Tidbit, A Cayman Islands Startup, Is Fixing Training [video]

Tidbit, GigTank startup, startup,startup pitch, Cayman Islands startup

When Sam Bowen took the stage at the GigTank demo day on Tuesday afternoon, he talked about everything wrong with corporate training. And he should know. He’s been a trainer throughout most of his career. He has trained professionals in state government, the hospitality industry, and non profit organizations. At one point he even had to train judges, which can be an extremely hard task.

Kicking off his pitch, Bowen said, “I can tell you two things have remained constant, a majority of folks hate training,” which drew a chuckle from the crowd of investors and startup supporters in Chattanooga.The second thing, according to Bowen, is that everyone in the hospitality industry focuses on one number: the annual staff turnover rate. The national average annual staff turnover rate is a whopping 65%.

That’s obviously why everybody hates training. With employee churn that high, business owners, corporate trainers, and HR departments are constantly training new employees to do their regular jobs, making it almost impossible to find the time to teach existing employees new things.

Online training in one form or another has been around for nearly two decades. Text and “module” based training or even “knowledge base” training has fueled big corporations, staffing firms, retailers, and chain restaurants since the 90’s.

The problem with those solutions is, as technology improved, training didn’t. The other key factor is that for more and more busy people, the computer is becoming screen number 2. Screen number one is the phone or tablet.

So Cayman Islands native Bowen, his brother, and their team created Tidbit, a startup that incorporates the smartphone and all its available technology to make training materials easy for the trainer to create and just as easy for the employee to consume.  Bowen gave the example of a bakery owner who would be able to use her smartphone’s video camera and microphone to walk employees through how to make her latest cupcake designs. The employees can then in turn, watch the content created by the owner and make the cupcake at the same time.

Hotels could use Tidbit to quickly show an entire fleet of housekeepers some new way of making the beds or where a new piece of flair goes in a room. The employees become more productive by having those training modules in their hand, in the room while they’re doing the job.

For employers that want to allow their employees to access the content from their own device, training becomes something that an employee can do on the bus or at home in some down time without the worry of finding a computer.

There’s an unwritten rule across most accelerators: to wow the investors in the room, they save the best startup for last. Tidbit went last, here’s the video:



Monitor Your Older Loved Ones With Sensevery, No Smartphone Required [video]

Sensevery, GigTank, Startup Pitch

The GigTank, Chattanooga’s startup accelerator named after their gigabit ethernet, graduated its second class on Tuesday afternoon. Seven startups from across the country and around the world worked through the dog days of summer at improving their companies, iterating, and bringing products to market. When the accelerator announced this year’s application process, co-founder Sheldon Grizzle was looking for startups working on the “the internet of things.”

One of those startups hails from India and is using “the internet of things” to unobtrusively monitor elderly loved ones. As co-founder Bentley Cook said in his presentation, he would call his grandmother on a regular basis, ask how she was, and she always said she was good. But really, what does good actually mean?

Many older folks don’t want to tell their younger family members that something’s wrong. Either they don’t want to be a burden or they don’t want to give up their independence.

Back in the 80’s Life Alert had a system that allowed an elderly person to hit a button and yell out to a speaker box that they’ve had some kind of problem. The token line was “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” We all remember the commercials and how big and gaudy the pendant was for Life Alert.

Sensevery is building an unobtrusive device that allows family members to monitor a loved one without disrupting their lifestyle. Cook went through a bunch of devices, including a 1980’s digital watch-looking device, and acknowledged the fact that nobody wanted to wear something like that.

Cook even went as far as to dis Solidus portfolio company, EverMind, which makes a device that monitors an older person’s power habits to see for disruptions in their daily routines. Cook said in his pitch “If your doctor wants to know how often your coffee maker was on, then you’ve got a problem.” Solidus is one of the investment backers of the GigTank program. Aside from that awkward reference, Sensevery may be onto something big.

Their system uses a small bracelet style monitoring device no more obtrusive than a FitBit or other lifestyle monitor. Now typically these devices are synced to an app and a smartphone, but really how many folks in that older generation have a smartphone or the patience to program one.

For those people Sensevery has developed a syncing device that plugs into the wall, and voila. The wall device sends the data from the bracelet to the cloud where loved ones and family members can access the data in the cloud from any internet connected device.

The data coming from the bracelet can quickly tell the person monitoring if something’s not right. Alerts can also be set up to tell the monitoring person the minute something breaks from the norm. If all of a sudden there was no heart rate picked up, the device would also summon emergency personnel.

