We work in an industry where if you don’t have a startup that’s “disruptive” or “the airbnb of whatever,” it’s probably not a good idea to quit your day job. ‘What problem are you solving’ always seems a good jumping off point, when you’re considering launching a company. On that count, DreamIt NY Accelerator’s third class of graduates did not disappoint. Fifteen companies presented to a packed house of investors, press, mentors, industry insiders, and usual suspects and here are some of the highlights, in no particular order:
wireLawyer is a shaking up the way lawyers work. A B2B network built by lawyers, for lawyers and levels the playing field for small to mid-sized firms by offering smart contract search, peer-reviewed documents, curated Q&A, insourcing, outsourcing and referral fee management, enabling these firms to maximize their revenue. It’s more than a social network for lawyers – it has the potential to be the world’s largest virtual law firm. AlleyWatch has written about this company before.
Serviceful: “Home ownership is great, but maintenance sucks,” said Juan Chaparro, founder of Serviceful, the first-of-its kind service that aggregates home management tasks onto one platform, providing busy homeowners with their own personal concierge. You tell Serviceful what the problem is, whether you need home repair or an emergency dog walker, and your personal concierge will find the best service provider in your area to take care of the problem. Peace of mind, for $100 a month.
TouchBase is a technology that uses invisible conductive ink embedded with digital content on physical objects – such as business cards or Metrocards – that can be read by your Smartphone via the TouchBase app. TouchBase competes in the same arena as NFC and QR codes, but according to Co-Founder and CEO Sai To Yeung, NFC is expensive and only available for a fraction of smart phones, and QR codes are visible and make counterfeiting easy. The team demo’d a business card embedded with movie trailers. This is a technology whose time is coming, and TouchBase a product that’s still in development so, for now, you still have to keep track of the balance on your Metrocard yourself.
Callida Energy: It’s not easy being green, but Callida Energy is out to change that by automating energy optimization in commercial buildings. Available tools do not take a predictive approach, resulting in missed opportunities for cost savings and demand response revenue. Callida measures variables like occupancy and weather forecasts to help regulate/optimize the energy usage. By learning the energy usage patterns of a building, Callida’s platform saves building owners money, and helps to reduce energy usage all around. The company was also named one of the 50 Most Promising Privately-Held Green Tech Companies in NY (2012).
Mimoona: According to CEO Arik Marmorstein, Mimoona is the most successful crowdfunding platform in Israel and here’s the proposition: Mimoona helps fashion designers maximize their revenue and minimize their risk by crowdfunding designs. Designers display the item(s) they’re considering producing and allow potential buyers to pre-order them. If/when a certain number of people pre-order a design, it gets produced, which saves the designers money, helps new designers to get launched/be discovered. And gives fashionistas the gratification of knowing that once again, they were the first to discover that designer. Win-win and right in line with that Entrepreneur Credo: verify, verify, verify.
For the instant gratification crowd:
instruMagic: “We all love music”, said CEO Eyal Eldar, “but have found that learning to play can be very hard and time-consuming, Now ZAP Guitar will turn you into a rockstar – no strings attached.
GamePress allows you to create your own custom video game in minutes, without having to know how to program a single line of code. Your games are also shareable with your friends, family, and GamePress community.
Stylr is a company with an app that busy New Yorkers can appreciate, by bringing the benefits of online shopping to the physical world. You can easily window shop your favorite stores, including Bloomingdale’s, Urban Outfitters and Banana Republic, from the convenience of your iPhone. But say you need/want the item ASAP and can’t wait for shipping? Stylr will let you will know what is available at the store before you make the trip, and if the item is available in that store in the size/color you want. Done and done!