Ten Startups Share Their Wares at TechStars Demo Night
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Monkey Analytics’ website. Already, the startup is gaining customers in finance, life sciences, small businesses, and research universities. “Data professionals are frustrated with their tools, and their IT infrastructure is usually old,” says CEO Francesca Moyse. “Monkey Analytics is breaking down those barriers.”
CEO: Leon Noel
The founder and CEO of SocialSci, who has the palindromic name Leon Noel, is a recent Yale graduate who says he used to waste hours on campus quads begging his fellow students to stop and participate in social-science surveys. Doing scientific surveys online would be an obvious alternative, but researchers can’t use existing tools like SurveyMonkey, because—among other things—they lack mechanisms to prevent subjects from answering multiple times, or to ensure that respondents are recruited under the guidelines laid down by review boards for the use of human subjects. SocialSci is an online survey platform designed to meet all the requirements of scientific researchers. It lets researchers design surveys using a simple drag-and-drop interface, and comes with a built-in recruiting system that uses a point system to reward users for participating while screening out repeat visitors. Researchers are already beta-testing the system at Yale, Harvard, MIT, and other universities, Noel says.
CEO: Nick Tomarello
Nick Tomarello, Sparkcloud’s founder and CEO, says the mission of Sparkcloud is simple: to “help you meet awesome people.” The company has built a software platform that makes it easy to develop mobile apps for the iPhone and Android phones that provide friend suggestions based on physical proximity, shared interests, or overlapping acquaintances. For example, one of the first apps built on the Sparkcloud platform is called Fate; it’s an iPhone app that introduces users to 12 other Sparkcloud users per day, based on information they’ve supplied (“sparks”) about their likes and dislikes. The startup plans to earn revenue by selling the apps, as well as virtual items and targeted ads. “Facebook is the best tool for finding your existing friends, but not for introducing you to new people,” says Tomarello. “Sparkcloud does one thing well, it gives you new ways to meet people safely.”
CEO: Jeremy Levine
Jeremy Levine majored in entrepreneurship at Syracuse University, and apparently his education served him well. Shortly after graduating he fulfilled his dream of launching StarStreet, which is intended to be an online market where sports fans can buy and sell “shares” in their favorite teams and players. (So far the company has been testing its technology using play money, while it awaits the capital it needs to hire a lawyer to certify that its trading system is legal.) Levine, who scored a feature on CNN yesterday, acknowledges that this sort of thing has been tried before—San Francisco-based OneSeason launched in the fall of 2008 and raised $3.5 million in venture funding from Waltham, MA-based Charles River Ventures before shutting down in 2009 as early adopters cashed out and share prices plummeted. Levine says OneSeason’s mistake was, in effect, inflationary … Next Page »
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