Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #86: A Review

Boston New Technology #86
Boston New Technology #86

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 86

February 12, 2018

Introduction

This month’s BNT showcase was a little less convenient for me than last month’s, which was held in Waltham near my office, but it was well worth the trip into Cambridge.

Boston New Technology #86
Boston New Technology #86

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 86Alley Cambridge in Cambridge, MA

You may recognize the next paragraph from last month, but I did change a word or two:

Lumo at Boston New Technology #86
Lumo at Boston New Technology #86

Each BNT Startup Showcase begins with food and networking, followed by the evening’s presentations. After the sponsors are introduced and given a couple minutes each to talk about themselves, the seven startup presentations begin. Each startup’s presentation is 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Following is a brief recap of each of the seven startups’ presentations. Please follow the links to learn more about company/product.

After the welcome message and sponsors, the first presenting startup was Lumo‘s self-cleaning pet grooming tool, Ridgeback, designed to detangle and collect shed pet hair without pulling or cutting. Though not a hard and fast rule, I’ve noticed the early presenters tend to get more of the Shark Tank-ish questions. Tonight was no exception. Ridgeback’s price point is $32-$68, with professional, easy-cleaning models at the higher end of the range, and because of the quality premium, the product has an extremely healthy profit margin.

Kaiburr at Boston New Technology #86
Kaiburr at Boston New Technology #86

Kaiburr is a devops-as-a-service offering that allows quick, secure deployment of apps. I first learned about this company in November at a Mass Innovation Nights event. Kaiburr is a subscription-based, SaaS product, with a sliding rate – pay as you scale.

Quinncia is an AI-based interview preparation tool. The product is already revenue-positive, in place at 15-20 universities.

Quinncia at Boston New Technology #86
Quinncia at Boston New Technology #86

SavingsQuest is a savings encouragement app from financial services non-profit Commonwealth. It uses the gamification of savings – culminating in a dancing pig – to encourage the accumulation of small emergency funds via micro-savings.

I Am Kréyol is an artistic high fashion design brand with an inspirational story behind the brand’s style and panache.

I Am Kreyol at Boston New Technology #86
I Am Kreyol at Boston New Technology #86

SidelineSwap is an online marketplace for buying and selling sports gear. Tapping a surprisingly untapped market, the presentation included an example of its ease of use by demonstrating the act of selling a piece of equipment via the SidelineSwap app. An interesting point made during the presentation was that 90% of SidelineSwap’s sellers had never sold anything online before using the service.

And Inspired Start is a baby food designed to introduce eight commons allergens to babies at an early age to help reduce the likelihood that they’ll develop as many common food allergies. The three points I recall from the presentation were, in no particular order: Organic, non-GMO, and made in Wisconsin.

Inspired Start at Boston New Technology #86
Inspired Start at Boston New Technology #86

This was another fun BNT event with lively presentations and interesting people to network with. Though it featured more non-tech presentations than is typical at a BNT event, these seven startups are a good mix of the sorts of new companies Boston produces. And, as always, I look forward to the next Boston New Technology Startup Showcase.

Next month’s event, BNT #87, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 at Foley Hoag in Boston.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85: A Review

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85
Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 85

January 9, 2018

Introduction

I’m planning to get out to more BNT events this year. I last wrote about BNT77 in May of last year. Look for more frequent write-ups this year.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 85: DS SolidWorks Corporation in Waltham, MA

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85
Baby Safety Snap presentation

Each BNT Startup Showcase begins with food and networking before turning to the presentations. After the sponsors are introduced and given a couple minutes each to talk about themselves, the seven startup presentations begin. Each startup’s presentation is 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Following is a brief recap of each of the seven startups’ presentations. Please follow the links to learn more about company/product.

First up was Baby Safety Snap, a product from Loon Ventures LLC that consists of a key (attached to a bright yellow lanyard) snaps into a baby’s car seat buckle and is designed to help prevent parents from leaving babies inside hot cars. The product looked like an inexpensive, effective, efficient way to achieve its goal and may have a bright future. It was one of my favorite presentations of the evening.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85
Zealery Researcher presentation

The StandingSteps Trainer is a physical platform on which the user exercises to lose weight and improve health. Impressively, to show how easy the product is to use, the presentation was given while using the product.

Zealery Researcher offers companies an easily-affordable opportunity to do automated permutation tests for market research. Zealery allows its clients to test variants of its product and test different price points. It then measures engagement rates across hundreds of thousands of placements. At the moment, Zealery tests reactions to ads on Facebook and Instagram; compatibility with other social media networks is in development.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85
ITiculate presentation

ITculate allows real-time testing and management of cloud networks. The product allows users to proactively fix and optimize their cloud applications. The BNT presentation included a live demonstration, too.

Meenta allows researchers to book spare capacity on scientific equipment. In areas like Cambridge, Mass., with its many research labs, for example, there is a great deal of unused or underused scientific equipment capacity. Meenta makes it easier to find that available capacity, easing the requirement for researchers to buy expensive equipment.

