It seems as though another accelerator program pops up weekly in the burgeoning NYC Tech scene. Among this crowd is the tried and tested Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA). The midtown-based accelerator led by Murat Aktihanoglu and Jonathan Axelrod is now graduating its 12th cohort of 12 startups that each received $100K in investment (up from the previous $40K) and mentorship for the four month program. The startups cover a range of functions from security companies to networking apps to marketing platforms.
Founded in 2016 by Mark Webster, Sayspring is a prototyping software for voice applications using Amazon Alexa and Google Home without the use of coding. Just as you create wireframes to plot the user experience, this platform will let you integrate voice into the experience. The service is currently free with paid agency and enterprise versions coming soon. The company has added Google Home into it’s stack during the course of the program. The company is poised to be a key infrastructure player that fuels the voice-enabled future.
Founded by Elias Guerra, Wes Biggs, and David Bustos in the summer of 2015 in New York, Popwallet is a marketing automation tool that uses mobile wallets as another channel for brand marketing. Through the platform, Apple Wallet and Android Pay can be used to announce new products, create rewards, send reminders, send special offers all while data is being captured and consumer behavior is being tracked. This info can now be used to make future marketing decisions both at an aggregate and individual level. 90% of commerce is happening in-store while society is growing its addiction to mobile. This startup is poised to shift the balance.
Founded in Dawud Gordan and John Tanios, Two Sense uses behavioral biometrics from interactions with your phone for authentication. The company appears to have pivoted slightly since entering the program. Presently, the company uses machine learning to understand user behavior to generate a data set unique to user that is used to verify that the holder of a device is the actual owner to prevent fraud in a variety of ways. As phones are being used to access more parts of your identity graph, this startup is ensuring that the phone in one’s possession is actually that of the real owner.
Founded by Tom Santora, Rob Carpenito, and Sorin Davidovici, Auto I is a video and camera surveillance application that’s integrated into vehicles. Monitoring vibrations caused by things like collision and break ins, the platform saves the recorded footage so that you have a recording of the incident for insurance and police. The company previously raised slightly under $115K in 2016 in a Kickstarter campaign, surpassing its $50K goal.
Founded by Rob Castelluci in Gainesville in 2015, Quottly is a marketplace for college courses for the purpose of using transferable classes to earn a degree for significantly less. With the costs of college education rising to unprecedented levels, this platform is your tool to game the system and arbitrage the best savings by managing the process with all parties involved. It will be interesting to see how receptive the accepting universities are to this as this idea gains popularity and scales.
Founded in Brooklyn in May of 2015 by Joshua Brueckner and Brian Flynn, Air Tailor is an on demand platform for clothing alterations via text. How does it work? The consumer sends a text about the alteration that is needed, the company then provides detailed instructions through a free welcome kit that’s sent in the mail and collects information on the specific alteration, and then the user ships in the article of clothing with a prepaid label. The service provides most basic conventional tailoring services along with a few extra services that are pretty cool like hemming sweat pants and our personal favorite – adding elbow patches to shirts. During the program, the company has expanded to service a customer base nationwide. This is tailoring without ever leaving your home.
Founded by Daniela Birnbaum, Jonathan Slimak, Alberto Sheinfeld, and Luis Scull in 2016 in Brooklyn, Payfully provides receivable financing for Airbnb hosts, cutting the lag in receiving payments from Airbnb for a portion of the proceeds. Hosts receive payment for reservations within 48 hours of booking. We previously covered their $300K funding round from the fall- NYC Startup Payfully Just Raised $300K To Be to the Go To For Any Airbnb Host.
Founded by Alexander Shvartz, Dennis Bolgov, William Larrenaga in Boston, Parkwise is a mobile app available for Android and iOS that assists drivers in finding on street parking in real time by using crowdsourced driver data. The app also provides local information on traffic events like street closures, cleanings, and emergencies along with timely notifications to help you avoid getting a costly ticket. The app currently works all over Boston and also provides street maps for Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. During it’s time in the program, the company expanded to cover North Hudson County in NJ.
ERA has seen success in the parking space with the recent acquisition of Parking Panda, a graduate of the program, by Spot Hero.
Founded by Liran Amrany and Jeff Hu in 2014 in New York, Debitize is a personal finance tool that is focused on responsible credit card usage. The app links up with your credit card and sets aside funds for each purchase made on the card from your checking account and then pays your bill on a weekly basis. You’ll never have to worry about a recurring balance and the onerous and debilitating interest that’s tacked on each month while still earning all the beneifts of rewards associated with credit cards. The company’s premium feature Credit Optimizer allow you to pay your debt down often, keeping your credit utilization, which is a determinant of credit score, to a minimum. In short, the company offers the flexibility of a credit card combined with the responsible spending of a debit card.
Founded in 2015 by Justin Musterman and AI Torres, Summit Sync is a mobile app for professional networking at business events and conferences. Users create a profile, opt into groups and specific events, and get all the relevant details in the palm of their hand. They also have the ability to connect with others attending the same event through a “Pass or Sync” functionality, which is similar to swiping on Tinder. Matches are then able to connect and message to set up offline meetings. The product is marketed to the event organizers to improve the experience of attendees.
Shortly after its founding the company raised $750K from Alex Robart according to Crunchbase.
Coming into the program as iSow, Goalsetter founded by Tanya Van Court and Naledi Khabo, iSow is a platform for financial literacy targeted towards children. The platform uses smart gifting to allow children to save money towards a purpose to cement a healthy mindset when it comes to savings and investments. The company previously received a $507.5K investment from Pipeline Angels in January of 2016. We covered the company in the fall (pre name change) – NYC Startup iSow is Changing How the Next Generation Receives Birthday Presents.