We're here at Vator Splash in San Francisco, CA and the first five of the top ten finalists are about to take the stage to show off their pitches to 400 people in attendance. All ten companies were chosen mainly based on peer voting held in the Vator Splash competition, where more than 100 companies participated and over 2,000 votes were cast. Here's a brief rundown of the top ten startups and what they're here to offer.
Finalists are listed in order of appearance at Vator Splash.
micromobs is a group messaging service seeking to turn just about every other form of group communication on its head. Targeted to teachers and students for collaboration, families looking to stay in touch, or any other organization focused on discussion, micromobs offers a modern-looking and easy-to-use real-time messaging stream. Groups can create either private or public streams.
InterviewStudio is an applicant screening tool used by employers, recruiters, and job seekers alike to setup successful employment matches. Self-branded as “the future of interviewing,” InterviewStudio lets job seekers create a profile, upload a resume, collect endorsements, and record a video interview--all these pieces form the Candidate Showcase. Employers can easily view the Candidate Showcase to determine if an applicant is the right person for the job.
Cohuman is a workspace for coordinating people and managing projects. Developed out of distaste for the low content to quantity ratio so often seen in email inboxes, Cohuman creates an environment that “looks and acts” like email but should ultimately prove more accountable. Dynamically updating lists of tasks, calendars, conversations, and files help colleagues stay efficient when working on shared projects simultaneously.
OrangeSlyce is a platform for finding and hiring students for graphic design projects. The idea is that there are a lot of talented students out there who will charge less than professional graphic designers because they still need to build a portfolio. While it’s completely free to post projects, OrangeSlyce takes a 10% cut of the budget as a fee for providing the service. Most of the projects listed on the site currently fall in the $200-300 range.
Phone Halo provides a software and device combo with the promise that you’ll never lose your phone, keys, or other valuables again. For $59.95, Phone Halo ships a sensor and a lanyard, which the customer attaches to any item he or she wishes to track, like keys or a laptop bag. The sensor communicates with a free phone app so that a button on the sensor rings the phone.
Bump is a social network for drivers based on their cars’ license plates. At the most practical level, Bump will let drivers sign up for a roadside assistance and rewards program called Bump Advantage. Additionally, other Bump users will be able to scan license plates to send text or photo messages to other drivers (for example, to complain about their bad parking job). Still exclusive to those with beta keys, Bump plans to enter public beta by Thanksgiving.
MYeGAMER is a social platform for gamers to discuss, play, and compete for cash. The site, which updates daily with news bits and gaming events, doesn’t neglect any platform, featuring individual channels for Xbox 360, PC, PS3, Wii, and Flash. MYeGAMER is currently in a public beta.
Breakthrough is a provider of confidential online counseling and therapy. Clients, who can use their insurance to pay for the service, sign up to talk with a counselor through video, email, phone, or chat. Mental health providers can take advantage of Breakthrough to bolster their practice online for free.
appbackr connects forward-thinking developers with people who want to fund their iPhone and iPad app ideas. Developers earn money when a buyer (or appbackr, as the company likes to call them) agrees to support their project and appbackrs earn money when the app starts selling in the App Store; assuming the endeavor proves successful, both parties come out on top.
PlayMyAd gives local businesses the tools to create a “Digital Out of Home” advertising campaign. The platform, says PlayMyAd, helps increase brand awareness, establish credibility, and boosts a customer base. Partners already on board include Best Buy, Chevrolet, Delta, and Jack in the Box.