This past January, we first wrote about Founders Den, a new shared office space based in the SoMa district of San Francisco. The idea was to create a private clubhouse where invited entrepreneurs (including California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom) could come to hang out and small, referred startups could rent space. Today, the don’t-call-it-an-incubator incubator had its first demo day.
Overall, the quality of the 12 startups that gave presentations seem very solid. A number of them already have funding in place. And some even come by way of other incubators, like Y Combinator. We’ve covered a few of them already, but here’s a rundown of all 12 startups that gave presentations today. Well, actually 11 of them. 1 is still in stealth mode and made me double pinky swear that I wouldn’t reveal what I saw.
Cake Health — The idea behind this startup is more or less to be the Mint for health insurance, as we wrote when we first covered them last month. They aim to be the best free way to manage your health care expenses — something which I think everyone will agree is a huge pain right now. Cake Health provides a simple way for you to input your current healthcare information and gives you easy-to-understand data to show you where your money is going and more importantly, where you can save money. One of the co-founders is an ex-TechCrunch developer.
Chart.io — This is one of the Y Combinator alums focusing on the business intelligence space — which they call “massively broken”. Essentially, they’re Google Analytics for databases. And they already have some big time clients such as Airbnb and Aviary. From the get go, they give you fully customized database information access that can be mixed and matched in a ton of different ways. We’ve also covered them previous here.
DotCloud — This another Y Combinator alum that a couple months ago raised a large $10 million round from Benchmark and others. They aim to solve the choice and management problem that developers have today given how many tools are now at their disposal. Developers go to DotCloud, pick the tools they wish to use to build their applications, and in 30 seconds they can be up and running thanks to the DotCloud infrastructure which sets up and manages everything on their end. This is for consumer apps, web apps, enterprise apps, etc.
EpicRebates — Each year, 1.5 billion mail-in rebates don’t get redeemed. That’s $20 billion consumers are missing out on. That’s the market for EpicRebates. Just as Netflix arose out of late fees, these guys are springing up to cap this waste of money. The aim is to dramatically improve the mail-in rebate experience by making it a fully digital one. Consumers will be able to track rebates with their apps, as well as see which ones are actually worth it.
Formative Labs — Another company we previously covered, Formative Labs is using social experiences to get consumers to lower their energy consumption habits. In the next few weeks, they will launch a new platform called Double Impact (like the Van Dammemovie) which aims match brands (who are already spending billions of dollars each year on charity) with consumers who want to help the environment but need motivation. The platform will use Facebook to motivate through social means and to promote brands that want to be associated with good causes.
Groupiter — These guys aim to be a sort of Yammer for creative product teams. In other words, they’re a communication tool to help creative people and teams more easily get stuff done. So why not just use Yammer? Because often creative professionals need outside collaboration. And they need ways to talk to clients from the organizational tools they use. The main thought is to be able to bounce ideas off of your own braintrust at will, rather than just in creative meetings once a week.
OpenAppMkt — This team has built an HTML5 app store. Essentially, they want to be what Apple’s App Store is, but for the open web. Why? Because a major pain point for developers right now is having to code apps for multiple platforms. And that problem will not go away unless someone creates a centralized store for HTML5 mobile applications that works. OpenAppMkt believe their solution does because they practice what they preach: their own app is an HTML5 one. It looks similar to Apple’s App Store, but it’s much easier to get into and just as easy to use.
ProximityWare — They put WiFi “to work” by transforming WiFi hotspots into marketing hubs. If you’ve ever been to Union Square in San Francisco and hoped on the WiFi, these guys handle the marketing served up to you there. They offer customers the benefit of having zero installation because they work with existing networks. And they work with networks of any size. Maybe you want to serve an ad over the WiFi in a stadium, or maybe you just want to push a survey over the WiFi in an office. They can do both. And they get a lot of data from these partnerships. And as WiFi continues to expand everywhere, they’ll get even more.
RethinkBooks — They are a white label social reading platform focusing right now on the Christian market. Very targeted, but also very big — with no competition. While it’s considered to be the “wild west” right now in digital publishing, it’s even crazier in the Christian market because it’s behind in the digital revolution. RethinkBooks gives the Christian publisher the tools they need to make their books social and put them out there on today’s latest devices. It’s a $2.3 billion market. We previously covered them last November.
Revel Systems — The aim here is to completely disrupt the point of sale idea for restaurants and retail. Originally, they set out to create an iPhone app to help with the out-of-date POS services being used by most retailers today, but when they saw the iPad, they knew that was the future. Now they provide everything a retailer needs — the software, the iPad, even the cash drawer — to run their own POS system. They key selling point is price — Revel Systems model is much cheaper than traditional ones. But also data and ease of use. Of course, there is now competition here, but it’s a massive potential market.
TheIceBreak — We now have social apps and games for just about everything. But one thing that has remained relatively untouched are relationships. Not new ones, but existing relationships — romantic ones. 60 percent of Facebook users in the U.S. are supposedly in a realtionship currently, and while there are services that help you find love, what about ones that help you keep it? That’s what TheIceBreak does via three key things: communication, affection, excitement. The private network allows you to do questions and answers with your significant other to get your true feelings out there. And this data is shared with other couples (after it is anonymized completely). They also track key moments in your relationship and give you statistics to see things like: if we argue, do we have better sex after? Yep, that’s something they track.