Collision is the fastest-growing tech conference in North America. Now in its fifth year, Collision has grown to over 25,000 attendees. Following the lead of our European event Web Summit, Collision has become a crossroads for the world's largest buyers and sellers of technology, alongside many of the world's most disruptive emerging technology companies.
We started our Collision 2018 coverage with Jose Rosas from PaySmarter. This payment platform is starting out in Chile and is designed specifically for Latin American communities. Although most of us in the United States have become quite familiar with this type of payment platform, it is not something that is common in Latin America. Almost everything they purchase is done so by using cash. This can, of course, be dangerous, especially in large amounts. So being able to pay for products and services using their cell phones is something that offers convenience as well as security.
Jose was very passionate about this project because he knows first hand how important it will be to millions of consumers in Latin America. Bank debit and credit cards are not readily available to the majority of the citizens, especially those who are not in the largest cities. Therefore, they tend to feel left out. The ability to securely pay, using a mobile device will not only help with this but also create a necessary expansion in eCommerce in that part of the world.
They are currently in the process of getting retailers and service providers on board. They feel that Chile is a great test market and by partnering with mass transportation companies, they are well on their way. Based upon the total population in the large cities alone, they expect to have about one million people using the app within a year. Their efforts are connecting safety for both people and companies. It also leads the way for peer-to-peer transactions that will make their population feel more included without the costs involved using bank cards. They also have several complementary products on the horizon that involve big data and predicting buying behaviors. They expect, over time, to get much larger and involve enhancements like automatic purchases and even A/R by utilizing the infrastructure that they are currently creating.
To get more information on the current pathway of the company, please visit their website.
In a competitive retail market, it can be difficult for consumers to be certain if they are getting the best deal possible on their purchases. And although there have been some pretty good apps that have been released to assist in this area, Yroo.com's take on this technology really goes the extra mile. CTO & Co-Founder, Nick Zhu, stopped by during our pre Collision coverage to give us the rundown.
Yroo is a big data platform designed to assist consumers with price comparisons to make sure they get the best deals while online shopping. Nick was a data mining consultant for years when he and his partner realized that they could take this type of technology in a totally different direction. One that will help shoppers instead of just big business. So they began working on taking all of the power of big data, machine learning, and predictive power to the other side. To start, they collected massive retail data, i.e. product, price, availability, and distribution and then converted it to a platform that is easy for consumers to utilize. It's basically a vertical search engine, so customers can search for and find the products they want and the site will automatically cluster all of the sellers together so that prices can easily be compared.
Historical pricing data is also included so buyers can see if the sale price they see today is actually the lowest in the past 30 or 60 days. All of this is also available on their mobile app that also includes a bar scanner while shopping inside stores. They currently monitor more than 150 million products, so the selection offered is impressive. They have 95% of the top 100 retailers in the US including all of the popular marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
Here at collision, they are introducing browser extensions that the buyer can download to further expand the service. So for example, if you are shopping on Amazon for a particular item, all of the competing information will be brought right into your browser automatically. This puts all of the power and information right at your fingertips. Supported browsers include Chrome and Safari with Firefox and Edge to follow.
Check out Nick's interview and then give it a try for yourself by visiting their website.
On average there are 11,000 people daily becoming seniors. Not all of them are lucky enough to have someone living with them. That is where SensorsCall comes in. It is designed to monitor the habits of the person to keep track of daily activity.
This product is a small box that simply plugs into any outlet. It follows the activity habits of the person and can detect any unusual behavior. In the event of a potential problem, it sends an alert to a designated caregiver or responsible person that there may be a situation of concern. It takes about a week for it to calibrate and learn the daily habits of the senior.
One of the many ways this is beneficial is for medication regulation. You can record a gentle reminder in a friendly voice for when it's time rather than have a blaring alarm go off and startle them. Another feature, which is designed for asthmatics, monitors the current humidity level and will alert you when there is a condition that might affect their breathing. Finally, another great capability is for daily or weekly reminders for errands such as doctor appointments or hair appointments.
Since the number 1 health hazard for seniors is loneliness and lack of socialization, this is a very smart addition to the household. These devices, when grouped, can measure their activity and therefore show if they are getting enough socialization.
The cost of these is approximately $120-$130 each. The service runs about $20 per month. The number of units will vary with the size of the home they are in. A large home, which is 3 or more bedrooms, will require at least 5 units. A smaller home will require at least 3 units. The release date is approximately 90-120 days. For more information go to sensorscall.com.
One of the most eye-opening things in our society today is the staggering number of homeless people of all ages around the country. Kevin Price is more than doing his part to help them. He has created a virtual platform for hearing stories from and about these individuals. Those stories are recorded and made into a profile. You can follow their story and their progress through the platform.
Each individual is given a smart card that is similar to a pre-paid debit card which is only accepted at certain retailers. After viewing a profile, a person can donate to a particular individual via text message directly to their card. This process is smart for them because it allows them to monitor their purchases and manage their money without having to worry about the dangers of carrying cash on the street or in a shelter.
This platform is very new, having just launched during South By Southwest. All the profiles are personally filmed by Kevin and his cameraman. They go into local soup kitchens and find a potential profile subjects. It is his goal to accomplish this one at a time, with the individual story being very important to him.
His future plans are, as the mission grows, is to go to university campuses to get college students involved in content curation in their cities. This will bring more homeless people into the program and more awareness of the platform in those local areas. More awareness means more people donating which means a better life for more homeless people.
His inspiration for this cause was his becoming acquainted with Ricky Dee, who happened to be the only homeless man in his small town in NewMexico. This friendship launched a passion in Kevin that was continued after his move to Austin, Texas, where he was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of homeless people living there. He continues his devotion to reducing that number.
Stress in the workplace can be a big deterrent to any company's progress for their employees. That is where Romy Antoine comes in. He is a personal trainer and nutritionist that has developed a platform to make and keep employees happy, healthy and productive. His company is called One Stop Wellness.
Today 60% of the current workforce is considered to be millennials and that number will only rise with time. Millennials need to feel like their job fits into their lifestyle so that they can be the most productive. One Stop Wellness fits this need by offering employers a platform for their employees to maintain wellness in all aspects of life. While most people consider wellness to be physical, it also incorporates mental, emotional and social aspects. One Stop Wellness covers all of these areas.
As a complement to this service, he has written and will publish his first book entitled "Engaging Millenials in the Workplace". This book is based on his experience as a millennial culture expert. He brings this knowledge to companies to help incorporate that culture into their own. Unlike the Baby Boomers before them, millennials thrive on public recognition and a feeling that their employer should care about them. Companies that can successfully integrate those ideas into the workplace will be able to harness the talent and potential of these employees.
The platform is currently available to employers and the book will be out soon. For more information visit their website.
One of the hardest things for a startup business to do is raise money. Ken Barton has created a platform for startup businesses to connect with the best investors through the internet called MinnoTank. Every week MinnoTank features a single startup who is looking for investments. This is done with a one-on-one interview with Ken and a member of the startup.
This weekly show promotes small startups and is viewed on the internet by thousands of investors and investor groups. Those investors can then subscribe for free and decide which businesses to invest in. For the companies, this increases visibility while decreasing the cost of raising the necessary capital. It is imperative to spend less when trying to raise more. Being an exit founder, Ken has had experiences in trying to raise capital. He tells of the time it cost him 10% in his attempt. He was in Europe and was paying 50,000 euros to raise 500,000 euros.
All this has to be done within certain parameters. The applicants have to have already raised $100,000 to qualify. There is a very good reason for this. First, the terms of the deal have to be set to determine their value. If a company has already secured investment, they know what the value of their business is. Second, it has to be real, meaning that this is a project that is a priority for them rather than a hobby.
In the startup world, less than10% of investment money goes to companies owned by three groups: LGBT, female and persons of color. Because of this under-representation, Ken has been bringing them to the forefront to get them the needed exposure. So far, the companies he has helped have raised over $2 million dollars, all within MinnoTank's first year.
If you are an investor who wants to invest or a startup that needs investors, you can go to their website for more information.
No matter how amicable the breakup, family matters involving custody are always difficult. And let's be honest, most are not anywhere close to amicable. All too often there are stressors, tempers and unfortunately even aggression that get in the way. Jonathan Verk, CEO of coParenter, stopped by to tell us about this great new app that is aimed at solving these all too frequent situations.
coParenter is a management and mediation platform for separated and divorced parents. It helps to facilitate a stable and positive environment for the best possible outcomes. They accomplish this by providing specific tools that are aimed to help parents minimize conflict and stay out of court. This allows them to focus on the needs of their children and in turn, helps parents develop new skills to be better parents together, leading to happier children. And happier children make the world a better place.
