Every year I attend Excelerate Labs‘ Demo Day I am amazed on how polished and prepared the 10 companies are. This year was even better than last and I immediately fell in love with a few of the companies. Here is the lowdown on all 10 companies:
71lbs First of all I had no idea that there was money left on the table if your packages do not arrive when FedEx and UPS say they will. Yep, about $2 billion of it is every year. 71lbs uses software to track your packages and when they are late, get you some money. They hope to give all you small business owners some of that hard-earned shipping costs back.
Cureeo If you want to acquire artwork, apparently it is not all that easy. I am not a collector, but Cureeo knows that there are quite a few people out there that are and they want to make their life a little bit easier getting their hands on the perfect original artwork. Hell, Cureeo’s site is so well designed that it even makes me want to search out some fine artwork.
Fibroblast Docs make money from referrals. Apparently, quite a bit of it. Fibroblast automates the patient referral process and has already have seen success with their beta group of doctors. Knowing how difficult the healthcare industry can be, this is quite an accomplishment.
Lasso I have to be honest. I was a bit like TechCrunch and had “no idea” when I first met Lasso at the start of the class. Demo Day helped me see the potential. They seem to have built a wonderful app that takes care of the pain in the ass problem of figuring out where to go with your friends. After watching a demo of their product now, I do love it and hope they get the traction they deserve.
frintit I can’t tell you how many times someone in my family asks how they can print a photo they took with their mobile phone and the subsequent “oh, forget it” they give me when I start to explain to them a few of their options.. While frintit isn’t instant satisfaction, it does give people the opportunity to press one button and have a picture delivered to them. For free. They do this by creating a platform for brands to do some real targeted advertising. I am just not sure I want a picture with a McDonalds logo on it.
Moxie Jean Yep. This one I love. Not just because I have a beautiful little girl that has totes full of clothes she wore once or twice. It is because as I watched the pitch and talked to the team afterwards, the passion and real-world knowledge of the problem they are solving rings true in what they are delivering already on their site. Every parent wants high-quality clothes for their baby, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to watch them wear it only a couple times. Moxie Jean turned consignment selling into an art and any parent that wants to style up their little ones should go check them out now.
Pictarine Another one I love. This French team really took an idea I didn’t think had much to it when I first met them at the beginning of class and turned it into way more than I expected. Forget having to find all your friends’ photos across multiple different social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Picatarine pulls all the photos you care about from all your favorite social networks and presents them in a beautiful way. Not only that, they also allow you to interact with the photos with likes, shares, etc. right from their app. It sounds like a simple concept and maybe it is, but the execution of it was spot on.
Whimseybox I might have been one of the few people in the room at Demo Day that actually understood why this business is going to kill it. My mom is addicted to scrapbooking and she spends a small fortune at places like Michaels. The $30 billion craft and hobby industry just got a shining star with Whimseybox. They combined the things that make craft people love crafting into their product with community and tutorials and made it easy and fun to get everything you need to build that amazing crafty thing.
SpotHero Probably not the sexiest business but one I learned can turn to be quite profitable. If you have ever driven in Chicago and wondered were you could park, wonder no more. SpotHero is working with major parking partners to make it easy for anyone to compare and reserve parking. This actually works in everyone’s favor because parking garages want to fill unused spots, customers want to find a place to park, and SpotHero provides the conduit to make all this magic happen.
Orbeus Let me just say that this team is probably the most technically adept team I have seen at a Demo Day. At any demo day. They are sitting on technology that is literally teaching computers to read images like it were text. This goes way beyond “simple” pattern matching in facial recognition. They demonstrated things that literally just blew me away.