Startups In The Fastlane: Velocity Startup Pass It

Velocity Indiana, a startup accelerator just outside of Louisville, Kentucky, just graduated their first class last week. They brought startups from across the country to learn, grow, and accelerate in a beautiful area in the middle of the country. Velocity is the epitome of “everywhere else”.

Pass It, came from Seattle, Washington to work on a next generation photo sharing app. Nowadays, regular photo sharing apps are getting boring and there’s a filter for everything. Startups are looking to find ways to make photo sharing apps more engaging.

Pass It wants users to send their photos “around the world”. They’ve also added an element of competition to the mix.

Pass It is in our Fastlane, our interview feature that profile’s startups that are going through, or just completed an accelerator program.


What is the name of your startup?

Pass it

What accelerator are you in?

Velocity Accelerator.

Where is your startup originally from?


Tell us about your current team?

Bryce Anderson – Moving the business forward.

Robert Eickmann – Mobile developer with superpowers.

Cameron Chinn – Marketing and user acquisition specialist.

Jon Matar – Primary Advisor

What does your startup do?

Pass it is a photo sharing app that allows users to connect, compete, and send their photos around the world.

What are your goals for the accelerator program?

To substantially improve our business model and create as many new relationships as possible.

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

Failure is a part of the process. Every week we tested several hypotheses and we had to constantly adapt our thinking based on our customer feedback.

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

To pivot. We came in to Velocity with an EdTech company and we completely changed our business due to the Lean Startup methodology.

What is your goal for the day after demo day?

To create meetings with potential investors and business leaders in the Indiana and Kentucky entrepreneurial community.

Why did you choose this accelerator?

We chose Velocity because of its central location and outstanding business mentors. I would like to give a shout out to Tony Schy, Dave Durand, Terry Goertz, Michael Browning and Greg Langdon.

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

How much I would learn from the other startups participating in the program. Even though we all had substantially different businesses, we all faced the same day-to-day startup challenges and I learned valuable information from their experiences with the lean startup program.

Where can people find out more?

What’s your twitter handle?



Startups In The Fastlane: Velocity Startup Collabra Music


A number of statups in accelerators have attacked the music collaboration space. It seems artists and musicians everywhere are looking for the best way to hop online and collaborate with each other. Back in May we saw the demo day presentation from Memphis Seed Hachery startup Musistic, promising to be the Github for musicians.

Collabra Music, Louisville startup, Velocity Indiana, startup, fastlane

Collabra Music, a startup currently accelerating at Velocity in Indiana (outside of Louisville), is taking that idea a step further by adding friends, family, and fans into the mix. Collabra Music is about collaboration as much as it is about sharing, performing and discovery.

“We have a big vision for Collabra that connects amateur and independent musicians across the world, creating a collaborative space that inspires new innovation in musical creation and integrates listeners like never before. In developing Collabra and working with many musicians, we came across a common problem, especially for amateur musicians and music students. Many musicians felt that Collabra could help them overcome their struggles in learning, enhancing their experience, and engaging them with their musical practice in more rewarding ways,” co-founder Ryan Michaels told us in the Fastlane interview.

Check out the rest of their Startups In The Fastlane interview below.

collabrascreen2Where is your startup originally from?

Louisville, Kentucky

Tell us about your current team?

Our CEO Ron Karroll is a self-starting non-conformist with a penchant for coding that has been the driving force behind the development of our core product. Ron left his full time job with Humana to lead the charge for Collabra Music and help launch what he hopes will be the next evolution in musical creative collaboration.

Ron determination and drive is buffered by his cautious and calculating musical co-founder Ariel Caplan. Ari is an actuary and master of data and analytics. He and Ron developed the vision together, outlining a new methodology that speaks to today’s participatory listener audience. While Ron mans the software development Ari manages the financial and organizational development for Collabra Music.

As musicians they were both passionate about creating a product that bridged the physical gap between musicians as well as fans connecting to create and collaborate on musical projects online.

