Launch Festival 2015 Recap

This is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover the startups that won awards as well as my personal favorites.

Launch Festival 2015 Awards

My favorites are underlined.

  • Best Overall: Abra (about) – Software; Peer-to-peer digital cash money transfer network
    This seems to be a bigger deal in developing countries.
  • Best Social Impact: Fiskkit (about) – Software; Platform combining online comments, fact-checking, and argument analysis
    I love this because I had an idea not long ago for something somewhat similar.
  • Best 2.0: Fountain (now known as Porch) (about) – Software; Helps you solve any problem via video chat with an expert
    My interest in this one is to be one of those experts that gets paid, not to be the one paying.
  • Best B2B: REscour (about) – Software; Aggregates and automates commercial real estate investment
    I’m sure this would be an absolutely wonderful tool if I had the kind of money to invest in real estate.
  • Best Design: One Drop (about) – Hardware and software; Social diabetes management platform
  • Best Hardware: Rise Robotics (about) – Invents, develops, and manufactures novel power components that are affordable, lightweight, and efficient
    I’m not a hardware guy, but they seem to have made an impressive device.
  • Best International Startup: Detectify (about) – Software; Automated penetration testing for web app developers
    I would definitely pay for this if I had a business bringing in money.
  • Hackathon Winner: PreHire (now known as Interviewed) (about) – Software; Automated job simulations to help managers screen applicants
    • Hackathon Finalist: Orbit (about) – Software; Launches your local development environment into the cloud with one click
      The guys from Orbit actually skipped high school for the day to launch on stage! They know what’s up.
    • Hackathon Finalist: The Interview Club (about) – Software; Makes it easy for the expert to conduct the interview and give valuable feedback
    • Hackathon Finalist: Etch (about) – Software; nine grid pad on which a user draws a symbol to trigger an action
    • Hackathon Finalist: Kikr (about) – Hardware; Motion-tracking wearable device that adds gamification to real life snowboarding
  • Demo Pit Winner: Mixmax (about) – Software; Adds awesome capabilities to your emails composed in Gmail
    And I do mean awesome. Very rich content that is 100% embedded in the email itself, so you don’t have to have Mixmax to view it on the receiving end properly.
  • Diamond-in-the-rough: VideoStitch (about) – Software; Panoramic video stitching software for the virtual reality market
  • Incubator Winner: Recurrency (now defunct; founder started Clipisode) (about) – Software; Crowdfunding site where you support and connect with the creators you love, every week
    Surely I can find some way to put this to work for me…

My Other Favorites (sorted by my ranking)

Demo Pit finalists that launched on-stage

  1. Givme (about) – Solves the problem of your pics being on other people’s phones and vice-versa
    Legitimately an extremely useful photo-sharing utility app. I can’t wait until it comes out.
  2. Neuro:On (about) – Eye mask that improves your sleep with controlled lighting
    I’m a sucker for anything that would help my sleep.
  3. Cloudponics (about) – An Internet-connected automated hydroponic growing system
    If I had $1000 and a big grow light, I’d love to grow some food indoors with this. I could even take trips out of town without worrying that my plants aren’t getting what they need.
  4. Point (about) – A Chrome extension that makes it painless to share and discuss articles and websites with friends
    Come on, no Firefox support?! That’s a problem.

Other on-stage launches

  1. HandUp 2.0 (about) – Crowdfunding for homeless people or others in need
    I believe this one won the Social Impact award in a previous year.
  2. Assist (about) – Alternative to reading passive reviews online for local places; pairs you with a local person to ask for recommendations
    I would sign up to be a local expert, not for the pay (as I’m not aware of any compensation), but just for the fun of it.
  3. Highly (about) – A way to share articles with friends without them having to read the whole thing; you just highlight what you want them to notice
    This would be quite useful for me to share things with a particular person in my life who hates reading long things.
  4. Crowdcast (about) – The best webinar/webcast platform
    It really is well-made.
  5. WhereIGo (about) – Helps you find the best merchants, restaurants, and entertainment based on the preferences of your closest friends
    I feel like the utility of this one would become more apparent to me the more I use it. For now, I can just tell it has potential.
  6. Ōura (about) – Sensor-filled ring and app that help you understand how your body responds to your sleep, rest, and active life
    Again, I’m a sucker for anything that helps me improve my sleep or functioning during the day.
  7. RocketBook (about) – Best implementation of digitized note-taking
    Not sure that I would use it, but I know there are plenty of people who would.
  8. AirSeed (about) – Web app for frequent fliers to get the best deals
  9. Captiv8 (about) – Social CRM platform that allows brands and influencers to own, grow, and monetize their audiences
  10. Unoceros (about) – Like Folding@home for your Android phone, except it pays you and only runs when your phone is plugged in and on Wi-Fi
    Don’t expect to make a substantial amount of money unless you’re in a third-world country. The amounts are the same, but USD$5/month makes much more of a difference elsewhere.

Other startups from the Demo Pit

  • – Security for developers; monitors your login system and stops account hijacks in real-time
  • Kode – Connects people who lose things with people who find those things
  • Colatris – Takes the hassle out of app translation and localization
  • EdRepublic – Matches up developers and recruiters with advanced analytics
  • EntrepreneurWiki – A wiki about famous entrepreneurs as well as education for new ones
  • Sameroom – Bridges different business chat platforms together: IRC, Campfire, HipChat, Flowdock, Kato, Slack, and Gitter
  • LinkTexting – Helps your desktop users text themselves a download link
  • Little Bird – Helps you market your business to influencers
  • Umano – Audio recordings of your favorite news articles
  • WakaTime – Time tracking and other analytics for programmers
  • QuotaDeck – No more cold-calling; fill your sales funnel with personal introductions
  • Tilofy – Discover, watch and share the most relevant and timely content around any location
  • Sortd – Trello for Gmail
  • ClipCard – Brings all your cloud storage apps together into one search box
  • Minbox 3 – File sharing, nay, file collaboration
  • FunCaptcha – A new, secure, fun CAPTCHA that pays you to make use of it
  • Loop – A new climate control system that lets each room control its own temperature without a commercial damper system
  • The Rude Law Firm – Patents | Strategy | Business Law
  • happyfox – A new, better live chat platform (along the lines of LivePerson, Kayako, LiveZilla, etc.)
  • Yabberz – A solution for out-of-control web comments
  • Projector – Web conferencing and presentations on your phone/tablet
  • what3words – A new global addressing scheme where every 3m x 3m square has a three-word address
  • Credacious – Adds tools to Twitter (and eventually Facebook and Reddit) to help you judge and discuss credibility of content and create your own credible content
  • CryptoPhoto – Photo-based login security system
  • Injector – Smartphone-based identity manager that interfaces wirelessly with computers
  • AdStage – Manage online ad campaigns across multiple platforms from one place

My favorite sponsors

  • connect
  • icehouse
  • microsoft
  • ringcentral
  • silicon valley bank
  • adyen
  • red bull
  • dreamhost
  • shopify
  • get invited
  • .club
  • radialpoint
  • braintree
  • producthunt
  • joicaster
  • truecar
  • Conducttr – Immersive storytelling, gaming and marketing software

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