TechStars debuted nine new startups from the inaugural Boston class this month. The teams presented to about 200 VCs and Angel investors for the first time. These companies are few months old and have two or three founder employees. TechStars debuted nine new startups from the inaugural Boston class.
TempMine is looking to change the temporary staffing market. Temp workers create a profile on TempMine that is automatically updated as placements occur, providing more transparency and traceability to the process. Employers can search directly for temps across the inventory of multiple agencies, finding the right fit. Agencies retain control over placements of their best temps. The temp agency only gets involved after the employer finds the exact temp they want.
LangoLab is the most entertaining way to learn a new language—by watching popular TV shows and videos with subtitles. LangoLab leverages the American media machine that is constantly churning out entertaining content and then provides an engaging “watch and learn” experience complete with translations, definitions, user generated language notes, and self testing. Many people have learned English just by watching TV with subtitles, and this is the online equivalent. English as a second language is the largest market
Localytics provides mobile usage data and analytics for the mobile market, similar to companies such as Flurry and Medialets. Localytics says that it has both real time and “deeper” analytics than the competitors, allowing you to slice and dice the data in a variety of ways to gain better and more immediate insight into the usage of mobile applications. They also explained that they’ve open sourced critical components so that developers can know exactly what they’re putting into their applications, and that their mobile components are highly optimized for performance. Localytics is cross platform and already supports Blackberry, Android, and iPhone applications, with Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Palm planned for the near future.
AmpIdea is working on web-enabled baby monitoring as a platform for delivery of various services such as video monitoring, sleep tracking and analysis, statistical comparison, music streaming, and even an integrated baby encyclopedia (Baby 411) which suggests techniques to soothe sleeping babies based on age. While they’re at it, they’re using wifi as the delivery mechanism for audio and video monitoring, which eliminates the static and range issues that plagues traditional baby monitors. The sleep scheduling monitor keeps a record of when the baby is sleeping and waking up over time. This helps the parents schedule when to put the baby down for naps and night time sleep. AmpIdea sells the monitor hardware and charges for additional services.
HaveMyShift has built a tool that allows hourly shift workers to trade shifts online. The company is using a grassroots approach and encourages employees to sign up and trade shifts with or without the blessing of the company itself. They’re seeing strong viral adoption in the Chicago area market where, for example, 80% of Starbucks stores there already use the application. Many of the listings offer “bonus money” to tempt others who work for the same employer to pick up a shift, and last-minute shift changes can be filled with paid emergency promotional placement. HaveMyShift makes money by taking a percentage of the bonuses offered to other workers to cover a shift.
oneforty is creating an app store for Twitter applications, open to any developer who wants to build and sell a Twitter app. The company organizes the apps by category, allows for ratings, media coverage, profiles (showing what applications are used by various users), and the necessary e-commerce infrastructure. Oneforty takes a percentage of every sale.
AccelGolf 30,000 golfers are already using AccelGolf, after just 3 months in beta, for stroke tracking, range-finding, and personalized improvement of their golf games. The company showed off their BlackBerry and iPhone applications and explained that the heart of their system is really the community of avid golfers who are now connecting and building their own social network. AccelGolf offers personalized improvement tips by analyzing strokes of golfers who are just slightly better than you, and presenting areas for improvement based on your past performance. AccelGolf suggests which club to use, and where to place the shot, based on your past performance on a specific course.
Baydin uses email, and the words in the email, to create keywords to search for other relevant information. It is similar to Xobni, but goes beyond email data and searches all the files on your hard drive, and document repositories across your corporate network. It automatically launches the search in the background while you are reading the email, and presents the relevant results in a side panel in Outlook.
Sensobi bills itself as a personal relationship manager (PRM) and also reminds me a lot of Xobni , but it goes beyond email and looks at phone calls and other activity on your phone contact list. In practice, it’s a BlackBerry address book replacement that shows you the last time you communicated with your contacts, who’s falling off your radar, and who you need to get back to quickly. You can set a reminder for each contact to remind you to connect with them within a specific time interval. It does this by analyzing the email, contacts, text messages, and phone calls on your Blackberry and then presenting your contacts in a relationship-focused view. For any contact you can see the last several communications of any kind with them.