I gotta tell you, one of the most interesting startups I’ve seen at a startup conference is World Housing Solution. This Orlando based startup has created a way of making extremely strong, quick to build shelters out of Structural Insulated Composite Panels. The company’s founder, Ron Ben-Zeev tells us that SICPs, are like a super strong sandwich made out of fiberglass bread and a foam center. Ben-Zeev and his team have found a way to quickly and effectively use this material for shelter.
The SICPs make World Housing Solution shelters great for emergency needs like the aftermath of a natural disaster. They are also great for deploying in emerging countries. For instance, the scale model of the structure they showed off at Southland is actually being deployed to the horn of Africa as a hospital for women. That project calls for five of WHS’s structures to function as a maternity ward, delivery room, clinic, kitchen and rest rooms. In this case the structures deployed will be permanent but it will take days rater than weeks, months or years to get the hospital off the ground.
In addition to being extremely quick to set up the WHS shelters are hurricane resistant (up to 155mph), earthquake resistant (up to 7.8 richter), they don’t mold, mildew or rot, they’re fire resistant and bullet proof. Ultimately this makes the WHS shelters ideal for fast implementation in civilian, government and military installations.
Although he has no formal “construction” experience, Ben-Zeev is actually a Wharton educated executive with a background involving strategic consulting for Fortune 100 and 500 companies. He also served as Strategic Counsel to the North American CEO and President of Siemens Information Systems.
Comments Off on Orlando Startup: ASPIREDU Is Helping College Students Stay In School0LikeLike 918
A group of educators based in Florida has teamed together to help prevent attrition and improve the dropout rate of college students. It’s a pretty big goal for Orlando startup ASPIREDU.
They’re not offering incentives, rewards or a cute little app to manage the school day better. The team behind ASPIREDU is taking their decades of experience in education and using an analytics tool to help identify at risk students enrolled in online courses so that they can help these schools better manage student retention.
While they’ve been working on ASPIREDU for quite some time they just launched their public facing product after months of testing, yesterday.
The combine a simple overview of at risk students with easy access to details about each student, which helps colleges and universities have a better overall picture of students that could drop out.
ASPIREDU was formed after one of the cofounders, who had been in higher education for ten years, found that she was spending over half her day working on student retention. When she went searching for a software tool to help identify and manage at risk students there wasn’t one.
The bootstrapped startup received a little seed money in the form of a grant from Startup Weekend EDU.
We got a chance to talk with one of the founders Kevin Kopas, about ASPIREDU, because the other two cofounders are still working on ASPIREDU while employed full time they’ve withheld their names for this interview. Check out the interview below.
Now that I’m in my 30’s it seems that every time I go home to visit my parents I go through photo albums and unless the photo is blatantly obvious, you know like the Magic Kingdom castle is in the background, I have no idea the context for the photo. Mom did a decent job of handwriting notes on the back but that still doesn’t give the photos a real good back story.
Fast forward to the internet age and I’ve got digital photos going back to the mid 90’s. All in all I probably have near 100,000 photos. I’m a big picture taker. The problem is, just like with those traditional photo albums, I have no idea the context on lots of them.
Imagine if the photos talked? Well they can now thanks to Orlando startup PicVoice. Currently PicVoice is a web application that allows you to sign in through Facebook, upload photos and then add up to 30 seconds of audio to accompany the photo. Now your photos can really tell a story.
As we learned in our interview below with Founder and CEO Matt Andrews, they’re working on a mobile app right now. They aren’t alone in this space though. Atlanta startup StoryMark also allows you to add audio to photos. They went the other route and put together a great mobile app first, without a web app. That makes StoryMark great for taking photos and posting them with audio. PicVoice on the other hand is great for people who have thousands of photos that are just waiting for a story.
Comments Off on Orlando Startup: Doccaster, Proximity Based File Sharing For Convention Go-ers0LikeLike 806
A new startup in central Florida is looking to disrupt the file sharing space. Rather than going with a cloud based model, like every other startup in the space, Doccaster offers proximity based file sharing. This type of file sharing will be great for conventioneers.
Doccaster is based in Orlando, which reportedly hosts 25 of the top 250 conferences in the United States and ranks behind only Las Vegas and Chicago for hosting conventions. I’ve personally attended many conventions in Orlando, most recently the 2011 CTIA spring show.
With Doccaster you will be able to share files with large groups within a 15 mile radius. The user will be able to search files based on proximity or DoccasterID (user name).
Co-founders Kyle Steele and Himanshu Pagey first launched a location based chat platform in 2010. That startup, called GoTootie, has pivoted into Doccaster.
More and more conventions are going green. Over the past two years the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the producers of the largest trade show in the United States, CES, have made a huge effort to go green, and encourage their exhibitors to go green.
Certainly major exhibitors have the dollars needed to produce thumb drives with their material on them (no company in 2012 would dare give out a CD), but smaller companies at CES or any major trade show don’t necessarily have the money to invest in thousands of thumb drives. Doccaster makes it easy for those companies to sign up for their service and use it as a vehicle to get their literature into convention go-ers hands.