Comments Off on stopped.at Returns To The Dolphin Tank At SXSW 20130LikeLike 2,580
Mara Lewis, the founder of California startup stopped.at returned to pitch her startup in the Dolphin Tank at SXSWi. The Dolphin Tank is a pitch panel session held at the Startup America Live stage in front of influential judges. The reason it’s called the Dolphin Tank is because the judges are instructed to give constructive feedback rather than criticism as seen on the hit ABC show Shark Tank.
This was the second time Lewis has pitches stopped.at in the Dolphin Tank. After here appearance in 2012 she was able to secure an angel investment. We ran into Lewis while on the LaunchYourCity mission trip to Silicon Valley on Thursday where she told us she’s working on raising another round, it’s time to move her startup out of her apartment and eat more nourishing than Ramen Noodles.
She’s also received a bit of traction for stopped.at which is a platform that turns users onto the newest sites on the web by recommending sites that friends are using. According to her pitch, over 150,000 websites are launched every 24 hours in the US alone.
Check out her pitch below. For more info visit stopped.at
Comments Off on You’re Not Going To Believe That Market For This Startup We Saw At TechCocktail’s SXSW Pitch Jam0LikeLike 1,634
30 startups pitched on Saturday night at SXSW as part of TechCocktails startup pitch jam. They were competing for several prizes including startup services and free flights from American Airlines.
We saw some great startups in a wide range of categories but we can honestly say we’ve never seen anything that pertained to this specific market. How about you watch the video below, and lets just say this is like Fred and Barney meet the Jetsons.
Comments Off on Tennessee Startup GreenPal Pitches At Spark Nashville0LikeLike 1,459
CEO of Greenpal pitches at Spark Nashville (photo: NMI 2013)
After pitching at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference earlier this month, Tennessee startup GreenPal headed out to Nashville to pitch as part of Spark Nashville on Thursday night.
Earlier this morning we brought you the story about DC startup TouchdownSpace launching. That startup makes booking professional space just as easy as hailing a car with Uber. Greenpal makes it just as easy to get your yardwork done.
The market for this kind of app is huge. Greenpal’s CEO and cofounder spent 15 years in his own landscaping business and suddenly realized there was an easier way to find customers, collect money and set appointments. The company also realized making it easier on themselves would make it easier on the customers as well.
Now Greenpal is here and it allows you to order lawn care service on the web or on their mobile app by vetted professionals who are ready to do the job. Once the appointment is set and the job is done, Greenpal also has a payment mechanism that makes paying your service providers as easy as clicking a button.
These guys looked sharp at everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference and were one of the best pitches at Spark Nasvhille. Watch the video below.
Comments Off on CES 2013: DC Startup Troop ID Validating Veterans Past & Present In The Civilian World0LikeLike 1,606
The members of the U.S. armed forces are heroes. Going all the way back to the revolutionary war, and the military that helped deliver our freedom to the British, to those troops that have helped curb the unrest in the middle east, time and time again we honor them by calling them heroes, recognizing military at events and in tributes on all types of media.
Another way that we, as American’s, have honored those who are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice in our military, is by giving them military discounts and other benefits in a civilian context at retailers, restaurants and services across the country. In some cases these tiny tributes can result in saving our military heroes a little extra time, a little extra money and a little extra pain in day to day civilian life.
Unfortunately wherever there’s a discount program, or a benefits program, there’s also the other side of Americans, those trying to cheat and game the system. In the online world, it makes it hard for online retailers to offer discounts to military because they can’t tap into the government database to validate veterans past and present. While some online retailers have felt the benefit to recognizing the veterans is worth the loss they take in discount fraud, other companies just can’t afford it.
Traditional offline retailers, restaurants and services don’t have the same problem. They can recognize veterans by their uniforms and in some cases by their military ID cards. Online sites can’t see either.
That’s why DC area entrepreneur, and veteran, Blake Hall has created Troop ID. This startup serves as a validation clearing house for military personnel and they are able to do this not with some top secret government clearance and access to the official database, but by leveraging partners like USAA.
Hall already has several partners lined up who are using the system to validate military personnel and open up avenues to offer them discounts and speedy service. He has also given the use of the Troop ID service free to Startup America for their veteran’s initiative launched in November 2012.
Hall got the chance to pitch a team of judges during the Launch.It showstoppers event at CES 2013. This event included special guest judge, the world renowned Guy Kawasaki.
Watch Hall’s pitch video below and hear about the milestones he’s achieved in a short time since he started working on Troop ID.