Cook, along with co-founder Parth Suthar, are hoping that others quickly see the value in the Sensevery platform.

Check out Cook’s GigTank pitch below.

No really click on this link right now, you won’t regret it.




Distil Networks Is Following Us Around The Country Because They Block Bots

Distill Networks, Southland, DC Startup, startup pitch

We were in Washington, DC and Baltimore last week as part of the Sneaker-Strapped Startup Road Trip. That’s where we ran into Distil Networks CEO and co-founder Rami Essaid. A few days and 665 miles later, we’ve run into Essaid again, this time at Southland in Nashville, Tennessee.

Distil Networks was one of 50 regional startups chosen to exhibit at Southland’s Startup Village. They were also one of 20 startups selected to pitch onstage at the conference as well.

We first reported on Distill Networks back in August when they were going by the name Distil.it. Since then, they’ve added more features, more employees, more users and changed their name to Distil Networks.

The company offers a very useful service. Through a simple line added in a websites DNS entry, Distil is able to quickly check a website and identify and disable “bots” that can often pirate content, hype statistics, and do other aggravating things. Their technology allows content sites big and small to function faster and stop worrying about their content being auto-posted to thousands of blogs world wide.

One of their customers is the site ripoffreport.com. Ripoffreport came to Distill because they suspected that bots were stealing their articles. One quick analysis and Distil found out that they were correct, but that was just the beginning. After turning Distil’s service on they found that they were stopping 50,000 malicious bots a day that were reducing their server load by a whopping 70%. Distil increased the site’s load time by 50% and by stopping the theft of their content, for the first time in years, ripoffreport saw an increase in visitors to their site.

But malicious bots aren’t just about stealing content and hogging band width. As Essaid says in his Southland pitch below, malicious bots steal e-commerce site data, post fake posts to forums, auto-click on ads and other things that are harmful to businesses who rely on their server infrastructure.

Distil is constantly updating their base of malicious bots. When they find a new malicious bot on one of their client sites, they test all of their client sites for the same bot. They also have other safety features in place, like randomizing their code every few minutes so bad bots can’t penetrate it.

Check out Essaid’s full pitch at Southland below and for more information visit them at distil.it


Here’s more coverage from Southland 2013 at Nibletz.com The Voice Of Startups Everywhere Else.



Norfolk Startup “The Pitch” Can Help You Vet Your Pitch

Thepitch,thepitch.co,Zack Miller, Startup,Startup pitchDo you have an idea for a startup? Are you not sure if it’s viable or if you should pursue it?

If you have a full weekend, one of the best places to vet a startup idea is at a Startup Weekend or 48 Hour Launch style event. However not every idea at Startup Weekend gets built. Also, with over 500 events a year there is still an off chance that you can’t get out to a startup weekend.

What if there was a place to vet your startup pitch online. Well now, thanks to Zack Miller, Norfolk startup community leader and the founder of the Hatch accelerator in Norfolk, you can do that.

Thepitch.co is a new site that for just $10 you can test the waters of your startup idea with a panel of industry experts. (*disclaimer I am a “judge” on thepitch.co). Your startup idea can be heard by people who listen to pitches for a living and have had success in the startup world and as entrepreneurs.

According to the Small Business Administration 95% of businesses fail within their first five years, primarily because business ideas have not been validated or socialized through the proper channels.  Additionally, entrepreneurs invest valuable time and resources into their business ideas despite the huge risk that is at stake.  The Pitch allows users to validate and socialize their business idea before investing time and resources.

The Pitch offers critical feedback to an entrepreneur’s business idea without the need to invest resources first.  Pitches are validated by experts and voted by peers.  Although The Pitch can’t guarantee the success of your business idea, it can help better predict the level of interest and the amount of traction behind your idea.

“The Pitch proved to be extremely valuable when it came to our Start Norfolk 3 win,” said Nate Fender, co-founder of HiQualia, an early stage startup that enables video content producers to protect their videos from unauthorized online redistribution. “I was able to receive instant feedback on our go-to-market strategy and in turn strengthen our Start Norfolk 3 presentation.”

