Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
This year’s crop of Disrupt NY Battlefield startups has been one of our strongest yet, but out of the 30 that entered the fray only seven would go on to the final round. HealthyOut, Enigma, Floored, Glide, HAN:DLE, SupplyShift, and Zenefits emerged from the pack as our seven finalists, and their respective teams were faced with another challenge.
They had to take the stage one more time to present and face even more intense scrutiny from our judges, Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha, Allen & Co. managing director Nancy Peretsman, SV Angel managing partner David Lee, KPCB partner Chi-Hua Chien, CrunchFund partner (and TechCrunch founder) Michael Arrington, and TechCrunch co-editor Eric Eldon.
Our judges sequestered themselves backstage at the Manhattan Center for quite some time, but they eventually settled on one ambitious startup.
Disrupt NY Battlefield winner: Enigma
Enigma, founded by Marc DaCosta, Hicham Oudghiri, Jeremy Bronfmann, and Raphaël Guilleminot, is a web service that allows its users to dig into a vast amount of publicly available (but hard-to-obtain) data. The service pulls its data from more than 100,000 data sources, but the process of sifting through all this information is deceptively simple — a quick search for a person’s name and company brings up multiple previewable tables of information, and jumping in and playing with data is thoughtfully executed.
Thinking of Enigma as a sort of Wolfram Alpha for public data gets you close, but Enigma is much smarter when it comes to finding connections between seemingly disparate data points. To date, Enigma has raised $1.45 million in seed stage funding, and has locked up partnerships with the Harvard Business School, research firm Gerson Lehrman Group, S&P Capital IQ, and newly-minted strategic investor the New York Times.
You can read more about Enigma here
Enigma Backstage Interview After Winning
And the runner-up: Handle
Handle (or HAN:DLE), founded by Shawn Carolan and Jonathan McCoy, is a so-called “priority engine” available as a web app and iOS app that aims to make users become more productive. And how do the apps do that? By basically folding the functionality of an email client and a task manager into a single service. Users are able to “triage” their emails, as well as archive them for later perusal, but they’re also able to create tasks and schedule them for completion on a given day.
The web app is full of power-user shortcuts (hitting the ‘A’ key archives an email, while ‘R’ opens a response) — that coupled with the overall focus on forming a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished on any given day makes for a potentially powerful tool for the chronically busy. So far, Handle raised $4 million from Menlo Ventures (where Carolan is managing director).
You can read more about Handle here.