Here Are the 10 XSITE Xpo Startups: See You Thursday

Here at Xconomy, we are going a little startup crazy. That’s because this Thursday, June 14, we will play host to one of the region’s largest gatherings of startups and entrepreneurs at XSITE 2012, our annual Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship conference at Babson College, co-hosted by Olin College.

It won’t be exclusively startups there—and that’s the point. I don’t remember who said this, but saying you love startups is like saying you love puppies. What the broader innovation community can really focus on is helping those puppies grow up to be healthy dogs. But enough of the canine metaphors.

One of the showcases for startups in this year’s XSITE program is our “Xpo,” which features 10 early-stage tech companies giving short pitches about the problems they are solving and why they’re important to business and society. Our emcee for the Xpo will be Gus Weber, startup mentor and entrepreneur in residence at Polaris Ventures and Dogpatch Labs Cambridge.

Here’s a little bit about the Xpo startups, which we will divide into “consumer” and “business” categories (some of them are really both, but I had to take some organizational liberties).


Laveem, led by Varun Chirravuri, is trying to map the “food genome” and help people make better dietary decisions via mobile apps. Big concept to pursue, focused problem-solving to begin.

NeighborPower, led by Paul Harkins, is looking to help consumers use shopping points to pay their utility bills. An interesting spin on energy IT.

Vsnap, led by Dave McLaughlin, offers short, personal video messages as an alternative to e-mail. Because who doesn’t want an alternative to e-mail?

Curisma, led by Fatma Yalcin, helps people discover and share information about cool gadgets. A fun site with some very surprising items.

Pact, led by Yifan Zhang, helps people commit to exercise using cash incentives via a mobile app. What better way to get people to follow through than to make them pay if they don’t? (I’m all for more punishment, fewer rewards.)


FairSetup, led by Nikita Bernstein, is looking to reinvent the employee performance evaluation based on quantified impact on the business. Because, really, who wants to fill out one of those forms again?

Privy, led by Ben Jabbawy, is a marketing alternative to local deals and rewards for small businesses. It’s a crowded sector, but someone’s gotta do it right.

Apptopia, led by Jonathan Kay, is a marketplace for mobile apps and their developers. Think eBay meets Web domain brokerage meets mobile strategy consultant.

Unified, led by Sheldon Owen, is creating an “operating platform” for brands and enterprise customers to do social marketing. Another crowded sector, but this company is drawing a bigger box around the problem.

Trendslide, led by Jeffrey Vocell, makes business intelligence software for mobile devices and tablets. This gives business owners lightweight metrics and trends without a lot of extraneous data.

We’ll be giving out some prizes for the “audience favorite” in each category, as determined by a very unscientific method (you’ll see). Looking forward to all of these pitches, and to seeing everyone on Thursday (you can still register here, we do have a few tickets left. with a special rate for, you guessed it, Startups).

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