Last year’s TechStars Boston Demo Day was a nonstop wave of news and funding announcements. The 2011 class finished Demo Day with $4 million in tow (and have since raised that total to over $14 million). Can this year’s class compete?
Greg Gomer and I are at the Wilbur Theater getting ready for this year’s Demo Day to kick off and, unsurprisingly, the excitement in the room is palpable as the crowd waits for Katie Rae to kick things off.
We’ll be writing up news as it happens all day, but as a preview, here are the 13 companies presenting at the 2012 TechStars Demo Day:
Bison provides a subscription service to pension fund investment managers. These investors have to read about 250,000 pages of fund documentation a year to make the right investment decisions. Bison summarizes that information into standardized, reports and makes the investor workflow much more manageable.
We’ve heard some really good things.
UPDATE: Bison announced that Jeff Parker, Chairman of Thomson Reuters, has invested and joined the board. They’re raising $1.5 million, with half a million so far committed.
Libboo helps authors be discovered. The influence of their community of fans and authors, combined with unique algorithms for promotion and pricing, move books up the rankings in online stores. Some examples of Libboo success stories include an author who sold 30,000 copies in a few weeks, a childrens book that became #1 trending title on Amazon, and a spy novel that reached #12 top rated on Amazon.
UPDATE: Marshall “Soulful” Jones, a slam poet, kicked off this pitch with an amazing about the passion to write. It was a really cool way to introduce Libboo. They’re raising $1 million.
Pact motivates people to achieve their goals by using principles of behavioral economics. Their mobile app GymPact asks you to pledge to get to the gym a certain number of times a week and to put some money on the line. If you keep your commitment, GymPact pays you. The money comes from the people who did not make it to the gym. Their members are getting great results because the fear of loss is a bigger motivator than the promise of rewards. GymPact has 38,000 users who have put more than $1 million on the line. They are also attracting the attention of brands and healthcare: Pact has just announced partnerships with Puma and with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
It’s been a rough winter, exercise-wise, so I’m personally rooting for this one.
UPDATE: Pact has closed some serious partnerships (more to come) and has raised $600k our of $850k.
psykoSoft’s Psykopaint lets everyone be an artist, easily creating amazing paintings from photographs. It has been used by millions of
people on the web and is about to be launched on tablets.
UPDATE: They report 60,000 visitors a day. They are raising $500,000, with Fred Destin and Dave Balter on board.
Think Zipcar for bikes. Zagster provides bike share fleets as a service to residential property managers who offer bikes as a free amenity to their tenants. Zagster announced that they are entering the corporate campus and hotel markets, with new deals to provide bikes to Cisco and Hyatt.
They offer universities, businesses, and others a “bike fleet in a box.”
UPDATE: Zagster has already sold to Hyatt, Cisco, and national apartment management companies. They’re seeking $650,000 and have $350,000 committed.
Testive has built unique adaptive test technology to provide engaging and effective online SAT test prep. Testive’s technology powers the SAT Turbo Test on the Kaplan site.
UPDATE: Looking to raise $500k. Some of which has been closed from Dharmesh Shah and Bill Warner.
SimplyGood provides a mobile app, Loop, which turns retail staff and customers into a measurable marketing channel. This Toronto team has built solutions for large Canadian retailers and restaurant chains and is now launching in the US. Promotions sent with Loop have redemption rates 4x higher than email campaigns.
UPDATE: Simply Good is raising $1.2, and is working to close the final $650,000.
docTrackr provides remote document management. You can protect, track, and update documents even after you have sent them as
email attachments or shared them through platforms such as Box, Dropbox and Sharepoint. They are a French company, are deployed
to hundreds of thousands of users at large enterprise customers in Europe and recently announced a partnership where they will integrate tightly with Box.
UPDATE: docTrackr already has $150K in revenue and has deployed to 80,000 users. It is raising $1.1 million, half of it already committed.
Murfie has created a new form of digital music service that blends the best of physical ownership and digital access. Murfie members ship their CDs to be stored in the bank and can streaming and download access to their music. Because you own your music you can buy, sell and trade albums with other Murfie members. Albums typically sell for only $2 or $3 each. Members have already sent more than 200,000 CDs to be stored by Murfie. Murfie is announcing integration of their service with the Sonos connected music player which will let the hundreds of thousands of Sonos owners send bookshelves full of CD’s to Murfie and have full access through their Sonos devices.
UPDATE: Murfie came into Demo Day having already raised $1.4 million in funding.
Mortar makes Hadoop easy to use. Mortar allows developers to develop Hadoop code in the cloud with no install, allows you to use
standard languages such as Python, and by analyzing your code and doing smart data sampling to dramatically speed up the edit/test/debug cycle. Their first customer is already spending $200,000 a year on Mortar.
We wrote about them as one of the companies angel investor Chris Lynch is in.
UberSense puts a personal sports coach in the palm of your hand. Their video apps for the iPhone and iPad are used for sports training
and through word of mouth have grown to 600,000 users who have recorded more than 4.8 million videos. Even seven Olympic teams and a couple of Major League Baseball teams are using UberSense for training. Ubersense has begun to build a community marketplace that allows coaches to get paid for providing lessons to athletes remotely – for example, a golfer in the UK can pay for annotated video feedback from a PGA Pro in the US.
UPDATE: Ubersense is raising $750k with money already committed from Boston Seed and Atlas Venture.
A new approach to ecommerce user experience for women’s fashion. At Shopsy you can browse entire outfits tailored to your Style DNA, to match your look and your likes. Proprietary metadata for each item lets the Shopsy algorithm mix items into outfits by style, color, and price.
UPDATE: Shopsy is raising $1.5 million with $1 million already committed.
Laveem has built a Food Genome Project that understands nutritional content of meals and food. Their technology lets you enter a recipe to get detailed nutritional data, or just search on a general term like “1/2 lb. feta hamburger” to get quick estimates of nutritional content based on the hundreds of thousands of recipes that they have crawled and analyzed. Their consumer application is at sweeterspoon.com.
UPDATE: Laveem is looking to raise $500k.
Good luck to all of the teams presenting. We have plenty of coverage planned to keep you in the loop. Also, don’t forget about the Pre-Party to the After Party and then the After Party itself.