Tech Accelerator DreamIt Ventures is holding its Demo Day for its New York class of startups today. The 15 companies include students and alumni from top academic institutions like Harvard Business School, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University and Carnegie Mellon University. Several of the founders also have past work experience at companies including Yahoo, Microsoft, American Express, and McKinsey.
This event is the first opportunity for media and investors to see the startups present their ideas. There will be 250 to 300 people, almost all investors, attending today’s presentation.
DreamIt Ventures was founded in 2007 in Philadelphia, and ran its first class of startups in summer 2008. The firm provides common accelerator services, such as shared office space, a cash stipend for developers, a variety of donated services to help developers with legal and accounting issues, PR assistance, a speaker series with tips from investors, an advisory board consisting of early stage entrepreneurs, and, most importantly, one-on-one mentorship for the participating companies.
After having received several hundred applications for inclusion in this year’s program, DreamIt narrowed down the applicants to just 15 startups.
For the second year in a row, five of the companies were selected in partnership with Startl, the non-profit social enterprise dedicated to accelerating digital innovations for learning, from kindergarten to college, both in and out of the classroom.
The full list of graduates is below.
1DocWay brings the doctor’s office online. Patients can interact with their doctor over a secure video chat platform offering increased access to clinical care, especially for the rural, elderly, disabled and busy. As a result, physicians receive additional revenue generating opportunities and scheduling flexibility.
The platform is live and in a closed alpha with anchor clients using 1DocWay in varying clinical applications, including a $35 million psychiatric health system with 75 clinicians, 94 beds and 6 outpatients clinics.
AfterSteps is an online end-of-life planning service that simplifies death preparation, just like TurboTax does for tax preparation. AfterSteps enables users to create a complete end-of-life plan, store it, and then transfer it to designated family members upon death, ensuring that they have this critical information when they need it most.
AfterSteps was a finalist in StartUp2011, Silicon Valley Baby Boomer’s Conference, and Harvard Business School’s Business Plan Competition. It’s currently a finalist in MassChallenge. While at DreamIt, AfterSteps launched its initial version, acquired its first paying subscribers, signed its first distribution contract, and was featured in Forbes.
AppAddictive utilizes “Apps” and “Ads” (Appvertizements) in a marketing platform for businesses to acquire customers through social media. It integrates content, ad campaigns, messaging and analytics into one platform so businesses can optimize connections, commerce and advertising in social media.
By removing the multiple steps of advertising across different social networks, AppAddictive makes it easy for businesses to interact with their fans and make them buy.
AppAddictive also makes it easy for businesses to acquire customers from user generated web content, a Facebook platform of social apps and ad network. They have paying clients and are currently generating ad revenues from millions of impressions per month.
AppBrick provides robust mobile solutions for content producers. BookBrick™ and StoryBrick™ empower authors and publishers to easily create, launch and manage powerful apps via an intuitive, web-based interface – no programming required. AppBrick-powered apps deliver a rich, social and engaging new reading experience to consumers across multiple platforms. At the same time, AppBrick provides smart analytics and introduces new direct marketing and sales channels to authors and publishers. It also provides a new way for authors and publishers to reach and connect with their audience.
BookBrick™ enhances digital books with rich-media, productivity tools and social features, while StoryBrick™ easily converts digital children books into an interactive, customizable storyboard.
Clothes Horse is a platform that enables consumers to shop for clothing across retailers with a single user profile. It’s like a Facebook Connect for fashion, they say.
Their first product is a Saas solution that retailers plug into their website which recommends the best fitting clothes based on a shopper’s body size and favorite past purchases. As users provide more information about their wardrobe in each shopping experience, a Fashion Graph is created that connects users, brands, and clothes.
Retailers want this because it tackles their top friction points today: successfully turning shoppers into customers and minimizing returns. The company is currently working with brands both large and small who have signed up for DreamIt’s Charter Partner Program.
Cognection commercialized three decades of research in consumer psychology and behavioral economics, similar to Dan Ariely’s work in the book Predictably Irrational, to generate a new type of product recommendation engine that makes the online retail experience more meaningful for consumers and more profitable for retailers.
