Turn Your Idea Into A Startup On Your iPhone With Elevatr

Elevatr, NY Startup,Startup Interview

Entrepreneurs are currently using a wide variety of mobile apps to help plan and launch their startups. Some entrepreneurs use productivity solutions like Xtrant and Basecamp; others are using GoogleDocs; and some go “low-tech” with just their iPhone’s notepad app. I’ve seen some startup founders who have pages and pages of research, drawings, flow charts, customer discovery, and other pieces of the entrepreneur’s puzzle laid out across multiple iPhone and Android apps.

With an entrepreneur’s brain going 100mph these current solutions can be chaotic at best… until now…

New York-based entrepreneurs David Spiro and Rafa Amormin know the pain of turning ideas into startups using fragmented apps all too well. Until now there was no app in any app store that was specifically designed for hashing out startup ideas.

The Elevatr App is currently available in the iTunes app store, and we’ve been playing with it a bit. The UI is basic and very easy to understand. The beauty of the app lies in the fact that it functions like a Q&A business plan designer, but the output is on your own mobile device.

Using Elevatr App you start with an idea and then go through market, product, business model, and execution. Rather than leaving wide open questions that someone with a new idea may find confusing, Spiro and Amormin have divided each category into sub categories asking the questions that you would typically find in a business model canvas. It’s obvious that Spiro and Amormin are entrepreneurs and not just developers.

We got a chance to talk with Spiro:

EE-LASTCHANCEWhat is Elevatr?

Elevatr is an iOS app that helps guide raw business ideas into concise business plans.

In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother).

The whole point of the app is to give you a structured business plan outline so that you just have to think about building the content for your plan, not the structure of the plan itself. Imagine a very beautiful business plan template broken down into a handful of categories including Problem, Target Market, and Product Features where you can tap on any category to include notes and dynamic media to easily create a business plan from your mobile device. Each business plan can be shared so you can get feedback, work on it with teammates, or pitch it to investors. Users can work on as many ideas as they’d like.

 Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

David Spiro, Founder and CEO, received the University of Michigan Business School’s Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship for his business modeling expertise. Started 2 companies as an undergrad and played baseball for UMICH.

Rafa Amorim, Founder and CTO, building backends globally since he was 15, having been an integral part of building Paymentez, a multinational e-wallet company that has 4 million users.

Where are you based?

We are based in SoHo, NYC.

What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

Technology underlies all industries today but startups are not the leading industry culture in NYC. We see fashion, media, and entertainment as the leading industries here. It’s nice to not be the top of the food chain because everyone in the startup scene is hungry to make it the top of the food chain. Also, we take so much from those industries from business models to company cultural influence. I think you’ll see the startup scene in NYC explode over the next few years.



How did you come up with the idea for Elevatr?

Studied entrepreneurship at Michigan’s Business School and Engineering school. Was around so many entrepreneurs I picked up on a behavior pattern: Everyone was keeping several ideas in Apple Notes. I was being taught business modeling techniques and discovered that the students would enjoy an app that took the pain out of creating the actual structure to the business plan. Then, I realized that the startup revolution had gone mainstream – everyone was pitching me ideas from my sister to my friends moms. When I realized that, I figured it was worth building the app. It’s paid off we have 70,000 users in 2 months.

 Why now?

The startup revolution has gone mainstream. People are so enamored by what’s going on with the Snapchat’s and instagrams of the world saying “hey, if these simple ideas can become $1B companies then so can my simple idea.” I also think that subliminally the Recession of 2009 changed how we perceive security at traditional corporations: they aren’t so safe. Any day you could be out of a job for someone else’s selfishness so why not pursue your own idea instead? The bottom line is that internet entrepreneurship is the future of our global economy and we’re the place to turn those ideas into businesses.

And what’s your secret sauce?

Our understanding of how hard it is to execute on business ideas. It enabled us to build this great v1 and will keep us on the cutting edge for this growing market as we push new products moving forward.

What are some milestones you’ve achieved?

70,000 users in 2 months.

Featured on the App Store for WWDC in Productivity, New and Noteworthy, and Apps for Graduates.

Ranked by Mattermark as the 15th hottest startup according to their social traction metrics.

What’s your next milestone?

