Juice Pitcher finalists - 2nd half presenters

Chris Caceres · October 6, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/b08

RentCycle, Thumbtack launch at event, QLess, HearPlanet, Spreezio, Cloudmach are second to present

Straight from the Juice Pitcher event in San Francisco, Ca., hosted by Vator.tv and The Funded, here's the list of the next five winning presenters. Two of the presenting companies also launched their services at tonight's Juice Pitcher. They are RentCycle and Thumbtack.

These companies were chosen mainly based on peer voting held on the Juice Pitcher competition where more than 130 companies participated and more than 3,000 votes were cast.  

RentCyle, which launched tonight at Juice Pitcher calls itself the "OpenTable for rentals."  Instead of focusing solely on restaurants though, RentCycle would like to be used a system to track inventory, manage reservations and increase distribution of goods. Unlike Zilok, which is a P2P rental service, RentCycle wants to focus on being the software platform for large rental companies, like Home Depot. The startup wants to be the central marketplace for renting anything online.  Some potential items that could be rented on Rentcycle include tools and equipment for construction, parties and events materials, consumer rentals like electronics and sporting goods and even video rentals.   It offers its services free for consumers and a subscription model and commission fees for the rental business. RentCycle was the top vote-getter on the Juice Pitcher competition, with more than 300 votes.  

Thumbtack, which officially launched this evening at Juice Pitcher, is an online marketplace for local services. Users can find anybody from handymen and cleaners to tutors and errand-runners. Right now, people can find these sort of services on sites like Yelp, CitySearch, InsiderPages, or Craigslist.  Thumbtack wants to improve or iterate upon these listing and review services by enabling the transactions for the service provider. Thumbtack states the local service market is greater than $500 billion, according to the Department of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Want to take a guided audio tour of places around you? You can do so with HearPlanet, a popular iPhone application that's available at the Apple app store for free or for $4.99.

 HearPlanet, which has been downloaded half a million times, allows consumers to hear guided tours on a quarter million places around the globe. For instance, if you're at the Berkeley Pier, you can hear a guided tour of its origins. Much of HearPlanet's content is taken from Wikipeida, and original scripts, which are then converted into audio with voice artists as well as text-to-speech technology used to convert the text. Soon, it will have articles on 2.5 million places through its partnerships with various content providers. HearPlanet is getting a lot of buzz from Apple as well. In its app Ad, Apple says: “Imagine a guidebook that speaks to you. With iPhone as your audio guide you’ll get the scoop on landmarks, historic sites and more – in countless cities worldwide – without taking your eyes off the sights.” 


With all the new technology out today, you figure physically waiting in line to pay for something would be an idea of the past.  Well it isn't, and QLess is trying to solve this problem.  It's tagline, "Waiting in line sucks."  The startup is a virtual line management system that allows guests to hold their spot in line using cell phones.  Guests enter the virtual line from their cell phones and get called when it is their turn.  According to QLess, the average American spends 2 years of his/her life waiting in lines.  QLess believes its solutions will increase business revenues by allowing users to shop more while they are virtually waiting in line. It's currently getting traction at DMV offices, restaurants, doctor's offices and theme parks.

 What if you could make your own coupons to your favorite restaurants and retail stores? Well Spreezio has built a platform for this sort of far-fetched idea. The company focuses on driving consumers to local merchants, service providers and retail sales reps. In many ways, it's trying to help you discover what's around, much like HearPlanet. It's also similar to Aloqa, Loopt and Siri. Joining is free  for all, but Spreezio also offers a monthly subscription fee for merchants looking for greater visibility.  When a potential customer looking to get a deal uses Spreezio, that merchant gets a request and can decide whether or not to accept that user's offer.   Let's hear it for 15% coupons to our favorite restaurants from now on!