The app also helps both sides financially. They are able to make better decisions outside of courtrooms, hence saving thousands of dollars. It enables parents to create their own court-ready custody plans that better handle the day to day parenting time as well as the ever so important holiday schedules. And just because it is app-based doesn't mean that there isn't professional assistance. Disagreements are resolved with a qualified, on-demand coParenting professional whenever necessary.
coParent is also there for the long haul. This easy to use system can also be used down the road to make alterations to an existing custody agreement. They also provide articles, videos, and stories to help you along the way, all from leading coParenting professionals, judges, therapists, mediators, and attorneys. Parents will always have new tips, tricks, skills, and habits right at their fingertips to help them be the best coParent- and parent- they can be!
To learn more, visit their website.
If you can imagine being at a social gathering that has a basket set out at a food table, you know why it's there. Yet there are always people who ignore it. This is extremely frustrating and embarrassing for the host of the event as it may end up costing them a good amount of money. Another scenario is trying to get people to respond to invitations for an event. Both of these problems can be solved by Festi. This is a time reservation platform created by Rita-Ting Hopper from Virginia that is a combination of OpenTable and private reservations.
Reaching people to answer an invitation to an event can be frustrating and very time-consuming. We all have been on a group text chain that leads nowhere. This app is for busy people who are anti-group messaging. This app avoids having to sift through the texts to see who is responding and if they are giving you an accept or a decline. No one wants to hear "I'll pay you when I get there." That is never a good thing. With Festi you get much faster replies that will eliminate all the frustration of waiting to hear back.
If you are hosting a free event, the whole process is free of charge. If the event is charging $10.00 you pay $10.50 and the host gets $9.00. There is a 5% fee for the guest and the host is charged 10%. Payments are currently processed through Stripe. They are a big platform that is trusted by many companies, whether they are a startup or already established.
This app is fairly new and in the early stages of use. The platform has attracted 700 users without the use of any marketing. The company is currently looking for investors to begin marketing the product. For more information go to the website.
There is nothing more aggravating than not having enough storage space in your home. On the flip side, it is very frustrating to have so much wasted space for those who are lucky enough to have that problem. A new and innovative idea has hit the market. Jeremy Haas and his investor have come up with a plan to utilize space not ordinarily available for rent. This app is called Stash It, which helps with one of America's pastimes: shopping! As Jeremy says, "Americans have a huge shopping addiction and don't want to part with their stuff."
Similar to Air B&B, this allows people with space that is presently not being used to turn it around and make it available to rent out. For example, an almost empty garage can be used for car storage for an active military person. A college student may need space for the summer for items only needed during the semesters. Or in Jeremy's case, his father was excited to use his backyard for additional storage sheds to rent out.
Jeremy is looking for homeowners to join up in his business. There is a set fee for posting but those renting out their space can set their own rental fee. In the event that the rent is not paid by the tenant, the owner of said space will still be paid and the eviction responsibility will be dealt with later by Stash It.
This app is making available space to rent for those who need some space. For more information go to the website.
You may have realized that there is no convenient method of learning more about your government and staying involved with civic engagements. The civic tech space is very small but lucky for you, Russell Jowell is working to make this type of information readily accessible to you through his new platform, CVX Building Engagement. CVX is a mobile application designed by Russell to update you on bills you are following, show you who represents you at the Federal, State, and Local level, and even help you register to vote.
The purpose of this app is to keep the public knowledgeable about what is happening within their government without needing to research multiple sources to obtain public information. The CVX slogan doesn't lie: "An app that puts the government in the palm of your hand." This platform brings convenience to information that you are entitled to.
The CVX app includes many ways for you to be involved and gives you the ability to contact the people who represent you. You can also track bills that are making their way through the United States Senate, the United States House, and your local state house directly through the app. There are other features and tools included that allow you to register to vote as well as see upcoming elections. CVX includes everything to help you stay informed and involved in your government.
You can download this application on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for $2.99 right now but will transition to a subscription service for a small fee per month with more civic data included such as Federal and State data and many more possibilities to come.
To learn more about CVX and stay informed about the app's newest features, you can visit their website and find them on Facebook and Twitter: @cvx4u.
Human Resource departments and hiring managers constantly face the challenge of finding that perfect hire for open positions within their organizations. Applicable candidates must not only be qualified to perform the daily work but also fit in with the dynamics of the company and their coworkers. The process can be extremely time-consuming because even when you have a candidate that looks great on paper, so often they lack the personality to integrate well into the team. This leads to frustration and inevitably results in precious time being wasted.
Having dealt with this very problem ourselves, it was great to get the chance to discuss a clever and inventive solution with Taylor Stevenson, Strategic Partnership Exec with Alyss Analytics. Artificial Intelligence is combined with algorithms in their proprietary software. This provides valuable insight into a candidate's soft skills. Thus quickly giving the employer a chance to either weed out, or selectively include, the specific individuals who are the best potential fit.
So, how does Alyss work, you ask? After being given a set of prompts designed from the needs of the employer, candidates will record and upload their video to the system. Then Alyss goes to work, analyzing for the requested data points. Lastly, a review score is generated that is tailored to the employer's original criteria.
At its core, Alyss categorizes with three unique approaches - Facial Mapping, Speech Content, & Delivery. Thus allowing the non-verbal patterns of communication alongside deeper linguistic analysis to be uncovered. Basically, it's a search engine for soft skills that creates an opportunity for both employers who can streamline the process and candidates who have a better chance of showcasing all of their skills.
This A.I integration that gives custom candidate insights has been in development for the last couple of years and made its debut just a few weeks before Collision Conference. Make sure to watch the full interview for more details and don't forget to check out their website.
Many of us have careers that are quite stressful. At times, the stress can build to the point that it creates frustration and hampers productivity. This is a dilemma that many employers simply do not know how to deal with effectively. Zilpini has literally come up with a creative way to help solve this problem.
Their basic premise is that everybody, no matter their career, is creative and has the potential to come up with new ideas. The key is tapping into that creativity. This is where they truly think outside the box. They know that by introducing art into the workplace, stress is reduced naturally and employee productivity increases, along with their overall well being. Co-founder, Loveleen Saxena, knows this first hand as she was a construction project manager who became an artist. During her transition, she found that it was possible to harness the power of creativity and bring it into the corporate environment.
The result? She and her husband created Zilpini - a marketplace that makes it easy for businesses to connect with local artists to bring their experience to their staff. By doing so, it opens up things among the employees. They are able to decompress while enjoying the artistic process and then translate the experience over into their own work. And the true bonus is that local artists are able to showcase their techniques and pieces, allowing them to grow and flourish within the art world.
Through this endeavor, artists are able to connect with their communities and supporters are able to learn new artforms. As huge supporters of the arts, and artists ourselves, we couldn't be more thrilled about this awesome idea. It's something that we will closely follow and hope to work with them as they progress.
Make sure to watch the full interview for more information and check out their website, as well.
Sure, using Google Ad Words to try to boost your website hits on popular search engines is an option when you are trying to increase your company's exposure. But it's sometimes difficult to get the right exposure without breaking the bank, especially when you are also utilizing other forms of advertising. In a perfect world, there would be a way to synch your efforts together for maximum impact. Well, the founders of Advocado put their heads, and their technology, together and came up with the perfect solution.
Knowing that television advertising drives search activity, they patented a technology that perfectly times digital and social advertising to be in synch with your broadcast ads. They monitor TV programming in most markets in real-time in order to trigger and optimize corresponding digital campaigns by dynamically adjusting online bids. So as your target audience is watching TV in a local market and your commercial airs, your bids are optimized during that timeframe to put you at the top of digital searches. They then use the data from the platform to provide insights into the media behavior of today's consumer.
If you're like us, you probably are wondering how all of this works. Upon detection of the airing of your TV commercial, Advocado's algorithm will immediately optimize digital bids to ensure online presence at Micro-Moments, leading to increased click-through rates. The optimization lasts for the duration of the commercial plus another 90 seconds. This gives you a distinct advantage with the ability to more effectively and efficiently utilize your advertising dollars with maximum benefit. During their original pilot of the technology, they documented a 98% increase in click-thru rates in just a three week period. They realize that when you get local, you have the ability to really focus.
There is so much that we love about this company (the first of which being their cool logo). We love the technology and can see the many benefits for small and mid-sized companies to grow their business, as well as give an edge to larger companies. Of course, we also love that this technology was originally developed for toys. What an amazing way to think outside of the box and re-engineer an existing technology for a great new purpose.
Advocado is currently in 210 local markets and on 185 cable channels. As they expand their business, their goal is to become the gold standard for this type of social and digital optimization. After watching their complete interview, be sure to visit their website for more information.
In today's market, it is important for businesses to make the most of big data for their own advantage. poder.IO is an Artificial Intelligence company that focuses their technology on helping small businesses gain knowledge about their demographic so they can target their marketing to best make sales. poder.IO has created their EPICA AI platform to help take raw big data and convert it into usable data to help each business that uses the platform. The company slogan that they use best describes them as the "Power of Prediction" and this phrase says it all.