Ryan Michaels loves music, he simply loves to listen and he’s always learning guitar. Ryan is well-versed in lean methodologies, grassroots organizing and fundraising. He has diverse experience in customer service, education, and community outreach. He joined Collabra to help develop and execute our marketing strategy and solidify our core team and organizational structure. His energy is pretty much limitless.

What does your startup do?

Collabra Music is an online platform that allows members to connect to create music, collaborate on musical projects, and share their projects online with friends, family, and fans.

We have a big vision for Collabra that connects amateur and independent musicians across the world, creating a collaborative space that inspires new innovation in musical creation and integrates listeners like never before. In developing Collabra and working with many musicians, we came across a common problem, especially for amateur musicians and music students. Many musicians felt that Collabra could help them overcome their struggles in learning, enhancing their experience, and engaging them with their musical practice in more rewarding ways.

Collabra is a solid platform for creative collaboration and now we are releasing the alpha phase of our educational layer for instructors and students to connect and engage through the often painful process of learning an instrument. Collabra connects musicians together to help and hold one another up through the creative and experiential challenges they may face, keeping them committed to their passion for music.

What are your goals for the accelerator program?

Our goals for the accelerator have been somewhat informal as we truly didn’t know what to expect of this experience. We have spent significant time outlining our customer segments, engaging in discovery, validating hypotheses, and formatting our business model. In addition Velocity has been helpful in outlining a number of mistakes and failures we most likely would have made without a cautionary example in education. The knowledge, training, and experience this has provided our team is invaluable and we are incredibly grateful for the relationships we have built this summer.

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

The one thing lesson we learned the most frequently is to appreciate the values in our failures and to embrace our failures along the way for what we could learn from them and apply to future successes. The accelerator encourages you to act on the information you have and hope to succeed but prepare to fail, from every failure a lesson can be carried forward and applied to increase the chances of your next attempt at success.

We also learned to be honest and aware of our team’s strengths as a team as well as the strengths and weaknesses of our individual members. Embracing this awareness has allowed us to act to balance one another strengths and weaknesses.

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

The most difficult advice has not been a specific fact or direction, but rather the fact that nearly every piece of advice we’ve received has in some way contradicted the advice of another mentor. What started as a carefree balancing act of pursuing a few courses of action has snowballed into a high speed cross-fire environment in which you are forced to take rapidly growing banks of conflicting advice and make determinations of action with a predetermined acceptance for failure and the satisfaction in knowing that at least in failing fast you do so at the least cost of time and resources.

What is your goal for the day after demo day?

After demo day we are finalizing our runway for the final months of 2013. Our draft plan has been consistently evolving over the course of this summer as we have worked through a number of growing periods of development and discovery. We have a reasonable runway but long term survival and success in securing revenue in our market will require an infusion of cash to adequately cover our overhead costs and operating expenses for 2014. We have been developing relationships with potential Angel investors and hope to have outlined soft pledges and follow up for equity terms and financing in the months following our demo day presentation.

Why did you choose this accelerator?

We are proud to be a part of Velocity Indiana’s inaugural class, we applied to a number of tech accelerator programs across the country but had our hearts set on Velocity because it kept us close to home, to our roots. The entrepreneurial community has been a blessing in resources and we are fortunate to have been able to establish so many close-knit relationships with the local business leadership here.

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

Our two founders are from Louisville; our third core partner packed his bags to join us for Velocity all the way from Southern California and will be staying on with us here in Kentucky as we move forward from Velocity.

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

We didn’t realize how many opportunities were present to learn from and experience. To truly make use of all the resources of an accelerator program you need a committed team, willing and able to engage and participate reliably when and where they are needed. It can be difficult and there will likely be missed opportunities, but having the resources in time to follow-up and lead the people helping you build your project is essential in appreciating the value in an accelerator program.

The physical and financial resources are a blessing, but the pool of talent, knowledge and experience that is available to offer guidance and leadership in overcoming challenges and obstacles is incredible.

Where can people find out more?