Cloudmach is the developer of a 3D world technology.  While competitors like Second Life and IMVU require users to download software in order to run their virtual world applications, Cloudmach differentiates itself by providing its world completely in the cloud.  So users need not install or download any software in order to have a immersive 3D experiences, everything runs in the browser.  Right now, Cloudmach has a Facebook application called CloudCards, which allows its users to create animated 3D postcards and send them to their friends. The startup argues that 3D versions of virtual gifts can be much more engaging than a 2D gifts like others seen across Facebook.  Cloudmach is similar to Vivaty, which is creating virtual communities on top of Facebook. It's raised $9.4 million from blue-chip venture firms, like Kleiner Perkins.



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Aloqa has solved two problems for mobile users: it takes away the need to type search terms into browsers or other mobile applications to find something, and also proactively recommends interesting local opportunities to users on the go. Wherever they are, users can simply glance at their phones and see which friends, favorite businesses, events like music concerts, local offers and other interesting places are close by, without having to launch a browser or search application. Aloqa takes into account the user’s location, preferences and social relationships to make these recommendations in real time.


“Aloqa makes mobile phones a lot more useful. As a user, it’s painful launching browsers and typing or speaking into apps. And even if doing searches becomes easier on mobile, it still doesn’t solve a bigger issue – every day all of us miss out on all kinds of opportunities we aren’t even aware of such as discovering friends who happen to be close by, or that there are concerts happening locally that we’d like, or sales and bargains all around us. Aloqa solves both the search and discovery issues by utilizing a user’s context – their location, time, preferences, and relationships – to notify them in real time of friends, places, events, and entertainment opportunities around them without delays” said Sanjeev Agrawal, CEO of Aloqa. 


About Aloqa

Aloqa is the first company to provide mobile users with context relevant alerts and notifications. Based on their location, preferences and social relationships, Aloqa users see what’s close to them without having to type anything into a browser or search application: their favorite businesses and points of interest, deals / coupons nearby, music performances and events, and Facebook friends in proximity. As they move, Aloqa refreshes automatically, so users never miss a social opportunity, event, or bargain.


PLEASE NOTE: On July 16, Aloqa (www.aloqa.com) announced  that it closed $1.5 million in series-A funding and opened a beta of its context-aware mobile application on Android handsets. Aloqa was also selected to demonstrate its application on stage at the MobileBeat Conference, hosted by VentureBeat in San Francisco, and was chosen as a "Winner of Tesla Award" -- The people's choice award at mobilebeat. 

Aloqa has also received some glowing coverage and comments in TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, AndroidGuys and others. Seel:



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Zilok is the online rental marketplace, where anyone can offer anything for rent to the community. By anything, we mean your digital camera, your drumset, your scooter, your snowboard, anything!

There are so many things we have but don't use all the time, the exact same things that neighbors will need once in a while. With Zilok, you can connect with these neighbors, make extra cash in the process, and help your community saving money.

Our mission statement is to support and develop peer-to-peer renting as a new, sustainable and community-driven way of consuming. By Reusing, Recycling and Renting you can help protect the environment and save natural resources. Every transaction is local.

We welcome people and rental businesses to list all possible rentals on our website. Our business model is commission based. Zilok is operating in four countries, the United States (San Francisco office), France (Paris office), Belgium (Brussels office) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam office). We've been awarded Site of the Week by PC Mgazine, best European startup at the Plugg Startup Rally, and featured in ABC 7, the New York Times, TechCrunch, Mashable, CNET, ...



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SpreezioTM is a mobile/web-based shopping company that specializes in driving consumers to local merchants, service providers, and retail sales reps.  Think of us as Priceline on steroids enabling shoppers to make a coupon for almost any product or service!  We accomplish this through unique real-time purchase requests sent from a consumer's Smartphone/PC to businesses, which ensure that customers get the best possible local deals.



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Thumbtack helps you accomplish the personal projects that are central to your life.

Whether you need to paint your home, learn a new language, or plan your daughter's birthday party, Thumbtack is the easiest and most dependable way to hire the right professional for your projects.

Get started by answering a few questions about your specific needs. Within hours, Thumbtack will introduce you to several available and qualified professionals. Compare custom quotes, reviews, and profiles and hire when you’re ready.

