Flashpoint Demo Day Startups January 2012

Today I had a great time watching 15 startups in the Flashpoint cohort give six minute pitches at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The teams have been working together since September 2011 and have made amazing progress.

Here are notes from the 15 startups:

Social Fortress
Eliminate key risks associated with putting sensitive data into the cloud.
Cloud isn’t as prevalent with financial services, healthcare, government, and IP rich industries
How it works:
1. Uniquely encrypt and tag all data.
2. Provide global audit trail.
3. Provide universal credentialing.
Security and privacy are cloud adoption inhibitors
Biz model: per seat monthly license
Executed term sheet to raise up to $2M

Lucena Research
Bridges hedge fund technology to individual investors
Quant in a box
Like speed checkers, not chess
People want to trade, and tools enable them
Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning
Growing trend where people want to manage their own money
Smaller hedge funds can’t afford full quant staff
3 Questions investors want answered:
Which way is a stock headed?
How can I bound risk?
How did it work in the past?
Raising $1M for R&D, development, sales, and marketing

A social and mobile ecommerce platform
Collectors are unique consumers – social and super-passionate
Collectors: discover, manage, share, trade, buy, and sell
Started as platform for repurposability
Action figures first, then trains, then American Girls, etc
Go to market via OEM or strategic partners e.g. dealers/retailers, manufacturers, brands/licensors, affinity groups/clubs
www.Collector-ActionFigures.com is live today
Going to market with Trainz.com
Make money on premium subscriptions, transaction fees, and other sales
Raising money

Social “likes” are similar to SEO inbound links
Marketers spent $20B last year on SEO and SEM
What’s after the “like”? 88% of Facebook “likes” never return
Quilted Northern is a customer
Several paying customers
Charge $5-$10k based on number of Fans
Raising $800k
Building self-service platform

Sports Crunch
Enables athletes, coaches, and fans to connect
Reconnect, replay, relive
Social networks have noise
Derek Anderson is an advisor
Sports is the universal unifier
Ability for athletes and coaches to upload content for timeline
Make money through advertising and premium services
Raised money through ex-ISS CTO and Flashpoint
Raising $750k seed round

3D scanner for iPhone
Capture digital 3D models in seconds using an iPhone or iPad
Replacing $20,000 piece of equipment with an app
Used in entertainment, 3D printing, medicine, security, mechanical engineering, industrial design
Entertainment: Actors are digitized via expensive 3D scanning
Put fans in the background of films and video games
Users upload their images into the Trimensional database
50,000 paying customers in 2011…and they can’t do anything
In discussions with film and media industry
Applied for provisional patents
Raising $500k

Put your store on autopilot
Problem: no standard way of communicating with third-party vendors
Vendors have own requirements / file formats
eCommHub is a self-service middleware that automates inventory management and order processing through any third-party vendor
Nearly $2M processed through product already
Integrated with Shopify already (top 5 shopping cart vendor)
Going to expand to top five shopping cart platforms
SaaS business model based on # of vendors, products, and orders
Raising $450k

Time machine for websites
Continuous site monitoring with alerts and backups
$10/month/site on average for paid plan
Targeting the shared hosting segment of the market
95% of the market underserved (enterprise is served)
Customer acquisition direct, through developers, and through hosting companies
Raising $1.2M
Taking prototype to commercial product
Integrating technology with major resellers

SaaS social business solution
Companies need a way to capture their collective brain-power for innovation
Historically little innovation to drive innovation
Helped Celanese realize $9 million in immediate cost reduction by generating 4-6 new ideas per day
A top priority is to find ways to reduce costs through innovation
Application: part idea exchange, social network, and event management all focused on innovation
Raised money from angels

Companies need to manage their site, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, OpenTable and more
Social content management system for people managing content engagement for multiple local businesses
Social LSM: Social “Local Store Marketing”
Sell directly as well as through channel with marketing agencies
Per month per store subscription fee
Raising $1M series A funding

Content aggregation publishing platform
Help repurpose content into e-books
Interest server: smart web crawling robot, human curating interface, publishing tool to popular mobile apps
Home Depot – Spring time is their big season so interested in brining social, local content to customers conversation for hundreds of stores
Raising $500k

Easing conflicts at home
Targeting parents of teens age 13-17
Goal is to ease the fighting and help communicating with teens
Resources, tools, and technologies to help
Looking for investors who have a shared interest in solving this problem

Awesome billing system for web hosting
Web hosting is a $10B market with 35,000 companies
10% of revenues are spent on billing
Web hosting billing software is all installed, not in the cloud
SaaS billing system with PCI compliance for hosting companies
Take billing from 10% of revenue to 4% of revenue
Adjacent telecom markets like VoIP, ISPs, and media
Raising a round

Saving Grace
Fundraising service for churches and congregants using daily deals
Use the church as a channel for deals
John’s Creek United Methodist Church has 3600 members and has 150 businesses within a short drive, all with a vested interest in the community
Stewardship is the responsible use of what’s given to us
Help churches save money, help people save money, and help merchants find customers
Raising $300k

Pindrop Security
Focused on stopping phone fraud
Came out of PhD research from GA Tech
Caller ID is broken
Phone fraud is easy to do by calling consumer to get info then call bank and pretend to be the customer
$37B in identity theft annually with 10% starting by phone
Phone verification solution that shows every phone call has a unique fingerprint
Determine type of phone, geo-location, fraud caller, caller identity
Reputation portal and intelligence feed
Anti-fraud call analyzer
Call authenticator
Call protection apps
Raised $255k
Raising seed round of $1M

The teams did a great job and I was very impressed. The next Flashpoint cohort starts June 4th, 2012.

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