EPICA's big data service allows these businesses to collect first-party data as well as orchestrate and integrate it and make decisions in real time using predictive marketing strategies. EPICA optimizes the use of your data, translating its potential into valuable actions that can predict better results. poder.IO wants you to have a better understanding of your customers through the data you own about them and learn how to market your product or service based on it. Their goal is to give companies unprecedented decision-making power by analyzing patterns of audience behavior in real time through large-scale big data.
The Executive Vice President, Diego Paramo came to New Orleans for Collision with his skilled team to continue the conversation about poder.IO and answer questions as well as gain investors. Their service has been in the market for about two years now and has clients in America and Europe such as Coca-Cola, MasterCard, and Sheraton. poder.IO offers its smart big data solutions in the travel, e-commerce, finance, CPG and education sectors in four countries: The United States, Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil.
For more information about poder.IO and EPICA and a quote for your business, you can visit their website. You can also email Diego directly through his email: email@example.com.
It's interesting that technology has exploded in the last 20 years but education has remained the same blackboard and chalk lectures. A student from Michigan State University, Seth Killian has made this same observation and has decided to make a change. This idea has sparked the creation of a new company, Lingco Language Labs and Seth is the CEO and Founder. Lingco is an application that brings education to the next level using artificial intelligence. This next generation of education technology teaches students a new language in an efficient way.
Seth is a firm believer that we aren't using our technology to our advantage in every aspect of life including learning. Lingco uses artificial intelligence to understand each student's language learning patterns and curates a unique experience for you. The AI aggregates data from previous learner experience and can make predictions about what aspects of the language you may be struggling with as well as your strengths and weaknesses based on other data. This concept increases student performance and improves learning patterns. By just answering 30 questions, the AI can already make predictions of what you need to work on and how to help you achieve your goals.
The virtual classroom features a vast content library with engaging content at your disposal for every level of proficiency. Lingco also includes AI assisted grading that points out grammar and spelling errors, enabling you to receive quick and effective feedback.
But learning is only half the battle. The other major step in learning a language is to remember what you have been exposed to. Seth discusses how Lingco can model your memory and grab data to determine when you are likely to forget a word after you have been introduced to it.
To learn more about Lingco Language Labs you can visit their website and you can find them on Facebook and Twitter: @LingcoLabs.
We all eventually get to that point in our lives where our parents and grandparents need additional attention and assistance to get through each day. And quite often it happens at a time when we are the least equipped to handle it. Managing our own hectic lives with work obligations and children's schedules get in the way of providing them with the care that they need. Sure, there are services out there to assist with home health care for seniors, but they can get costly with minimum hour requirements and can sometimes lack that personal touch.
After facing this dilemma first hand, Andrew Parker came up with a practical and really wonderful solution. He knew that his grandfather needed some assistance but wasn't to the point of needing home health care. He ended up hiring a neighbor who was a college student to help and it worked out perfectly. The more he thought about it, he realized that this concept could help so many others, seniors and students alike, and Papa was born.
Papa is an on-demand assistance service that helps seniors stay independent while living securely and happily at home. It's a service that has a lot of sweetness to it. They connect senior citizens to college students for social interaction and daily assistance. And it does so in such a family-friendly way. To quote their website, it's like grandkids on demand.
We find this service to be fascinating on so many levels. It not only brings a new niche to the age-old problem of offering companionship and assistance to senior citizens while keeping them as independent as possible, but it also allows for a new type of flexible employment to college students. They are able to work around their school schedules, make some extra money and help seniors with things around the house, transportation needs, technology lessons, and companionship. We love the intergenerational interaction as both parties are able to learn and grow from the experience.
Make sure to watch Andrew's full interview for more information and don't forget to check out Papa's website.
Here in the US, we've had the luxury of using various ridesharing alternatives for a few years, now. And although at first, the concept seemed a little odd to a lot of us, it's grown into a lucrative industry that millions of commuters and travelers use each and every day. There are still many countries who do not this kind of flexibility available to them.
We invited Luis Henrique Rodrigues with SPLITAXI to come and tell us about how they are currently in the process of bringing an advanced form of rideshare service to Brazil. And what they are launching is so much more than just a rideshare service. They have found a way to help riders, taxi drivers, the city and the environment with their new service and phone app.
SPLITAXI is a shared mobility startup with a true win-win-win model. Getting a taxi during peak rush hour can be difficult and expensive in the large cities of Brazil, and the traffic is unbearable. To top it off, most cabs usually only containing one passenger. SPLITAXI realized that by coming up with a way to allow more riders in each vehicle, they could help to solve this growing problem. To do so, they use a route matching algorithm that allows for passengers to "e-hail" empty taxi seats in real time, with minimum deviation. The riders are able to choose, in the app, how far they are willing to deviate from their route in order for other riders to share the ride to common destinations. In turn, this offers discounts to each rider while also increasing the taxi drivers revenues due to the ability to carry more passengers. Thus, traffic is lessened overall with also fewer emissions being released into the atmosphere.
So, how does it work? The app shows you the others in your area that are looking to go to the same destination, or to one that is very close or the way to yours. You can then choose to share a cab, and set your specifications as to how much time you are willing to allow to get where you are going. There are also options available to customize your share. For example, there may be a situation where, say, a female would prefer to restrict her rideshare to only other females.
We found this to be a practical, new take on this industry. Not only does it allow for riders to save money, but it does it in a way that doesn't add other cars onto the already busy roadways. It also doesn't threaten the livelihood of the taxi drivers in any way. On the contrary, it has great potential to increase their overall income. It's a great idea for large cities and the fact that it allows for proper matches and is flexible enough to make adjustments in real time is fantastic.
SPLITAXI plans to grow their business in Brazil first and then expand worldwide. Make sure to watch their full interview for more information about their model, as well as investment opportunities. You can visit their website.
Keeping ourselves healthy these days is getting to be more and more of a challenge. And the costs of healthcare are increasing to the point that some do not seek medical attention when they need it. So wouldn't it be great if there were systems in place to assist with keeping us healthy? The folks at Anteo Health have come up with a great way to do just that.
Narek Tamoyan, CEO of Anteo Health, stopped by to tell us about their approach and to show off their new app. Developed for insurance companies and healthcare providers, Anteo has a mobile health platform that is designed to put better healthcare options right at our fingertips. According to their research, 86% of healthcare costs in the United States are for chronic issues. This is due, in large part, to the fact that our healthcare system is reactive. There are so many tests, treatments, and therapies that are designed to prevent chronic and serious illness, but they are either not offered to us or they are not covered by our health insurance. And although none of us can figure out how this is more cost effective, both from a financial and an ethical standpoint, there really hasn't been anything we can do about it. But Anteo Health wants to start to shift the pendulum from reactive healthcare to preventative healthcare.
This new, proactive care system is very forward thinking in the industry. It incorporates things like lifestyle changes and healthy weight management systems to make impacts on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to improve our overall health and stave off chronic illness. To accomplish this, they segment the population into specific health groups that are based on a patient's health information. They consider two basic groups: 1) Static Health Data, which remains constant; and 2) a Big Data Set that is more dynamic and changes on a daily basis. It is this Big Data Set that constitutes the primary impact factors for behavior, i.e. physical activity, nutrition, vital signs and symptoms. All of this data is currently available on hundreds of systems. Anteo is integrating with these systems to get them into one, easy-to-use app. The information is then put into specific risk groups which allows them to suggest specific intervention plans for each group. The app even allows for enrollment into programs with a care team who monitors the data in real time. So if there is an escalation at any point, they will get the right attention, right away.
Anteo Health faces the challenge of engaging patients in their own health so that they will be more likely to follow the instructions. Their goal is to get them interested in an interactive and educational manner. The interactive app will also bring the data in automatically with a patient's smart wearables. And it's not all about the data, they have also applied clinically validated research from well-known publications. This, along with the data, will generate very specific and personalized recommendations based on the health profile of the individual, which is then analyzed by their care team.
As for availability, they launched a closed beta at the beginning of 2018 and are currently running pilot programs. the consumer app is available now on the Apple App Store and they are working on an Android version, as well. Get more information by visiting their website.
Content creators have a wide presence on the internet with a wide variety of voices and opinions to share with the world. Podcasting has become a wave of interest for years and is again on the upswing. One of our guests from Collision 2018 shared his decade-long vision of how we should be able to interact with these podcasters on a more personal level with his application, PodPoster.
The founder of PodPoster, Allan Hoving had an epiphany when his friend decided to make a podcast on their own back in 2009. Allan promised them that he would listen and provide feedback to help improve his friend's content, but he wanted to be able to speak his opinions rather than type them out in the comment section. Allan then realized that there is not a medium for easy audio commenting. Online vocal feedback is not really an option anywhere else, so Allan set his mind to be the first.
