Austin continues to make “Top 10” lists for everything, and break new records. Here’s one for you from the legandary DEMO conference in San Jose this week. A record-breaking six Austin companies launched at DEMO this week, and three of the six are being incubated at Capital Factory with one being an ATI graduate.
Student Loan Benefits has developed a modern employee benefit that allows companies to boost their recruiting & retention success by reducing their employees student debt. Think 401k for student loans. The company is being incubated at Capital Factory.
There are three main components to the SLB program:
- Optimize – each employee goes through the SLB platform to compare & apply for 70+ consolidation, refinance, and relief programs.
- Pay – SLB integrates with a company’s payroll system to automatically facilitate payments for the employee and utilizes repayment strategies to efficiently pay off the loans.
- Match – employers can provide a matching contribution towards their employees’ student debt, just like a 401k.
Connect with life.
Smart devices are here: Wireless thermostats, activity monitors, networked music systems and a whole host of devices in the home.
Wouldn’t it be great if they all could communicate together? Wouldn’t it be even better if they worked in unison to make your daily routines easier and more enjoyable?
Now there is an app that does all that and works in the background so you can get back to the things that really matter.
ATI graduate DRAFT is an investment application company that offers community-based investment solutions. The DRAFT app helps self-directed investors make smarter decisions by demystifying the complexities of investing and lowers the amount of fees investors pay while also educating users on simple strategies to reach investment goals.
Obsidian is a Bitcoin exchanged based in the United States that allows people to trade Bitcoin without first sending their money overseas.
Curb Inc., a clean energy tech startup at Capital Factory, introduced the Curb home energy management system and mobile application, today at DEMO Fall 2014 in San Jose, CA. Curb is taking pre-orders through its website and expects to begin delivering the system nationwide in the first quarter of 2015.
Suvola is creating a line of cloud infrastructure, web services and enterprise data management software for the emerging system-on-a-chip (SoC) based microserver market. Packaged and sold as self-contained appliances, products based on Suvola software will address the mid-market’s need for more cost-effective, easier to manage information technology infrastructure to support end-user desktop, tablet and mobile applications. The company is also incubated at Capital Factory.
The DEMO folks are coming back to town and are taking 10 meetings with promising young startups that are considering launching at DEMO Spring 2011. The Austin stop of the DEMO tour is going to be on November 19th, and is being hosted by Austin Ventures. The DEMO conference has been the launchpad for several outstanding technology companies including Tivo, Palm, Salesforce.com and local Austin companies such as SocialSmack, InfoChimps, Gelato, and Piryx.
If you’re not starting an up-and-coming technology company in Austin, then at least consider coming to Six Lounge for happy hour the night before from 6:30pm – 9:00pm. I’m sure event sponsors Austin Ventures and DEMO will be buying a few drinks, and you’re sure to bump into some of your favorite local tech peeps.
Happy Hour: Thursday November 18, 2010
Where: Six Lounge from 6:30pm – 9:00pm
How many times have you been at a technology conference, you meet a nice guy or gal, and chat for a bit. When it gets to the point that you’re explaining what y’all do for a living, the other person says: “well, I just do the boring enterprise stuff…”
I’m happy to report that I didn’t hear this line even once at DEMO this last week in Santa Clara. On-stage there was an entire enterprise session that didn’t once apologize for being “boring enterprise technology.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. There was a great deal of pride in the enterprise segment.
To tell you the truth – it was more refreshing than an Enya album. (Not that I have ever listened to Enya…)
What’s more interesting is that the enterprise and small business technologies on stage were probably more exciting than many of the consumer companies that were launching. The enterprise had a good showing this year – and I think it should remind the community in Austin (which is admittedly enterprise-heavy) that we should never develop an inferiority complex just because a CRM vendor’s marketing manager can’t use the buzzwords of our consumer counterparts.
Your ERP does NOT need Foursquare integration for your company to be “sexy.” For the love of all that is good and holy – how did being the “mayor” of a dive bar get to be sexier than landing a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR DEAL?
But DEMO’s enterprise demonstrators didn’t cave to the tendency to make fun of their work. They were proud of what they had built and they had no intentions to apologize for building something that actually had a business model.
A few of my favorites were Profitably, eM Client, PublicStuff and meeting-Expert (which was a unique AlphaPitch company). There was a heavy focus on efficiency and productivity across these demonstrators – and that was particularly nice to see. I think it hits home with end-users in the business. And it’s a reminder that emerging enterprise vendors are well aware of the fact that real, living, breathing human beings use their products every day.