Recommendations combine the most important product attributes with implicit user preference data to enhance the customer experience with easier choice justification. Conceptually, Cognection focuses on the following: “Given what we know about your preferences, here are the best products for you. Now let’s get you there faster and construct product comparisons that make those products even more attractive.”
The company identifies, quantifies,and fixes human irrationality, it says, “to nudge consumers to direct customers through the conversion funnel in a manner optimized for better choices that end frustration in e-commerce.”
Hoot.Me is a Facebook application that allows students to switch Facebook into study mode. With Hoot, students are able to see what their friends are working on and collaborate inside of Facebook.
For example, if a student is working on calculus homework, Hoot lets the student see in real-time all of his or her friends working on calculus. He or she can then browse through old study sessions or create a new session to collaborate from within Facebook using group video conferencing, screen sharing, and smart chat (which allows typed math equations to be automatically reformatted to look the way they would in a textbook). If friends are not available or can not answer the question, Hoot enables tutors to connect with those who need their help via an affordable transaction fee.
KeepIdeas helps consumers organize and collaborate on decisions in the cloud. It’s a social “Evernote for verticals.” Engaged members are already keeping 30,000 ideas -including recipes, hotels, couches, homes, and more.
Growing by focusing on vertical markets, partners of its primary product, KeepRecipes, range from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to iVillage, with “more exciting announcements on the way.” The platform will eventually expand to KeepTravel, KeepDecor, KeepHomes, and more.
Learning one-on-one from an individual tutor has been shown to increase a student’s performance by an entire letter grade. Unfortunately, it is economically impossible for every student to have their own personal tutor. Until now.
LearnBop’s authoring tool enables tutors to create interactive math and science problems online that respond to and learn from a student’s incorrect responses with real-time clues, as a tutor would in a one-on-one scenario. Using LearnBop’s
proprietary platform, college students have reduced the amount of time it takes to create such lessons for the calculus curriculum from 12 months to 2 months. Some LearnBop lessons are open sourced and can be modified for local use, while premium lessons are available for sale in LearnBop’s online marketplace. Clients include Carnegie Mellon University and CUNY and many others are currently in beta.
Let’s Gift It is a platform for social gifting. It gives online retailers a plug-in tool which allows multiple contributions towards high ticket items on their registry,
wish-list and product pages. By socializing the buying experience for high ticket/high margin products, the company helps online retailers generate incremental revenue and increase average order value while helping gift givers collaborate on high-end gifts.
Pandaly creates interactive games that provide users a better way to discover, rate, and share discounts with friends. Through these experiences, Pandaly collects information on individual preferences which it uses to recommend the most relevant deals to each consumer.
Pandaly recently released its first experience, The Daily Deal Showdown, in which users are presented two deals and asked to choose their favorite. Other games are due this fall.
Re-Vinyl is a mobile application that connects musicians and related brands to their fans to increase fan engagement and revenue opportunities for the band and brands.
Within this context, Re-Vinyl provides a number of services for the bands and their fans. Among other features, it provides a platform where musicians and related brands can tell and sell their story on their terms and which includes a
toolkit where fans can collaboratively remix, respond, and purchase musical content.
Take The Interview is a cloud-based video interviewing platform for employers and candidates.
As an employer, you know in the first few minutes of meeting someone if that candidate is not a fit for your organization. Many interviewers waste valuable time and resources interviewing candidates that could be screened prior to the in-person interview.
Take The Interview provides a time-saving filter between the resume review and the in-person interview, by offering asynchronous (not-live), under-5-minute interviews that employers can control and review at their convenience.
Take The Interview launched during the summer and already has over 80 beta customers.
Pictour offers a marketplace for photo tours that you can use whenever you travel to a new city or even to discover new things to do in the city in which you live. Pictour allows anyone to create and publish photo tours that are displayed on an engaging interactive map that can be easily browsed on the web, a smartphone, or downloaded for offline use right in the traveler’s pocket.