This week, we met 12 new companies that graduated from DreamIt’s NY Demo Day. We have the scoop on all of them here, from the shoppable Pinterest to an ID scanning app to a real-time CRM app for all businesses. But we also decided to take a lap around the room to get a closer look at some of our favorites.
Slidebean: Launched as a beta last November and with an official launch in June, Slidebean wants to speed up the time users take creating a PowerPoint or a presentation with a web tool by placing content first. The web tool prompts you to input content first with options to choose what kind of slides you want. Images can be uploaded or can be imported from Flickr’s Creative Commons, and videos can be embedded with one-click playback. After adding the content, you can design the slides by choosing from five different color palettes and five design options, which comes with animations. Slidebean gives you a link to share your presentation, which are all public and searchable. Slidebean is mobile-enabled and rendered as HTML5, and operates as a freemium model with certain features requiring a $4.99 monthly subscription.
Browsy: If you’re interested in fashion and are an avid Pinterest user, Browsy might be the right service for you. Browsy is a board on Pinterest that’s trying to tap into the Pinterest market where users have the interest to purchase but cannot necessarily trace pinned items back to retailers. Once you give Browsy access to your pinned items, the service uses image recognition technology to connect those items to retail sites that sell it. The service gives you the lowest available price in a click. As the company hopes to expand, Browsy want to move their service off Pinterest’s platform and create a browser plugin to make all browsable content shoppable. Browsy takes 7 percent off every purchase, and 5 cents for every click through to a retailer’s site.
Acorn: Founded by three high school friends, Acorn is a machine-learning social reminder app for iOS that relies on geographic locations. With the desire to be the IFTTT of the real world, Acorn’s founders wants actions to occur through location-tracking. For example, if you are heading to a location where it is raining, Acorn’s technology will remind you to grab an umbrella as you are leaving your house. You can add favorite locations such as your work and home, and friends using the app can “drop you acorns” when you arrive at a specific location. After doing a stress test with competitor Swarm, Acorn’s team found that their app used one percent of battery life per hour, while Swarm used up 20 to 24 percent. As more users join Acorn’s base, the battery life becomes better. Right now the app can send reminders, messages and pictures to yourself and others. Acorn is looking at two business models: one is a gamified experience geared at younger users where they will leave a clue that initiates a scavenger hunt scenario for deals, and the other is native advertising.
Fiestah: Event planning can be a pain in the neck and Fiestah is looking to create a seamless way to help organizers and vendors work together. Fiestah, a subscription-as-a-service, is a marketplace focused on New York City where users can post event needs and will receive bids from various groups to work with them. If you ask for access to a photo booth for three hours, local vendors that can provide that space will bid you and you can choose where you want to work. Within 24 hours of posting, the user should receive about three to five proposals. Fiestah’s beta launched last year, but the company is looking to build deeper tools for its service. They’re raising $650,000 and are hoping for an official launch in the next six to twelve months.
Zairge: Frustrated with outdated software platforms for hotel management systems, Zairge wants to disrupt the hotel industry with its easy-to-use and cloud-based system. Zairge is a property management system, global distribution system liaison, point-of-sale system, food and beverage system, inventory tracker and housekeeping/maintenance platform — it pretty much wants to be the one software a hotel needs to operate. The service, which can be taught to an employee in a day, gives hotel managers real time analytics on what’s happening everywhere. Zairge is a mobile-enabled web-based service that stores data in the cloud and doesn’t require a server requiring maintenance. The company charges $5 per room per month for its service. Zairge, which began its beta six weeks ago with four hotels taking part, is focused on Virginia, but the company is looking to expand to New York, Houston and San Francisco. They are looking to raise $750,000, and $100,000 has already been committed.
Julian Chokkattu contributed to this article.