The 12 startups making their case at ERA Demo Day



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or those of you unawares, the Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator, like other accelerators, is a program that provides participating start-ups exposure to potential investors.

They also pair participating startups with an industry-relevant mentor to help bring the startup to market. This year, the eleven of the twelve startups received a seed investment of $40K from the ERA.

One such notable alumni of the program is Public Stuff, a software company that assists clients with managing complaints — currently, they assist Burj Khalifia building management with customer complaints.

This year, the startups range everywhere from B2B marketplace offerings, a cybersecurity platform and yes, even a connected dog house. Here’s the rundown on each company and what they’re all about.

Caylent

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A DevOps (developmental operations) platform, that is designed to help software developers build, rollout and manage their containers through the cloud. Caylent is about making it easier for programmers at a company to build out and maintain new programs and projects, essentially becoming single-unit powerhouses.

Caylent’s pipeline includes testing, building and deploying applications, including server management. Partnered with Docker for their container technology, thus enabling 1-click deployments of new code, monitoring and automated testing — turning a company programmer into a DevOps machine.

Microsoft was also noted during their presentation as having invested cloud infrastructure in Caylent, adding to their potential appeal as a go-to solution in the field.

ClearChat

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An enterprise cybersecurity platform for secure communications that we’ve covered before. Aimed to target the increasing need for secured team communication and file sharing, suited for finance, health, legal and government — and yes, even a publication like TechCrunch.

ClearChat is looking for Slack’s lunch, essentially. Every other week or so, a major communication platform gets breached, and personal information is compromised. ClearChat wants to end that practice, while also being a better communication platform for teams who want to keep what they’re communicating about private and secure.

CoLoadX

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A B2B marketplace that aims to go after the antiquated international ocean freight industry. CoLoadX is about modernizing ocean freight shipping, with the end-goal to not only save on shipping costs, but become the de facto way of doing shipping at scale.

Currently, some of their initial clients that range from New York City to Dubai, so they’ve covered a few seas and oceans, already.

Lead by Fauad Shariff, Petere Miner and Salima Fassell, the trio are dead-set on bringing new life to the shipping container industry by not only finding the most cost-effective offers for clients, but doing it through the internet — which is fresh, for an industry that is mostly reliant on fax machines and phone calls. Just how many clients who think they’re the right approach to this dilemma remains to be seen.

Dog Parker

dog-parker-2-190x80We had these guys at Disrupt NY this year, but here’s the rundown: secure, temperature controlled dog parking, by the minute. Not particularly illuminating.

The goal of Dog Parker is allowing stores to have a secure dog house on their premises, specifically Dog Parker’s. The business perspective is that retail locations will attract dog owners who otherwise wouldn’t be allowed within the store, usually due to health regulations, and thus will drive further drive business, no matter the industry.

Meanwhile, the real idea is that dog owners will trust Dog Parker with the life and security of their dog, by locking it in the secured, anti-bacterial and temperate-controlled housing, which can be reserved in advance via an app, should the owner know they’re going to be in a certain area.

Problem is, not one of my German Shepherds would ever fit in it.

Felix Gray

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A startup founded by David Roger, Felix Gray is a startup that is conscious about eye health in the 21st century, for both adult millennials and today’s children. Selling eye glasses aimed towards protecting the eyes from the blue light spectrum that causes eye strain and glare of screens (tech which is eerily similar to Gunnar Optiks), including preventing eye strain, which in turn is said to cause dry eyes and ultimately, poor sleep.

After all, everyone stares at screens for hours and Felix Gray’s argument is that by providing an affordable solution for reducing eye strain for all of us who stare at screens for hours. Felix Gray glasses cost $95 with blue light filter or $75 without.

Problem is, this is a temporary solution to a problem that may very well be fixed from the hardware, not optical, end.

FROTH

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Founded by Catie Cole, Dae Lim and Harry Lee, First Round on the House is a marketing platform designed for alcoholic beverage brands in New York City.

Its aim is to carry the marketing influence of beverage brands to consumers, through an iOS app. If you like Absolut vodka, but never drink it, then Absolut could make you like their vodka.

Brands make use of the app by targeting a specific spot (a bar) for drinkers. Drinkers (the user), make use of the app on their end by specifying a drink they’re in the mood for, in a location of the user’s choosing It’s through this connection that beverage brands can target the user and provide the drink of choice — on the house, as part of a tasting. It doesn’t take long to realize that people like to have free drinks, and might even be more predisposed towards a brand that got them to try a beverage for free, that also turned out to be to their tastes.