By connecting customers like you to the right pros, we enable independent professionals to grow their businesses and do what they love. We’re proud that many of our pros have doubled or even tripled the size of their businesses through Thumbtack.

Thumbtack is available nationwide for more than 700 project categories.



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HearPlanet turns your cell phone into an audio guide to the world.

Get iPhone App Here: www.HearPlanet.com/appstore

Get Android App Here: http://bit.ly/hpandroidapp


We provide an immersive experience that connects you to your surroundings and delivers information in a way that doesn’t distract or slow you down.

HearPlanet organizes information from a multitude of sources and delivers it in audio format, making it easy to consume when active and mobile.

600,000 users have installed the HearPlanet iPhone/iPod Touch application and we cover 300,000 locations worldwide. We organize vast amounts of content from numerous sources and instantly deliver what’s most relevant to users. HearPlanet tells you what’s right around (using geolocation) and offers comprehensive search for everything else.

Apple has featured HearPlanet in national iPhone ads including full-page spreads in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

“Like having a tour guide in your pocket..."  National Geographic Adventure

"The best kind of travel guide – one that requires no reading…”  United Airlines

“If you like to go sight-seeing when you travel then you’ll love HearPlanet.”  Salon.com

“Get the scoop on landmarks, historic sites and more - in countless cities worldwide - without taking your eyes off the sights.” Apple Ad Campaign





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Meet your mobile toolbox. Getable is like a remote control for equipment management. We let construction professionals order and manage equipment from their smartphone. We let rental providers increase overall utilization of their assets. The company serves the tool & equipment rental industry, a $32B space that is projected to grow to $46B by 2016.

Cloudmach Inc.


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Cloudmach delivers 3D graphics and gaming experience of modern console games to users of online social and casual games.

Cloudmach requires no downloads and no installations. It worksinstantly in the browser, unlike products from Second Life and Imvu.Among other things, this differentiator allows Cloudmach to naturallyintegrate into Facebook and other social networks. Cloudmach offersimmersive 3D graphics that provide a much more realistic environmentthan 2D competitors like Yoville and Pets Society.





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QLessTM: The Mobile Queueing, Marketing & CRM Company


The average American spends more than 2 years of her/his life waiting in lines. A line is an age-old invention to move demand from a time when it exceeds supply to one in which it does not. It is a lossy and wasteful one, for many prospective customers leave while they wait, and many become frustrated. Selected one of the Best Business Innovations by the 2009 American Business Awards, QLessTM uses mobile phones to eliminate the need to wait in a particular place in space while waiting (in time), with no special-purpose hardware or software needed.


QLessTM is a virtual line management system that allows guests to hold their spot in line using their cell phones.  Guests enter the virtual line for a table or appointment from their phones, the web or via a hostess, and then receive phone call or text message updates letting them know when they are ready to be served.  QLessTM is interactive: guests can call or text at any time for on-demand updates, can push themselves back in the line if they need more time, or leave the line. Mobile queueing serves as an opt-in point for highly targeted, local & timely mobile marketing, and the data collected creates the new category of mobile CRM, opening up a wealth of service personalization possibilities.


Try one of our demos by calling 877-4-0-LINES877-4-0-LINES  (877-405-4637877-405-4637 ) . More information available at http://waitinginlinesucks.com .


We conservatively estimate the total available market for QLess at over $36billion/year. 2+ years of each American life lost waiting represents 6.9% of the average work-life expectancy, or $936 billion of the GDP lost yearly that could be reclaimed with QLess, an independent validation of the tremendous value of solving the waiting problem.




>       Enables customers to join a line remotely.Join “virtual waitlists” by calling or text-messaging from their cell phones,by instant-messaging (IM), or through the Web.

>       Gives consumers room to roam.Pursue whatever activities they want, wherever they wish, while QLess holds their place in line

>       Promotes Public Health.By dispersing customers, there is less waiting in crowded environments where germs naturally spread.

>       Lets customer tweak their arrival time.Consumers can “push back” their place in line any number of minutes. Everybody else’s wait gets adjusted accordingly.

