Today, seed fund and accelerator, TechStars, put on its “Demo Day” in Boston to debut 12 new companies to the world. Investors came in from far and wide to vet these young startups and to potentially take out their checkbooks. TechStars estimates that more than 350 VC and angel investors were on hand for what General Partner at Spark Capital Bijan Sabet called the best class of Boston startups yet.
In just five years, TechStars has grown significantly in both size and reputation, and though every startup accelerator will tell you that it offers valuable assistance to the startups it takes under its wing, TechStars now has some interesting data to back that up. According to the accelerator’s results, seven of the first twenty companies to go through its program have been acquired by larger companies, and about 70 percent of its companies have raised follow-on funding or have since become profitable.
So, without further ado, here is a sneak peek at the 12 startups from TechStars’ latest batch debuting today at Demo Day. Check ‘em out!
Evertrue is a social donor intelligence platform for development offices of academic institutions and non-profits as well as a provider of location-based apps for alumni of those institutions. Development offices currently have data about their alumni that is largely incorrect and alumni do not have tools to easily connect with each other. With 18 schools already on the platform — including Brown, Cornell, and St. Paul — and a partnership with LinkedIn, Evertrue is well on the way to solving this problem.
Ginger.io uses your mobile phone to understand and predict your health. Based on cutting edge algorithms and models that the founders developed at MIT, Ginger.io can detect whether you are stressed out, have a cold or the flu, and are working on conditions such as Crohns and IBD. Collaborating with major institutions such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Pfizer, the company plans to help individuals get the medical attention they need more efficiently than ever before.
GrabCAD is the biggest web-based community of CAD (computer aided design) engineers and the 5th biggest mechanical engineering team in the world. Through its web platform, GrabCAD connects its worldwide network of 8500 highly skilled engineers to manufacturing companies in need of CAD solutions. The company has already raised $1.1 million in venture funding from Atlas Venture, Matrix Patners, and NextView Ventures.
HelpScout allows small and medium sized businesses to provide customer service with the personalized touch of email and the organizational structure of a helpdesk. The founding team has already signed up over 200 companies for the service, including Wine Library, the online wine store run by the well-known customer service advocate Gary Vaynerchuck.
Kinvey makes it easy for mobile app developers and designers to build and manage cloud backends. Developers model their backend needs and Kinvey auto-generates their backend for them with libraries that they can just drop into their app. Kinvey’s cloud platform scales as needed and will be have volume-based elastic pricing.
Memrise is a social learning platform that helps people learn factual data 10x more quickly and continuing learning 10x longer than the average. Built by and based on the methodologies of the memory grand champion who trained bestselling author Josh Foer, Memrise is tackling language vocabulary as its initial product but will expand to all factual data from medical terminology to legal facts.
Placester changes the online real-estate advertising game by making it incredibly simple for brokers to get the most bang for their advertising buck. Brokers currently have to go through the hassle of posting the same information onto hundreds of sites without knowing which deliver the most ROI. Placester automates the placement of ads, creates landing pages, and tracks clicks and phone calls with a proprietary optimization engine that converts CPC and CPM advertising into pay-per-performance advertising that delivers real value to brokers.
Promoboxx bridges the gap between web-based promotions run by brands and promotions run by their independent retailers. With a suite of tools that leverage the power of social media, Promoboxx lets brands offer exciting promotions to their retailer’s customers. Across 407 promotions running already, data shows that Promoboxx is 5x more effective than previous approaches. This boost in effectiveness is bringing big brands like Wolverine, Linus, Uvex, and others on board.
Senexx provides enterprise professionals answers to difficult questions. By merely sending an email with the question to the Senexx engine, the engine routes the email to the people within the enterprise who have the expertise to be able to answer the question. Individuals no longer have to email everyone they know before finding that one person with the right knowledge. Given how much time and energy this saves, it comes as no surprise that Novartis and Xerox have already signed up for beta deployments.
Spill creates virtual communities for anonymous peer-to-peer support among college students. One in four college freshmen do not return to school for sophomore year due to psychological pressures that they have trouble sharing openly with others. The Spill platform helps these students get the support they need in a welcoming and secure environment so that they can overcomes their struggles and stay in school. Currently active in 10 colleges, Spill has already helped to avert seven potential suicides.
Strohl Medical Technologies has developed a portable stroke detection device that greatly improves triage and treatment times in the ER. Because it currently takes several hours for ER doctors to detect whether a patient has a stroke, only 5% of all stroke victims can receive tPA, the treatment proven to reduce the effects of a stroke. Using a patented technology built at Tufts Medical School, the Strohl device quickly scans brain waves to detect strokes, effectively serving as an EKG for potential stroke victims.
TheTapLab is a social gaming studio developing multi-player mobile games based on real-world locations. Their first game, TapCity puts players in their home cities and allows them to buy and develop their favorite locations such as Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. But other players can attack these locations to steal them away, so maintaining an empire requires constant vigilance. With over 5000 players averaging 25 minutes per day in the game, TapCity is set to take over the world.