Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 89
May 8, 2018
This month’s BNT was a themed event, featuring IoT and eCommerce companies. It was hosted at the WeWork location in Cambridge’s Central Square on Tuesday, May 8th.
As always, the BNT Startup showcase begins with food and networking. This one occurred at a neat coworking space in Central Square. I hadn’t been to an event since BNT received its Telapush sign, which lights up as people tweet, so it was cool to see it in action. (For more info about Telapush, check out the company’s website.)
After an hour of chatting with people, snacking, and networking, the presentations began. First, the sponsors were introduced and allowed to chat for a minute or two. Then, typically, the seven startups present, each given 5 minutes to present followed by a 5 minute Q&A session. (On Tuesday night, only six of the companies were in attendance, so there were six presentations.) Following, I’ll write a little about each of the presenters, including my best understanding of who they are and what they do. Obviously, if something intrigues you, don’t rely on the accuracy of my description. Instead, check out the websites and contact the companies for yourself. Because if you’re interested, you’re probably a much bigger expert in that product area than I am, so you’ll know better which questions to ask.
The first presenting “startup” was no startup at all, actually. Verizon presented about IoT and 5G technologies. Points emphasized were data analytics and, specific to the crowd in attendance, Verizon’s innovation program.
Next up was InEye Technologies, presenting the company’s InWeigh product. This product is a gadget and app. The gadget weighs your luggage. The app, which can be used without the gadget, keeps track of up-to-the-minute information about the baggage limits and over-limit costs of all of the airlines’ flights. This was the product at BNT89 I could most easily see myself using immediately. The gadget alone would be helpful for those of us whose luggage sometimes pushes the allowed weight limits. InEye Technologies says it plans to monetize its product by selling the gadget and by providing analytics from the data it obtains to the airlines.
BluCloud, Inc. showcased its cellular gateway, Gateway Blu. Dubbed in the BNT promotion as “universal connectivity solution for edge IoT,” BluCloud features sensor data connected to an analytics platform. Its example of a use for its product was to allow cities to automate their monitoring process while gaining access to real-time information. For example, ground water data. Their three types of potential customers are environmental, corporate, and infrastructure. BluCloud currently has about ten customers, with the largest deployment connecting 1,000 devices.
RevTwo was another company whose product I could see an immediate market for. It’s an autonomous, data-driven customer support system that uses AI to detect problems and provide solutions to customers. RevTwo’s solution works with smart products, allowing the product to detect the answer to many customer service issues without the need of a call center or service tech. Obviously, go to the company website and then contact them for insights into the nuts and bolts, but even as broadly as I’ve described the concept, I think it makes obvious sense.
Dover Microsystems showed off its CoreGuard product that solves the problem of a cybersecurity attack at the hardware level. The company calls it embedded security for embedded systems. A seed-stage startup, it will already be cashflow positive next month.
And the final presenter of the evening was the Two Minute Turtle Timer, a product of Invent Boston. This is a kid-friendly timer for two-minute tasks like tooth brushing. (Another real-life example I recall from the presentation was yoga poses.) It’s a turtle circuit board with blinking LEDs, helping turn childhood tasks into kid-friendly fun.
As usual, it was another great BNT event. Next month’s event, BNT #90, is scheduled for Monday, June 11 at Foley Hoag in the Seaport District of Boston.