Got an idea? Go test out at Thepitch.co

Check out this pitch video from “eatwith” at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013

EatWith Is The AirBnB For Dinner Parties. Watch Their TechCrunch Disrupt Pitch Here

Eatwith,TechCrunch Disrupt,Startup,Startup PitchEatwith was one of the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield participants on Tuesday afternoon. This exciting new startup is like the AirBnB for dinner parties. Guy Michlin, the CEO of EatWith discovered that eating at a complete strangers home, while traveling, was one of the best ways to experience what the locals have to offer.

“The inspiration for EatWith came while I was travelling in Greece and had the opportunity to share a meal with the Papadakis family. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience authentic local food with a local family that made me feel at home. The food was tastier, the location more interesting, and the experience was by far the highlight of my trip, ” Michlin said in a statement Tuesday morning.

“When I came back home, I did some research and saw that this dining experience exists today all over the world but it’s hard to find and there’s no consistency or feedback for you to know which hosts to trust. I realized that there was a real opportunity to build an online platform that enables people all over the world to connect around the dining table and have a similarly unique experience.”

Michlin said that on that trip to Greece he and his wife wanted to find the unique places that locals ate at but towards the end of the trip they had eaten at every “tourist trap” in Greece. So he asked a complete stranger on the street “where do the locals eat”. The bewildered stranger looked back at Michlin and said “at home”. Thus the idea was born.

Eatwith allows amateur chefs and cooks to share their homes for a meal with complete strangers and make a little money on the side. The startup is insured and vets the diners so that there is minimal risk. It’s a lot safer than say advertising a dinner party on Craigslist.

Michlin saw the service take off in it’s beta testing stage, but what he didn’t expect was that locals were actually signing up as well and they were dining out multiple times each month, using the Eatwith platform.

The platform provides guests with a beautifully designed site that allows them to easily find a local host. The site features a wealth of information about each host including information about the food, the location, and the price of the meal allowing guests a perfect experience catered to their needs. Mirroring this is a set of tools that hosts can leverage to share information about their offering and attract guests.

Some of the most important elements of the service are the processes and tools created by EatWith to ensure the trust and safety of both its guests and hosts. This includes a vetting process for hosts by the EatWith community, the EatWith Guarantee — third party insurance coverage, and a ratings and reviews system.

When it came time for judging David Tisch asked Michlin how many times people were expected to open up their homes to strangers. He seemed shocked when Michlin reported some hosts were hosting 4-6 times a month. Tisch felt that with 72 dinners a year, isn’t that in itself becoming a “tourist trap”.

Michlin shook that question off and powered forward through the rest of the questioning. Overall it’s a new innovative way of getting to know people, trying new things and for the hosts, perfecting their culinary skills on new diners they couldn’t otherwise cook for.

Check out their pitch video below and for more information visit eatwith.com

See even more of our startup coverage from TechCrunch Disrupt here.


Whata.tv From Startup Weekend To Getting Our Vote At OneSpark [video]

whata.tv,OneSpark,Florida startup,startup,starups,startup pitchThere were over 500 creators at OneSpark, The World’s Crowdfunding Festival, in Jacksonville from Wednesday through Sunday. They reported that over 115,000 people had been through downtown Jacksonville for the event. With 500 creators and over 100 tech/science creators, inventors and startups, there were a lot of people clamoring for my vote.

I saw a lot of creators I really liked. I’ll be doing my top 5 OneSpark startups and creators in the next day or two. However, a little after midnight Sunday morning I cast my vote for Jose Fermin and his startup Whata.tv.  I thought I’d share a little insight into what exactly whata.tv is and why I voted this way.

Whata.tv started with Fermin who is originally from Venezuela. He migrated to the United States with his family nine years ago. While in Venezuela, Fermin, who has two degrees in engineering, had a high profile position in satellite and communications, working with some of the biggest defense contractors in the world.

He wanted to move to the United States because he saw a land of opportunity so he did. However when he got to the US he realized quickly that he would have to start all over from scratch. Because of immigration laws and security clearances, Fermin, who worked with the likes of Lockhead Martin and Boeing in Venezuela, all of the sudden didn’t have the proper security clearance to work with the same exact people once he moved to the US.

He had one good prospect. He had a job offer in New York that paid very well, where he would serve as the International Director of satellite communications for a huge worldwide company. The problem was they needed him to go to Peru two days after he signed the contract, and he was still under his two week international travel waiting period from the immigration department. After the two weeks were up they didn’t have a spot for him.

Unscathed Fermin did anything and everything he could to provide for his family and not give up on his American dream. He painted houses, did roofing, general contract work and even worked at a dry cleaners. All the while he tinkered with side projects.