Check out our product at and follow us at any or all of our social networks. You can also sign up for our newsletter and following our blog.


Startups In The Fastlane: Flashstarts Startup RegulatoryBinder

RegulatoryBinder, Cleveland startup, Flashstarts accelerator, accelerators, fastlaneWhile Richard Arlow was pursuing a dual MD/PhD at Case Western Reserve University he experienced the pain first hand that so many doctors, researchers and scientists experience far too frequently.

“I realized that my clinical collaborators were killing themselves to painstakingly record data in hundreds of pages in paper regulatory binders. They would get audited and after two days of searching, the auditor could always find some way to show that the documentation was not accurate, complete or current. Their trial would then be completely shut down, sometimes just over a single missing signature.” Arlow told us in a FastLane interview.

We’ve heard this before from our friends going though the ZeroTo510 accelerator in Memphis, and others in the medical and life sciences startup fields. We also found out that restarting a trial, even after being shut down for something as small as a signature can cost thousands upon thousands, if not millions of dollars. This of course is a huge pain point and a huge problem.

Arlow is hoping to solve this problem with his SaaS solution for the regulated medical industry. RegulatoryBinder is an enterprise document management (EDM) web app specifically for clinical trial regulatory documentation. When researchers, scientists, and doctors integrate their research with RegulatoryBinder, the system will help them keep all of their documentation organized, current and in compliance, saving millions of dollars.

Check out our Startups In The Fastlane interview with Arlow below:


Where is your startup originally from?

Cleveland, OH

Tell us about your current team?

As the sole founder of, I am a medical geek who unexpectedly became an entrepreneur. I was trained as a biomedical engineer and started a device company at Lehigh University in PA. The company created a clinical grade device, several patents, and was named one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Under 25 in 2010.

As for my education, I went to Case Western Reserve University to pursue a dual M.D. / Ph.D. degree again in biomedical engineering. I conducted clinical trials, particularly supercomputer simulations for medical research. I have presented at conferences and have been published in top journals, including Elsevier Neuroscience.

Throughout my involvement in clinical trials

So, I started and have since taken leave from the M.D. / Ph.D. program to pursue this opportunity full-time. I have built a strong team of advisors and developers that compliment the vision.

What does your startup do?

We are a software and service provider for the regulated medical industry.

We developed the first clinical trial regulatory software (CTRS). The software is an enterprise document management (EDM) web app specifically for clinical trial regulatory documentation.

We are also the only hosting provider that assumes responsibility for eRecord regulation compliance for instant, risk-free use.

Without, institutions need to perform additional procedural controls (i.e. training, backups, tech support, access control) and validate software technical controls, in order to comply with regulations. The performance of these controls comes with additional cost, time to implement, numerous procedures and still the risk of non-compliance.

Existing comparable eClinical software takes $3-5M and over 1 year to implement. We bundles these procedures and risk for the user whining their license cost, and provide them with the ability to electronically complete their regulatory binders in the shortest possible amount of time. We can thus exceed both customer and regulatory expectations while lowering total cost.

What are your goals for the accelerator program?

Throughout the rest of the accelerator program, I plan to close more clients, finalize our next major release and start our next funding round – while ensuring that the needs of existing customers are still being met.

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

Iterate everything. As a startup, you have to iterate—or rethink, adjust, change everything you think you know. Iterate your client and investor materials. Iterate your product. Iterate your quality, support and sales strategies. Then iterate your vision, which will cause you to iterate all the former. Of the most importance, iterate how you iterate and manage operations. Have defined and realistic goals, metrics and timelines for all iterations.

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

Doctors don’t make great businesses (on average),  so if I want to make a great business, I need to focus 110% of my energy solely on that goal.

I became a doctor to help individuals.

I’ve become an entrepreneur to make a great business and help society.

What is your goal for the day after demo day?

It’s just another day. I’ve got to talk with potential clients, support users, engage the developers and raise money.

Why did you choose this accelerator?

