It was fascinating to meet and learn about the Flashstarts 2015 Accelerator Class at the Flashstarts' Demo Day, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at House of Blues Cleveland (@HOBCleveland). I find it very enjoyable to engage in conversation with such creative Cleveland entrepreneurs.
I highly recommend you open the PDF file I created from the Flashstarts 2015 Accelerator Class web page while reading my blog. The PDF file gives background information on the 11 startups, including company descriptions, founders' names, and important links to resources. Also, be sure to see the tweets at the bottom of this blog post, since they share links to interesting resources and photos from the evening.
Believe me, it is best to attend Flashstarts' Demo Day in person -- you learn much more by asking direct questions to the startups' representatives. For those of you who were unable to attend, I was told that videos from Flashstarts demo day may be provided in the future. I recommend you watch them if they become available.
At the time of this writing, there are already video interviews of six of the 2015 Accelerator Class founders on the Flashstarts YouTube Channel,
If you need more information, I recommend contacting Flashstarts at:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (216) 220-0200
- Online contact info
Be sure to follow @Flashstarts and their leaders for updates and announcements
- Co-Founder & CFO/COO Jennifer Neundorfer (@jkk)
Co-Founder & CEO Charles Stack (@cstack)
- Executive Vice President Shannon Lyons (@ShannonILyons @ShannonCBDO)
- Director of Resource Development & Intern Experiences Jodi Marchewitz (@JMarchewitz)
- Director of Public Relations Grace Moenich (@GraceMoenich)
- Program Manager Taylor Zorman (@TaylorZorman)
Here are all my photos from the evening:
I did not have time to get to talk to the staff at the Brilliency (@Brilliency) demo booth during Flashstarts' Demo Day, so I can't add any more information beyond that provided by Flashstarts (see the PDF file I created from their website). I can say that even before coming to the event, I was intrigued by the idea of using the gamification of energy usage to increase efficiency. I believe that if done right, this type of human behavior modification, with positive reinforcements, holds great promise.
I found this video on YouTube about Brilliency:
Founder on Twiitter: Laura E. Steinbrink (@BRILLIENCYlaura)
I learned that with the massive amount of intellectual property data available, there needs to be a method to organize the information. Colign organizes the information so that it can be used by researchers to streamline the research process.
I did not see a demonstration of Colign's product, but find the idea on their website of providing an "interactive visual database" interesting. I look forward to learning more as they provide information on their website as they launch their product.
Founder on Twitter: Kevin DeFranco (@Kevin_DeFranco)
If you do a search of my past sosAssociates blog posts, you will find many mentions of 3D printers (including blogs about: TechCentral, TechCentral opening, IngenuityFest, SYN/HAK, Maker Faire, TechPint, and more). This is because 3D printers are a great way to prototype devices, and the tech organizations and entrepreneurs I write about use them to be creative.
Imagine that you have an idea and have designed a prototype, but don't have access to a 3D printer. Would you know of the best place to print your design in 3D with the right level of quality, and to have it delivered when you needed it?
Free-D's plan is to provide a solution to this dilemma. By acting as a central clearinghouse and expert advisor for 3D printer resources across the country, Free-D (@FreeDPrint) is the B2B match service that provides the solution.
Founder on Twitter: Spencer Nichol (@SNicol6)
After talking to them, I learned that they are developing a service that will make it easy to develop apps that utilize music and sound. In addition to the strength of their product in providing a powerful and easy-to-use sound engine interface, it outputs the apps in multiple formats for different devices.
Here is the description Gemma provides on the iTunes store:
Gemma - The Growing Music Making App
Gemma turns your iOS devices into a growing collection of music making apps that you can use simultaneously to create music at ease.
“The interface is super easy. Just touch the screen and it creates sounds. The graphics are super cool.” -7 Beck-
The app offers the ultimate collection of musical apps all right in your mobile device. Each of these musical apps are called Gems. New Gems are constantly being developed and added to the Gem Store. You can experiment with powerful touch instruments such as synthesizers, drum pads, ambient sound generators, sequencers, and samplers. There will be all kinds of Gems for all kinds of users. You can combine these freely to produce your own songs in the Ensemble mode – even if you’ve never played music before. Create music with your mobile device wherever you go.
The inTouch representative presented me with the scenario of walking down Cleveland's East 4th Street (@e4thst), and as I walk by the restaurants and stores, my iPhone would let me know of products and potential specials that would match my personal interests.
inTouch uses Bluetooth® technology to benefit the consumer by sending useful multimedia content while in the proximity of the store or restaurant, providing information just at the time the visitor would want it.