Allan found importance in providing feedback in the original medium that we were born with the ability to do. With the PodPoster iOS application, there are three simple options: listen, record, and send. You can listen to your favorite content creators and send them vocal feedback within the app. After hitting submit, the comments will be sent to the creator in the media that they choose to receive them. The comments you post can be moderated by the creator as well to ensure proper use of the app.
Today, the application has expanded to the possibility of audio comments to video recordings. PodPoster allows your opinions and constructive criticism to be heard and understood, not just read and looked over. PodPoster is the missing feedback loop in this ecosystem and is continuing to grow and update their horizons to best fit the user's voice.
For more information and contact information, you can visit the PodPoster website.
Everything these days is being quantified. Corporations subject their employees to a myriad of reports on a regular basis. These reports not only measure sales and demographics but the timing and workflow that are involved in employee metrics. Of course, it's not only big business that uses this kind of data. Our news and social media feeds are full of surveys and research studies that focus on everything from health and politics to frivolous ways to spend our free time. And even local businesses survey their customer from time to time, in order to tweak operations for efficiency and growth.
This topic is something that is actually on my mind quite a bit as I struggle with the onslaught of big data that is taking over our business culture. Although my job as Executive Producer of Special Events for PLuGHiTz Live keeps me busy with things like travel schedules, event calendars/planning, and even audio/video recording and mixing, I also have a full-time job at a large bank. Of course, stats are important in both of these jobs but they are very different in how they are structured and measured. I often get frustrated with the ever-growing list of metrics that measure employee performance at the bank. They find a way to pull numbers from multiple processes and manipulate them in a way that supposedly measures our performance efficiency. One of the favorite quotes used by upper management is, "numbers don't lie." And although that statement, in and of itself is true, it can also be very misleading, in my opinion. Just because those numbers that they present to us are absolute, it doesn't mean that they tell the whole picture. After all, there is an infinite amount of ways to get from the number one to the number two. It's all in the extraction and presentation. That's why it was so refreshing to see the work that Carlos Romero and his team at Apex are doing.
Apex is a consulting firm that concentrates on program evaluation and health education social service programs. They recognized through their work that there is a lot more to the data that goes unmeasured. This additional information can actually be helpful to businesses and consumers. Through this new understanding, two new apps emerged. They are tied together by the premise that we have too much data and not enough insight. Brilliant!! Their newer app, which is being showcased here at Collision, is called Perspectives. It combines the more common survey style with a video element. It's an important addition because we have a lot of data but we need context to derive meaning from it. This could translate to more data or that we need the story behind the data. The app is about just that. How do we collect more stories and analyze them in more rigorous ways to work in conjunction with the quantitative data, supporting valuations for learning?
This added layer allows for a better analysis. You can learn from the qualitative data just as much, and sometimes more than from the quantitative data. It gives a much different perspective as it adds the words, feelings, and actions that can be acted upon instead of just the data from a specific set of questions.
Results can be very eye-opening. It turns out that the thing that you thought you were measuring, based upon the way that you are doing it, is not necessarily the same way it is perceived by your clients, etc. This added power, depth and richness from an actual interview is then combined with the efficiency of a survey. You can then see what patterns that immerge from the short videos, as well as other media. It offers so much more than just the traditional, what did you like? And many times you will get responses that you hadn't even considered.
The basic idea of the app is to braid together all of the existing technologies into one seamless system. And you can learn more about this exciting new type of analysis by watching our interview and also by checking out their website.
Leading a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what is a healthy decision, and often times the unhealthy choice gives a greater immediate reward than the healthy decision. For example, eating a few slices of barbeque brisket is likely to give a much greater immediate reward than eating a salad. But, there is a new way to begin to receive rewards for making healthy decisions: LifePoints.
Through this system, people can receive points for making healthy decisions. In the beginning, the app is focusing on fitness decisions, such as going to the gym. The app will track how long you spend at the gym and give you points based on that time. With time, the company plans to bring additional options to the platform to continue encouraging healthy decision making. Once you have these points, you can exchange them for rewards at various partners. These partners can give discounts or merchandise, depending on the partner and points redeemed.
This system is designed to provide a positive feedback loop for users to encourage them to make the healthy choice, rather than the unhealthy choice. To return to the previous example, you might be more likely to eat the salad instead of the barbeque if you know that you can get a discount on your gym membership or clothing.
The service is currently available for testing in the Niagra region of Canada, with two partners: Popeye's Supplements and Sky Zone Trampoline Park. If you are in that area, and currently own an iPhone, you can try the app right now in the App Store and start earning points to improve your health. The company plans to expand the partner lineup and expand the regions available as they conclude their testing.
There is no doubt that lawyers do not have a general goodwill in everyday society, and it's been that way for centuries. Shakespeare famously wrote in his play Henry VI, "Let's kill all the lawyers." In the time since that play was written, things haven't really changed, but one company hopes to change the perception by making the process of finding and working with legal professionals easier and more pleasant: IUSNOVA.
The name, which is a combination of Ius (Latin for law) and Nova (Latin for evolution), describes their lofty goal: to evolve the legal world. This is accomplished by putting together a marketplace of legal professionals where you can go and enter your issue and be matched with the most appropriate lawyer for your specific issue. For example, if you are looking for a patent attorney, you might be paired up with someone who is good at general patents, but if you are a chemical engineer looking to patent a particular chemical compound, you would likely need a specialist.
Once you've got your lawyer, how do you know what is being accomplished or where they are in the process? Understanding what the lawyer is working on and what you are being charged for is nearly impossible, despite the tons of documents that are produced every day. IUSNOVA gives both lawyers and clients a way to keep track of what is happening directly within the platform. As documents are created, they can be stored and shared with the client all without having to use another solution. This gives the client a better understanding of the process and their place in it, as well as giving a feeling of accomplishment.
Once the task is complete, you can then review your experience in the marketplace, giving future clients matched with that lawyer more information before making the decision to work with them. The service is available now in limited availability.
No matter what size the company, having projects to manage can become overwhelming. It's easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Multiple tasks and workflows create confusion and in many cases can hamper progress. And if there are customers making changes and requiring updates added to the mix, it gets even more complicated.
Dmitry Abramov, CPO of Kaiten, stopped by the studio to introduce their new product. Kaiten is a visual management platform that helps to conquer the complexities of project management for all sizes and types of businesses. It allows for visualization of the overall process flow and finds the various bottlenecks and problems along the way. It is then able to optimize the entire process with their unique analytical engine. It's a system that will see the big picture and then dive deeper when needed. A tool which can unite multiple departments in one place while having control of the whole picture.
Some of their clients are outsourcing companies. This type of company has very complex projects with various clients, different employees that interact with the clients and even multiple developers who are working on different aspects of the project. This often makes it difficult to keep things moving smoothly throughout the process. This tool allows for a seamless process while also allowing customized views for all who are involved, even for the client. This customization provides more than just a high-level overview and is better for providing deliverables on time. It also creates a new level of transparency from start to finish.
As for pricing, they are currently working on a subscription model, starting at seven dollars per user, per month. This would be ideal for the small to mid-sized company. Large companies with more security needs would require a private cloud and prices would go up according to their needs.
After you watch the full interview, make sure to head over to their website for more information and to view their demo.
Once thought of as downright taboo, finding a date using online apps has become completely mainstream. And although some still feel it's pretty strange, the sheer numbers who use them tells the story. Those who use to warn their single friends and family of the dangers of online dating are now not only counting the number of couples they know who met on an app but also using them themselves. But as good as the websites and apps have gotten, there are still quite a few hurdles while trying to find "the one." At this point, what could possibly be done to make the apps better? More checks and balances? More algorithms? Well, the founders of Pheramor say that the answer is truly in the chemistry.
Aslam Mirza, co-founder, and CEO of Pheramor, came by to explain this new approach that is designed to provide better dating matches. This exciting new dating app uses genetics and digital data to help make better connections and increase the overall efficiency of dating. Basically, the company sequences 11 specific genes that encode for your immune system. The more diverse these genes are, between two people, the more likely that they will be chemically and biologically attracted to each other. It's rooted in evolutionary biology because we are constantly trying to subconsciously find those that we're attracted to. It's such a great component to add to dating search criteria.
They also made the process really simple. For starters, they send you a genetic kit in the mail that contains a buccal swab. You merely complete a quick cheek swab and mail it back and they do the rest. The DNA that is specifically linked to your immune system is extracted. This human leukocyte antigen, along with the compilation of your digital data from social media will be used to create your profile. So your DNA is combined with all of your likes, check-ins, and hashtags to help you make the best possible connections.
Get the specifics on this exciting new dating app by watching the complete interview and then head over to their website if you're interested in giving it a try.