It would be a true testament to how entrepreneurial we’re all becoming if we hit 100,000 in 3 months.

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

Elon Musk – the dude made Billions off of Paypal but didn’t sit back and relax. He put it all into solving even bigger problems. And now those are $Billion companies aka SpaceX and Tesla.

My Dad – he’s a surgeon. His work ethic is unreal. If i started to explain it you wouldn’t believe me. I like to think it’s rubbed off on me over the years.

Where can people find out more?



This online accelerator can help you turn that idea into a product.


NY Startup Founder’s Baby Was Sitting In Wet Data: Internet Of Things Comes To Diapers

Smart Diapers, Pixie Scientific, Sensors, NY Startup, Internet of things

Back in October when All Thing’s Digital’s Kara Swisher was speaking at Chicago IdeaWeek, she said that sensors would be the big thing this year. She was absolutely right. There are sensors monitoring everything from your car, to your workout, to your dog’s workout, and now a baby’s diaper.

Last year Yaroslav Faybishenko, the founder of New York startup Pixie Scientific was in the car with his wife and their baby daughter. His wife had asked him if their daughter had a wet diaper. According to this New York Times article, that’s when Faybishenko realized his daughter was sitting in data.

Now you may be thinking, like I was, that sensors to tell if your baby had a wet or soiled diaper may be on the brink of pure laziness. Typically a parent can smell or otherwise observe that their baby’s diaper is full. No sense in getting an app for that, but Pixie Scientific’s “Smart Diapers” are much more than that.

With the Smart Diaper, a urine analysis square is put inside the diaper and when it becomes wet it’s scanned with a smartphone app. The app returns helpful data about the levels of glucose, ketones, proteins, and other things found in urine.

According to babycenter.com, urinary tract infections in babies can be very hard to detect. Sometimes a fever is the only symptom. When a baby has a fever without any other kind of symptoms it can be troubling to the parent. They’re also difficult to detect because it’s hard to get a bacteria free sample from a young baby. Smart Diaper’s technology would provide a great data source for pediatricians.

How much data?

Well there are 360 million diapers changed per day.


Smart Diapers aren’t just about UTI’s though. The sensor can tell if the baby is properly hydrated or if other harmful things are in the urine. There is a sensor with a qr code built in that is on the outside of the diaper. The parent just scans the qr code with their iPhone and all the data sent to the cloud comes back down to their phone with a complete analysis of the child’s latest urine.

Smart Diapers has taken to Indiegogo to raise $225,000, they have 59 days left as of the writing of this article. They’ve received a ton of national press including appearances on ABC News, BBC, CBS, and more.

You can support them at Indiegogo here.


This Louisville startup puts sensors in a tooth brush.


NY Emotional Commerce Startup Fab Raises $150 Million At A $1 Billion Valuation

Fab, NY startup, fundraising

We’ve seen some crazy venture funding, and even crazier valuations, lately. We’ve even some some crazy acquisitions like the $1 billion dollar Tumblr deal.

Unlike some of these other deals though, Fab, a startup that CEO Jason Goldberg calls “emotional commerce,” has customers, revenue, and a big plan for all of the money they just raised. How much was that? Well according to multiple sources the New York based startup raised $150 million dollars at a $1 billion dollar valuation. What’s more is that TechCrunch is reporting Fab has another $100 million dollars on the way.

Investors in Fab’s recent deal included Andreessen Horowitz and Atomico.  New investor, Chinese firm, TenCent is also reported in the deal. This latest round brings their total venture funding up to $310 million.

Why on earth does an e-commerce site need so much money? Well the folks at GigaOm got a hold of this excerpt from a blog post Goldberg plans to post next week.

“Fab is focused on the long term. We are focused on creating “Wow!” shopping experiences that will result in customers making 20+ purchases from Fab within a couple of years. We are focused on being the global brand that represents emotional commerce for decades to come. Fab is not about a single transaction. Fab is about creating Wow! experiences in everything we do, from the unique merchandise we offer, to the user experience on our website and mobile apps, to fast delivery and a delightful out-of-box experience, to the follow-on customer service. We truly believe that it takes investing in Wow! in order to build the next $10B+ E-commerce company, and that’s what we’re doing.”