Bullet Bourbon and Ketel One Vodka are two of FROTH’s new partners, with plans for non-alcoholic brands to join the app later this year.

inkHunter

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InkHunter is an augmented reality platform that is aimed towards improving mobile apps overall, since AR is noted to be slow, or inconsistent on mobile.

Founded by Oleksandra Rohachove and Pavlo Razumovskyi, inkHunter allows the user to preview tattoos on their body using AR — thus fulfilling one such user-case of their mark-based augmented reality technology. By drawing a smiley face where the tattoo is desired on the body, the inkHunter app will recognize the doodle and transform it to a tattoo on-screen, using AR.

So far, inkHunter has scored more than 2.5 million App Store downloads. In their presentation, their hope is to go beyond the tattoo, and make use of their AR tech within the e-commerce, health and gaming industries.

Karate Health

karate-health-190x80A data science-driven health startup, founded by Arif Sorathia and Brett Adelman, for sufferers of chronic and autoimmune conditions, like lupus.

Karate Health is an app that combines peer relationships, medication/side effect tracking and education materials, the user will enter their prescribed medications, experienced symptoms and some required personal info (like age and gender). Karate Health’s end-goal to educate patients about their conditions, while also giving health care providers a more cost-effective way of learning about their patients’ conditions and symptoms, to better improve research and clinical trials.

In terms of being viable, Karate Health noted in its presentation that it’s on track to helping more than 1,500 suffers of lupus, and soon will expand its expertise to helping those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Koa

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Founded by Mark Hartman, Koa is a software platform for buyers and sellers of mortgage loans. An end-to-end deal and loan management system, it’s aimed towards modernizing an industry that hasn’t been up-to-date ever since the ’08 financial crisis.

Koa’s current and future clients get to manage, analyze and execute their loan investments using an online control panel, from a computer, naturally. Koa’s claim to relevance is that Koa’s out-of-the-box software implementation allows the user to benefit from cost savings and increased profits. Not terribly exciting at first glance, but with the potential increase of clients, Koa’s ultimate vision is to allow trades between clients — and that may prove useful.

Pairprep

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Pairprep: an education startup and platform, powered by AI and founded by Sean Lanning. By taking a picture or uploading a PDF, a teacher (or parent) can create assignments, and adapt those assignments to the individual needs of their students.

Collaboration tools exist so that multiple teachers (or parents) can build better, more enriching assignments, ultimately competing with the staple education textbook publishers. Pairprep’s argument is that a team of 50,000 algebra teachers can produce better assignments for students than a few specialists at heavy-hitters like Pearson and McGraw-Hill.

With 358,000 users, PairPrep thinks it has the strength and knowledge (from its library of teachers) to disrupt that industry. At first, teachers don’t pay for the basic features of the software, with the goal of getting schools to pay for the premium features (like individualized help for students) on their behalf.

SensorKit

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Founded by Houtan Fanisalek and Kenneth Kruger, SensorKit is an activity and gesture recognition platform. Their argument is using machine learning to improve the tracking from wearables like the Apple Watch and Moto 360 smartwatches. Thankfully, this isn’t about producing new hardware, but improving the sensors in existing wearables.

SensorKit is the brains behind an app built by the same folks called YouMove, available for Android and iOS, which uses the platform to automatically detect user’s actions including bench presses, squats, rows counting reps, set and resting times — all coached to the user, using auditory feedback.

Previously just an iPhone app, SensorKit will take advantage of the newly-unlocked sensors in the Apple Watch, so YouMove will launch on the Apple Watch, come October 7th.

Turnout.ai

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Co-founded by Julien Newman, Turnout.ai is a B2B analytics platform, providing companies with modernized public opinion polls.

Gathering public sentiment data manually from pollsters and sign-up forms is a chore, so Turnout.ai scans those forms and types them into PDFs and searchable data.  A “grassroots company with a grassroots app”, a pollster takes a picture of the lists and collected data, where Turnout.ai digitizes the data and can email supporters regarding the cause you have, which was outlined when signing-up.

The first client added to Turnout.ai’s roster is Uber, which uses only the analytics engine (not the whole app) to find qualitative data from the data quantified by Turnout.ai’s analytics, thus in some ways avoid public backlash. Yes, in essence they’re mining conversations to assist companies and personal agendas — take that as you may.



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