So back in July when we heard the original idea behind FlightCar I thought this group of teenage ivy league dropouts was absolutely crazy. Their Cincinnati startup FlightCar is a crazy idea. Their simplest pitch, “let someone else rent your car while you’re traveling” seemed a little far fetched. Combine that with the fact that there’s maybe 10 years driving experience between the three of them and even less business traveling experience, and I was totally disconnected.
Sometime during Wednesday’s demo day for the Brandery though my opinion totally changed.
There are hundreds of thousands of rental cars available at just the top 30 airports in the United States. There’s also hundreds of thousands of cars that sit in long term parking lots at those same airports. FlightCar solves this problem.
Using the FlightCar platform somebody about to go on a trip can sign up to rent their car for the rate they want and the mileage they’ll allow. They indicate what time the car will be available and what time it will need to be back by. When they arrive at one of Flight Car’s satellite parking lots they are greeted by a friendly FlightCar team member who takes their keys and their car. FlightCar then cleans the car and waits for the renter.
The renter checks the FlightCar website and can see what’s available by kind of car, time available, mileage allotment and price. Because this is a peer to peer sharing product there is much more variety in the cars available than your standard 5 model rental car lot. Did we mention this is also a lot cheaper.
FlightCar rentees keep 65% of the cost of the rental after taxes and fees, so rather than spending money on long term parking they’ll make money off the rental itself.
FlightCar is beta testing in Cincinnati and plans to bring San Jose and Oakland online in the next month.
As a very frequent business traveler my biggest concern was what if I rent my car out using FlightCar and when I get back from my trip the car is not back yet, or worse in an accident.
On the accident side, FlightCar has a million dollar insurance policy on each vehicle. They’ve secured this policy through the only insurance company currently insuring peer-to-peer car rental companies. Not only that but they have secured a deal with their insurance company that prohibits that company from insuring a competitor. That’s something investors will love.
On the pure timing side, the FlightCar guys said customer service is of the utmost importance to them. Their lot attendants will have the authority to give you another rental until your car comes back or get you a ride to wherever you need to go, and then bring your car to you.
See what this amazing trio of young entrepreneurs has cooked up in their pitch video below. They are currently raising $850,000 and have $200,000 committed. They should have no problem raising the entire round, and quickly.
The Brandery, Cincinnati’s branding and marketing tech startup accelerator, held demo day on Wednesday at the Great American Ball Park. They showed off 11 new graduate startups to a packed house of nearly 400.
REPP was one of the startups we actually missed on our last trip to Cincinnati at the end of June. What we saw, was a team that knew how to dress in some awesome hot pink pants. After getting over their keen sense of fashion, REPP is actually a great new spin on a variety of old ideas rolled into one.
Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait… oh wait that’s a song lyric. Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date and after she stood you up you found out she “pre date stalked you”? Well that’s exactly what happen to REPP founder Michael Bergman, when he actually met his now wife. Luckily for Bergman he’s got a pretty popular name. In fact, Chris Bergman, the founder of Chore Monster (which is a previous graduate of The Brandery) isn’t even related to Michael.
So sure we internet stalk everyone now. The first thing I do when I get a new business card or meet someone at a conference I find intriguing is go right to good ole Google. The problem with that in the dating world is that there is a lot of stuff out there that may be better suitable after a few dates.
Now take a situation at the complete other end of the spectrum. It’s time to sell your iPhone 4s on Craigslist. Now this is a hot item and you may want to know a little bit more about the man who just pulled up to a panel van and appears to be packing a pistol in his sweatshirt.
In both of these cases you want more information about someone. If you were the someone in question, with REPP at myrepp.com, you can control that flow of information.
REPP aggregates your social graph and can even integrate a background check into a profile that you can give people access to. You can also control how much information is given out in that profile.
You may want the ladies to know a little more information than the guy you’re buying the stolen Xbox from. Nonetheless both the Craigslist seller and the nice young lady would be more comfortable with more information about you.
So REPP is a background profile platform. With it’s wide variety of customizations and it’s great variety of information sources, REPP stands apart from anything else in it’s space. REPP costs $9.99 per month but for that you get a whole lot more than any other similar service. Also, the person that wants to meet you or wants to do business with you doesn’t have to foot the bill. To make that $9.99 an even better value proposition, REPP has a way to gift subscriptions of their service to other potential users.
Watch Bergman’s Demo Day pitch below. After you get over their hot pants, you’ll see why REPP won’t ruin your REPP.
