Our favorite startups from 500 Startups’ 20th class

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Our favorite startups from 500 Startups’ 20th class

41 startups graced the stage at 500 Startups’ 20th demo day at the Parc55 hotel in downtown San Francisco. The event came complete with mascots, a summer of love theme and a diverse array of early-stage companies.

This time around, 500 focused in heavily on health startups. A number of the founders demoing presented businesses in the interest of the public good — supporting governments and nonprofits. We paired a few of these with some more traditional plays in our roundup of our favorite startups from the batch.

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Preteckt

Thirty percent of the annual profit made by trucking companies is lost to sporadic breakdowns. Preteckt is designing hardware to give operators eyes into the operation of their vehicles. The thesis is that by combining data with smart analytics, breakdowns can become more predictable and preemptive action can be taken to prevent downtime.

Because all of the trucks in a fleet are networked together using Preteckt, the system can learn from trends across multiple vehicles. The startup reported that it had already installed over 100 units in seven fleets worth a total of $750,000 in annual recurring revenue.

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Alta5

Algorithmic trading has long been a tool for hedge funds and the quantitatively inclined, but Alta5 wants to help democratize it for the everyday investor.

Using only JavaScript, Alta5 enables DIY hedge fund managers to automate their own trading strategies. The benefit of leaving the execution to the computer is speed and rationality. Humans struggle to stick to their original trading plans, if they even had a plan to begin with. To date, Alta5 has had 5,000 sign-ups.

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Regard

Regard wants to help middle class Americans get access to income insurance.  This cohort of millions of workers runs the risk of burning through their cash when an event occurs that prevents them from working and earning a salary for a prolonged period of time.

By moving the process online and speeding it up significantly, Regard hopes to get more people to opt into a safety net and increase their financial security.

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Urban Logiq

Urban Logiq was born out of the frustrations of working in government. After realizing just how disconnected public sector data can be, company’s CEO Mark Masongsong decided to start Urban Logiq to put analytics in the hands of key civic decision makers.

Today it can take months to perform a traffic study, but Masongsong believes that number can be cut down by better connecting existing data and planning ahead for new data, like the resources connected cars might eventually contribute. The startup is working with GM and a handful of city governments to test its analytics platform.

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Win-Win

Win-Win works with charities to organize online tournaments that bring both parties a unique revenue stream. Users pay a fee to enter a tournament and the aggregate of the entry fees is paid out to the charity. In exchange, the winning user gets a special one-on-one experience with a sponsoring well-known athlete.

The startup earns revenue by taking a cut of each entry fee. Because celebrity partners coordinate their own advertising and promotion of the competition, Win-Win’s marketing costs are lower than a typical startup.

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Cadence

Businesses often face language barriers at unexpected times and need a quick fix. Cadence is building a marketplace for translators. Its platform matches translators with customers in need, in real time.

Cadence charges by the minute for its translation services and is already working with clients like Walmart and DB Shaw. Over 1600 Interpreters in 24 Time Zones have offered their services to date.

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Skeyecode

Skeyecode is reimagining two-factor authentication. It aims to simplify the process by removing the second device without compromising security.

The company is combining virtual chip tokens with secure display technology and proof of execution to reduce the inherent limitations of two-factor. Banks, IT service providers and payment providers are already testing the system in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Africa.

8/8

Boon

The highest quality applicants to most jobs come from referrals, but getting large numbers of the right referrals is a challenge for businesses. Dakota Younger, CEO of Boon, understands this well, having worked in recruiting for most of his life. The Boon platform enables companies to use their employee’s collective connections to optimize the referrals process.

Boon sorts through employee connections looking for individuals that match an ideal candidate profile. When it finds a match, it automatically reaches out to the employee to secure a referral.

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