Google Backs Minnesota Game Startup That Diagnosis ADHD

CogCubed, Minnesota Startup, startup news, Google

CogCubed is a Minnesota based startup that is using an interactive video game platform to help diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder which has affected 5.4 million children since 2007, according to the CDC.

CogCubed uses gaming platform Sifteo, which debuted two years ago. Sifteo is a set of interactive blocks with small screens on them. Developers have programmed them to do a variety of things.

In the case of CogCubed, Minneapolis child psychiatrist Monika Heller and her game developer husband Kurt Roots invented a game where children use one cube as a mallet to hit a gopher that appears on the other three cubes, according to a report in the Star Trubune.

As the game continues, obstacles such as birds and other animals start appearing on the other screens. The player must continue to focus on the gopher.

Roots and Heller have incorporated 70 different data points in the game to discern things like when the player’s attention drifts and if the player is fidgeting. The couple told the Star Tribune that the game can even help improve a child’s attention span.

While a clinical diagnosis would still require a psychiatrist, Heller is hopeful that they can get CogCubed into homes to help parents with an early diagnosis.

“Six to 12 months is the average waiting period to see a child/adolescent psychiatrist [for a comprehensive evaluation],” she said.. “How phenomenal would it be if Mom could have an assessment tool at home?”

CogCubed is awaiting FDA approval for a version of the game that can be used as a diagnostic tool.

They also have data from a study that validates Roots’ and Hellers’ claims. The study at the University of Minnesota matched a psychiatrist’s diagnosis 75% of the time. The current standard, a computer test called “The Continuous Performance Test,” is accurate about 62% of the time according to Heller.

CogCubed has raised $20,000 from Google. They’re also a finalist in the Minnesota Cup.

You can find out more about CogCubed here at

Photo: StarTribune


Chicago Startup: Safe Snips Wins TechWeek Launch Competition


Monday at Chicago TechWeek was Startup City day. 34 Startups from Chicago and everywhere else participated in an expo day and Launch competition.

The competition included $100,000 I’m cash and business services for the winning companies. The prize package included six months free space from Catapult, services from Microsoft, Motorola Xyboard tablets from Verizon Wirless, a year supply of Diet Coke, $5,000 dollars in cash and more.

The finalists in the contest were narrowed down by their startup overall. The panel of judge combed the exhibit floor early on in the day and then selected four finalists. A fifth finalist came from popular vote by attendees. Attendees of the Startup City expo were given a card when they went in and told to put their card in the jar of the startup they liked the best. We thought it was a good system but apparently flawed in talking with over 50 attendees none of them had even seen the booth for Biz Inject the startup that had supposedly won the popular vote. Even worse during the judges Q&A the founder had trouble conceptualizing his concept in pitch form….

The other four startups selected were great by our standards. They were all fresh innovative ideas, with great pitches. The other four finalists were GDine, Mouse House, SafeSnips and Pretty Quick.

GDine is revolutionizing the way people dine in groups. Using GDines platform users can enjoy similar benefits to “Restaurant Week” year round. Groups can choose menus from participating restaurants, split the check and pay in advance. GDine has already received $650,000 in funding, and released last March, The service is already available in Chicago and Ne York.

The company founded said that with only 30 restaurants on board in New York as well as the fact that they’ve only been in New York a couple months, New York is pacing to pass Chicago,

Mouse House I love it when I learn cool totally off the wall things. With Mouse House I did just that. This startup has revolutionized the way Mice ponds are tracked and kept up with in labs,

Traditionally mice are kept in groups in cages with index cards on the front of the cage and data updated by hand. Mouse House puts the information in an iPad app. This new app greatly cuts down on the time of the administration of keeping up with the mice and frees scientists up to spend more time experimenting.

Pretty Quick

this startup was founded by a former employee of also Loreal who discovered the problem she was solving when a plane she was to take from France back to the states was delayed 2 hours. As she said in her pitch, she had two hours to be by herself and do something for herself.

