Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) held its Summer 2013 demo day today — its fifth demo day in two years — with a customary ten companies taking the stage to show off the fruits of their labor. A relatively diverse class was on show today, and companies tackled markets ranging from college counseling and used industrial machinery to personal training and ad tech.
Take a peek at the full lineup below, and stay tuned for deeper dives with our favorite startups from this batch.
Finding used industrial machinery is hard. It’s not something most of us think about on a daily basis, but when Machinio co-founder Dan Pinto was asked by a friend to help him find a particular printing press — and failed to do so — he realized how fractured the marketplace for such parts was. Machinio is like an Indeed.com for machinery, aggregating listings that would otherwise be spread across dealer sites, marketplaces, and classifieds.
Described as the “Netflix for personal training” by co-founders Robert Victor and Dan Oved, Tapactive helps people find personal trainers online and schedule sessions for a monthly fee of $495. That might sound like a lot, but if you’re training just ten times a month, you’re beating most trainer rates. Tapactive currently has over 300 personal training, yoga, Pilates, boxing and other fitness instructors signed up in New York.
Gigzolo has created a platform for finding and booking artists, musicians, and photographers for events. Artists and potential clients can chat through Gigzolo — there is a plan to launch voice calling soon, too — and the platform has a Google Doc-like collaborative feature that allows both parties to edit the terms of the contract simultaneously. Reviews, videos, and pricing information allow for comparison shopping between artists, all of whom have been pre-screened.
Admitted.ly is a platform to help guide high school students through the college application process, beginning in their freshman year. Admitted.ly matches students to schools based on a personality profile, tells them which are reaches, likelies, or safeties, and gives them advice on how to improve their odds. In addition to students, there are also specific services for parents and guidance counselors. In the future, the team will be adding an application assistant feature, major and career mapping, financial aid planning, roommate matching, and test prep.
Piiku is a B2B service for publishers that aims to solve the problem of losing some 90% of readers who are presented with a paywall. The plan is to convert those consumers by offering them video ad-supported access, which encourages returns, maximizes video ad revenue, and encourages paid subscribers over time. Piiku announced today that they have landed a contract with the publisher Gannett.
Information travels fast, and it’s easy to miss something through traditional search methods. The goal of Agolo is to make social media data actionable in the real world, by applying a Natural Language Processing filter to multiple platforms to detect what is timely and important in a user’s social media feed. The initial product works with Twitter. Co-founders Sage Wohns and Mohamed Altantawy noted that while competitors mine real-time web data, no others are working in this specific area.
According to ClosetDash co-founder Jennifer Lee, ClosetDash targets the 60% of a woman’s closet that is too good for donation but not high end enough to sell at a consignment shop. The startup brings clothing swap parties online and allows women to trade in their clothing for credit, which can then be applied to any of the items listed on the site. ClosetDash has seen a clothing intake of 10,000 pieces to date — a 358% increase in the last month — with a monthly unique visitor count of 16,000.
List fiends, listen up! Metropolist is creating collaborative best-of lists for any local topic imaginable. It is a market that is otherwise split into two camps, founder JC Goodrich said: Yelp and other user-generated services, and editorial sites like New York Mag and Thrillist. These recommendations are often irrelevant, dated, or incomplete, Goodrich said, a problem that Metropolist aims to solve through collaboration.
This ad tech startup uses real time data to analyze user intent based on the sequences of their actions, rather than individual actions. The idea is to allow advertisers to run more efficient and targeted campaigns. Rockerbox co-founders Ron Jacobson and Patrick O’Toole both came to the venture from Appnexus. They are now processing over 1 billion ad impressions every day.
Nutmeg Education tackles the U.S. educational system from within. The startup focuses on helping teachers better prepare their students for the Common Core, the educational standards mandated in 45 states that define what students are expected to learn in school. The startup helps educators create tests and quizzes and gives them personalized feedback on student progress.