You can check out Fab here




Meet The Man Behind NY Dress Startup BlueGala

Bluegala, NY startup,startup interview, Guest Post, YECJosh Weiss is the Founder and President of Bluegala, an online retailer of prom dresses, evening, party, and cocktail dresses. Previously, he worked for Lehman Brothers as a High Yield Credit Research Analyst. Josh graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce with a concentration in Finance. Follow him @bluegala.

Who is your hero? 

Steve Jobs.

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

Match and exceed. Always keep a close watch on your competitors and make sure to match and exceed them in everything they do.

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

When we first launched Bluegala, we placed a large order for lower-priced dresses before doing any research to see if we could actually compete in the market selling them. In hindsight, we should have placed a smaller order and tested the waters with a small PPC campaign. The lesson learned is to walk before you run and test everything.

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

Check orders from overnight and go through the previous day in Google Analytics. I do this to keep a handle on what’s selling and if there are any issues. Google Analytics helps me to constantly get a sense of where our traffic/sales are coming from and if there are any red flags causing consumers to bounce off the site.

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

Bootstrap your business for as long as you can and try to scale it from there. If you eventually need money, you want the business to be as profitable as possible to get the best valuation, and you want to hold onto the most equity you can.

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

Dive into your analytics. If you don’t know what to look for, there are tons of books and blogs that can point you in the right direction.

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

I define success as being one of the dominant players (if not the most dominant) within a certain industry or niche. Success is accomplishing what others were unable to accomplish and thriving where others have failed.

I will know my business has succeeded when Bluegala is the go-to resource for social occasion gowns. We have had a lot of growth since our founding in 2009, but there is still a long way to go before we establish dominance in the sector. Each year that passes allows us to learn more and more about what it will take to establish dominance and I am confident we will get there eventually.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.


New York Startup Wants You To DoItInPerson

DoItInPerson, NY Startup, Event Startup,startups,startup interview

There’s a new kid in town in the event space, and it’s New York startup DoItInPerson.

Founder Aron Schoenfeld realizes that the event space is very crowded but it’s also very fragmented.  There are event discovery startups, event community startups, event social networking startups, and event ticketing startups. DoItInPerson is taking all of these fragmented pieces and putting them together in one platform. Their all in one platform promises one place to go for managing, promoting, and discovering events and communities.

Schonfeld has covered everything about an event with DoItInPerson. Using their platform you can create and manage your community, find and book speakers and sponsors, create and sell tickets, create partnerships, invite attendees, and monitor how it all fits together. Schonfeld found, through putting his own events together, that he was using different tools for each thing.

There are already a handful of great event organizers who have turned to DoItInPerson and discovered that the platform delivers everything they say it will.

(Disclosure: We’re using this product to help organize our Everywhere Else Conference and it’s been extremely helpful.)

EEBOTHDiscountWhat is your startup, what does it do?

DoItInPerson.com is an online event platform that allows people to create, manage and promote events and communities. It brings all of the fragmented pieces of the event space together; from creating and managing your community, sending newsletters, booking speakers, selling tickets, adding sponsors to managing partnerships. Our goal is to simplify the event process and create data around events and communities that will help organizers sell more event tickets.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds

The company was founded by Aron Schoenfeld. Aron is an accountant by trade and has worked on multiple startups. His first startup, which he still currently runs, is DreamArtists Studios, a boutique music production company that has composed theme music for shows such as ABC’s Good Morning America and 20/20 and ESPN’s Year of the Quarterback.

Where are you based?

We are based in NY


What is the startup culture like where you are based?

Very intense. Everyone wants to work on a startup and there is a lot of hustle going on. Unfortunately, I think that in NY we see more ideas and less actual startups than in other cities.


What problem does your startup solve?

Our company aims to solve and eliminate the fragmentation in the event space to make it easier for organizers to create, manage, and promote their events in a way that adds meaning and relevance to their events. Currently organizers are forced to use multiple sites and platforms, which leads to a lack of cohesive data across the event space. Through consolidation, we will be able to provide organizers with the data they need to create better events and collect more event registrations.


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

Getting people to see the value proposition and why we are different then our competitors. Many people are familiar with other ticketing sites or other community management sites. We spent a lot of time refining our message to show people we are not just a ticketing or community platform.