Comments Off on Brandery Demo Day: Utah Startup CrowdHall PITCH VIDEO0LikeLike 1,134
We’ve really liked CrowHall even before we found out they were going to be part of the 2012 class at the Brandery. Their platform is a great way to let celebrities, public figures, politicians, bloggers and micro celebrities respond and interact with their following in a clean, branded manner that’s both organized and archivable.
The premise for the idea is great and they’ve been testing out the platform and in July they did a public test with “Bachelorette” winner Jef Holm. Holm sent out one tweet the day before the test saying that he would be taking questions on CrowdHall. He didn’t include a link to the site or the secret page that would hold his CrowdHall forum, but his fans were relentless, they went to the CrowdHall site, and founder the private page. The end result was that when Holm logged in for his CrowdHall session during the test he already had 29 questions waiting for him.
COO and co-founder Jordan Menzel pitched today at The Brandery’s Demo day at the Great American Ball Park. Menzel was decked out in a yellow t-shirt and cutoff shorts which they explained before the pitch was a “cost cutting measure”. While they have money committed they used all of the seed money working on validating their concept, and buying caffeine for their developer Nick.
The product looks great and hopefully it will be a household word in the 2016 election. Check out the pitch video below:
Comments Off on New York Startup Jamplify Presents At Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day0LikeLike 931
What do you get when you take a bunch of good ole Goldman Sachs financial guys from New York and throw them into an accelerator in Nashville Tennessee? You get a social media, hybrid, promotional, crowdsourcing platform called Jamplify. Now at the first glance of the description I just gave them you may think we’re dealing with another Vooza, no that’s not the case at all.
Jamplify’s finished product, that’s actually available now (what a novel idea building an actual product at an accelerator), you get the most logical promotional vehicle for bands, musicians, and bloggers that’s available to date.
Jamplify crowdsources people for promoting the bands that they love. Rather than crowdsourcing for actual capital Jamplify is crowdsourcing for social capital and human capital, and then there’s the payoff.
Jamplify is like the kickstarter for fan based, crowd based musical promotion. As a fan of a band or a promotional ambassador you can agree to promote a band or musician. Based on your social graph and the amount of people that you actually touch with the campaigns short, trackable url you will become eligible for prizes from the band or artist you’re promoting.
The most interesting promotional “reward” or “perk” to date has been from a hip hop band where the artist actually recorded the outgoing voicemail message for that Jamplifier’s personal voice mail. Cool huh?
If you’re lost, you really shouldn’t be, but it would be great to check out the pitch video from JumpStart Foundry’s demo day in Nashville below:
Today marks the end of Tennessee demo day month with demo and investor day for Jumpstart Foundry in Nashville. Jumpstart Foundry is a nationally known startup accelerator currently based at the Entrepreneur Center in Nashville. They were recently recognized with an honorable mention in the 2012 national accelerator rankings, reported by TechCocktail just yesterday. This is the second year in a row Jumpstart Foundry has appeared as an honorable mention.
Evermind is a very unique new, “ambient monitoring” solution geared towards family members that care or are worried about the care of their elderly family members and loved ones.
Evermind is not nearly has obtrusive as many of their competing products. The founding team, who was part of the founding team at Griffin Technologies in Nashville, has approached this product with care and with always keeping both the end user and the consumer in mind, never losing site of that.
To that end, some of the things that immediately stood out to me with Evermind included:
– The non obtrusive design. The Evermind product looks sleek and it doesn’t look like a medical device
– The pricing is at $199 for three Evermind units
– easy to use website
– non obtrusive monitoring.
As for the way the system itself works, it’s simple. You plug an appliance that your elderly loved one uses everyday into an Evermind remote unit and every time your loved one uses that appliance it sends a message to the Evermind cloud and then to the loved ones phone. For instance if your grandpa John makes a cup of coffee at 7:30am every morning, you would plug the coffee maker into the Evermind unit and when he made his cup of coffee it would signal you. If he misses the cup of coffee you’re alerted, maybe there is something wrong. These remote plug devices can be set up on any small appliance, can openers, tvs, bedside lamps etc.
There is no need to worry about a life alert pendant or security cameras, it gives the elderly person privacy and the care giver, piece of mind.
Check out their pitch video at JumpStart Foundry video below:
Comments Off on Memphis Startup: BioNanovations Shows Off Amazing TestQuick Technology0LikeLike 1,135
BioNanovations CEO/Co-Founder Charleson Bell Presenting at Demo Day (photo: nibletz llc)
It was Demo Day at the Memphis based ZeroTo510 startup accelerator this past Thursday. ZeroTo510 is the first cohort based medical device accelerator and was created with a partnership between Seed Hatchery and Memphis BioWorks.