>       Plan ahead. Obtain estimated wait-times (which QLess calculates automatically, even factoring in no-shows and turn-aways along with other wait-time elements).



·        Increased customer satisfaction.Our customers have experienced a surge in positive reviews in sites such as Yelp, and these mention QLessTM.

·        Increase revenues. Allow customers to shop while they wait. American shoppers spend about $1/min while shopping at a mall.

·        Reduce no-shows by 15% to 40% & turn-aways by 75%. Freedom increases patience, and QLess acts as a digital tether to reel prospective customers into our customers' businesses when the business is ready to serve them.

·        Brings the power of web analytics to brick & mortar shops. Average wait time, customer outcomes(served vs. abandoned, ...), customer geography, customer return rates customer by customer, per wait time, day visited, time visited, employee, unprecedented visibility into what makes customers tick.  

·        Mobile Marketing. 80% to 96% of QLess users provide us with their cell phone numbers. Users can opt in to SMS &/or voice coupons, news & more.

·        Personalization. QLessTM allows customers to personalize their every interaction with each patron, keeping track of previous visits and preferences (language, …).

·        Maximize throughput. Active dynamic scheduling eliminates appointment-based scheduling in favor of appointments updated in real-time based on the duration of prior appointments and real-time mobile communications.

·        Can be deployed anywhere lines form. No specialized software or hardware necessary. Because QLessTMis a hosted Web application, all a customer needs is a laptop, tablet or phone and an Internet connection. 

·        Learns over time.Gets smarter and smarter. Sophisticated algorithms allow QLessTM, to project increasingly accurate wait times based on real-time and historical data. QLess proved that wait time forecast accuracy predicts customer return rates. 

·        Allows simultaneous and remote viewing of the Queue. Any number of users can log on and manage the line simultaneously. Perfect for remote oversight. 

·        Environmentally Friendly. By shifting ticket generation from the physical to the virtual,companies no longer need to print tickets or keep physical pagers. 



QLess allows advertisers to reach customers:

Ø with unprecedented targeting capabilities, based on:

o  the customer’s exact location at the time of receiving the ad

o  what they are trying to do at the time of receiving the ad

o  their purchase history and lifestyle

Ø at a time when they are waiting, and thus receptive to distractions;

Ø as they are entering a point of sale (e.g. retail establishment).



QLessTM has been successfully deployed at a number of award-winning restaurants, DMVs, colleges, retail stores, healthcare, transportation, and government facilities, including the City of Austin, and has freed more than 100,000 users from standing in line. QLess will be soon deployed at a number of leading facilities in the gaming, theme park and beauty industries, too.


The Team

The team includes an award-winning Ph.D. and veteran entrepreneur from MIT, Caltech and McKinsey who's already grown another company from conception to profitability, an experienced technology leader from Yahoo who has already grown a number of successful start-ups and an experienced sales team.



QLess has grown revenues by an average of 200% per year since launch. Customers range in size from small independent restaurants to T-mobile. Testimonials include:

“I think overall it’s a very good system. Customers really like it. The day we had a really long wait, everything was perfect.. On a 1 to 10 scale, I’d give it a 9. Educating people [about their wait] helps tremendously. It’s perfect, it really is.”
--Patricia Rogers, Citizen Services Director, Office of the Mayor, City of Nashua, NH.

“Any simpler and it would do it itself!... At our Divisional Staff meeting Sherry had some very complimentary things to say about Qless and it’s staff as well. We would like you to consider us a strong reference for your firm should you wish to provide my contact info to any potential opportunity.” –John Barker, IT Director, Motor Vehicle Registration.

QLess is a great friggen idea!
--Mike Schroepfer, VP Engineering, Facebook


More testimonials can be provided upon request.



 QLess has been featured in Mashable, the New York Times blog by Freakonomics authors, Nation's Restaurant News, QSR Web (Quick Service Restaurants), the American Academy of Family Physicians, Mobile Marketer, Aviation Week, Chain Store Age and blogs around the world. See qless.com/press for details.