I was not looking to join an accelerator. I did not need the money or experience of being in an accelerator. And, if you look at the math or history, almost all companies from accelerators fail.

I chose FlashStarts because of the team, environment and enterprise-IT focus. It was the right choice for me and has enabled me to scale the company.

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

I am a Clevelander.

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

I was gratefully surprised by the integration of business, development and designer interns that work with my team.

This enabled me to start assigning tasks and focus on core deliverables, like learning how to be a CEO. :)

Where can people find out more?

Check out more of our Startups In The Fastlane interviews here.


Startups In The Fastlane: NMotion Startup Cinnamon Social

Cinnamon Social, Lincoln startup, startup, fastlane

The Cinnamon Social team, accelerating at the NMotion startup accelerator in Lincoln, Nebraska, has discovered that having a social media strategy isn’t enough. Beyond that, they’ve even found that just pure aggregation isn’t enough either. Companies need to find what people are having conversations about, and then have a way to engage those conversationalists.

Cinnamon_Social_72 Gapps_iconCinnamon Social is doing that with their product called Cinnamon Post, which is built on technology they call voice intelligence or VI.

Cinnamon Post and the VI technology are able to analyze and identify the content that creates conversations. It can then assist users by adding the company or brand’s voice into that social conversation, closing the gap from pure aggregation.

We got a chance to talk with Cinnamon Post co-founder Holly Petersen in our latest Startups In The Fastlane interview. In this series we talk with startups that are currently going through a startup accelerator, giving our readers and community a true feel for acceleration. Check out our interview below.


What is the name of your startup?

The name of our company is Cinnamon Social, and our product is called Cinnamon Post.

What problem are you solving:

Over the last several years we’ve discovered that it’s not enough to help businesses strategize their social media efforts.  You can have a GREAT strategy and not know how to use it or what content to post each day.  Companies of all sizes struggle with this.  Cinnamon Post is a software designed to solve this problem.  We not only zero in on a companies industry-specific content, but we also analyze the content that creates the conversations with their followers so that we can produce more of the content that matters and that generates relationships and loyalties.  From there, the software takes an additional step in that we put a companies posts/tweets etc. into their brand/company voice.  We like to call it, voice intelligence (VI).  VI is an additional and important step that our algorithm incorporates into the intelligent content that’s produced for our customers.

Why now?

Content is king, right?  Content is awesome, but that’s only if you’re posting the right content – the kind of content that generates discussion.  This translates into followers, shares and so forth and ultimately visibility for businesses.  Social media is all about relationships and only extremely soft sells are welcome in social media, so businesses need to take a calculated approach and maintain consistency and the integrity of their brand when they venture out into social media.  Companies are starting to realize finally that social media isn’t going anywhere and if they want to continue to compete, they need to get on the social media train and take is seriously.

Who is your competition?

Tools are starting to emerge now for content.  Adobe has an enterprise level content tool and an accompanying analytic suite and so does RallyVerse, but this really isn’t what Cinnamon Social is interested in doing.  We really want to focus on quality content and how it’s delivered (VI), keeping it simple and straight forward to use.  Companies like BuzzSpice, which is in beta right now and a company called Content Gems more closely match what we’re trying to do.

What’s your secret sauce?

Our secret spice, as we like to call it is our voice intelligence.  Coupled with our precision content, our algorithm can weigh what’s important to customers and what they find attractive, in essence.  Based on this, the content suggestions get more intelligent and when you further dial that down to delivery in their branded voice – you’ve got some seriously tasty content!

Where are you/were you based before NMotion?

We are and have been based in Lincoln, NE.

Why NMotion?

We’ve been marinating on this tool for a while, the timing and how best to deliver it.  Businesses need this tool now and the NMotion program is providing the rigorous accountability and tools that our team needs to deliver our solution in the leanest, quickest and most flexible approach possible.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned since the NMotion session has started?

Keep moving!  Every day matters, especially in the in the world of technology.

Where can people find out more?

You can visit our website at and our various social media feeds at and @cinnamonsocial. EECincyBanner

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?