TechStars is a startup incubator based in Boulder, Colorado. TechStars selected 10 teams and provided funding of about $15,000 per team, free office space, operational support, and mentorship from former entrepreneurs and business leaders. TechStars takes a 5% equity position in each company.
The teams presented today to about 50 VCs and Angel investors for the first time. These companies are three to six months old and have two or three founder employees.
EventVue - Social networking for conferences and trade shows. Works like Facebook for conferences, complete with pictures, bios, and contact info. Allows attendees to find each other and network during and after the conference. EventVue gets an affiliate fee for each new conference registration. EventVue is already in use at several conferences. You can see it in use on Brad Feld's blog. Competes with eXtreme Networking and IntroNetworks. Seeking $150K to continue product development.
IntenseDebate - A blog widget that provides threading and organization to comments. It includes a reputation ranking system, moderation tools, usage statistics, and user/topic tracking across multiple blogs. RSS feeds for comment threads or individual users. Supports WordPress, Typepad, and Blogger. Ad revenue model and up sell to premium services. Currently in use on 30 blogs, 500 more have signed up for beta. Seeking $500K.
SocialThing - A consolidated profile page for all your digital content; blogs, photos, music, friends, social networks, and links. Synchronize all your friends on all your social networks, from one profile page. Post pictures or other content once and have them appear on any of your social network sites. SocialThing is also a development platform for multiple social networks. Ad revenue model. Viral distribution through networks, and branded widgets. Seeking $500K.
StickyNotes - A post-it-note type app for Facebook. One of the top 30 Facebook apps. Over 1,700,000 users signed up in just six weeks, and have sent over 4M StickyNotes to date. They are working on several other Facebook apps in related areas. Cost Per Action advertising generating $30K per month. They will also use CPM and CPC in the future. Two developers, cash flow positive, not seeking funding at this time.
Search-To-Phone - Find local products and services by calling Search To Phone. Leave a voice mail asking about a product or service. The request is then routed to relevant local businesses, who respond back to you with information or an offer. SearchToPhone uses Microsoft's TellMe and Gold Systems technologies for voice recognition. They have just signed a deal with Excell Services to process 10 million calls. Ready to launch, looking for more partners, and a small investment.
Villij - A people recommendation engine that analyzes your online content, blogs, and bookmarks to find people of similar interests. When you register for Villij you are presented with a list of social networks, blogs, and websites. You check off the sites you use. Your profile on these sites is compared to other members to find profiles of people like you. Advertising and subscription model. Seeking $500K.
MadKast - A new way to share (push) blog posts with friends. It is a widget that can be placed on a blog to allow readers to send the blog post via email, mobile MMS, or social bookmarking networks, to friends in their network. MadKast also has a widget distribution network for other widgets, and they are working on a blog analytics service. Currently in use on 350 blogs, including Brad Feld, and mine. See the green MadKast icon next to the title of this post. Advertising revenue share model, split with bloggers, They will also charge a premium for the analytics package. Seeking $300K.
FiltrBox - A content filtering service that finds relevant content (blogs, news sites, and other web sites) and delivers it to you via RSS, email, and text messaging. Filtrbox uses topics, keywords, and context to rank relevant content. There are sliders to adjust the sensitivity or depth of information to filter and retrieve. There is a "thumbs up / thumbs down" voting system to help refine your filter. The system learns what you like. Seeking $500K.
KBLabs - Developers of Facebook apps and widgets. They launched their first application (Wah! Cool) 4 weeks ago. They already have 100,000 users and 1.5 million page views per week. They have built several other apps called Post Secrets, Motivate Me, and Track Bot. Each of these apps has more than 4,000 users and is growing over 100% per week. Advertising model. Not currently seeking funding. KBLabs founders are going back to college this Fall, but will do consulting projects building Facebook apps.
BrightKite - Location Based Notifications via email, IM or SMS. The notifications are all about location or what they call "place-streaming". Streaming content about a "place" from a "place". Alerts you when friends are nearby, or about great deals at nearby businesses, movie listings, etc. It could be used for conferences, events, bars, parties, or public places. BrightKite is also a platform for other location based apps from third party developers. Advertising model. Seeking $500K.