The Companies: San Antonio’s Techstars Cloud 2016 Demo Day Pitches
[Corrected 2/15/16, 2:15 p.m. See below.] San Antonio — One company lets you send encrypted, secure e-mails. Another finds the meaning in your mounds of unfiltered data. Saw a photo online of a dress that you loved but can’t find? At the Techstars Cloud Demo Day in San Antonio, there was a company that proposed its technology can find it for you.
Eleven startups pitched their business plans to potential investors, tech executives, and others in the San Antonio technology world on Thursday after completing the three-month Techstars Cloud accelerator program. The program—one of more than 20 that Boulder, CO-based Techstars operates around the world—offers the startups mentorship, seed funding, and access to potential investors, among other benefits, in exchange for a 6 percent equity stake in the company.
While any Techstars program typically has a tech focus, that’s particularly emphasized in San Antonio, where the cloud program picks companies that are developing some sort of cloud infrastructure tool or a product meant to support or enhance the consumption of cloud infrastructure, Blake Yeager, Techstars managing director for the San Antonio accelerator, said earlier this week.
Here’s a quick note on each of the companies at this year’s Demo Day:
—Popily takes something that most people find difficult—gaining insights from large data sets stored in spreadsheets and other trackers—and discovers insights for its users, according to CEO Jonathan Morgan. A user can upload the data sets to Austin,TX-based Popily, and the company’s software analyzes and does the rest. “We believe everyone in your organization can make data driven decisions,” Morgan said. “The technologies of yesterday aren’t going to cut it. We find what’s interesting in your data.”
—Jumble helps encrypt e-mails so that users can send secure and sensitive information over e-mail without someone hacking into it. It works on Gmail, Outlook, and other mobile tools, said COO and co-founder Fiona Kelly. If a recipient doesn’t have the company’s software installed to receive and decode the encrypted e-mail, it can be opened in the Dublin, Ireland-based company’s web database, she added. It’s free for personal users and there is a charge for business users.
—HelpSocial is a San Antonio-based company that has built a tool to help corporations, particularly ones with large customer service centers, interact with customers through social media. The company’s founders, including CEO Matt Wilbanks, came from cloud computing company Rackspace (NYSE: RAX). Wilbanks said customer service traffic from social media will overtake phone volume in two years. [Spellings of Matt Wilbanks name and Rackspace trading symbol corrected.]
—Clyp is a tool that allows musicians, from amateurs to professionals, to upload their finished and unfinished music online so that others can collaborate on it. The Austin, TX company plans to launch a “pro” plan for $9 a month in the second quarter of this year, and eventually, a “studio” plan for professional producers and sound engineers, according to CEO and co-founder Jordan Patapoff. [Paragraph changed to correct Clyp’s misspelled name.]
—Taipei, Taiwan-based UX Testing provides user experience testing for mobile applications. The startup’s software can record a user’s facial reactions to the app, the areas of the screen they touch using heat maps, and provides flow charts to show how a user interacts with the app. It can be integrated with three lines of code, said CEO and co-founder Aldrich Huang.
—Companies have been seeking the best way to make images, and in particular, content in the images, searchable online. Marbella, Spain-based Pomika says it has developed technology that allows it to identify color, texture, and the type of material of a piece of clothing, like a dress. If a user saw a photo of a dress they like online, the software could potentially find out who makes it and where it’s for sale. That may help the company tap into the e-commerce market, said CTO David Ortega.
—Championship matches for video game tournaments, known as eSports, have drawn larger audiences than NBA Finals and World Series games, according to the Atlanta-based Haste’s Adam Toll. Toll says that Haste has network software that he said finds the best route, through dynamic connections, between a video game player and a computer server, to make sure gamers always have a reliable and fast connection. The startup plans to launch the service this summer.
—Ilos allows anyone to make videos, especially instructional videos for the workplace, easily. The company’s tool allows a user to record anything happening on a computer screen, as well as vocal instructions. Users can also edit and share the final video with the company’s software, according to co-founder Sean Higgins. The startup has grown its revenues to $20,000 per month, Higgins said.
—Can’t decide which live streaming app is best for you? Switchboard might be the answer. The Orlando, FL-based company has developed a technology that co-founder and CEO Rudy Ellis said is able to syndicate an event across multiple high-volume channels and streaming platforms, which dramatically increases the number of viewers—an attractive pitch to potential advertisers.
— Austin-based HuBoard has built a planning and time-management service that helps managers and software developers stay in contact and manage their activities without having to exchange e-mails or have meetings, said CEO Ryan Rauh. It is built on tools that developers trust, such as GitHub, he added.
—SageHero is a San Antonio-based company that provides real time and personalized training for employees trying to learn how an IT production environment works, says COO Erik Larson.