For most companies, one of the most difficult challenges is understanding your customers' needs and responding to their likes and dislikes. People in multiple aspects of the company all interact with the customers, and a lot of data is collected, but it's difficult to bring it all together to make the best decisions possible. For example, your sales team probably uses Dynamics or Salesforce to track interactions, while your support team might use Zendesk, and your development team uses Manuscript or Jira - all to communicate with the same group of people.
Enter ThunderAct, an artificial intelligence platform that collects data from all of these platforms and more, and brings it together into one place. Once the system has all of the information, it is able to correlate users and show trends through easy to understand visualizations. For example, maybe the sales team communicates with a large number of prospects that all ask for the same feature in your product, and the sales team says that it is in the works when in reality it has been in the product for a while. You can now help coach the sales team on a more accurate feature set.
Now, what if the development team builds the feature in question, and the support team gets positive feedback on the new feature? Perhaps the management could decide to expand that offering into a larger part of the product. Or, maybe there is a related product that could be developed as a companion - after all, Microsoft didn't start out making Office. The best part is, this platform does not require any of your teams to change their system or their departmental behaviors in order to gain these useful new insights.
You can sign up now to see if the platform is for you by visiting their website.
If you are not a math person, you know that getting through a math class in school can be challenging. Even more challenging is getting help for that class when you need it. Luckily, there's AT Now, a platform designed specifically to help students find math tutoring help when they need it. The instant-on capability of the platform means that when you're having trouble with a particular math problem, you can jump onto the platform, request assistance and be paired up with a live tutor to help you work through your block.
AT Now, which is founded by Mike Arnold who has been working in the tutoring field for a while, spent time finding highly qualified math tutors to work for the platform. The tutors, in addition to a high level of mathematics knowledge, also have to be personable and encouraging, traits that he found work best in his facility. Many of the tutors are math or business students from colleges and universities and try to show empathy to the student's problem and situation. For example, a tutor who understands the pressure of preparing for a test tomorrow is going to be more effective than one who doesn't.
For the students, the process is fairly simple. If they encounter a math problem that they cannot resolve themselves, they can simply grab their phone or tablet, open up the app and request help. From there, one of the tutors will jump on a call with the student and help them, not just answer the problem, but understand how to get to the answer. All of this and the cost is unbelievably inexpensive: $20 per month for unlimited questions. That's less than the cost of a single hour of personal tutoring in most locations.
To find out more about the platform, check out their website.
We were thrilled to see one of our favorite start-ups from Collision 2017 back again this year. It was great to catch up with Ultimatum Inc and learn about their progression. Since we last spoke, they have been working on their fascinating crowd funding platform for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and have gotten their beta version up and running.
This year we got a chance to speak with the CEO, Matthew McCabe. For those who had not yet heard of them, he explained that Ultimatum is a web platform that allows you to take action on social and political issues using event based donations to nonprofits. There are any number of issues that many of us have very strong feelings about. Using their platform is an excellent way to not only donate to the causes that we find important, but also make more than just a monetary impact. You can also help to raise social awareness in the process.
Individuals and companies alike can set up donation campaigns on Ultimatum. Instead of donating one lump sum to a particular cause, extra awareness is brought by setting it up so that small amounts get donated every time a specific hashtag is used. For example, one recent and special campaign was set up to donate a dime to The Dru Project, a non-profit that supports LGBTQ high school GSAs and college scholarships, every time somebody used #thedruproject. The campaign went viral after IGN Tweeted about the campaign. According to Keyhole, the campaign resulted in 5,000 posts, engaged 3,000 people, and had 17 million impressions on Twitter. So even more important that the donation was the increase in awareness that was created as a result of the campaign.
This platform is also perfect for generating brand recognition and can be used in so many creative ways. After watching the complete interview, head over to their website for more information and find out how to start your own campaign.
For many, the age of Hi-Fi stereos is over. A lot of people have moved to smaller devices with everything built-in to a single device. But, for those who really love music, there can be nothing greater than a true, purpose-built, analog Hi-Fi system. Most of the high-end manufacturers have gone to fully digital systems, but some audio companies prefer to stick to the tried-and-true analog beauties. One of those companies is Margules, a Mexican audio brand with a long heritage of products. This family-owned audio obsession started in 1926 and has been focusing on high-end audio for over 90 years.
Among the various products available are amplifiers, speakers, and turntables. One of the things that really sets the Margules product line apart is the incredible look. The amplifiers and preamps both feature brushed aluminum and woodgrain finish with exposed glass tubes. The speakers have wood faces with exposed cones across the front. The turntable features what is arguably the most unique design, with a dark, brushed and rounded top, on which the platter itself sits. While the products each feature a unique look, they all manage to look like they belong together, and will make a great conversation piece for any audio enthusiast.
If the incredibly modern take on classic hardware isn't your aesthetic, the company also offers a couple of other product lines, including the Magenta line, of which the turntable is a member, which feature the rounded face and dark finish of the turntable. These pieces would look great in a more traditional home entertainment cabinet, as opposed to the more exposed nature of the Margules line. Either way, you can be sure that both the look and the sound will compliment your home.
For many people, the hardest part of travelling is the planning of their itinerary and finding hotels. You can go to travel guides but they don't know what you like. Globaleur (formerly TheExplorer.io) is the perfect solution for that. It is a travel service to help to make your trip the best travel experience by enabling you to get the most from your travel.
You can log in three different ways: Facebook account , Google account or creating your own account. By creating your own account you can use their algorithms to personalize your travel preferences. For example, you can get recommendations on what types of hotels, restaurants and other destinations that will fit your personality. By adding your Facebook account, the company can look at your page likes, photos and even places where friends have been. By adding this data, you can get even more personalized recommendations.
Globaleur doesn't stop helping once the trip begins, as it is also able to monitor weather and social data to predict when one of your scheduled activities may no longer be possible. For example, if you were traveling to the Greek islands and you had a boat trip planned, Globaleur would monitor the weather and, if it is going to rain during your boat excursion, the platform can reschedule and find a new activity that will not conflict with the weather. The platform can also look at traffic, in addition to weather, so that you don't leave too late to make it to a concert in a busy part of town.
In addition to recommendations, Globaleur has a social networking aspect, where you can share your itinerary, photos and make friends all within the platform. By engaging people who have already traveled to your planned destination, you can get personal recommendations from those friends. The company is currently focusing on the US market, but plans on expanding its reach in the near future, using available data in those regions, including through Yelp and TripAdvisor.
The app will launch on the web and iOS first, with Android to follow shortly behind.
The overwhelming technology topic of 2018 has definitely been data privacy. Between the consistent data breaches and Cambridge Analytica violating Facebook's data collection policies, nearly everyone online has been affected by a privacy violation. If the people of the internet have learned anything this year it is that trusting their data to any company whose business model involves monetizing their data will ultimately result in heartbreak.
While the prevailing business model these days is monetizing someone else's data, there is at least one company whose goal is to protect it. XcooBee is a platform that allows you to decide what data you share and with whom. Even more importantly, the platform allows you to give access to the data for only a certain amount of time, or revoke that access if needed. For example, imagine requesting a quote for car insurance, which requires you to share your social security number, make and model of your car and possibly driver's license number and license plate number. If you request quotes from 3 companies and buy from one, there is no need for the other 2 to retain access to that information about you. Using XcooBee, you could revoke that information from the 2 that you did not purchase from.
In addition to the privacy aspect, XcooBee also gives you the ability to create and maintain digital rights over your intellectual property. Artists are often told that they should not upload their work to social media because of the rights issues, where Facebook gets free use of the image for their own use once you upload it. However, with XcooBee, those artists have the ability to sign their images visually and digitally, establishing a legal framework to prevent the unauthorized use of those images. It also gives legal standing in court for Facebook to remove unauthorized redistribution of those images.
To find out more about XcooBee and see the platform in action, head over to their website.
Just a few years ago, the idea of mass adoption for artificial intelligence would have been considered ridiculous. Then, with the power provides by cloud computing, artificial intelligence has made its way into everyday life, but it still requires an internet connection and servers behind the scenes. That is until now, with the help of Deep Force, an AI platform that helps developers bring artificial intelligence capabilities directly to devices.
By bringing the artificial intelligence directly to the hardware, it means that a number of new capabilities can be implemented that simply weren't possible or were less than ideal previously. For example, a team could use image and facial recognition together to produce a smart security camera that would alert a homeowner to an unexpected person on their property. Without the need for internet access, it means that disabling the hardware would be significantly more difficult.
In addition to new product categories, a lack of internet access could add some new capabilities to existing products. Retailers could implement smart displays, such as virtual fitting rooms and smart mirrors, without the need to connect those displays to a network connection. That would allow for easier store remodels and less chance of the displays going out of service.
One of the best additions, however, is actually a removal: the removal of privacy concerns. A number of smart toys have been targeted by privacy advocates for collecting data from children and sending that data over the internet, which was a requirement to make certain features work. With Deep Force's technology built-in to these smart toys, you no longer have to worry about what the manufacturer is doing with the data they collect, as they never need to collect it.