What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

We recently had our 100th event run on the site and have had over 1000 registrations.


What are your next milestones

Our goal now is to hit 500 events, get more activity in the community aspect of the site and focus on having people use the speaker portion of our site more, which I believe adds tremendous value to the events and seems to be a lot of people’s favorite feature.


Who are your mentors and role models?

My mentors include Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, who taught me a lot about what I know about entrepreneurship and has helped me any time I have had questions or issues.


My role model is my father who as a salesman, worked extremely hard all the time to make sure we had whatever we needed, but more importantly, always put family first. Whether driving to the Catskills in traffic every Thursday night in the summer to spend the weekends with us, or never missing a school event, he put family first, no matter how busy work was.


What’s next for your startup?

We just launched a redesign for the site and are focusing on making the site a more responsive design. We also plan to launch 5-6 new key features to give the site broader appeal and are hoping to get 4-5 large conferences using the site over the next few months.

Where can people find out more?


Speaking of events did you see these 50 startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY


We Talk With Frank Denbow The GoTo Guy For StartupThread And New York Tech

StartupThreads, Frank Denbow, NY Startup,Startup Weekend, Startup DigestOnce your startup moves from idea stage to something, that often times involves a logo. The next natural move is getting that logo put on whatever you can, especially t-shirts. It seems that no matter how big or small the startup, there’s always a t-shirt for it. NY entrepreneur and startup community leader Frank Denbow has embraced that as the founder of StartupThreads.

StartupThreads is a startup itself that allows startups to go on their site, design, upload, create and have their merchandise shipped. Dealing primarily in startups, Denbow offers very competitive pricing and has seen closets and closets full of startup t-shirts.

Startup culture is becoming more mainstream. Walking the streets of any big startup community, whether it be San Francisco, New York, Boulder or even Nashville you’ll see your fair share of startup wear. Going somewhere like TechCrunch Disrupt or SXSW and you’ll see t-shirt overload. In fact, one of the travel tips I’ve given for SXSW is only pack a t-shirt to wear to the event, startups and bands have your week long wardrobe covered.

As you can imagine with the amount of startups in the world Denbow is a pretty busy guy. But in addition to StartupThreads he’s working on another startup simultaneously and in the infamous words of Billy Mays (RIP), but that’s not all.

Denbow also finds time to attend the NY Startup Meetups, plan and help with NY Startup Weekend and curate the Startup Digest. He also sits on the board for the Academy of Software Engineering.

Denbow is well respected and well liked amongst the startup community across the country. In fact he’s even good friends with our friend Denver Hutt who we reported on earlier this week.

Check out our interview with Denbow below he talks about Startup Threads and how the NY tech startup community has grown so fast.

We’ve got over 50 startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.



Stop Putting Your Fitbit on Your Dog, Fitbark is Here [video]

FitBark,NY Startup,TechCrunch DisruptFitness and the “internet of things” go hand in hand. Today there are hundreds of devices with sensors and monitors that interact with your smartphone to give you the data you need on just about everything. We’ve tested devices here at nibletz world headquarters that monitor everything from temperature, to humidity, to steps walked to chlorine levels in a pool. Yes everything has a sensor.

The biggest segment here is of course fitness. Fitbit, Fuelband and other devices allow users to have their workouts monitored and the info tracked on the smartphone.

Well if you’ve decided to tether fitbit to your dog’s collar either to make it look like you’re working out more or you’re curious what kind of workout Rover is getting while you are at work, you can stop now.

Thanks to the brother and sister team of Davide and Sara Rossi, there is now Fitbark. As  you may have gathered, Fitbark is one of those “internet of things” devies that allows you to monitor the energy level and things that your dog does. You may want to make sure that after that steak you fed him last night, he is sweatin to the oldies while you’re dropping the kids off at school.

But seriously,

Fitbark has some great real life uses that most dog owners would actually consider, before buying the device.

For instance, you want to know that your dog actually went for a walk while he was at the boarding facility or while you were paying the neighbor to “dog sit”. You could tell by the level of activity whether your dog sat around all weekend or if he had his walk. You can also tell by the data sent from the Fitbark to the smartphone app, whether or not your dog was walked at the proper times. If the pet sitter says she walked him at 4:30pm but you see he was sleeping, blasphemy, caught in a lie!