We were really excited when Charleson Bell, the CEO and co-founder of BioNanovations presented their TestQuick technology on Thursday. First off, Bell and his partner Andre T Stevenson had spent some time with us a few weeks back during office hours. It was then that we learned how BioNanovations was preparing to really change the world. We all know that most startups say they’re going to change the world, the ZeroTo510 class is really going to do it.
Bell and Stevenson gave us a crash course in nano particles when we first met for office hours. Bell has done a great job of “dumbing down” the science behind their technology for laymen like myself.
We were fascinated by the BioNanovations team when we first met them. While Bell had been working on using nano particles to find bacterial infections early on and Stevenson had discovered the biomarkers for cancer before they had become cancer.
The BioNanovations team will most likely bring many great products to market but their debut product “TestQuick” will have a huge impact for millions of people suffering from bacterial infections.
Bacterial infections kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer and automobile accidents combined, every year. What’s even more troubling than that is the fact that over 1.7 million bacterial infections are hospital born. That means that people who have gone into the hospital for something else, incur some kind of bacterial infection. These hospital borne infections cost over $40 billion dollars.
That’s not all though. One of the most alarming facts in all of this is that these bacterial infections can claim a life or a limb in less than 48 hours, however the traditional diagnostic testing can take 4-5 days. Yes, unfortunately, the traditional way means that several people lose their lives before getting the diagnosis back on the infection.
What BioNanovations TestQuick product offers is a testing platform and reader that can confirm the type of infection and the level of the infection in under 30 minutes and patient side.
Bell was quick to point out his competition. That’s actually key in an investor pitch day.
BioNanovations main competition is a company called Nanosphere. They offer a diagnostic testing platform that comes back in three hours. Nanosphere received FDA approval and has 200 orders already. Their testing cassettes are $75 a piece and the machine to scan them is $100,000.
Compare that to BioNanovations TestQuick cassettes that sell for $100 a piece but the reader costs just $1000.
But that’s not all. Nanosphere’s technology has a three-hour turn around time, post culture. That means after the initial diagnosis. BioNanovations, TestQuick platform is the first pre-culture diagnostic tool, saving critical time and lives.
Check out Bell’s ZeroTo510 Demo Day pitch video below:
Every startup that has participated in an accelerator program wants to change the world. Some founders verbalize that they wantto change the world while others just think it. Well the six startups that participated in the inaugural class at Zero To 510, a cohort based medical device accelerator in Memphis Tennessee, are doing it.
Every startup that presented at Zero To 510’s demo day has developed to solve problems in the medical space. EcoSurg is one of those startups.
There is an environmental problem that stems from just about every surgical procedure, every day. Most surgeries use medical positioners which are foam devices that are designed to position patients in ways that are both safe, and the most convenient for doctors. These foam positioners keep legs propped up, arms propped up, patients on their side and other positions so that the surgeons have better access to the surgery site.
According to EcoSurg CEO Ray Randall, over 20 million surgical procedures per year use these foam positioners. This of course creates tons of non biodegradable waste. Specifically these foam positioners contain petroleum-based derivatives. Not only are these medical positioners harmful for the environment, but because of that, they cost more in disposal which is passed down to the customer/patient.
Randall’s company EcoSurg has developed a new line of patient positioners which are manufactured using alternative foam comprised of soybean-based composites.
With Obama Care coming into play in 2014, the amount of surgeries is going to increase significantly. EcoSurg’s medical positioners will help hospitals cut down on costs and help the environment in the process.
Check our Randall’s pitch video from Zero To 510 Demo Day below:
Over 500 people came from across Tennessee and across the USA to Chattanooga TN Wednesday and Thursday for GigTank’s Demo Day.
GigTank is a 90 day accelerator program based in Chattanooga with an emphasis on using Chattanoga’s 1GBPS internet. Chattanooga was the first city in the United States (edging out Kansas City and Google by a year), to implement 1gbps internet. Every resident and business in a 600 square mile radius has 1gbps fiber optic line straight to their home or business.
Chattanooga was able to set up the 1gb fiber by rolling out a smart grid that provides communications from utility meters at every home and business back to a central location. Citizens of Chattanooga can elect to get data and tv services from the 1gb fiber pipe in their homes on a monthly subscription based model.