The first batch of capabilities is available now for developers to begin implementing into their products and services. To find out more, check out their website.
When most people hear the term "fractional ownership," they immediately think of a timeshare. However, groups of people have been buying properties together for ages, but it requires a lot of investment capital and infrastructure. But, while a timeshare allows multiple people to own a property together and share usage rights, there is a new entry into the idea of fractional ownership that makes the idea more attractive. Rise Housing leverages the power of blockchain and smart contracts to allow a new group of people to own a property together.
Normally, if a group of people wanted to buy an apartment building together, it would require the group to form a corporation together, own shares of that company and use the investment from that group to purchase the building. However, there are some major limitations to this approach. For example, all of the people have to be associated with one another and have to form an official group with one another. If foreign investors are involved, it means that the company has to be registered as a Limited Liability Corporation, which means that all owners lose the protection that any other corporate filing would provide.
With Rise Housing, much of this infrastructural friction is eliminated through the use of smart contracts and blockchain. No longer do you need to form an investment group and file a corporation. Not only does this improve the process, it makes the whole purchase less expensive. In addition, it gives owners the ability to invest in small portions of properties in different parts of a city, state, country, or across the globe.
The company is planning to start off with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), in which interested parties can purchase the currency that will power the system. From there, properties will be listed in the Rise Marketplace for availability. If you would like to find out more about their platform, head over to their website.
Imagine that you are a college student and your dorm is closing for the summer. You have a big problem of where to store your stuff. The choices are limited. You can either rent an expensive storage unit or if you are lucky, you can find a friend with available space to rent. This is what happened to Yoshi Tsuji and Win-Kel was created. Win-Kel is a company that is like an Airbnb for storage space rental, either as a lessor or a lessee.
In the marketplace, you can find people who either have space that they are looking to rent out or people who need that space. The cost is a lot less than the price of commercial storage spaces. You only have to pay for the specific size you need, such as a 3x7 rather than a 5x10. Besides the example of the college student, another scenario is if you have traveled to a convention site and after your business is done you want to explore the area. What do you do with your things such as your big table? That is what Win-Kel is perfect for. You can choose to travel around for any number of days you want and those are the number of days you pay for, no more days than what you need. Other companies would lock you into a pricey monthly contract. Win-Kel totally frees you up to enjoy the area without worrying about getting back before your contract is up.
Win-Kel is partnering with Google now and they want to go international within 2 years. The app is available now for Android and iOS and listings can be created and found nationally now. For more information go to their website.
Diabetes is a disease that completely changes your life, and managing the symptoms is getting easier thanks to technology. If you're early in the progression, there are products like DiabiLive to help you prevent insulin issues, but when the disease progresses, the symptoms get harder to deal with. For example, foot ulcers are an issue that come about in later stages, and can be difficult to predict. Even worse, if they are not recognized quickly enough, they can lead to amputations. In fact, every day 200 people lose a limb as a result of diabetes complications.
Bonbouton, founded by Linh Li, is a company trying to help solve the massive amputation problem with a seemingly simple insole for your shoes. Similar to a Dr. Scholl's insole, this product has built-in sensors that constantly monitor body temperature and step pressure and, combined with optional ECG and EMG data, can help predict a possible foot ulcer before it develops. The sensors are made from graphene, which is a very thin material, meaning that they can go into your shoes without discomfort.
The insole pairs with a phone via Bluetooth, and syncs data to the cloud. The data that is collected can be shared with your primary care physician so that appropriate decisions can be made. If an issue arises, the application will alert you so that you can take the necessary action. You can also monitor the sensor readings yourself through the application.
Because this is a first-of-its-kind medical product, it means that it must go through clinical trials for FDA approval. The company is in the process of preparing its next 100 patients in the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, the data will be used to apply to the FDA and to work with insurance companies to provide reimbursement for the devices. The goal is to have most, if not all, of the cost covered by health insurers.
For more information about the product, check out their website.
It's Saturday night and you're out on the town with a group of friends. You want to have dinner at your favorite restaurant but it's quite popular and they are always packed. So getting a table can be a challenge. You certainly don't want to waste time standing around waiting for a table. On the flip side, popular restaurants want to be able to maximize their table turn over while maintaining that balance of happy customers. We spoke with Jose Mendez, Co-Founder of apptaizer, about their solution to this challenge. apptaizer is a cloud-based solution for restaurants that also provides an improved customer experience by reducing wait times to be seated. It also goes the extra step and assists with everything from ordering to paying the bill.
apptaizer offers a digital platform for restaurant and bar owners who are continually looking for new ways to improve their branding and customer experience. To accomplish this, they have created a direct channel between the business and the consumers that allows them to reduce wait times for seating. It also provides easy ordering and an alternative for splitting the bill between large groups. Sure, there are already online reservations, kiosk ordering at the table and bill pay apps out there. What makes apptaizer so unique and user-friendly is that it combines all of these functions into one, easy to use, app. It also brings users an easy way to find nearby places and get exclusive promotions with its Business To Customer (B2C) advertising platform and business intelligence system.
It's a great way for restaurants to boost sales while also enhancing the dining experience for their customers. It's not just a way for them to simplify the seating, ordering and paying process. While using these features to maximize efficiency, they can also utilize targeted advertising that will specifically fit their needs. All of this saves time and money while increasing customer satisfaction.
Be sure to watch the full interview to find out how Jose and his business partner came up with the idea for this great new app. You can also learn more and keep up with their progress by visiting their website.
Have you ever found yourself in need of something for whatever project you are working on and just don't have it? Now there is a platform for sharing items with your neighbors that they or you don't need or use all the time. It's called Nehbur, co-founded by Chris Reel from Canada.
Nehbur is a rental platform designed to provide items to share by renting or selling to your neighbors and friends. The purpose is to try to bring neighbors and communities together in a symbiotic manner. One example is given by Chris. He told of a time when he saw for sale an electronic drum set. He, being an avid drummer, was blown away by the sale price of $100. when they usually go for at least $1400. He called and asked if there was something wrong with the set. The girl told him that there was nothing wrong, but she just had to make her rent. He realized that if she rented the drum set out over and over she would make more than her rent, and possibly recoup her cost of the set AND she would get to keep it! The idea for Nehbur was born.
Another very good example is when the PLuGHiTz Live team arrived at Collision and found out we were without monitors. We had to immediately have a late-night road trip to purchase some. If this app had been available, we could have rented them from someone local instead. We were not alone with this problem. The Nehbur team itself had to locate a screen for their booth at Collision.
This obviously-needed is not yet available but should be in the near future. For more information on this important app, go to their website.
One of the hardest things in this life is to be faced with a challenging situation that you are unfamiliar with and there is an overwhelming feeling that you are totally alone and on your own. You feel as if you have absolutely no support and no one to turn to. Having caring friends is a good thing, but often times is not enough. You need someone who has literally walked in your shoes and knows what you are dealing with. Not everyone knows someone like that and they do not know where to turn.
This is where LifeGuides can help you. This is a platform created to help people help others in serious life situations when they do not know where to turn. They pair you up with others that have been in the situation that you are in so that you can be guided and supported to get you through. There are a lot of people that share the experiences that we all face. Being able to talk to and communicate with them is so important. It is so very helpful to realize that you are not facing this alone. Everyone needs a "buddy" that they can call and rely on.
LifeGuides is currently focusing on that dreaded disease of Alzheimer's. There are so many family members that are dealing with this. Knowing that there is someone to listen to them and feel their pain is so important to them getting through the experience. LifeGuides is in a private testing phase at this time with a spotlight on the people affected by Alzheimer's. The company plans to expand beyond this single topic and launch to the general public in April of 2019.
More and more companies these days are looking to get involved with assisting those in need around them and getting their employees more engaged in these volunteer efforts. There are multiple benefits of adopting a culture of volunteerism. Not only does it offer much-needed assistance while increasing the company's exposure in the community, but it also creates a sense of satisfaction for the employees. This, in turn, can increase their overall output. After all, happy employees are productive employees. It's truly a win for the companies, not to mention the wonderful impact on many deserving nonprofit organizations.
For these efforts to truly be successful, it needs to be easy to set up, track and measure. It also needs to be simple for the employees to log their hours. If it's too cumbersome, nobody will use it. MobileServe took all of this into consideration and has built the perfect solution to help businesses and their employees reach new heights in their volunteer efforts. CEO Ben Reno-Weber gave us the full rundown on what they have to offer.
MobileServe is a new platform offering smart volunteer tracking that is useful to both businesses and their employee volunteers. The company believes that it should be easy for you to measure your organization's social impact. And that logging these service activities should not be annoying to the volunteers. With this system, the employees are able to log their time with just a couple of taps. This easy to maneuver tracker offers more reliable verification options and more accurate reporting with quick and easy stats that include economic impact. Also included are searchable, exportable reports and infographics. All of this eliminates the need for archaic spreadsheets and paper tracking. The volunteers can easily create & verify service logs and the employer has everything they need in a central dashboard.
