Mobile App Startups From Seattle to Washington DC Make Pitch at CTIA Fund Fest

A lot of fingers were crossed behind the scenes at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment conference, which ended today at the San Diego Convention Center. Many extraneous factors can affect attendance at big industry shows, but organizers did not want a repeat of the last time the CTIA came to San Diego, when the opening day for the conference was Sept. 11, 2001.

About 15,000 people attended this week, the same turnout as last year’s conference in San Francisco, according to spokeswoman Cheryl Delgreco. The highlight on the final day was the “Fund Fest,” in which entrepreneurs from Seattle, Washington D.C., and other cities made five-minute presentations to an onstage panel of three judges. Five finalists, including two from Seattle, emerged from a group of 50 companies that were screened by event organizers.

All five finalists received a complimentary exhibit and marketing package for a 2010 CTIA event valued at more than $25,000, and a block of public relations consulting time. All five finalists also will make encore presentations, along with 15 additional companies at the MobiTechFest in Santa Clara, CA, on Oct. 29, according to a spokeswoman for MobiTechFest.

The companies are:

—Mjedi, based in Seattle, is developing a software platform for mobile social commerce that enables people who are out shopping to consult with their friends by using their cell phone to send product images to their home page on Facebook. Founding CEO Chander Chawla says the company’s target market is composed of “teen-agers and women who like to talk before making a purchase.”

—ParkVu, based in Sunnyvale, CA, has developed software that enables users to wirelessly download their entire iTunes library, photos, and other files from their computer to their BlackBerry and other smartphones. Co-founder and CEO Terry Goertz says their technology “frees your smartphone from your desktop permanently.”

—Billing Revolution, based in Seattle, presented technology that enables mobile phone users to buy pizzas, ski lift tickets, and other merchandise directly from merchants. Founding CEO Andy Kleitsch says the company’s software is “a layer that sits on top of merchants’ existing credit card processing system. Kletsch says his company, which raised $2 million earlier this year from a South Korean telecom, is currently preparing to raise another $4 million in Series B funding.

—Chyngle, a San Francisco-based startup, develops custom white label mobile applications for shopping malls, amusement parks, and sports and concert stadiums. Chyngle, which is developing its application initially for Major League Baseball stadiums and other professional sporting venues, says its technology provides background information and statistics about teams and players and enables users to buy sports merchandise and other items. It also serves as a social networking tool that enables friends to meet, share rides, and exchange messages. For each stadium, CEO Todd Sullivan says, “We are that venue’s in-pocket marketing tool.” The presentation wowed the judges, who gave Chyngle the Champion award.

—TelCare, based near Washington D.C., has developed a wireless device for diabetics that enables them to both test their blood sugar and transmit the data to their doctor or caregiver. Founder Jonathan Javitt says the real-time connectivity maintains a more accurate record of tests, and makes it unnecessary for patients to keep their own test paperwork. Javitt says the wireless connectivity also can improve compliance by sending reminders to patients, and that according to one study, using the device reduced amputations, strokes, blindness and other complications of diabetes by 37 percent. TelCare received the CTIA’s People’s Choice award from attendees in the audience who voted by text message.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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