She wanted to get her nails done and find somewhere in the airport or close by to do that, and book an appointment on short notice.

Now here new startup makes it extremely easy to find salons and book appointments with a variety of options. Again a really great idea.

SafeSnips would fall into the medical devices category. The team behind SafeSnips has developed a technology that will be implemented onto surgical cutting instruments. Using near infra red technology SafeSnips will make cutting safer and less likely to accidentally cut arteries which can be fatal.

SafeSnips had one of the most innovative ideas. Since they are incorporating their technology into existing medical devices they don’t expect FDA approval to take very long.

On top of their innovative technology they had a great and enthusiastic pitch. During the Q&A session during the finals the pitchman for SafeSnips didn’t miss a beat while answering the questions. Obviously these factors played into SafeSnips being the winner of the TechWeek launch competition.


Find out more about SafeSnips here at their website

Here’s more our our Chicago TechWeek Coverage Here

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Techweek Startup City: LAUNCH contestants



Tomorrow is the third consecutive year of Techweek’s LAUNCH event.

On Monday, June 25, Startup City will highlight the startup ecosystem’s creativity and variety, giving attendees an exciting sneak peak of the newest ideas entering the market.

Located in the exhibit hall, this space provides an area for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs from Techweek LAUNCH to demo their products and network with potential investors and customers. Exhibitors can also receive feedback from technology trendsetters, media representatives, digital creatives and other exciting industries that attend Techweek. Startups are an important part of the world economy and an integral element of our conference.

I have compiled all of the startups and their websites that I could.  I was unable to locate MouseHouse and/or Care Content.  Take a look over the different contestants and let us know who you feel has a chance at winning top prize here at Techweek.



Care Content


Couture Circle

Driveway Software









MobileX Labs



NextCrew Corporation






Regroup Therapy






Venue Cricket

VIPorbit Software


Cornell University Startup: Empire Robotics Wins Five Minute Pitch Contest


A robotics startup founded by Cornell University students in Ithaca New York took home the top spot in the recent Worcester PolyTechnic Institutes Venture Forum Five Minute Pitch Contest.

The young entrepreneurs are hoping to develop their robotic gripper technology, think those wild orange gripper things, that functions robotically.

According to the Worcester Business Journal
The gripper is a ball-shaped elastic membrane filled with granular material attached to a robotic arm. The air pressure inside the ball is manipulated to adjust the softness or hardness of the gripper, allowing it to conform around and squeeze objects.
This exactly the kind of tech that’s missing for bringing more agile manufacturing to the United States, to automate manufacturing lines in the United States, and that’s exactly what we intend to do with this patent pending technology,” John Amend, the company’s chief technology officer told a roomful of businesspeople, investors and others gathered in the school’s campus center Tuesday evening.

The team took home a prize of $2500. While they aren’t breaking the bank with that kind of prize money, they are getting invaluable exposure from the investor community.

A company called SafeSiren which makes a safety device for school students took home the second pace prize. Other ideas presented included a better way to sterilize catheters, an energy management system for hotels and a blue tooth device designed to replace hearing aids. Check out the source link below for more on those companies.

Source: Worcester Business Journal

Tips For Pitching At A Hackathon Style Pitch Weekend


As the voice of Startups everywhere else we spend quite a lot of time at hackathon style startup competitions. You know the type,two or three day build a startup weekends. In fact there’s an international organization called Startup Weekend that hosts a lot of the events we really enjoy covering.

Now let’s preface this and say these tips are from the last ten events Cameron, Brent and I have attended and or judged, and not the two events we are at this weekend.

Timing Is Everything
In most weekend long startup competitions the first day starts with rapid fire pitches. From there they are whittled down to a handful of ideas that will be developed over the weekend period. The rapid fire idea pitches are between 2 and 5 minutes. That’s certainly not a lot of time. Make sure your pitch is concise and you don’t sound like the micro machine man.