As the startup scene in Jacksvonille started to take shape he would go to meetups and Startup Weekend’s. Things weren’t what they were in Venezuela but he had his freedom and was living the American dream. Except for one thing that always bothered him.

Except for the World Cup, Fermin was unable to watch his Venezuelan soccer on American TV. He couldn’t even find the games online, just the scores.

Last winter, with Startup Weekend approaching, he decided to do something about it and created whata.tv. He was chosen to build at Startup Weekend and was able to do some of the preliminary leg work. He is relying on his connections and strengths in satellite and communications to help get this thing off the ground.

What is it?

whata.tv is a paid subscription model tv viewing service. It works on tablets, smartphones and the web. The difference this time? The customer pays just $2.99 for a monthly subscription to a channel.

When Fermin originally pitched whata.tv it was just about Venezuela but the other entrepreneurs quickly made him realize he was onto something. As the service nears launch Fermin is in negotiations with tv channels across the world to carry their signals on whata.tv.

While we think they should be paying him for the added eyeballs, Fermin is giving them a percentage of every monthly subscription. In addition he plans on marketing his own advertising; including pre-roll on the channels as well as customized demographic advertising. He explained it to me like this: “Say you have a popular comedian coming to Orlando from Mexico. whata.tv will know how many people in Orlando subscribe to Mexican tv channels on the service and we could market the comedians ad specifically to them.”

The service is also great for military serving abroad to watch the U.S. channels that they are missing. The same goes for business people who travel all of the time. He is hoping to provide full streams of the channel including things like local news, something you can’t get a la carte from sites like hulu.

So why my vote?

Well I really couldn’t in good conscious vote for DJ Mercy, I was after all covering the startup angle (just kidding).

In voting for whata.tv it was as much about Fermin as it was about whata.tv and the disruption coming to the tv industry. While we shot this footage on Saturday afternoon, I had actually gone by their space on Thursday morning. That’s where I met Fermin’s high school aged daughter who gave just as good an interview, as her dad did a pitch.

Fermin called me on Saturday morning to make sure I wouldn’t miss the pitch, rain or shine he would be pitching. Fermin is also a startup community leader in Jacksonville. With the luck he had, first starting out in the US, it’s refreshing to meet someone like this.

And of course, in the wake of recent events, with everyone waving the “immigration reform” flag this week, Fermin and his family are a great reminder that great people come to the US from other countries all of the time.

We’ll be tracking whata.tv.

Here’s that pitch:

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Chicago Startup Bus Team: MyBestRX Pitches In Startup Bus Finals At [sxsw]

MyBestRX, Startup Bus,startup,startup pitch,sxsw,sxswiA team of ambitious entrepreneurs, that hope to tip the scale when it comes to enabling affordable local healthcare, completed the first in their suite of mobile apps, designed for just that, while on board The Startup Bus.

The idea behind MyBestRX is simple. When people purchase prescription drugs from the pharmacy, there is no standard “MAP” pricing. You could very well find your prescription at your pharmacy for hundreds of dollars, and find it a mile down the road for half of that.

MyBestRX hopes to solve the problem of looking for the best price on prescription drugs. The app will allow you to key in or speak your prescription and it will return results based on both proximity and cost.

Other features include the voice response, as described above, and the ability for the user to take a photo of their current prescriptions and have it filled by way of email or fax directly from mobile.

MyBestRx positions themselves as “A Personalized Rx Concierge”, perhaps the easiest way to find and purchase prescriptions.

Check out the video below and for more info visit nibletz.com keyword: SXSW

Xoogler Spotlight: Splenvid Zero Button Movie Creation [SXSW]

Splenvid,Xoogler,SXSW,SXSWi,startup pitch video,startup pitch,startupTwo former Googlers (xooglers) who once worked on the UX team at the internet giant have put together something new and exciting called Splenvid.  They spent over a decade at Google building maxable scalable systems so they are taking what they learned there and putting it into their new startup.

Splenvid is the self proclaimed “Zero Button Movie Creation” platform that allows users to tell stories through photos and videos uploaded to the cloud. That’s where the magic happens.

Splenvid is also fully collaborative and content can be combined to make even fuller movies.

All of the media that is uploaded from the user is then intertwined together automagically by Splenvid and spit back out as a complete story.

We got to see the pitch for Splenvid at the TechCocktail Pitch Jam event as SXSW (where I was a judge). While the app hasn’t been released yet, it may be just what the world needs in terms of easy ways to do media. Ease of operation are what make Instagram, Pinterest and Vine so popular.

