StartX, the startup accelerator for Stanford University students, held its Spring 2012 Demo Day this past week at AOL headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Seven very diverse startups presented to a room of investors, media, and tech industry folks — the latest batch of StartX startups range from a new method of doing DNA sequencing, to truly educational children’s toys, to a new way for women to buy jewelry, and more.
TechCrunch TV was there, and in the video embedded above you can see the general scene and also our interview with StartX’s founder Cameron Teitelman. We also got six of the presenting companies to give TechCrunch their pitches directly, along with two other companies that were in StartX’s spring session but opted not to present on-stage since they were not raising funding. You can watch those in the video embedded below.
A bit more about StartX: The program, which was started in 2010 (it was then known as SSE Ventures) to give entrepreneurially-minded Stanford students tools and advice they need to actually get businesses off the ground, has seen some impressive growth in the past two years: More than 160 founders have started 60 companies with StartX, and 80 percent of them are funded and still growing.
StartX is unique in a few ways: It’s not exactly a student group, as it’s financially and legally completely separate from Stanford University. But it’s not an incubator in the Y Combinator sense, since it’s a non-profit and takes no stake in the startups that participate in the program. It is a very smart set-up, and it would not be surprising to me if it expanded to other regions or universities in the months and years ahead.
In the order in which they appear in the above video, here are the StartX Spring 2012 companies:
Appfluence (co-founders Hai Nguyen, Pablo Diaz-Gutierrez, and Luis Adarve): Productivity software for the iPad
Genapsys (co-founders Hesaam Esfandyarpour and Leila Restegar): Aiming to facilitate ultra-low cost and fully-integrated DNA sequencing on a mass scale
Gauss (co-founders Siddarth Satish, Milt McColl, and Mark Gonzalgo): An iPad-based mobile platform for monitoring blood loss during surgical procedures
Roominate (co-founders Bettina Chen, Alice Brooks, and Jennifer Kessler): The first product from Maykah, a company aimed at creating toys for young girls that will foster their interest in science, technology, engineering and math
Crowd Jewel (co-founders Courtney McColgan, Janelle Tiulentino, and Deborah van Dam): A community-driven jewelry design platform that brings to market the jewelry designs that win a crowd vote
LessThan3 (co-founders Ari Evans, Bryant Williams, and Josh Bennett): A social website where people can show off and share their music collections
Watchup (co-founders Adriano Farano, Jonathan Lundell and Jessi Rymill): Making an iPad app specifically for watching video news content
Vergence Labs(founders Jon Rodriguez and Erick Miller): Creating “smart, stylish, computer-enabled eyewear” aimed at bringing online content into our everyday lives. We were not able to pull these guys aside for a pitch — they were swarmed by investors wanting to try on the glasses themselves — but you can read TechCrunch’s coverage on them from earlier this month right here.