Cut To The Chase
You don’t have a lot of time to pitch. Jump right into the idea first and do the background stats second. It’s ok to run out of time rattling off statistics that many have probably heard before. If you start with the stats upfront,you may not have enough time to actually get the idea out there. If you run out of time on the idea, your startup has very little chance of getting produced.

Build The Startup During The Contest
Keep in mind these are “weekend pitch contest tips”.
If you have your pitch deck done, a product in beta or at least a concept built,a weekend hackathon style contest isn’t the place. You need what we call in these parts, a networking event.

To me there is nothing less classy then signing up for a startup weekend event, pitching a product just about done that may need a designer or two or a marketer, or an investor and then leaving when your idea doesn’t get picked. Network, help others that aren’t as far along as you are.

Mark’s Mango Smoothie Shop or Toms Tshirt manufacturer isn’t a “startup” most startup weekend style events are looking for businesses that can go from idea to proof of concept in 48, 54 or 72 hours.

The Team That Works Around The Clock Will Probably Win
I’ve only seen two startup weekend style events where the teams didn’t have at least the option of working all weekend long. If you had a great idea and so did Tom and you went home and Toms team stayed all night, when you get back in the morning don’t be surprised if they already have social media streams, an alpha shell and feedback from four major companies. That’s just the way it goes.

In fact at a Startup Weekend in Portland most teams stayed all weekend even with a threat explosions and guns

Do Your Research
If you’re going to make a claim in your pitch that you have the first ever this or the first ever that,do some research. When judging contests I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt if I can’t find your concept ten pages back in Google search results. However if your idea is on the first page in the Google Results within the first two results, FAIL.

Pay It Forward
Last night at the launch for 48 Hour Launch in Memphis folks from Friendsignia, Paytopia, Work For Pie and other local companies who have either been through 48 Hour Launch or Seed Hatchery were there. They joined teams and they are mentoring and helping. Especially “everywhere else” you need to stick together. Take a look at St.Louis. St.Louis native Jim McKelvy, best known for being a co-founder of Square, is constantly reinvesting in St. Louis.

More tips to come later

Memphis Startup: Bryant Williams Pitches Crowdfunding Based On Social Clout

Over 20 ideas for startups were pitched Friday evening at 48 Hour Launch in Memphis Tennessee. One of the great ideas was pitched by Memphis entrepreneur Bryant Williams.

Williams wants to take advantage of the JOBS Act and crowdfunding legislation slated to take effect next month. Williams has a rather unique approach though.

What he is hoping to do is have a startup, entrepreneur or whoever is looking for crowdfunding for their project to get it based on the merits of their social graph. Basically, someone looking to get crowdfunded via Williams’ new startup would have to have their Twitter and Facebook influence factored in.

While Indiegogo and Kickstarter both allow for comments on their pages, it’s just another social network to comment on. Why bother utilizing a new comment space when you’re already posting on Twitter and Facebook anyway.

First things first though, is we have to hear the rules on the JOBS act. The SEC has until July 4th to establish those guidelines.  Check out Williams pitch below:



See More of our 48 hour launch coverage here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more stories from “everywhere else”

Memphis Startup: Unique Love First To Pitch At 48 Hour Launch

Tonight kicks off 48 hour launch in Memphis Tennessee. Nibletz is on location covering this 48 hour event where 4 startup companies are going to launch.  The event is a collaborative effort of Launch Memphis, Startup Hatchery and LaunchYour City and takes place at the Emerge Memphis campus in beautiful downtown Memphis.

Over 20 ideas were pitched during the two minute pitch sessions tonight. Of those pitches four have been selected to be built out over a weekend of fun and camaraderie for Memphis’ thriving startup scene.

The first two minute pitch was for a unique dating site called “Unique Love”. The site focuses on people who are looking to connect that have common unique loves, obsessions or phobias. Get your mind out of the gutter this is not about fetishes, and more about cat lovers, dog lovers, people who love the stars, or antiques, places to find die hard unique interests.

It’s also a please where two people can connect with common phobias. It may be great to hook up with someone who has the same fear of the dark, spiders, or crowds. You may end up finding someone who understands your unique situation. That’s what Unique Love is all about.