Sure it’s not hard to string together movies using iMovie or a slew of other movie creation apps, but Splenvid’s value proposition is not having to do anything but upload and wait.

The app should be released later this spring. To get on their waiting list click here. Watch the video below:

Check out more of our startup coverage from SXSW here

Quick Concise Pitch From Realty Mogul, Eye Catching, And Prize Winning At SXSW [sxsw]

RealtyMogul,Los Angeles startup,startup,startup pitch,startup america,sxsw,sxswiRealty Mogul, a crowdfunded real estate platform and graduate of the TechStars Microsoft Azure accelerator wowed multiple audiences at last weeks SXSW Interactive festival.

We got the chance to see Realty Mogul pitch on the Startup America Live stage before the Hatch Competition. It was the intense coaching they received both in the accelerator and from their Hatch coach, that got their pitch down to almost perfect.

It also resulted in them winning the Hatch Pitch competition, and judges calling the startup “Histrionic”.

The Hatch competition was in it’s second year and narrowed down the field from over 100 applicants. It’s an intense pitch contest with startups selected getting one on one coaching from industry leaders and previous Hatch winners.

“A big piece of what pitches needs to happen is to make the audience relate. What made us successful last year was we told a story about the problem. A lot of the companies don’t engage the audience that well. When you tell a story in four minutes, it’s really hard to be concise with the message. You have to treat it like you have 30 seconds instead of four minutes. That forces you to get the message down.” Distil Inc CEO (and judge for this years Hatch competition) Rami Essaid said to SiliconHills.

When you watch the quick pitch video below you’ll understand how all this work has paid off and how it led to the Realty Mogul team winning the Hatch competition. You can find out more about Realty Mogul, here or here on their Angel List profile.

Cincinnati Startup Repp Pitches At Startup America Live At SXSW [sxsw]

Repp,Cincinnati Startup,SXSW,SXSWi,Startup Pitch,Startup America,BranderyCincinnati startup Repp was one of the great startups we saw at the Brandery 2012 demo day back in October. Repp is a service that allows people to validate their repp or reputation.

Repp waited from October until now for their first big marketing push. We bumped into Michael Bergman, Repp’s co-founder in the lobby at the Hilton where he was wearing a hot pink Repp t-shirt and handing out breakfast tacos. Startup founders will do anything they can to get much needed exposure at SXSW.

They were also one of the startups invited to pitch at the Startup America Live pitch sessions, which included feedback from top members of the startup community.

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.

The service is free at the moment but moving to a freemium model with added features. Check out Bergman’s pitch from the Startup America Live stage below:

We’ve got even more startup coverage of SXSW here.

Please take a look at this.

This Pitch From DC Startup Speek Results In A Monkey Tattoo On John Bracken’s Ass [video][sxsw]

Speek,DC Startup,John Bracken,Danny Boice, Monkey Tattoo,startup,startup pitch,sxsw,sxswiWe’ve been following Washington DC conference calling startup Speek since they were little more than a pitch deck last year at a DC tech event.

The company was founded by John Bracken, one of the cofounders of E-Vite (the precursor to Facebook events lol) and Danny Boice, a startup renaissance man, who even spoke at our huge “everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference”.

Anyone who knows the Speek team knows that John and Danny compliment each other greatly. John is the yin to Dany’s yang. Danny is a constant cutup bringing fun into every situation and John plays a playful straight man to Danny’s antics. Well if John had been at Danny’s pitch during the TechCocktail Pitch Jam on Saturday at SXSW 2013, this great stunt, that made the Wall Street Journal, may not have happened.

Danny knows they have something great going on with Speek. It’s by far the easiest way to hold a conference call and it does away with the need for long phone numbers and longer “pin” numbers. You simply go to someone’s speek page, like speek.com/kyle (my page) and click the call button. Voila. But after partaking in SXSW libations all day long and being couped up because of the rain, Danny had something cool in mind to win the Pitch Jam contest.

After going through is normal 60 second pitch, he added a twist. Call it humor, or a little jealousy, but John had to bail on the event to go have dinner with DC Mayor Vince Gray, and left Danny alone, to pitch, and to say whatever he wanted. And he did.

Danny told the audience at the end of the pitch that John would get a tattoo of Speek’s mascot monkey on his ass if they won. Since there was a lot of spill over from the DC Tech Meetup earlier in the day, there were plenty of people who knew John, and wanted to see him get a monkey tattoed on his ass.

