Props to Jason Calacanis, leader and moderator at LAUNCH in San Francisco, for a high energy event that not only featured tons of startups from all over the world, but also hosted Israeli president Shimon Peres as keynote speaker. I happened by chance to be in San Francisco in time for the opening event on May 7, 2012.
The first set of presentations:
Alltuition – www.alltuition.com - One site that includes a view of all colleges, integrated and transparent view of the financial aid and loan process, plus a list of all major loan shops and their fees. Nice to see that Alltuition won as best overall 2.0 startup.
Vocre – www.vocre.com - Multilanguage conversations in real time.
Budge – www.bud.ge - Handheld program for health improvement. It even has a “Nag” mode where you can get a text or email exercise reminder (if that fails to motivate Budge will even call you at a certain time). Even better, a Budge customer, April, got up on stage with the company founder to do 10 pushups.
Hadza – www.Hadza.com - Simultaneous consumer video dashboard – one place that combines all video shot at the same time, geo-located. So if 10,000 people film the superbowl halftime show from the stadium, and another 100,000 film from bars and homes, you could aggregate to see and hear what occurred at the same point in time from multiple viewpoints.
Robin – www.magnifis.com - Your personal assistant, ala Siri. They presented a voice control demo of navigation, traffic and parking availability. But this could apply to all kinds of things…ask Robin to find your ultimate personal match for example. A beta version is running in California now, with a live version working in Israel, where the bus company allows riders to ask questions and get insightful answers.
While I was at the event I got the chance to chat with some company founders as well:
My Toybox – Founder Florian Spathelf launched in Germany and has not yet reached 1,000 customers. But they have big ambitions. My Toybox is targeting moms with young kids, especially ages 2 to 3 years old. We talked about the challenge of his target audience aging out – and how to be more of a lifecycle service for parents, so that the company still has value as the child gets older.
Bizplay – www.bizplay.com - Founders Pascal Lindelauf and Bob Groeneveld have done something interesting – launched a service that helps retail business owners display content on screens – like a flat panel monitor in a store checkout line. Big companies and institutions like hospitals already have great solutions like Rishi Shah’s ContextMedia, which delivers content on diabetes control and treatment. The small retailer doesn’t have that. Bizplay launched in the Netherlands and are now ready to take the rest of the world by storm.
BeCouply – www.becouplydates.com - The cute couple Becky and Pius, founders of BeCouply, are the outsourced concierge for couples – a driver picks you up, takes you to dinner and a show – hires the babysitter – whatever it takes to be…couply.
RonaStar – www.ronastar.com – This cloud-based enterprise platform was launched 6 years ago by my friend Stephen Meade. What’s amazing about Steve is the range of his startups, which includes Cenoplex (former President Bill Clinton is helping in order to see adoption of audio insertion on all cell phone platforms). Another of Steve’s startups is My WetRock, a company that could help save millions of gallons of water, just by plunking one down in your toilet tank.
Pricetag – www.pricetaghq.com - Founders Arturo Sheimberg and Andres Garzon have launched a quote building application. Let’s say you have a tech team and have to build a quote with multiple deliverables, variable costs and input from various team members. Here’s the low cost SaaS solution that’s far better than a spreadsheet.