Chattanooga’s GigTank accelerator featured two separate tracks. The entrepreneur track was a traditional 3 month accelerator model with a seed investment, and access to services, mentors, office space and other resources. The student track was similar to the entrepreneur track but without the seed investment. Students participated in a pitch contest in Chattanooga Thursday where they competed for a $50,000 prize.
The winner of the entrepreneur track was a Tampa Florida startup called Banyan. The Banyan team was Toni Gamayel, Travis Staton and TJ Weigel.
Banyan is a cloud based collaborative research system. This allows researchers who are working on the same project to keep their research together. It also solves major pains for those managing the research.
During Gamayel’s pitch he brought up an instance where two students at the University of Kentucky were working on the same exact research one floor above each other and didn’t even know it. With Banyan the research manager would have easily been able to identify this duplicate research.
In another instance a Stanford professor had been working on some research. The need arose to validate that the particular research he was working on was being performed at the school rather than at home or another lab. With Banyan they could have easily identified the source of the actual research.
We’re not sure if the judges conceptually understood the concept behind Startup Weekend Cincinnati startup Bringmesomefood.com . The idea is simple, it helps party and event organizers keep track of attendees, themes and who’s bringing what. It’s the ultimate potluck platform.
Potluck has surged in popularity over the last few years s the economy has suffered. People love to go to parties whether times are good or bad. Presumably parties and social gatherings are a way to break away from the ups and downs of everyday life and a way to make people feel good.
Potluck events make it easier for the host or hostess to have a better party.
The problem with Potluck is typically people have no idea what to bring. Also, no one really keeps track of the potluck list as well as they should. Then, what ultimately ends up happening is the party is inundated with ice, red solo cups and chips.
Using bringmesomefood.com party organizers can keep up with who has RSVP’d for the party and who hasn’t. They can also pick a theme for the party and then Bringmesomefood.com will curate a menu based on what is typically served at whatever theme the party is. A tailgate party for instance will call for hamburgers and hotdogs. A toga party may call for gyro’s and baklava. Who knows? Bringmesomefood does.
Bringmesomefood, pulls from some of the best restaurant API’s to come up with great menus. It then assigns dishes to the guests attending the event and can supply those guests with the recipes for their dish.
Bringmesomefood also tracks attendance so when it gets closer to the event you can prepare the right amount of food. You don’t want to prepare a small bowl of potato salad for a party of 100 and you don’t want to prepare 100 brownies for a group of 10. Bringmesomefood keeps up with all that for you.
During their final pitch on Sunday the judges asked the Bringmesomefood team why one of the major event sites like PlanCast, eventbrite and e-vite.com couldn’t just incorporate that system into their existing system, which was a sharp indicator that they may not have understood the robustness of the concept. You can see for yourself in the pitch video below, the startup was explained well and hopefully will move forward into development.
CrowdHall is definitely one of the Brandery stand out startups. They are developing a unique and innovative platform for celebrities, politicians and popular bloggers, journalists and other people to effectively communicate with their crowd,fans and constituents. As you may imagine it’s in a town hall/crowd hall setting.
The premise for the idea is great and they’ve been testing out the platform and in fact last week they did a public test with “Bachelorette” winner Jef Holm. Holm sent out one tweet the day before the test saying that he would be taking questions on CrowdHall. He didn’t include a link to the site or the secret page that would hold his CrowdHall forum, but his fans were relentless, they went to the CrowdHall site, and founder the private page. The end result was that when Holm logged in for his CrowdHall session during the test he already had 29 questions waiting for him. Phenomenal.
As we told you in our interview with Brandery co-founder Rob McDonald and their General Manager Mike Bott, the CrowdHall companies are very active participants in the Cincinnati tech scene. Bott explained in our video interview that all of the Brandery class was given free access to Startup Weekend and they came, helped mentor and build teams.
What does CrowdHall CEO Austin Hackett do on Startup Weekend? Well he starts another startup. His Startup Weekend startup was called “SportsGamr” it’s a fun virtual sports betting site. It gives those die-hard sports gamblers the ability to bet in a friendly manner with no actual money changing hands.
Players get virtual currency which they can use to bet against their friends or others on the website. Once they deplete that virtual currency, or just to make more virtual currency they can watch and engage in premium content video advertising. This video advertising is of course a great monetization strategy. It’s also great to know that if you come and have a bad day on the site you can still continue to play.
Hackett’s CrowdHall team worked all weekend, and even Hackett split his time between Startup Weekend and working on CrowdHall. He said he is definitely full speed ahead with CrowdHall which might mean his SportsGamr startup will have to wait. But it’s a great idea with an even better presentation.