Fitbark is also a great way to monitor your dogs health. After all dogs can’t really talk. You may notice in the monitoring of your dog that he or she goes a few days with a lot less activity, that’s probably an indicator that something is just not right.

For those folks out there that are parents, and only to the canine species, a device like Fitbark may be just what the doctor, I mean veteranarian ordered.

You can support Fitbark on Kickstarter and hopefully be one of the first people to get one.

Check out our video interview with Davide Rossi below.

And here are over 50 more startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.


The Pill Bottle Gets Reinvented By New York Startup AdhereTech

AdhereTech,NY Startup,Health startup,TechCrunch DisruptA New York startup called AdhereTech has created a sensor laden pill bottle.

The bottle looks just about the same as a regular pill bottle, with a little extra girth for both the sensor and a 3g radio chip.  When the 3g radio chip is coupled with the sensors in the pill bottle it can provide information on dosage timing, how many pills are in the bottle and if the bottle is being opened and closed at the correct times.

adhere2The ability to communicate this data to a care provider and also to a health management app can be game-changing to people dependent on taking lots of medication.

We talked with the team at AdhereTech about taking multiple prescriptions,and multiple bottles in the same home will not cause any kind of conflict.

We got to interview them at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2013. They are also going to participate in the AARP/Live Pitch 2013 Health Innovation Conference in Las Vegas.  Out of 100s of applications, AdhereTech was chosen as one of 10 to pitch their product on the main stage.

They aren’t the first health startup to add sensors to products patients use everyday. At CES 2013 earlier this year we met the team from Geckocap that has installed sensors on asthma inhalers which help track children’s albuterol treatments and gamifies the use of the inhaler for young patients to insure they take their inhaler medication.

Check out the video below and for more information visit adheretech.com.

Have you seen these startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013?



Mother’s Stroke Inspires NY Entrepreneur Chad Ruble To Create TapGram

TapGram,NY Startup,TechCrunch DisruptHere at nibletz.com The Voice Of Startups everywhere else, we’ve profiled a few startups that have made the lives of those living with autism easier. Often times these technology startups come in the form of mobile or tablet applications to assist with communication. Whether it’s picture based short messaging or assigning pictures and graphics to simple sentences, doctors have praised the work of those entrepreneurs creating these kinds of apps.

Chad Ruble, a New York based entrepreneur has created something similar, but this time for his mother, who suffered a stroke.

We met Ruble on our sneaker strap road trip when we stopped at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013. It was there that he told us that communicating with his mother was very important to both her and him. So he went to work to create a mobile app that allowed her to send simple messages that were assigned to pictures.

TapGram lets users communicate by tapping large icons to signify moods and needs. After suffering a stroke TechCrunch reports that Ruble’s mother has been dealing with a condition called Aphasia which prevents her from processing language the way that she used to. TapGram was born out of a Microsoft Kinect hack that Ruble put together to help his mom write emails.

TapGram has been in public beta over the last four months and Ruble has found that people who suffer from Autism, brain injuries and of course strokes are using TapGram to assist in their communication.

Check out our interview with Ruble below and for more information visit tapgram.com

This Pittsburgh startup has created a robot called PopChilla for kids with Autism.


Fliqq Partners With Artists Like Wyclef To Use Their Group Sharing Video Technology [interview][disrupt]

Fliqq,NY Startup,TechCrunch Disrupt,WyclefWe’ve seen Wyclef get behind some great things. New York startup Fliqq is the latest.

Fliqq is a platform that allows people to “move in groups” around a piece of video content. It spun out of their original concept which was to move people around the internet in a group. Using Fliqq’s technology a group of friends, a class, a group of colleagues in the same industry or even a family could move across the web from site to site at the same time. Think screen sharing in a much better looking wrapper with a lot more features.

Fliqq’s CEO and co-founder Christian Bendixen explained to us that Fliqq had a great idea and people were using it, but what they found was that most people were using it for video. So they decided to make a half pivot and have Fliqq center around media. At the same time they saw the power in taking it to mobile.

