i/o ventures

Meet The Newest Startup Brood From i/o Ventures

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The i/o Ventures Demo Day starts in a little under a half an hour, and I am about to head over to Valencia Street to watch the startups present. i/o Ventures is the SF-based incubator that offers five or six startups a 4-6 month long spot in its 7,000 square foor loft/coffee shop space as well as $25,000 in seed money, in exchange for around 8% of the company.

We’ve covered some of the companies before, put I am publishing a preliminary list here (to be updated as I watch their presentations).

CodeEval (our coverage) – A platform for interviewing and testing programmers, CodeEval lets companies automate the process of filtering job candidates through giving them a coding challenge. CodeEval co-founder Jimmy John estimates that there are 13.5 million developers in the US alone, with a $10.6 billion global market. ” We want to make this the de-facto standard of hiring across the board,” John says.

Pieceable (our coverage) — Pieceable, which just released Pieceable Viewer, is a platform that attempts to make mobile development easier by offering customers ready-made components for iOS apps and an interactive app Q&A platform on a web browser.

Prepay — A mobile loyalty program that offers customers prepaid store credit, allowing them to save up to 10-20% on purchases. For example merchants can sell $100 lunch credit to frequent customers for $120, or buy back unwanted store credit.

Cortex (our coverage) — A sharing platform and browser extension that allows you to rapidly share web content like videos, images and links via its menu. Cortex is the fastest growing app in the Chrome web store, and is currently seeing 1 share a second with around 87K shares a day.

Mobbles– “Pokemon meets Tamagotchi,” a mobile game that lets you raise and fight whimsical creatures called Mobbles with the added benefit of geolocation. “We’re not inventing a new concept, we’re just mixing together already successful content,” said co-founder Alexandre Curtelin bringing up that Pokemon has already brought in 30 billion in revenue.

i/o Ventures co-founder Paul Bragiel tells me that the over-arching theme in this spring’s class is consumer internet gaming and mobile, and that the incubator prefers startups with at least one technical co-founder.

When asked about the relatively small size of the class, he said, “We are not interested in being a factory and we are super selective.” i/o picked five out of a pool of 500 applicants for this spring’s group. When asked what it took to be an i/o Ventures company, he replied, “At the end of the day we ask ourselves ‘would we have started a company with these guys when we were younger.’” Rad.

Out of the six companies in the last batch of i/o startups, two were acquired and the rest all raised financing of between $500,000 – $1 million to execute on their ideas. See you at the meetup.

You can read more about the last i/o Ventures demo day here and watch a video of Bragiel describing the program, below.