy at all! So we thought that a great tool was needed in this business to help couples do that in a more enjoyable way, without messing with previous-era tools. We had the expertise, we had the idea, so we now have wedjinni.”

With tools available from and Martha Stewart’s OmniMedia, is their really room for something like Wedjinni? Check out our interview with Batzakas below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Read More…

Israeli Startup Intucell Acquired By Cisco For $475 Million


An Israeli company that created a technology that allows cell phone towers to communicate with each other, has just been acquired for $475 million dollars.

Business Insider reports that Israeli startup Intucell, started four years ago, and prior to this acquisition, had only raised $6 million dollars. The initial investment round had one investor, Bessemer.

After Bessemer’s investment was reported in 2011, AT&T quickly started using the technology.

On Wednesday, All Things D suggested that this was a very good investment for Cisco. The report by Arik Hesseldahl suggests that strategically this makes sense because of the relationships that Intucell has with wireless carriers globally.

Another key factor is the technology deals directly in computer aided, customizable software to control networking.

The idea is basically this: Software controls can define and dynamically control the size and configuration of a network, rather than swapping out hardware. Hesseldahl said in his piece.

SplitThe Check, The Bill The Kitty With Kittysplit

Kittysplit, Berlin startup,startup interviewYou gotta love it when startups name themselves after exactly what they do. That’s the case with Berlin startup Kittysplit. The company, founded by Caspar Wrede and a team of four friends have found a way to split checks, and settle up when more than one person is paying for anything from a meal to a bar tab to a weekend holiday.

The app uses an easy three step wizard for splitting up the “kitty” and it’s free of charge.

When asked how they came up with the idea for Kittysplit, Wrede told “The ski trip where everyone has a different mix of how they got there, where they stayed, and what they ate — splitting the costs afterwards was a huge headache. The shared apartment whose expenses are kept via a mind-bogglingly complex Excel spreadsheet. We searched in vain for a painless solution online. Finally, the 5 of us got together, drank beer and stroked our chins, and set out to to make splitting costs as easy as humanly possible.”

For now the platform is web based. Wrede says an app is in the works but he wants to make sure that the mobile app doesn’t complicate things.

Check out the rest of our interview with Wrede below.

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