On Thursday, September 12, 2013, OLC attended Ultra Light Startups hosted by Graham Lawlor and Ryan Brogan. Four panelists oversaw the demos: John Ason of Kewpie Associates, Laurel Touby of mediabistro.com and angel investor, Habib Kairouz of Rho Capital Partners and Bradley Harrison of Scout Ventures. Eight startups pitched, starting with Alex Cooper of Rezzcard, Duy Huynh of Lookboard, Greg Marsh of KeyMe, Devin Daly of SwipeToSpin (formerly Glyphr), Chris DiNicolas of RUKUS, Nicos Hadjiangelis of Blitzcare, Michael Chiang of FitBark, and Will Sacks of Kindara.
Rezzcard gives property managers and owners an electronic payment solution for all tenants. It brings the value of efficient electronic rent payments to consumers through an easy one-time or recurring payment option via credit or bank debits. It is the fastest and easiest, safe way to pay rent. Alex Cooper’s vision is to make it easy for tenants to pay rent, save time and prevent headaches. He and his team want to improve communities and the lives of the tenants while helping tenants develop credit and manage their finances easier.
Duy Huynh of Lookboard presented next. Lookboard is a virtual showroom that doubles as a social network. It connects buyers and sellers in a way that was once difficult to do—poorly designed websites, hard-to-get-to tradeshows, cumbersome catalogs. With Lookboard, users can showcase their wares at once, with descriptions, price, quantity, availability, purchase terms and more—all without the hassle of miscommunication and the immediacy of real-time. Big-time companies have already started using Lookboard, with Fab.com, Amazon, JackThreads, HauteLook, Overstock already sourcing their products. Huynh is looking to modernize the wholesale industry, although the panelists wished that his presentation was more clear and concise.
Habib Kairouz: You need to be more clear with your pitch. Explain your product better.
John Ason: I want to know what you’re doing more explicitly.
Greg Marsh presented KeyMe, a startup hoping to disrupting the locksmith industry. “Everyone has 2-3 keys,” Marsh said. “It sucks when you get locked out. KeyMe is an app and kiosk that saves your key on the cloud.” Marsh and his talented team came up with a cool technology, which makes spare keys easy using a kiosk, but with the data stored on the cloud. Their machine easily analyses 75 percent of keys in the market today, using 3D geometry analysis software.
With an account, which is created using fingerprinting technology, the user can save keys to the cloud. “The hard part is the machine visual aspect,” Marsh said. “We developed machine learning and now it can recognize up to 75 percent of the market with no problem.” KeyMe kiosks are available in select 7/11s around NYC.
Bradley Harrison: What’s your revenue bucket?
Greg Marsh: We have complementary buckets. The kiosk and the mobile app play off one another, but they each have their own verticals.
JA: What are your comparable prices? What about non-duplicate keys?
GM: We’re $2-7. We’re about convenience. There’s no legal repercussions to duplicating those. They’re just visual deterrents.
Laurel Touby: What’s to prevent others from entering the market?
GM: We have smart engineers that developed machine-learning algorithms that was 2 years in the making.
HK: I’d try to convince everyone to develop an app for your kiosk.
BH: It’s all about partnerships now. If you turn your app into an SDK, you’ll be very well off later on.
Devin Daly presented SwipeToSpin, a 3D robotic imaging company with a focus in tablet magazine advertisement. SwipeToSpin automates 3D content. It does it within 10 minutes and can recreate any items into 3D models. Daly boasted that they currently have many clients. “Our sweet spot is the tablet magazine space,” he said. “It’s very consolidated, and we’ve already partnered up with one company that is part of managing the magazines.”
LT: How replicable is it?
Devin Daly: We’ve been in development for 2 years. The result is that our content is photo-realistic and our photographic machine stitches the pictures better than anyone out there.
HK: Who is the target?
DD: Magazine publishers.
BH: What’s your revenue to date?
DD: We’ve made $60,000 so far.
Chris DiNicolas presented RUKUS. RUKUS is a video newsletter that delivers unique videos personalized for each subscriber. It automates the creation of unique videos and personalizes campaigns. It features first names of the customers driven from the company database. DiNicolas estimates RUKUS’ revenue to be $10 million. The company charges per click. They are going mobile-first, going agile and focusing on sports.
BH: What’s going on behind the technology?
Chris DiNicolas: We built an API around the video and we deliver the content that’s on par with Hollywood visuals. We are dynamically building the video.
JA: Who do you work with to make the video?
CD: We work with an agency and creatives to built it.
HK: I think you should focus on the personalization and the dataset of customers.
Nicos Hadjiangelis presented BlitzCare, a secure HIP-compliant platform, which utilizes the latest technology to connect users with medical care online. “We charge $500 per member and $30 to $50 per consultation,” Hadjiangelis said. BlitzCare uses sales marketing and outbound calls to monetize and was founded in 2013. With a successful beta, they are planning to layout affordable healthcare for business.
BH: What do you not touch?
Nicos Hadjiangelis: We don’t touch opioids—medication and the like.
JA: You need to relax and talk slower. Don’t try to fit in everything in one pitch.
LT: I don’t see your disruption factor.
HK: If you’re raising money, you should know the size of your competitors.
Michael Chiang presented FitBark, the world’s tiniest activity tracker for dogs. FitBark improves the life of dogs as well as faster, responsible pet parenting. Chiang says that wearables are a $2.1 billion industry and there’s a huge market to deliver wearables to dogs. FitBark uses Bluetooth 4.0 and it is installed on the collar of the dog to prevent it from becoming loose.
LT: How difficult is it for other competitors to enter?
Michael Chiang: I don’t think companies like FitBit will enter because they’re too focused on competing with Nike.
Will Sacks presented Kindara, a Bluetooth connected app that tracks fertility signs. It can tell when women are on their cycle and check their hormones at the same time. Kindara costs $99—for the thermometer and the software—but their Kindara app is free in the Apple store. They launched in 2012 and currently sees over 50,000 users who have created over 5 million data points. Sacks said that they have made over $10,000 so far. “The thermometer is patent pending,” he added.
HK: What are you selling exactly?
Will Sacks: The thermometer.
BH: I’d think about distribution of the device.
HK: I’d focus on developing the app. Forget the thermometer.