Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #93

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 93

September 18, 2018

Proximate presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

This month’s BNT was hosted at Foley Hoag in Boston’s Seaport District on Tuesday, September 18th.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 93: Foley Hoag in Boston, MA

In typical fashion, food and networking kicked off the BNT Startup Showcase. And, as usual, some of the event sponsors had booths (tables) set up for the evening.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to all the exhibitors, but I did speak with WordPress experts TRBdesign, HR solutions firm TriNet, and peer-to-peer car sharing/renting company Getaround.

WorkAround presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

The presentations began about an hour into the event. First, the sponsors were given a minute or two each to talk. Then the startups presented. Each presentation was 5 minutes, with another 5 minutes allocated to Q&A.

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.

URSA Idetic presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Proximate bills itself as Sales Intelligence as a Service. It taps a company’s sales history and scores its leads. Via personalization, predictive intelligence, and analysis of leads, Proximate is a cutting-edge customer relationship management (CRM) tool. As noted in the Q&A period, Proximate can be layered on top of a company’s existing CRM.

WorkAround is a service that helps companies source online work to skilled refugees. Refugees may be highly skilled but are not allowed to work in their host countries. This is a solution to that problem; with Internet access, they are able to work virtually for companies elsewhere. It was interesting to see some of the WorkAround advances since I first heard the company’s CEO speak at a Mass Innovation Nights event back in March. Notably, the new aspects of the client interface.

Cluster Audio presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

URSA Idetic is an “autonomous systems intelligence platform.” Or, per its name, Unmanned Robotics Systems Analysis. Simply: Drone intelligence. With early military work likely to make venture capital completely unnecessary for URSA Idetic, this is a rare startup that may be able to grow fast enough based on its early revenue. The company’s goal is to be the source of autonomous systems data.

Cluster Audio‘s CA550 Speaker System is a tactile audio system that allows gamers and movie watchers to feel the sound. Described to us as un-technically as possible, Cluster Audio’s “Sound Sleeve” is a subwoofer inside a cushion you can drape over your couch. Of course, personally, with my music interests, I’m curious about how this system will help me “feel” my favorite tunes. I need to somehow arrange for a test-drive.

Ridj-It presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Ridj-it‘s slogan is “Carpool your way to adventure!” It’s a “travel tech platform” that allows drivers and riders to organize adventures, while connecting them with small businesses for discounted booking rates. This first struck me as an adventure-travel/day-trip focused, specialized and supersized version of Meetup serving a specific market. But for that market, it seems like a great idea. It’s specialized enough that a more broadly focused competitor would have difficulty duplicating the experience.

Thoughtblox presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Thoughtblox is a knowledge-sharing system. Per its own promo, “transforming mailing lists to engaged knowledge networks.” Unlike existing communication platforms and knowledge-sharing systems, Thoughtblox uses filters rather than folders to facilitate information-finding. When reading about Thoughtblox before the event, it was tough for me to visualize from a text description, but after seeing the brief demonstration during the presentation, the interface is quite slick and user-friendly.

Spiro presentation; photo by Geoff Wilbur

Spiro is an AI-driven sales automation system. A CRM tool that serves as a reminder system, learning from its user and tailoring itself to the user’s needs. I jotted down the four short sentences that describe Sprio: It observes. It recommends. It learns. it guides. After just the brief demo during the presentation, I walked away exceptionally impressed.

As usual, it was another great BNT event. I’m already looking forward to next month’s BNT, scheduled for October 16th and slated to feature HealthTech startups. If my schedule permits, I’ll see you there.

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