While Bendixen admits they haven’t tested Fliqq to the limit, you could easily use it with groups as large as 50,000. This will make this a great service for concert-goers, people watching plays or fans of an artist, like Wyclef who will partner with Fliqq to use their technology.

Bendixen explains in the video that Wyclef’s fans will be able to get on the platform, and he will be able to share whatever media he wants with them, all at the same time. This could prove to be a very valuable tool.

Imagine going to a tech conference like TechCrunch Disrupt or everywhereelse.co and the keynote speakers could instantly share the slide decks, videos and other images with the entire audience. Or, you could go to a huge concert and the artist could share a sneak preview video halfway through the show. This is the foundation of what Fliqq us all about.

We got to talk with Bendixen in the Startup Alley at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2013. Check out the video interview below:

Check out all of our TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2013 coverage here, brought to you by The Factory in Augustine Florida.


DC Sartup DeJed Wants To Be Ebay For Digital Goods [interview][video][disrupt]

dejed,dejed.com,TechCrunch Disrupt,startup interview,dc startup,ny startup,nibletzDaniel Kim and Bhupinder Singh were at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC’s starutp alley on day one. Their startup DEJED is a new digital goods market place that Kim describes as “ebay for digital goods”.

They are hoping to bring together creators, marketers and buyers in one platform that allows people to find the digital content they need and for creators, and affiliates to get paid.

In an untraditional model the duo are attracting third party people with social clout to help market the digital goods that the creators are selling. This may offer DEJED the biggest competitive edge over competitors. Singh is very excited about this aspect of the business, he told us during an interview that someone with tens of thousands of followers could easily make good money helping to bring buyers to digital goods.

DEJED hopes to become the go to place to buy and sell music, videos, ebooks, apps, plug-ins, code, models, icons, avatars, class notes, games, pictures, animations, how to’s, comics, coupons and any other good that has digital delivery.

On the buyer side DEJED will offer lifetime cloud access for all of the purchased digital goods as an archive to save everything someone buys using the DEJED platform.

Check out our video interview below and for more info visit dejed.com.

New York Startup Rentenna Gives You The Score On Apartments In 16 Major Cities

Rentenna,NY Startup,Startup InterviewIf you’ve ever been apartment shopping online, you know what a pain in the ass it can be. You’re browser usually has 99 tabs open and your going back and forth trying to get as much info as possible. If you’re organized, perhaps you made a spread sheet or kept notes. Well New York startup Rentenna is making lives easier for those shopping for apartments and rentals in New York City, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tacoma and Washington DC. They’re expanding at lightning speed so if you’re city isn’t available now it should be soon.

Between the three cities Rentenna have over 100,000 buildings listed in their platform. From there everything you would ever want to know about the apartment building is rated into one simple score 1-99 so you can quickly find the best bang for your buck.

Rentenna offers information open rental units from a variety of rental partners,giving users options for available listings. They also offer in depth reviews from their partner Block Avenue.

The startup was co-founded by a powerhouse team including Alicia Scwartz a young serial entrepreneur who’s credits include thecareerproject.org and howtorentinNYC.com. She is also a former New York Times rental expert.  We got a chance to talk with Schwartz about Rentenna. Check out the interview below.

What is your startup, what does it do?

Rentenna’s data-driven rental search is the fastest & most beautiful way to find an apartment you’ll love. Our technology analyzes millions of data points on buildings and neighborhoods, and then compresses that information into a Rentenna Score of 0-100 to help you quickly sort through available listings and decide if a rental building is someplace you’d like to live.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds

Alicia Schwartz is a former rental broker, former New York Times Rental Expert, and a digital marketing consultant to the real estate industry.

A. Kayvon Bina studied Human-Computer Interaction at Stanford University before advising technology & media companies on Wall Street and then co-founding his first successful startup, FranchiseHelp.com.

Sandeep Kella studied engineering at UMichigan, was a Private Equity investor, and has co-founded 2 successful startups (including FranchiseHelp.com w/ Kayvon).

Kevin Dolan, Rentenna’s CTO, studied Computer Science at Cornell. Before Rentenna, Kevin built the search product at Workday (NYSE: WDAY).

Where are you based?

Rentenna is based in the WeWork Labs incubator space in SoHo, New York City.