UOut is an app whose goal is to help friends plan gatherings out. The app allows bars, restaurants, and venues to create dynamic, user-created content and offers real-time promotional opportunities. The app is launching in Boston with plans to expand nationwide.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #85
UOut presentation

Paper Airplane is an app that allows people to network and connect with other people within the room and meet in real life. It sure feels like a dating app, though the presentation included some other potential uses. The team plans to roll it out first in South Boston, rightfully noting that its usefulness will be tied to its ubiquity, supporting a geo-by-geo rollout. Though it wasn’t mentioned in the presentation, I’d think this might find a likely audience on and around college campuses, where the app’s whimsical name might help differentiate it, though that’s true everywhere.

I really like the BNT format, with each company getting time for a short presentation. I look forward to the next event. The BNT Meetup group contains a calendar of upcoming recommended events. The next BNT Startup Showcase is scheduled for February 12th, with its Boston location currently listed as TBD.

 

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase #77: A Quick Review

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77 at Dassault Systemes in Waltham

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77

May 9, 2017

Introduction

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77 at Dassault Systemes in Waltham

I’ve been following the Boston New Technology Startup Showcases for quite a while now via the BNT Meetup group, but the meetings are almost always in Boston. This time, however, the showcase was held out in the suburbs where I could more easily get to it, so I jumped at the chance. As those of you who have read the Blog may know, I regularly attended technology and technology startup events when I lived in Houston. I’m not as conveniently located to make it to Boston area events as regularly, but I enjoy keeping up with the tech and startup communities when I can.

Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77: DS SolidWorks Corporation in Waltham

MatterVest presentation at Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77

This event begins with food and networking before turning to the presentations. Each startup’s presentation is 5 minutes followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Seven companies presented. Here’s a brief recap of each:

MatterVest: First up was MatterVest, a site that’s geared toward the equity crowdfunding trend. MatterVest provides tools for investors to analyze the various investment opportunities all on one site in a standardized format, rather than forcing investors to navigate the twenty-plus equity crowdfunding sites, which may have different formats and varying types of information at the potential investors’ disposal. MatterVest is currently a live beta site.

TabCoinClub presentation at Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77

DiscoverText: DiscoverText does text, survey, and Twitter data analytics. The company demonstrated its Twitter analytics during the presentation. A quick poke around its website is likely necessary for a fuller understanding of the software and how it works, as it’s a bit detailed for a five-minute presentation.

SlapFive: SlapFive is software that aggregates customer views in a different way. The company noted during its presentation that, rather than asking for testimonials or recommendations from its clients’ customers, SlapFive asks for knowledge, experience, feedback, or advice. This information is then captured in a way that can be shared. The company uses a SaaS business model with monthly subscriptions and tiered pricing.

WatchRx presentation at Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77

TabCoinClub: This business allows customers to try out new electronics before buying. For a monthly fee, subscribers can create a queue, get items in the queue, and keep the items for as long as they like. When one item is returned, a different item is sent. Subscribers also get “coins” for maintaining their subscriptions. (In response to a question, it was mentioned that referrals are another way to earn “coins.”) These coins can then, in turn, be “spent” to be able to keep products the subscribers like.

BEEP presentation at Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77

WatchRx: This is a smartwatch with phone and GPS that helps seniors remember to take medication. It comes with a caregiver app for the family member (or other caregiver) to monitor the senior’s progress. Other features also help the caregivers monitor the seniors’ well-being. During its presentation, WatchRx even showed part of this YouTube video demo, which does a great job of showcasing the watch’s features.

BEEP: BEEP is an app from Beantown Beacons geared toward tradeshows and conferences. It allows tracking of interactions and other visitor information of interest to exhibitors and conference organizers, such as entry/exit and dwell time. For the attendee, it can cater content to enhance the conference experience. Yes, I know my description is vague. The BEEP team did a great job explaining it at BNT; hopefully any details I haven’t fully explained can be discovered via a visit to BEEP’s website.

Virtualphysio presentation at Boston New Technology Startup Showcase 77

Virtualphysio: This app provides reminders for patients to complete the at-home portions of their physical therapy. In addition to improving patient compliance via its timed text messages, Virtualphysio provides a link with exercise instructions to help ensure the therapy is done properly. Virtualphysio says its business model includes SaaS for practioners, clinical trials, and partnering with health insurance providers.

It was an interesting batch of product presentations. I’ve done my best to capture the essence of the products and the presentations in this article, but please do visit the product websites and contact the companies to ensure you get a complete, correct view of the the BNT #77 products.

The two products that were probably best-suited to this presentation format were WatchRx and Virtualphysio, whose utility and underserved consumer markets are the most obvious. Whether serving underserved niche or new markets or trying to succeed in a competitive market with a superior product, though, all of the products at this showcase appear to have a possible path to success, which is nice to be able to say.

After finally getting to a BNT startup showcase, I see that I really do like the quick-presentation format. Certainly, whenever the showcase is back in the ‘burbs (or if there’s a rare occasion I can get into the city after work), I look forward to attending a future event.