Oh look, it’s already that time of the year again — we’re down in Mountain View for another demo day from the 500 Startups accelerator.
Thirty companies pitched their products and business models to investors and the press today, and they all had impressive stats for revenue, addressable markets, and growth. Still, some startups just hit the right buttons with their pitches and got gears turning in our heads.
In the order they pitched, these are the companies that wowed us this afternoon:
Alfred – lets users repurpose old Android phones as Dropcam-style home security cameras that can be accessed from anywhere. In their first year, they had 1,000,000 phones added to their service, keeping literal tons of electronics from being sent to dumps. Their app has also become a daily habit for their users, who check up on their cat, kids, or empty home an average of 10 times per day.
Raur – building a podcasting service that brings together feeds from popular shows to listen to and tools for generating your own live and recorded content in a single app on your phone. This combined approach means there’s plenty of content to enjoy now, but down the road it could turn into Periscope or Meerkat for audio.
GridCure – analytics for the smart power grid. The company’s pitch is that power companies have invested billions in smart meters at their customers’ homes and businesses, but haven’t built the software needed to make the resulting deluge of data actionable. With GridCure, those power companies will be able to spot where power should be re-routed (wasting less energy overall) as well as identify irregular activity that could indicate “stolen” electricity.
Yellowdig – “Slack for education,” they’re building a service to replace the awful mishmash of backend software that looks like it’s from the 90s and email no one checks in college environments. They’ve done trials with 7,000 students to date, and hope to be in 100 universities by 2016.