What is the startup culture like where you are based?

New York overall has a thriving startup culture, with an ecosystem that’s benefited immensely from successful NYC entrepreneurs paying it forward by subsequently becoming mentors and investors to local startups. Our incubator space specifically (WeWork Labs) is an amazing launching pad from which to build a technology company many of our most important contacts and partnerships have emerged from the informal network fostered in the halls at WeWork.

What problem does your startup solve?

Rental search today is an awful experience. Current sites are no better than skimming through classifieds in the paper — line after line of basically identical listings, with no guidance or information to help you find the apartments you might actually want to live in. We use the power of data — data on buildings, on landlords, on rent prices, on neighborhoods, on local bars/restaurants, and more — to help you quickly find the rentals that best match your priorities as a renter.

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

Whenever you’re addressing a major consumer pain point, you’re sure to get an endless stream of (often totally contradictory) feature requests that users believe would solve their problems. If you’re too reactive to that kind of feedback, you’ll end up building an unwieldy product that doesn’t really solve anyone’s problems particularly well. We’ve been disciplined from the very beginning about using qualitative feedback to identify users’ biggest pain points while using a rigorous A/B testing framework to select the solutions (features) that best solve those problems.

What are some of the milestones your startup has achieved?

We’ve built a massive database of over 100,000 buildings indexed, nearly a million listings processed, and over 70 million discrete data points analyzed — all powering a beautiful site that was just recognized as a 2013 Webby Awards Honoree in the Real Estate category!

What are your next milestones

Over the coming months we’ll be identifying and incorporating additional city-specific data sources, testing a bevy of new features, and releasing our mobile app / tablet experience.

Who are your mentors and role models?

Each of the founders at Rentenna has been lucky to work with tremendous mentors throughout his/her career. While there are many successful entrepreneurs whom we admire and turn to for advice on Rentenna, it’s the people we’ve worked with throughout our careers who have shaped us most.

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

The advantage of growing outside Silicon Valley is being in New York, a city we love and which happens to have a startup and investor community that fits well with Rentenna’s business model.

The disadvantage of growing outside Silicon Valley is missing out on those serendipitous connections that get made every day there thanks to the area’s sheer concentration of successful tech entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors. Plus, it means Kayvon doesn’t get to go back to Stanford and stroll down Palm Drive nearly as often as he’d like.

What’s next for your startup?

We’re new, but we’ve resonated with consumers because we’re offering a product that’s unlike any the rental search category has seen before. Our next challenge is to expose Rentenna to as broad an audience as possible, so every apartment-hunter can have the fast & beautiful apartment search experience we think they deserve.

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

People can use the site now at Rentenna.com. We are on Facebook  and Twitter


NY Startup: Slate Science Launches SlateMath, Closes $1.1M Angel Roud

SlateScience,EdTech,NY startup,startups,startup newsWith a fresh $1.1 million dollars in the bank, New York EdTech startup Slate Science has announced the launch of their newest STEM educational product, SlateMath.

SlateMath can be downloaded in multiple languages and is available now in Apple’s App Store.

The SlateMath series was conceived to address a global frustration with math learning. The company’s breakthrough learning methodologies tap into children’s natural and intuitive learning processes, and help them acquire knowledge and competence constructively, using self-guided as well as teacher-guided exploration. “SlateMath has two purposes,” said Prof. Shimon Schocken, one of the company’s co-founders, “to teach math proper through self-paced and engaging discovery, and to expose children to the ways mathematicians think and reason about the world. We see a tremendous opportunity to use tablet technology and constructive pedagogy to endear math to children, and to help them develop into confident and competent thinkers.”

The SlateMath series was designed from the ground up for an environment consisting of tablets, cloud computing, and standardized curricula. The series is based on a huge portfolio of modular, richly-indexed, and recombinant educational apps that Slate Science is now developing. Subsets of the SlateMath portfolio can be assembled to support existing textbooks and learning programs as well as the new wave of emerging digital textbooks. The software also adapts the contents dynamically, to address the learner’s revealed strengths and weaknesses in real time.