Check out founder Stark Miller, pitching in the video below:

TechStars Announces New Patriot Bootcamp July 18-20 in DC

Veterans are you ready to venture out on your own? Have you had a great startup idea like former Navy Seal Doug Moorehead? If a startup is in your civilian career path then pay attention to this important announcement from TechStars.

TechStars, the Boulder Colorado based accelerator with programs all over the country (“everywhere else”) has announced a new three day bootcamp designed for veterans who want to learn everything there is to know about launching their own startup.

The intense three day program will occur next month on July 18-20 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. If you’re interested in participating you can apply here.

During the three day program participants will hear from successful TechStars alumni, industry leaders, DC area startups, mentors and speakers. All of the speakers and mentors are emotionally invested in supporting Veteran entrepreneurs.

TechStars said on their website:

“Over the course of the three-day program, the presentations by TechStars mentors and one-on-one mentoring will guide the participant to solidify a business idea, focus their fundraising pitch, improve their accelerator application, refine their product concept, or demonstrate progress as it relates to their entrepreneurial path. Each participant or group of participants will deliver a short presentation on Digital Demo Day to share their progress.”

TechStars has assembled a great group of sponsors for Patriot Bootcamp including: the Kauffman Foundation, Kauffman Fast Trac, Silicon Valley Bank, Prediculous and Georgetown University.


Find out more about TechStars Patriot Camp Here

Here’s the application

More on TechStars Here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more new stories from “everywhere else”

Mass Challenge Announces 125 Startups In Third Session

MassChallenge kicked off the week by announcing the 125 startups that have been chosen to participate in it’s third edition of their accelerator program/competition. MassChallenge is the largest accelerator competition on the east coast.

This years class of 125 startups includes 90 startups from the Boston area, with the other 35 coming from all over the country.

There are 46 tech startups, 25 social startups, 21 in bioscience and life science, 11 in clean tech and energy and 22 in miscellaneous categories.

Here is the complete list.

Energy & cleantech

  • Arbsource
  • Black Island Wind Turbines
  • Bootstrap Compost
  • Dynamo Micropower
  • HydroConfidence, Inc.
  • Invisergy
  • NBD Nanotechnologies
  • RainBank Inc.
  • Solar Tri-Gen
  • TireTech
  • Zagster


  • Bio-Fiend
  • CrewTide
  • Cryoocyte
  • Fetch Storage
  • FX Aligned
  • GG’s Originals
  • HelmetHub Corporation
  • LiquiGlide
  • LittleBonsai, LLC
  • Memory on Hand
  • Ministry of Supply Inc.
  • Modalyst
  • Pegasus Performance
  • Roammeo
  • RouteSprout
  • Strong Arm Technologies, Inc.
  • Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips Inc
  • TableZest
  • Te Tama
  • Zoora

High tech

    • 42stats
    • A.I.type Ltd.
    • Akselos
    • Appsembler
    • Atomic Tower, Inc.
    • Bottol
    • Bounce Imaging
    • Calcbench
    • Capital Market Exchange (CMX)
    • Citybot, Inc
    • CoachUp
    • Delightfully
    • docTrackr
    • Dpicd
    • Drones For Peace
    • FansFave
    • Fantasy Politics
    • HandyBook
    • iAgree
    • IntegralReach
    • Kahnoodle Inc
    • Kanopy
    • Kernel Corp. LLC
    • Klypper Inc.
    • Lifeables
    • Magru
    • MegaMIMO
    • Mindcrimp
    • MOVL
    • Nordic Technology Group (NTG)
    • Nsyrt Corporation
    • pymetrics
    • Recruiterbox
    • Schmooze Butler
    • Securigin Inc.
    • SocialMadeSimple
    • Stable Solutions
    • STUI
    • Texifter, LLC
    • Tomorrowish
    • ToolSense
    • TripReactor (formerly WaySavvy)
    • Veenome
    • Vsnap
    • Wanderu

