14 NEW STARTUPS ANNOUNCED AT DREAMIT VENTURES DEMO DAYS
by ZACH DAVIS
Today 14 new startups are being announced as part of DreamIt Ventures Demo Days Philadelphia. This invitation-only event showcases the year’s graduating ventures first with a presentation from each individual start-up, followed by an open gallery where attendees can interact with the companies directly. For DreamIt Ventures, one of the top 15 ranked accelerators in the U.S., today’s Demo Days marks their fifth graduation ceremony overall, and fourth in the Philadelphia chapter (they expanded to New York earlier this year).
Of particular interest from today’s graduating class is that 5 of those 14 startups are founded by minorities. The Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (MEAP), an initiative started by Comcast Ventures, requires that qualifying ventures must be at least 50% owned by members of the entrepreneur team who are African American, Asian American, Latino American or Native American. Five of the firms received funding directly from MEAP, while the remaining ventures funding came from DreamIt Ventures. All startups, however, will have access to the DreamIt Ventures 0ne-on-one coaching, connections to VCs, and access to their weekly speaker series.
The 14 startups that are launching today are as follows:
- CloudMine - CloudMine, founded by Ilya Braude, Marc Weil, and Brendon McCorkle, is a platform that “eliminates the need for mobile app developers to build custom backend solutions for their mobile apps.” CloudMine makes changing the data model for your mobile app easy. Simply translate the data into JSON and send back it to CloudMine; they’ll handle it from there.
- ClrTouch – ClrTouch, founded by Mark Spates, “empowers publishers, agencies and ad networks to create, traffic and track rich media advertising on tablet web browsers.” What appears to be an original deviation from their original plan to develop something along the lines of Tumblr for Tablets, ClrTouch is now focusing their efforts on building a sleek ad integration network. The current ClrTouch server and ad network are currently in development.
- ElectNext – ElectNext, which we just covered, allows voters to easily figure out which presidential candidate best represents their own ideology. Founded by Keya J. Dannenbaum and Paul A. Jungworth, ElectNext prompts users to answer questions on the topics that matter most to them and then displays a list of candidates that best match their responses. Think of it as online dating for politics.
- Flirq – Flirq “puts girls in the drivers seat” with their soon-to-launch online dating service. In a new twist to online matchmaking, the girl “picks the guy, consults her friends, and she Flirqs him.” In an attempt to generate interest, Flirq is offering early registers a 30% discount off a meal at a restaurant of their choice through their partner, Savored.
- Grassroots Unwired – Grassroots Unwired “is the only solution that provides complete mobile solutions that support Canvassing, Get Out the Vote, and Election Day activities in real-time.” This GPS-enabled, cellular device focuses on repeatedly highlighting the “real-time” aspect of their technology, thus enabling a campaign to make snap adjustments on election day onwhere to focus their efforts and what message they should be conveying.
- Kwelia – Kwelia is a service that allows property managers to optimize their pricing using local market data. Through monitoring the continually changing market prices, Kwelia uses its propriety data to build financial models to assist property managers in properly pricing their available units. The service also allows renters to see the real rental value for the properties in the area of their chosen interest.
- metaLayer - metaLayer’s goal is to “take the pain out of creating complex workflows and mashups of your information in real-time with no fuss” through allowing users to drag and drop data and creating visualizations, analytics, and structure. Before, services like this were only available to the biggest companies, but by offering an affording service, metaLayer hopes to expand big-data visualization to a broader range of businesses. They were one of our showcased startups at our Tech Cocktail DC mixer in November; you can watch the metaLayer Dashboard in action for yourself.
- OneAway – OneAway is a mobile application that notifies you when friends, friends-of-friends, or a fellow college alum is nearby. Through displaying a heatmap of who is nearby, OneAway allows you to start chatting with those within your network quickly and easily.
- Qwite – Qwite is a mobile app that makes it easy for companies to collect customer feedback. Instead of (or in addition to) voicing their opinions on more public social media forums, Qwite hopes to connect a customer’s experience directly to the business owners through customer surveys and incentive programs. By offering rewards to its users, Qwite hopes to take advantage of the opportunity that Foursquare has neglected to pursue.
- SnipSnap – SnipSnap hopes to bridge the gap between tangible and digital coupons. The mobile application allows users to take a picture of a coupon, save it, and redeem its value when presented in-store. The SnipSnap app also offers notifications of other in-store deals ,as well as push notification reminders of when their coupons are going to expire.
- Spling – Spling is a service that allows its users to easily share links with people in different circles (for lack of a better term, not G+ related), while discovering other interesting media from your friends. Unlike other social media sites, Spling is only for sharing interesting media, thus filtering out all the other noise. By archiving a users links, the service makes it easy for users to go back and find the articles, pictures, and videos they’ve shared.
- SupplyHog – SupplyHog aims to be the 3rd party marketplace between contractors, builders, “do-it-yourselfers” and local suppliers. By creating a one stop shop for what a builder needs, SupplyHog will connect you with the best possible deal from near-by suppliers on their network.
- ThaTrunk - ThaTrunk is a mobile application that utilizes a users location to easily distribute multimedia files with a the push of a button. This particular app aims to become the top service for distributing multimedia at conferences, events, and other gatherings. By allowing users to access these files through the ThaTrunk app, creative distributors (authors, speakers, musicians, etc.) are no longer forced to pass out their content by hand.
- UXFlip – UXFlip is creating a pair of products to help its users build better mobile apps. The first, FeedbackTrail, “empowers mobile app developers to gather user feedback – while the app is in use, and throughout its life cycle.” FeedbackTrail accomplishes this through multivariate testing, all the while not requiring the app creator to re-release their product to the app-store. Appimate, UXFlip’s other creation, has yet to announce any specifics on its product’s details.
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