To learn more about implementing this easy to use platform into your business, be sure to watch the full interview and then check out their website.
Many people old and young have problems keeping track of and remembering to take their medications. Lenny George and another co-founder have developed a wonderful adherence device, which they call HEXIS from CueMed. This device is a voice-enabled connected pill organizer designed to contain your meds. It can hold up to 7 days worth of pills, as many as 14 pills a day and can separate them into 4 groups per day. It comes in a smart-looking little tower that contains 7 containers for your medications. It is a very discreet way to have your meds handy without advertising that you are carrying them. HEXIS recognizes only your voice and will only respond to you, keeping your medication schedule private.
Lenny states that there are as much as 65% of prescription users that do not finish their meds. This can have very serious side effects, resulting in hospitalizations, and increased or recurring illnesses. He also tells of his co-founder having trouble with her thyroid meds. It seems that "life problems" get in the way as they do for so many people.
HEXIS keeps you on track by educating you that there are serious consequences to not taking them on time or at all. This device can also be work with other health devices such as Fitbit, glucose meters or blood pressure monitors or electronic scales that track your sleep, heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Proper monitoring is so very important to your health and HEXIS is a way to make it easy. This isn't just a pill organizer but it actually has an analytic approach to help you form and keep good health habits to ensure your improving health. They have gone through several prototypes to come up with the correct hardware solution that serves as your personal health coach.
Vladimir Goloborodko had been an IT Consultant for 15 years and while managing a large team with clients that had multibillion-dollar budgets, he realized that he wanted to do something new and take the path of a startup with a great idea. So he founded a crypto payment system for small and medium-sized merchants to assist them and their clientele with those smaller purchases that decrease the profit margin because of certain roadblocks that are inherent in the system. The result is a really great idea called SmartPay.
As busy humans in the middle of our on-the-go lifestyles, we've all been in situations where we need to grab a quick drink and pack of gum while we're out or pick up that quintessential loaf of bread on the way home. Then we realize that either we don't have any cash on us at the time, or we have a large bill that we don't want to break for something that totals three dollars and seventy-two cents (the "large bill" example not being me, by the way). Not only is this a hassle for us consumers, but it's an even bigger hassle for the merchants. Especially considering the fact that up to 30% of their profit margin get automatically eaten up with bank merchant fees when we use our debit and credit cards. So they end up either imposing minimum purchase amounts when we use a card for payment, or they increase their pricing across the board to help compensate. That leaves us to either pay more for what should have been a quick and easy purchase or keeps us from making these types of purchases at all.
SmartPay has a perfect solution that makes it easy for both parties to quickly and easily make these smaller transactions a breeze. Their payment platform is specifically designed to accommodate these exact transaction that we encounter on a daily basis and it doesn't even require them to have any special equipment. The basic premise consists of QR codes that are either generated on their existing smartphone or tablet and in cases with preset pricing, they don't need anything except a sheet or sticker with the QR code. It only takes them about 10 minutes to set up the mobile app to start excepting payments. So customers merely need to scan the code for the payments to instantly be sent to the merchant from their mobile account.
It's such an interesting idea, not only for the simplicity of use but also the cost savings and it takes the multiple middlemen out of the processing of each payment transaction down to just two. And as if that weren't incredible enough, it also takes the banks out of the equation as the payments will now go straight through your mobile provider. According to their statistics, mobile operators already have approx. 5 billion customers, while banks have 2 billion. Payment technology on this level has the opportunity to streamline efficiency in much the same manner that the video streaming companies have with network and cable television viewing. We also love how many different uses it would be able to accommodate. It would make paying for lunch, or even things like bus fare, so much easier.
Their model also includes proximity marketing that will allow participating merchants the opportunity to send out digital campaigns that are designed to generate new leads, increase business and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Check out Vladimir's full interview to learn more about this blockchain solution and then head over to their website to find their roadmap for future platforms that include a web-based gift version and financial services.
Mike Fairclough, is the founder of eebudee, an Australian software company dedicated to helping keep kids ages 4-12 safe and savvy online behavior through an emphasis on digital citizenship and social media education. Inspired by the personal experience of a friend's 14-year-old daughter killing herself because of cyberbullying, Fairclough joined with other tech-savvy parents and experts to create eebudee as a family friendly platform where parents can educate their children about the online world in a safe, secure but also fun environment.
eebudee recognizes the positive aspects of being digitally connected - like access to information, communities of like-minded friends, and staying connected to family - but hopes to help children develop digital armor and digital resiliency, protecting them from falling into internet addictions and falling prey to online predators. The point of eebudee is not to shield kids from the online world but to empower them to reap the benefits while properly protecting themselves and developing effective communication and positive social skills. "Bud", developed by kids for kids, is the digital safety mascot of the eebudee community, a friendly cartoon fridge recalling the kitchen as the symbolic gathering place for families, and which has all the ingredients needed to raise digitally resilient kids - education and social media training.
For a modest monthly subscription fee of less than $10/month, a portion of which goes to the eebudee Foundation to help fight problems associated with digital addiction and cyberbullying, families have access to all the educational curricula and resources in the platform. Once subscribed, families receive guidance on appropriate usage to set the stage for savvy usage from the start, and then children have access to regularly updated games and other content that reinforce safe online behavior.
Next steps for eebudee is expanding roll out in the United States and Fairclough hopes to leverage the experience of Collision 2018 to connect with investors and raise awareness of the importance of the work being done through eebudee. You can learn more by visiting the company website.
Paramvir Maniktala is the founder of Servicio, which delivers a competitive gig-economy platform for e-commerce and retail where anyone can become a courier. Servicio is a supply chain & logistics company with a twist: think Ubereats but which delivers a lot more than food inexpensively to your doorstep. Servicio delivers everything from groceries to electronics, clothing and more.
Inspired to solve the challenge of expensive gas and high delivery costs encountered in his native India, which can shrink already modest profit margins, Maniktala took a page out of the peer-to-peer rideshare platforms common today, and launched Servicio, with the tagline "Connecting Life to Life." Now even small companies with limited delivery needs can offer the perk of local shipping without incurring the expense of contracted services, in-house staff or the cost of a company delivery vehicle. In addition to the low cost, the system provides fast turn around within a small hyperlocal delivery area, transparency, and a verification process that ensures products are safe and drivers are vetted. Servicio also changes the delivery dynamic by giving 90% of the delivery fee to local couriers, with only 10% commission to Servicio.
With the peer-to-peer web platform, users can book their consignments with the goal of better brand placement for retail, e-commerce & SME industry at affordable pricing. Servicio benefits from low overhead costs, requiring neither warehouses nor a delivery fleet. It's a decentralized process of one person to one person, with no middleman or central distribution center to incur additional costs.
For individuals, the website platform allows users to sign up to book their own consignments. Local transport company owners can also participate. Servicio is banking both on the social welfare component of its mission, that not only motivates local couriers with the majority of delivery fee earnings, but also a royalty program, as well as the lure of cheap labor for companies wanting to offer local deliveries as an extra perk.
Servicio is currently an alpha stage company, which Mankitala brought to Collision 2018 to help raise interest and capital. Learn more at their website.
Mintor co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Kasra Khalili joined us at Collision 2018 to talk about his online connection platform for mentors and mentees (those being mentored). His own life experience, post-college, was the impetus for developing Mintor. It took several months of research and personal networking before he found the right professional guide for his needs. He ultimately found the experience so transformative and perspective-setting that he was inspired to help others more easily find their own personal experts and career guides.
While there are other matching platforms available for mentors and youth or under-represented populations, most are broad in scope. Mintor aims to create a more customizable and organic experience, utilizing a proprietary algorithm that screens for compatibility between mentors and mentees based on professional needs, level of current expertise, topics of interest, goal alignment, personality and learning style. After an initial match, student and guide meet to get to know one another and confirm compatibility.
The platform provides a scheduling tool for future meetings, as well as a continuous feedback loop to foster community moderation and performance accountability. The system also allows users to set learning goals, track their progress, and share milestones.
Currently in the alpha, pre-development stage, Mintor hopes to launch January 2019. With 60 mentees already in the pipeline, the company wants to build their network and get as many people as possible interested, and build out with multiple subscription-based platform offerings that range from access to one mentor to premium membership that expands user and platform feature options. Mintor also recognizes the need for mentoring in corporations, businesses, and universities, and plans to be able to provide the vital metrics these larger institutions value.
You can learn more at the Mintor website, where visitors are also invited to share their mentor stories.
Every generation has been impacted by times of great strife. On one hand, we've come so far, and on the other, we are stuck in the cycle of conflict. Same pattern, different topic. And being right in the middle of the current set of divisive circumstances, we can either sit by and hope it passes or we can get active and try to effect positive change. Luckily, more and more people are choosing the latter. They want to get involved in their communities, to make a difference. Unfortunately, it's not always so easy to get started.
