June 4th, 2013 Enterprise Tech Meetup

On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, OLC attended Enterprise Tech Meetup’s event featuring demos from three companies: Sailthru, Nomi and Floored, as well as a fireside chat with the CEO of Floored, Davis Eisenberg and the New York Editor of Xconomy, Joao-Pierre Ruth.
Dave Eisenberg demoed Floored, a precise, automatically generated 3D model of interior spaces. It was founded in 2012, after Microsoft open-sourced the Kinect. Floored uses new camera technology. “Microsoft came out with the Kinect. That put 3D sensors in a camera for the consumer. In 2011, Micosoft open-sourced Kinect and allowed developers to play around with it. In 2012, the smartest Kinect hackers built the first version of a 3D scanner. It’s going to help capture our environment. To refine the 3D data, we need to clean it up. In January, we released our first product. The challenge is that data is hard to find and real estate is often not what you get. We looked at what the default currency was. It was floor plans, which are 2D, flat monochromatic spaces. We also saw photographs and videos and Google’s Street View. We saw an opportunity to bring a technology that would change the content in real estate. We were looking for the ultimate, transparent way of delivering data,” Eisenberg said. He described the camera as moving around to capture data and their software renders it into a 3D scan, where users can explore the space. Eisenberg revealed that digital information could be layered on top of the data to create potential visualizations of what the space could become. “We can transform physical space from raw data, clean it up and then allow people to explore it on their computers,” he said.
Floored makes money by digitizing physical assets for real estate by offering 3D scanning service. It substitutes physical demolishing of space with virtual demolition. Its software stiches together photos into a 3D navigational platform and floor plan. Floored allows potential customers to view empty to a fully furnished plan.
“Our goal is to reduce the amount of time it took for developers in the space to find customers,” Eisenberg said. “Today, we’re excited about using 3D software to be incorporated into the entire construction lifecycle. There is a massive need for 3D data cleaning. We’re changing the way we communicate about real estate.”
Geoffrey Winchell of Sailthru presented next. Sailthru is a SaaS platform that caters to ecommerce sites. “We’re the company that brings user data together to help other companies to change and continually improve the methods of digital communication between brands and their consumers to provide dramatically increased consumer loyalty and lifetime,” Winchell said. In its essence, Sailthru makes the internet more relevant to brands. 
He showcased three main focal points of Sailthru. 
1. Customer Insights and Analytics—Collect interest and behavioral profiles
2. Cross-Platform Personalization—100 percent behaviorally targeted
3. Automation—You create content, Sailthru does the rest
“Ultimately, we facilitate a marketing engine and match customers with brands,” 
Winchell said. Sailthru went through three seed rounds and grew from six to 105 employees since its inception. “Sailthru allows users to be categorized event at granular data levels and they are keyed by user email accounts. It’s a combination of vendors, clients and informatio we want to generate.” With Sailthru, flexibility is provided to producers by automating content using its unique algorithm.
Wesley Barrow demoed Nomi, a New York City company that tracks user behavior in brick-and-mortar stores as well as online. It was founded in 2012 and currently employs 26 full-time employees in its NYC office. Nomi raised $3 million in funding.
“We saw social and CRM for B2B, but not so much for B2C. We decided to focus on that area, where we came up with Nomi,” Barrow said. “We asked how we’d be able to engage with customers seamlessly, and so, we built an in-store analytics tool as our MVP.” To Barrow, data is key to success, even offline, and so Nomi is able to do in-store analytics, real-time engagement and A/B optimization on the fly. 
“Nomi is around at a critical time because of the consumerization and the readily availableness of smartphones. It all comes equipped with a Wifi chip and bluetooth to be able to monitor consumer behavior,” he said.
Nomi’s platform has three features:
• In-store Analytics 
• Marketing Optimization
• Omni-Channel CRM
The smartphone activity leads to store hardware to retail systems to device agnostic realtime dashboarding. 
At this time, the event moved to its fireside chat with Joao-Pierre Ruth and David Eisenberg.
Joao-Pierre Ruth: Give us more detail on how you got started.
David Eisenberg: It was me searching for a solution that was coming. I was in ecommerce for five years and felt afraid, so I went into 3D printing. I realized that the way we create 3D model is by hand, so we looked for any companies that were building automated 3D models. I talked to a lot of people to convince them that digitizing space was viable, but real estate was the most comfortable with us. 
JPS: How much hand holding did you do with them?
DE: A lot of enterprise companies have been rocked by mobile. They were prime to understand technology that they didn’t understand. It was something they wanted to learn and control. It wasn’t going to disrupt their business, only affect it. 
JPS: When did you realize that this was a tangible thing?
DE: I encourage people to test before you buy. I just knew that I preferred to make trouble than move the wheels in the world. When we closed our first deal, I felt very giddy that someone was going to buy a product we made.
JPS: How did you get your foot in the door?
DE: I asked anyone with relations in the real estate business. Also, people in real estate are bored—I basically entertained them for a few minutes. Then we got some press coverage and it really put us on the map.
JPS: What have you learned?
DE: You have to be intellectually honest and also talk less. Between enterprise and real estate, the interaction is very low, so we found out that marrying unique technology together creates a good company.
JPS: How did you go about finding talent?
DE: It is so hard—if you’re going to hire A-grade developers or engineers, have an Agrade problem. If not, you will be wasting time and money. You should track people you want to hire.