Life sciences & health care

  • Akrivis Technologies
  • Automated Medical Instruments, Inc.
  • CardioWave
  • Cellanyx Diagnostics
  • eTransitions
  • Guided Surgery Solutions
  • Imagnus Biomedical
  • Ionu Biosystems
  • iSpecimen
  • Lab Automate Technologies Inc
  • Nanoly Biotech
  • Neumitra
  • Noor Pharmaceuticals
  • OnDeckBiotech
  • PhotOral, Inc.
  • Quantamerix
  • Sextant Therapeutics Inc
  • Ubiqi Health
  • Vaxess Technologies
  • WindGap Medical Inc.
  • Yosko

Social impact

  • ArtPulse
  • Design Museum Boston
  • EcoValuePoints
  • Freight Farms
  • Global Research Innovation & Technology
  • Gradeable
  • IoVista
  • Lovin’ Spoonfuls Inc
  • LuminAID Lab
  • Market Publique
  • Native Brain
  • NBA Math Hoops
  • Persistence Plus
  • Prepmatic
  • Prime Student Loan Guarantor Corp.
  • Project Dots
  • RallyPoint Networks, Inc.
  • RetiCue
  • SilviaTerra
  • Soundfest, Inc.
  • Spill
  • TinkerStories
  • Zimba

MassChallenge has been the catalyst for growth for lots of great startups. We recently interviewed Brass Monkey, a MassChallenge startup at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 last week.  Good luck to all 125 startups from “everywhere else”.


Source: Boston Business Journal

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Shark Tank Startup From Utah Wins National Small Business Video Contest

You may have seen Kisstixx on ABC’s Shark Tank. The innovative new lip balms that have some kind of attraction, secret formula that makes kissing more compatible, was able to garner a $200,000 investment from Mark Cuban.  When Cuban is asked about Shark Tank startups that he really likes, he often references Kissstix.

The Utah Valley University student founders of Kisstixx, Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo, shared their story via video in a small business contest and were one of four winners selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“We are so proud of Dallas and Mike. They are the quintessential entrepreneurs; innovative, driven, disciplined and always learning,” said Shauna Theobald, director of UVU’s Woodbury School of Business Entrepreneurship Institute to “In spite of their rapid ascent into the national spotlight, they remain committed to connecting and collaborating with other startups and with proven mentors. They’ve demonstrated the power of leveraging the resources and networks of the UVU startup community.”

More after the break
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Utah Startup CompleteSpeech Wins $100k For Building A Better Retainer


An orthodintic/speech pathology startup in Salt Lake City Utah has come home with the $100,000 prize in Utah’s 2012 Springboard Business Competition.

Dan Smith and Dave Larsen, the founders of CompleteSpeech won the competition for their patented retainer called the SmartPalete.

SmartPalete is an orthodontic retainer that has electronic sensors built into the plate. Those sensors record the movements of the tongue and mouth when the patient is talking.

Speech Pathologists can take the recordings made with the SmartPalate retainer and analyze them. They can also use the recordings to show the patient the movements of the mouth and tongue while they are speaking.

The prize is a mix of $50,000 in cash and the other $50,000 in valuable business services. The competition doesn’t stop there though. Smith and Larsen will compete three more times over the next year to win up to $250,000 more in cash and prizes and the honor of being the state champions.

CompleteSpeech beat out a field of over 1,000 initial entrants and then 12 finalists with a tough field of judges including Fraser Bullock, managing director of Sorenson Capital; Amy Anderson, chief executive officer of Mediconnect; and SkullCandy CEO Jeremy Andrus.

“If you have a good idea, you need to plan it out (and) get all the resources that you can around you,” said Larsen, chief executive officer of CompleteSpeech told ksl.comYou need to believe in yourself and go do it.”

Disrupt Is Like Shark Tank, Capital Connection & TechBUZZ Are Like Pitching To Trump

We saw some of the best and brightest new startups from primarily the greater Washington DC area, at TechBUZZ today. TechBUZZ kicks off the annual CapitalConnection conference which focuses on private equity, startups, growth companies and emerging trends.

