Last night at the Boston New Technology Meetup six startups presented to a group of wide eyed enthusiasts. One of the better aspects of this meetup was that each company represented a different sector of business including communication, robotics, education, music, medicine, and data storage. The presenters themselves even represented all corners of the globe. We’ve outlined all of the companies that presented below and even picked a winner. Check them out.
HTML5 based Cloze is an email client for iPad and iPhone (with web development in beta). Its sort of like the opposite of a spam folder. Cloze looks at your history of contact between people online and filters the information that is most important to you to the top of your inbox. So, an email from your mom will take precedence over a tweet from the Globe or a Facebook message from that friend from high school you still talk to every couple months. The slick interface enables cross-media extension (responding to a tweet with a private email right from your inbox) and uses both custom analytics and Facebook feeds to continuously learn which relationships are most important to you in real time.
This one was a doozy. Northeastern alumni Rich Ranky and Mark Savik rolled out a large box shaped machine that looked like…well it looked like a not quite finished 3D printer. Ranky introduced his presentation quite aptly, “I’m Rich, thats Mark, and this is Donatello.” 3Spark’s second custom built 3D printer, Donatello can create plastics with circuit boards and sensors built into the piece. That’s right. The electronics are “printed” out as part of the electronic piece you are building. The team has found that the “plastic” modeling material that is produced can also work in conjunction with the circuit board to act as a heat or electrical sensor. It’s still a work in progress but this one could be a game changer. Cowabunga!
Dee Kanejiya introduced his product as “Siri for education.” Unimpressed with multiple choice tests as an effective way to assess online education, the Cognii team built their software to analyze written answers and provide students with instant detailed evaluation of their work. The idea is to provide an API to education platforms where educators give the answers they are looking for, students type in the answer, and the Cognii algorithm calculates how “correct” the answer is.
Centering around the idea of making band practice easy and accessible, JamHub describes itself as ‘Garage Band meets DropBox’ and ‘Google Docs for Musicians.’ Using the JamHub hardware and their BandLab application, users anywhere can upload themselves playing music and share it with ‘band members’ around the globe who can then overlay the track with a shred-tastic guitar solo or a William Hung-esque rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Cloud-based storage allows for Cross Platform access and uncomplicated installation. JamHub is being tested in schools for music education programs and is getting rave reviews.
With the largest team of the night, Dr. Kaylan Kalwa presented Virtual Nurse, which connects patients with a registered nurse via video chat. Users enter their state, price, and type of health issue (diabetes, flu etc.) and are connected to a vetted, state registered nurse who specializes in the information you are looking for. Essentially, Virtual Nurse is making the insurance company’s medical hotlines a much more personal and personalized experience.
Using the MongoDB document-oriented database, Tokutek is an open-source storage engine that increases big data capabilities on an enormous scale. Tokutek uses a patented Fractal Tree Indexing system that provides an algorithm for processing data that touts itself as blindingly faster and more cost effective than its competition.
3Spark took the cake last night with the strongest presentation. Founder Ranky is extremely knowledgeable about his subject matter and a lot of heads in the crowd were spinning as he gave his presentation. I just sat wide eyed and amazed at both the brilliant application of 3D printing technology and the potential impact it could have on manufacturers. It will be very interesting to see where the 3Spark team takes this idea.