If the strength of the enterprise segment at DEMO is any indication, and if the recent burst of enthusiasm in the space is any indication, then Austin is holding a very nice hand of cards.
Though we already knew that…
This week at the DEMO Spring 2010 Conference in Silicon Valley, Austin-based Zosh officially launched. Zosh is an iPhone and Ipad application that alleviates the need for a computer or fax to complete a form document or to provide a signature for a form. The application allows for a mobile worker to sign and complete document form information using an iPhone.
One neat aspect of the Zosh application is that it does not require users to change their current workflow processes regarding document handling. As an example, a user is able to access a document from their email via an iPhone. Using Zosh’s application the user is able to sign and fill in information of a critical document. The user is then able to email the document to the correct party.
Currently only PDF’s are able to be returned to a sender with a signature or information, but plans are being made to extend this part of the service. In addition, PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP and TIFF are supported for execution and editing on an iPhone. This is still great because a user is able to edit and sign documents from their iPhone and send later.
The application has been in beta since November 2009 and the developers have refined the user interface by soliciting information from over 5,000 beta testers. The DEMO launch marks its appearance as an application for sale.
Thus far, the application has garnered a reception and is an Apple Store staff favorite and has had press from Gizmodo and Mobile Crunch.
The value of this application is straight forward. It increases productivity by allowing for increased flexibility. One is now able to sign critical documents on the go. It may sound simple, and that’s the point. This application makes life less stressful.
Zosh was created by Josh Kerr and Alexander Bibighaus. More information is available at www.zosh.com.
80legs, a startup that provides a web crawling service for the masses, officially launched on Wednesday at DEMOfall in San Diego.
The Houston-based company’s web crawling technology can trawl through more than two billion web pages a day across 50,000 servers. The best part, perhaps, is the cost of the service. The startup charges users only $2 per one million pages crawled and 3 cents per CPU-hour used, which is about 50% less expensive than its competitors.
The company’s target audience includes market researchers, IP protection services looking for copyright infringements or article theft, and ad networks wanting to audit their own ads and discover where competitors are placing ads.
But the company’s newest feature – its “80apps store” which will officially launch in the coming months – has attracted individuals who, say, want to search for reviews on a particular product. With the app store, any developer can write her own application, which runs on top of the current 80legs service, and individuals can browse through these apps to figure out which one best suits their needs. The developers can sell them to customers at whatever CPR rate they choose, and they get to keep 100 percent of the revenue.
MicroAssist Inc., a local company that provides software and IT training, as well as specific application development, launched a new e-learning course at DEMO on Tuesday called EthicsEd. The web-based program hopes to curb sexual misconduct in schools by teaching school employees how to identify, avoid and report inappropriate behavior and sexual abuses.
EthicsEd cites a report from the U.S. Department of Education which states that 4.5 million children are subject to sexual misconduct between kindergarten and 12th grade. To address this problem, EthicsEd attempts to prevent future instances of misconduct by educating school employees on appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, while also identifying key characteristics within typical school environments that make it easy to overlook or ignore those behaviors. The product also provides school administrators with tracking tools and reports to monitor if each employee has completed the course successfully.
The course materials can be accessed at any time through the EthicsEd site, but the company also offers integration with school districts’ existing e-learning platforms. As of the official launch, the full course is available for immediate access and implementation.
Yet another Austin-based company launching at DEMO this week is Infochimps. They launched a new marketplace where users can upload and sell their datasets to potential buyers such as researchers or application developers. Infochimps customers control the terms, set the price, and Infochimps handles storage, distribution and billing. Infochimps takes a commission from each sale in the marketplace and also provides a separate, free service where anyone can upload, share and curate the data on the site.
The marketplace gets very interesting when you consider how users can utilize some of the datasets, and even connect one dataset to another. For instance, the company cited a dataset that shows where parking meters are located in Bethesda, MD, how much they cost per hour, and the frequency of tickets issued on each individual meter. That type of data could, of course, make a very interesting iPhone app. Infochimps can also connect each dataset to every other dataset in the collection based on relevance and applicability. In doing so, the company makes it possible for customers to create a lot of value out of previously latent data with cross-segmentation.
Infochimps is certainly tapping into very valuable real estate with their marketplace. There’s no shortage of latent data out there, and juggernauts such as Hadoop have already proven that there is an incredible appetite for technology that makes these large datasets more manageable for developers and useful for end-users. Infochimps intends to make the datasets more accessible and enables their community to come up with the innovative uses for the data.