The advantages to the businesses that use inTouch would be multiple:
First, to engage the potential visitor while in the proximity of the store to entice them to enter to purchase a product in which they are interested.
inTouch provides a user-friendly interface for creating survey forms, multimedia content, and photos/text content for distribution on the inTouch app. This makes it easy to update and keep the content current and engaging to customers. inTouch handles the back-end of the content management system and updates/improvements to the interface.
Bluetooth® beacons track consumers as they proceed through a store, thus giving feedback to owners on how effectively displays are arranged.
inTouch will be able to provide email addresses and other demographics about consumers who visit, making it possible to contact consumers for follow-up email campaigns.
Businesses pay a monthly fee based on how many Bluetooth® beacons they use, so costs are predictable.
When meeting the inTouch representative, I did express concern that consumers might not embrace the idea of being tracked and sharing their personal information unless the benefit to the consumer was very high (i.e., special promotional benefits to the consumer). The representative said the entry point was low, with the consumer only providing name and email. I challenged the inTouch representative to offer users an option to use inTouch anonymously at first, so people would learn about its benefits, and be willing to give personal information to enroll later.
Founder on Twitter: Jesse Kracht (@RealtorJesseK)
The Schedulytics booth was so active with interested people at Flashstarts' Demo Day, that I did not have an opportunity to talk to their representative. I did talk to the spouse of the founder, who shared with me that she had toured the new StartMart -- Cleveland's new entrepreneurship hub. From what she told me, the StartMart (@StartMartUS) grand opening on September 8, 2015, is a must-attend event.
From the the Schedulytics Flashstarts' Demo Day presentation, I did learn of the cost savings that could be accomplished through better scheduling of anesthesiologists' time in operating rooms.
I enjoyed talking to the representatives of Science United (@sciunite). They projected their excitement about how their product will revolutionize placement services for highly skilled scientists -- primarily in the biomedical field. I like their tagline: "Matching High-Performing Scientists with High-Powered Careers"
At first, I thought the strength of their service was just the career database matching. As I talked to them, I learned that this is just the starting point from which they go much further. They have peer reviewers -- experts in their own respective fields -- do personal screening interviews before a scientists is added to the system. It sounded like a well-planned system to lead to placement success that would save clients' time.
When I first heard Cal Al-Dhubaib (@CalDhubaib) on stage at the House of Blues Cleveland (@HOBCleveland), I said this business pitch sounds familiar, but with a different emphasis. I was so pleased to talk to Cal at the Triple Analytics booth to learn more.
I had originally learned from Cal about his work developing Triple Analytics (@TripleInc - note the old Twitter name was @TripleLLC) at the Wednesday, February 11, 2015, LaunchHouse (@LaunchHouse) event. (Read about all the participating entrepreneurs in my LaunchHouse Accelerator Expo (LHXPO) 2015 blog post.)
Here is what I wrote back in February about Triple Analytics:
In today's connected world, you would think your doctor would already have instant access to the analytics that would help determine your treatment. What I learned from the Triple Analytics (@TripleLLC) staff is that they often do not. Triple Analytics is a physician- and patient-focused solution for today's medical environment. Triple Analytics pulls together the analytics needed to make better medical decisions, plus also provides the patient with useful medical information in layman's terms. The "Triple" part of Triple Analytics' name represents the triad of good medicine: doctor, institution (hospital), patient. Triple Analytics' goal is to use analytics in a user-friendly way to help improve patient care and save medical costs.
Talking to Cal at the Flashstarts' Demo Day, I learned that the focus has evolved since February. Now, the emphasis is on assisting insurance companies working with providers to lower costs. The display at the booth said "Aligning Provider and Payers with evidence-based ePA." I learned from Cal that for people "in the know" in his field: ePA = electronic prior authorization
Triple Analytics is on a mission to align healthcare payers and provider with evidence based prior authorizations.
We envision a world where providers are empowered to spend more time delivering better, cost effective care, and less time on administrative tasks.
Founder on Twitter: Cal Al-Dhubaib (@caldhubaib)
Years ago, I explored hiring a company to build a virtual tour. Thus, I was intrigued when I heard that Virtual Compass (@VirtualCompass) had developed an easy-to-administer virtual tour targeting colleges. Since the product I looked at was using technology and the web of ten years ago, I wondered what they could develop using today's technological resources.
From their Flashstarts' Demo Day talk, I learned that what made Virtual Compass' product unique was the ease at which content could be personalized. Virtual Compass provides the opportunity for a non-technical staff person at a college or university to easily update tour content and create new tour resources. Their VirtualCompass.com website also states competitive pricing as a strong selling point.