“SlateMath is a game changer because it offers a new and innovative approach to teach math. The product is based on an experiential context, hands-on learning, and self-discovery, making the best utilization of the tablet’s touch interface I’ve seen thus far in educational apps. This approach allows children to acquire and understand math ‘in their bones’. The Slate Science technology and learning methodologies are applicable not only to math, but to many other STEM subjects as well,” said Robert Scoble.

In conjunction with the launch, Slate Science announced the closing of a $1.1 Million angel round of funding led by private investors. The funds will be used for continued product innovation, marketing and operational costs.

Slate Science was founded by an A-team of educators and engineers with more than 100 years of combined experience in science education, instructional software development, and mobile platforms. The company developed a proprietary technology and a field-proven methodology for teaching STEM fields. Rather than oferring frontal videos and drill and skill practice, the company is focusing on crafting constructive learning environments that guide children through a rewarding process of self-discovery and intuitive exploration. The company’s proprietary authoring technology enables it to develop and deploy its learning apps in a remarkably efficient and timely manner.

Slate Science builds portfolios of educational apps designed to support standard STEM curricula while allowing students to develop, deeply understand, and experience hands-on conceptual learning. The company’s first series of products is SlateMath, intended for the consumer market and aimed to support math instruction according to the Common Core Standards. A school version of SlateMath, intended for classroom use and equipped with a suite of teaching aids, will be released soon.

For more information visit: slatescience.com

NY Serial Entrepreneurs Danny Nathan & Chuck Masucci Are Bringing Date Night Back

Datenightis, Date night, iwannanom, Danny Nathan, Chuck Masucci, ny startup,startups,startup interviewLast April we reported on New York startup Iwannanom, a cookbook startup that was revolutionizing the online cookbook. Founded by Danny Nathan and Chuck Masucci Iwannanom took a different, more efficient spin on online crowdsourcing recipes.

“I Wanna Nom is a reinvention of the cookbook for the digital world. It’s a recipe bookmarking and discovery tool that allows the user to keep track of recipes they discover anywhere on the internet and easily share them, rate them, comment on them, and find new recipes and dishes by following friends and fellow foodies.” Nathan told us in an interview.

Nathan and Masucci met five years ago while working at POKE New York a well known innovation company that worked with clients like 19 Management, the firm that represent American Idol artists.

Masucci eventually left to join the team at Skedj, which we interviewed back in November. Now Nathan, and Masucci are back together again, along with Joni Goldbach to launch DateNight a new New York startup that’s designed to take the monotony out of dating, post honeymoon phase.

Goldbach met Nathan on a date where they bonded over discussing great marketing ideas. They’ve been together ever since, and admit that they will use their own startup to keep date night alive and well.

“Date Night is a million things to a million different couples. But there’s one common thread we’ve discovered across couples everywhere. Once you’re dating – once you’ve reached the point in your relationship where you start talking about us and we – you stop going out on dates. Candle-lit dinners become take-out containers and theatre tickets become DVD mailers. Date Night gives way to the ease and simplicity of routine” Nathan said of his latest venture. “We believe it’s time for an evening out that was actually planned in advance. It’s time to try something new together – something that fuels your sense of adventure and discovery. Hire a babysitter. Take a class. Party on a school night. Dress to kill, for no good reason but that you can. We believe it’s time for couples to start dating one another, again.”

Nathan, a designer by trade, has turned to advice from Ben Pieratt, one of his role models saying Pieratt “…is always one of the first people who comes to mind for me when someone asks this. I’ve been a fan of Svpply from the early days, and started following his personal blog, etc. to learn more about how he did it. His discussions about transforming himself from designer to co-founder and CEO of a successful startup have always been inspiring to me. He’s a totally down-to-earth guy who made it happen. I respect him for that immensely. ”

Right now the trio is bootstrapping out of their apartments where they are admittedly keeping the cupboards stocked with the simple startup things like Ramen. They plan on iterating quickly and adapting to the community that they’ve started to form.

Sure there are sites out there that recommend things to do, there are also plenty of dating communities but most are targeted towards couples still in that “honeymoon phase” no one has really thought of the post honeymoon phase period. All three founders hope that Date Night can take off and that couples that use the service will continue to have date night with each other for years and years.

Date Night is bringing Date Night back to couples everywhere, find out more here at datenight.is.