A slew of innovative companies are presenting today at the DEMO Conference in San Diego. One that caught our eye is the Austin-based Ge.la.to; it’s a free dating site that takes online dating to a whole new level and that makes Match.com and eHarmony.com look archaic. Users create a dating profile – in just two minutes – that’s distributed across a myriad of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Last.fm.
In other words, rather than create an ostensibly “ideal” profile like on typical dating sites – for instance, your favorite books are Jane Austen classics, yet you’ve only seen the movie “Pride and Prejudice” – users get to reveal their true selves, and, in real time. The site allows users to search for everything from “men in Austin, ages 25-35 who are Alabama football fans,” to those who have recently listened to Ben Harper’s newest hit song, to ones who have watched “Office Space” in the past week.
“This is a shift in the current online dating paradigm because it mimics how dating actually happens in the real world,” says the founder Steve Odom. “It’s dating for today’s Web users, for people who like sharing online and want a more transparent and authentic experience.”
Ringful, a personal healthcare startup is pleased to announce its selection to participate in DEMO conference’s first ever AlphaPitch, which according to DEMO co-producer Matt Marshall, features the “coolest, earliest-stage companies.”
At DEMO, Ringful will launch a mobile healthcare application suite, available at http://PreventiveCare.mobi/, which turns any mobile phone, from the iPhone to low-end voice-only phones, into a connected personal healthcare dashboard, resulting in reduced healthcare cost and insurance premiums. PreventiveCare.mobi applications all feature connectivity into existing personal health record systems (PHRs), such as Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, to enable data sharing and monitoring between patients, doctors, and family friends. The latest entry into the PreventiveCare.mobi suite is the Healthy Heart Journal iPhone application, sharedin private beta at DEMO.
The AlphaPitch presentation is the latest demonstration of Ringful’s technology. Ringful previously was invited to showcase its Asthma Journal app at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference. The Asthma Journal app demonstrated Ringful’s innovative capabilities enabling asthma suffers to better manage symptoms and medications, and to share data with family, friends, and doctors through Google Health and Facebook Connect. Asthma Journal, as well as Pollen Journal, an allergy checker, is live and available on iPhone through the iTunes App Store.
The Pollen Journal is also available in the Google Android marketplace. Ringful aims to become the gateway connecting all patient health records to all mobile devices. The startup has tapped into the huge need for better personal control and management of health, demanded by individuals wanting to take control of their health, and also by employers and insurance companies looking to reduce cost via preventive care. This need, combined with the lightening rod issues around healthcare in general in this country create huge demand for applications such as those being developed by Ringful.
“We are so excited to be selected by DEMO to present at the new AlphaPitch,” said Dr. Michael Yuan, Ringful co-founder, book author, and a well-known mobile technologist. “We know that consumers can become better at managing their health and chronic conditions with easy access to information. The PreventiveCare.mobi application suite allows quick and convenient monitoring of symptoms and patient compliance to improve the effectiveness of treatments and share the information with selected caregivers. The whole healthcare eco-system benefits with improved care and reduced cost.”
Each PreventiveCare.mobi application, current and in the future, is designed to be a simple data entry and analysis tool, enabling a user to monitor their own health and driving adoption of personal health records. “Our applications are built on the premise that simple metrics deliver powerful impact,” said Dr. Koushik Shaw, Ringful’s Chief Medical Officer and a renowned urologist surgeon. “By finally giving consumers easier access to their personal health data, not only is tremendous time and money saved, data made more accurate, cycles made more efficient, but most important, improvements in patient’s health and wellness.”
It’s the time of the season to launch companies. Between the TechCrunch50 and DEMOfall, over 100 companies are launching themselves, or products this month. Here’s a rundown of companies of interest, and we’ll have more details as they launch.
- 80legs – Some friends from Houston are doing some interesting things with grids.
- EthicsEd – MicroAssist is launching a great e-learning product.
- Piryx – Some key execs have moved to the valley, but we’ll still claim them.
- ge.la.to – They were a Technology Spotlight company at tech happy hour not long ago. They’re doing some cool things to the world of online dating.
- InfoChimps – They were a Capital Factory finalist, and now they’re launching their marketplace for large data sets.
- Melior – They will be launching gurustorms!
- Ringful – They have developed a whole host of applications.