Well low and behold, Danny won. The next day, John got this:

(photo: Wall Street Journal)

And here’s Danny Boice’s winning pitch video:

We’ve got more startup coverage from SXSW than any other site, click here and see for yourself.

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You’re Not Going To Believe That Market For This Startup We Saw At TechCocktail’s SXSW Pitch Jam

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.

We’ve got more startup coverage from SXSW 2013 here

Meet BriefSkate The First Team To Build A Product On The Startup Bus, And It Kicks Ass [SXSW]

Briefskate,Startups,startup pitch,sxsw,sxswi,Startup Bus

Briefskate team pitches at The Startup Bus Finals (photo: NMI 2013)

On Friday night at SXSW we attended the Startup Bus finals at the Rackspace lounge on 4th street in downtown Austin. We saw the best of the best from the teams that competed while traveling 60mph across the country, and from Mexico.

The teams competing in the finals came from the semi-finals when The Startup Bus busses parked in San Antonio on Thursday night. A Startup Bus alumni team also competed in Friday night’s finals.

They competed in front of a panel of judges which included Robert Scoble and Dave McClure.

One of the teams really impressed the judges and the nibletz team as well. In fact, Dave McClure immediately started taking pictures of the BriefSkate, skateboard with his iPhone as soon as the team put the skateboard on the stage.

BriefSkate is tackling a new issue. More and more people are resorting to skateboards, not just as a form of recreation, or to impress a bunch of hipster chicks with their skills, but for actual commuting. Turn to New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore and of course Austin and you’ll see people actually commuting to work on a skateboard.

The BriefSkate Skateboard was created and prototyped in 72 hours (photo: NMI 2013)

So what has this team done to revolutionize skating? They had a skateboard built with a compartment to hold  your laptop, papers, cell phones and chargers. The BriefSkate even has a handle so you can carry through the lobby at your Madison Avenue building like a brief case.

Every team had 4 minutes to pitch and 4 minutes for feedback but Scoble was so curious he gave the team an extra 30 seconds to explain just how they were able to get a product actually created in 72 hours.

The Briefskate team said on the first night they drew up the CAD drawings and emailed them off to a 3d printer. The 3D printer had to overnight the 3d mock up to the busses next overnight stop. With the 3D printed mock up in hand the team tweaked the design and shipped that off to a manufacturer in Florida, who returned the prototype via Fedex to the Rackspace headquarters so the team actually had a product.

The prototype is a little rough, it’s admittedly a little bit bigger than the team would like and the hinges are exposed as they would be on a cabinet, but nonetheless it is still a great idea that will most likely see the light of day.

Check out the video of The Startup Bus’ first product produced in three years below. And of course with a product built they already have a website up, you can find out more about BriefSkate here at briefskate.com

Like what you see, there’s much more SXSW2013 coverage here!

Clever Wins The K-12 Category At LAUNCHedu, SXSWedu With This Pitch

Clever,EdTech,startup,startup pitch,sxswedu,sxsw13,sxswClever, a platform that connects educational software providers with legacy Student Information Systems, has already caught the eye of major venture capitalists. Back in October, after completing the summer round at Y-Combinator, they raised $3 million dollars from some of the tech world’s elite venture capitalists including SVAngels, Google Ventures, Bessemer and Mitch Kapor of Kapor Capital.

While getting into Y-Combinator, graduating and raising a big round of funding are all great, Wednesday night at SXSWedu they were crowned K-12 champions of the LAUNCHedu startup showdown. This award is better than your average pitch competition because it’s an award from their peers and their user base, educators.

What began as a simple idea for a simple, yet aggravating problem, eventually prompted founders Dan Carroll, Tyler Bosmeny and Rafael Garcia to quit their jobs and pursue this opportunity full time.  Another startup called LearnSprout is attacking the same problem, and a Startup Weekend EDU startup, Student Dash, attempted it but had to abandon the project because founder Kevin Tame didn’t have time to continue. Tame was featured in the recent Startup Weekend EDU movie.

Clever has already received major traction and is building scale at a quick rate. Carroll said in his Wednesday pitch that the startup had already been deployed in 3,000 schools and has over 1 million student users.  They also have over 40 paying app customers who pay them to access their platform.

Check out Carroll’s winning pitch video below:

More SXSW 2013 coverage here at nibletz.com