I have listed We Can Code IT as a Cleveland tech resource for empowering girls and women in technology in my Blogiversary: Three blog post. They are mentioned in tweets in my 2014 blog posts about Cleveland's Ingenuityfest and Maker Faire, since they had major demonstration areas at both those great technology events.
Then, this past spring, via We Can Code IT twitter feed at @WeCanCodeIT and their website, I learned of their new boot camps targeting women, African-Americans, and Hispanic Americans.
Technology can be a great equalizer, with women, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans earning approximately 29% more than their non-STEM counterparts. There are very low unemployment rates in Computer Science fields, and the industry continues to grow at astronomical rates, employing the majority of all STEM workers.
I learned about more new developments during the demo evening. Talking first to Outreach Director Shana Mysko (@ShanaInCle), I learned that they are expanding their boot camp to the new Cleveland Smartmart (@StartMartUS) which will be opening September 8, 2015. This is very exciting news! Later, talking to Founder & CEO Mel McGee (@MelKMcGee), I learned how they will not only be opening the new Smartmart site, but also continuing their boot camp at LaunchHouse (@LaunchHouse). She also let me know about some other potential developments -- the future is bright!
Bootcamp hopes to diversify tech industry
We Can Code IT aims to train female and minority coders
- August 16, 2015 UPDATED 8/16/2015
On a personal note, I want to thank Mel for her interest in the career of a member of my Web Development Team. Mel represents what I consistently see in leaders in the Cleveland and Akron tech communities -- people interested in sharing their knowledge, so our whole community benefits! (Please take a moment to see my "Call For Action" suggestions in my blog post that lists local tech leaders.)
Imagine you have a white paper that is full of a lot of relevant data to support the mission of your nonprofit. Traditionally, you would present the data on paper or a PDF file, knowing research indicates that people don't comprehend data when presented in this format.
What Windrush is offering is a better way -- a web development engine that will easily take data and present it in a vibrant visual presentation.
The Windrush representatives told me that the data-driven content would be "interactive," and I challenged them to explain. They explained that Windrush allows visitors to the presentation to not only see the data provided, but to manipulate data to experiment with different scenarios.
Here is a Windrush demo video from their website:
Invest in Flashstarts
You can learn more about Flashstarts 2015 Investment Fund on their investor portal at: Invest.Flashstarts.com
Here is the video from the StartMart - Rebuilding Cleveland One Startup at a Time from Kickstarter:
Now just a concept, the StartMart vision is to transform Suite #200 of Terminal Tower into a startup hub, similar to Cincinnati’s Cintrifuse or Boston’s ID Building. This hub will house our city’s existing startup assets and new resources such as “StartPods”. It will create an atmosphere where startups are empowered to test, iterate, fail and scale. The creation, growth, and demise of all types of businesses are occurring at an ever-increasing pace. The opportunity to leverage these trends for wealth generation, job creation, and economic development has never been greater. Help make StartMart a reality by declaring your support and taking action. Continue reading below to learn more about the benefits of StartMart.
Tweets include both my @sos_jr tweets/retweets, but also a few others from the event. Be sure to read to learn more about the eleven startups featured, and also see photos from the event.
Please retweet those that you find interesting. Retweeting is one way to help spread the message of entrepreneur growth in Cleveland.
We have an extra kick in our step this morning because Demo Day is in only 6 hours! #FSDDay— Windrush (@getwindrush) August 19, 2015
144 nerf darts & 84 pounds of coffee are just some of our summer accelerator metrics. #fsdday— Flashstarts (@Flashstarts) August 19, 2015
Schedulytics' intuitive scheduling software is first solving the unbelievably complex process of scheduling anesthesiologists. #fsdday— Flashstarts (@Flashstarts) August 19, 2015
A senior anesthesiologist will spend 2-3 hours a day making a schedule. Schedulytics' "virtual whiteboard" cuts that time. #fsdday— Flashstarts (@Flashstarts) August 19, 2015
Sashi Koli built Schedulytics in conjunction with University Hospitals. #fsdday— Flashstarts (@Flashstarts) August 19, 2015
This is an excellent idea https://t.co/VorEtgIpZn— Amanda Yoho (@mandaYoho) August 19, 2015
Great job to the other teams here at #FSDDay - saw some really great pitches tonight! Everyone has come so far since the beginning of summer— Windrush (@getwindrush) August 20, 2015
Thanks @sos_jr for the shout out!— Cal Al-Dhubaib (@caldhubaib) September 5, 2015
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It is an exciting time for Cleveland and Akron!