Capital Connection is celebrating its 25th anniversary super serving the private investment community in the greater Washington DC area. When Capital Connection first started out most of the investors invested in companies within 100 miles of their homes here. Nowadays with the global change in startup climate, angel funding and venture funding, the hundreds of investors at the conference represent a global community.

Although we’ve been to Launch, DEMO and TechCrunch Disrupt (even yesterday), Capital Connection feels different. It’s a more seasoned crowd of investors ranging from angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity firms and more. Where you get the feeling that the angel and VC firms we read about in TechCrunch and PandoDaily every day, are great people but even fairly new themselves, the Capital Connection conference feels like more seasoned, and dare I even say “old money”.

A better analogy may be, that where pitching at TechCrunch Disrupt, DEMO or Launch would be like pitching to Shark Tank, Capital Connection feels more like pitching to Donald Trump.

Where we wore shots and nibletz t-shirts yesterday we’re in slacks and polos today and possibly a bit underdressed. If you’ve ever been to a startup conference it’s typically shorts, crocs and your startups t-shirt. Presenters today are in long sleeves, some with their startup t-shirt hanging out and some in ties and jackets.

All of this atmosphere makes the pitch seem a little more formal and probably a little tougher on the startup.

We’ll be bringing you coverage over the next couple of days from this amazing conference.


NY Startup: Bar & Club Stats Presenting At TechCrunch Disrupt This Week

If you go to bars and clubs in the New York area and in the near future and have your license scanned by someone with an iPhone or iPod scanner, chances are they are using technology from New York Startup; Bar & Club stats.

The innovative new startup provides a two fold service to bar and club owners in their iPhone/iPod scanning app. The app allows bouncers and doormen to effectively check licenses and IDs. On the backend the app is providing anonymized demographic information that is analyzed and given back to the establishment in easy to understand data.

For example, a bar owner may find that Tuesday nights from 8pm-1am are great nights for women between the ages of 30 and 45, with that data they can offer better drink specials and promotions to attract more of that crowd. A club may also find out that on Thursday night, college night, they actually have a bunch of patrons who are in their late 20’s. Maybe changing college night to another night would work better for them.

This is just one of the many exciting startups presenting in either “Startup Alley” or the Disrupt Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC this week.


Arizona Military Startup: AlphaStripe Wins Austin Startup AppSumo’s Lean Startup Challenge

alphastripe,lean startup,startup,military startup,We’re starting to see more and more great stories of one startup from “everywhere else” helping another startup from “everywhere else”. That’s the case here with the story of Arizon based Military Startup AlphaStripe.

AlphaStripe provides a multimedia platform for military veterans and participants in wars and conflict situations to record and share their stories.  The Arizona startup is made up of several ASU entrepreneurs, two of which were previous founders of ASU Edison startup companies.

We’re fortunate at to have two former military people on staff. One of our co-founders and Editor at Large, Brent Fishman, was active duty military and said:

“As a former soldier in the United States Army, I can understand the need for something like AlphaStripe. When we come back from a deployment and settle into civilian life, AlphaStripe will help those who have been through it, cope by being able to share and relive those moments with other troops and our families”.

Our Florida based east coast editor Alex Smith, who served in combat on two tours to Iraq and one to Afghanistan,  as a United States Marine, added:

” Peace of mind. When it comes to deployments, many of us hold on to the memories as long as we can and unfortunately PTSD keeps those negative memories playing on constant loop. To have a platform such as the one above, I feel that the user would benefit from not only sharing their life experiences with others that can relate, but also with the healing progress that many Armed service men and women that have undiagnosed cases of PTSD”

Smith, who was diagnosed with PTSD, often deals with it by talking about his experiences in the military as often as he can. He takes great pride, when we are at conventions and other events, to sync up with those mobile, wireless and technology companies that are either founded by former military people or who’s technology has aided the military.

More after the break
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