Patrick English, Founder of WokeUp, came up with an easy-to-use platform to assist with community organization. The tool empowers citizens who are concerned about a particular topic to take direct action in their local areas. He came up with the idea after the 2016 elections as he felt that the viciousness of the election cycle revealed disconnects within our democracy. It had broken down to the point that people were no longer actually communicating with each other. The division between the ideologies was deepening and we needed a way to come back to a basic level of respect. What better way than to work together for a common, community-based goal to get back on track. We can all work towards a shared purpose to realize that there is more that can bring us together than there is that divides us.
Their mission at WokeUp: "(to) Develop the necessary political infrastructure for the 21st century through a virtuous social network, providing technology tools and resources for effective activism. Encourage the smallest acts of justice and kindness, with an understanding that the power of personal connection can shape our world. Make civic involvement simple, fun and an enduring American value."
BriteBee is a new way to shop for insurance that refreshes the experience for the online consumer as well as improving outcomes for insurance professionals. CEO and co-founder Keagan Henson joined us at Collision 2018 to share how BriteBee is disrupting the $1 billion a year insurance industry in a positive way by putting the consumer in charge.
With the BriteBee three-pillar platform of "Share, Compare, and Communicate," the customer maintains full control of their policy search process without falling prey to lead generation sites that collect and sell consumer info, and subject the customer to robocalls, spam and phishing threats. Customers share their information a single time, saving it to a secure and private profile that is not visible to insurance companies. They can then compare quotes, agents, and experiences in one place, choosing only the agency with which the customer wishes to work. The platform also gives customers the ability to request quotes from up to five agents at once. The consumer communicates with agents on his or her own time with no unwanted calls or emails from insurance companies, and consumer information remains private until the customer decides to share it.
By creating a consumer-controlled platform, the company looks to build trust and brand loyalty and seeks to build their revenue model off subscription services to agents rather than insurance customers. The benefit to agents is that by the time a customer decides to connect, it's a warm lead for them, from a potential client who reached out independently and who is ready for and expecting a quote. Agents have opportunities to market on the BriteBee site but in a controlled environment, through agent "spotlights" and blog features. BriteBee currently offers home, renters and auto insurance, with plans to expand as they grow.
You can learn more about the company at their website.
Field Complete makes managing contractors in the field easy and efficient. COO Timothy Tesluck joined us at Collision 2018 to tell us what sets this field management software apart from the others. One of the signature features of the platform, he says, it the fact that that it's "industry agnostic." That means Field Complete can and does handle contractor field services across a wide range of job categories, including property maintenance to plumbing, landscaping, appliance repair, green energy and more.
Additionally, Field Complete utilizes a job sharing feature so that companies on the platform can send jobs to each other. Currently being test marketed in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the job sharing feature allows vendors to share jobs across a wide range of industries, streamlining operations to the point where the platform basically becomes a job source for contractors.
Uber keeps coming up as the easy analogy for many of the services surfacing at Collision 2018, and it works here, too, as the company looks to release a customer application where a customer can take a photo of whatever is broken in their home, and a verified licensed technician can be at their door in a short time frame. Tesluck points out that the difference between Field Complete and Uber is that his platform empowers the field service industry with the right tools for contractors to compete in an in-demand economy.
The company prides itself on the fact that their co-founding team has a combined 50+years of field service management experience, and intimately understands the industry, its needs, and challenges. Field Complete is designed to be user-friendly, utilizes a route optimization feature for dispatchers and contractors, has easy to manage business rules and offers configurable software solutions. From estimating and assigning jobs to contractors, to monitoring and updating field service progress to collecting payment, Field Complete does it all.
Visit the company website to learn more.
Lloyd Reshard, CEO of Cognitive Big Data Systems, stopped by our Collision studio to tell us about their new software system. It provides a great way to get more security and upgrade your system without having to purchase new equipment as it works with your existing hardware. The software, AVAE, is a third party add in system that basically acts as a filter that is able to detect all the normal activity that is specific to your home and then alerts for unusual activity. It allows for the processing of real-time video data on your PC without having to change the cameras or video management systems. AVAE is able to remember the patterns of over 25M numbers per second and how they relate to each other without storing any of the numbers.
AVAE is unique because of the unconventional way that it processes large amounts of data. This quick and efficient system transfers regular video streaming into pixel data. Once pixelated, it is then able to detect and classify abnormal behaviors and patterns based on what is normal for a particular person, device, time of day or situation. AVAE can also issue automatic alerts and/or be programmed to take action as needed. The point, click and tag design offers real-time training of target objects with minimal setup.
Breefly is a cloud-based platform that simplifies business reporting while delivering multi-structured data and analyzed insights, as well as curated, actionable content to users. Founder and CEO Marcus Jimenez soft launched Breefly at Collision 2018, and spent some time telling us about the goals and value of the platform.
Jimenez found the impetus for Breefly while working with research and data clients who constantly needed help articulating data to make it more consumable and digestible for teams less interested in reading a 400 deck than getting to the crux of the matter. Breefly is an enterprise level type product built with the market research industry in mind, but which Jimenez says has broader corporate applications for a multitude of business reporting needs.
Essentially, the platform helps socialize impersonal data into meaningful stories. It integrates multi-structured data including text, imagery, and rich audio and video media, and allows users to create almost any type of shareable content for everything from business and sales briefs featuring data visualizations to general marketing and corporate communications to podcasts and video ethnographies. Users can create their customized briefs within minutes, for more palatable and meaningful business reporting.
Reports are end-to-end encrypted to remain secure and private, and the platform is cloud-based, giving users full control over their reports, with the ability to grant access as needed and only when needed. Because users love swiping, the system interface allows users to swipe left and right to visit the selected brief and a couple of taps to access the story-based format of data and content. The system allows users to create flash briefs, good for general recaps and summaries; marketing briefs for things like trends reports and campaign summaries; research briefs for executive summaries and tracking study updates, and video briefs for ethnographies, video project updates, and corporate communications. Briefs are also auto-tagged upon creation, so users can simply use the keyword search to easily search and view briefs.
Visit the Breefly website to learn more.
With everything being quantified these days, user testing has become important within multiple business applications. Paul Cheek, CEO of Vempathy, was at Collision Conference 2018 to showcase their new online usability testing platform and video analysis software.
He explained how there are now a lot of companies that put a lot of emphasis on user research. But it is so time-consuming to go through hours and hours of video to discern the insights and emotions required for this type of research. Vempathy's AI approach is able to bring research faster and at scale. The process starts at the project launch when clients decide what exactly they want to be tested, whether it be their website, onboarding flow, or even a new feature. They then send their Vempathy URL to the testers so that they can record themselves.
In the next step, they review the qualitative results with their emotion analysis technology. Vempathy produces qualitative emotion reports so that can easily identify the most insightful moments of the user's recordings to then collaborate with their clients on annotations. And it's not just raw data. They also produce short highlight reels of the most emotional moments that can be shared with the teams.
When it comes time to present the results, this is where they shine. Their specialty is extracting quantitative data from the qualitative research. They provide a reporting suite that provides clients with quantitative data, which can be presented to the entire team to not only justify changes but also inspire action. Output includes journey maps that are automatically generated that allow clients to measure emotion throughout the user experience. There are also iterative Results that show how user emotion valence is increasing and decreasing from iteration to iteration. And advanced emotion tracking is more of a deep dive on all of the 4,200 emotion data points that are tracked by the millisecond.
To learn more about their process and pricing, be sure to visit their website after the interview.
ShuttleBee is a tech-enabled transportation service for kids. A what? No, you read that correctly. And founder, Kristina Fahl, stopped by our Collision 2018 studio to explain how this idea really isn't all that far-fetched.
In a nutshell, they take kids from one place to another. And we admit when you first hear the concept, one of the first things to come to mind is... I would never put my children in a rideshare vehicle alone. But then when you really think about it, we do it all of the time, with friends and family, on school buses and in daycare vans. And certainly without all of the ingenuity and safety features that come built into ShuttleBee. This platform offers brand new options for getting your kids to school, activities, and events. They are fully insured and operate with strict protocols designed to keep your kids safe. Their drivers and walking supervisors are our well-vetted and the routes are always monitored.
We are all caught up in our own hectic lives. Juggling multiple balls to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. But inevitably, life throws us those monkey wrenches that can be tough to dodge. From getting the kids to school while not missing those early morning meetings to needing to get different kids to different activities in different parts of town. We can all use an extra hand (or car) from time to time. And you definitely will not have to worry about them not being "in your sights" while they are riding. Services include a Route Supervisor who is immediately available while the kids are in transit. There is also instant message via chat included as well as GPS monitoring. And if you're like us, you'll have that up during the entire ride.
There are three ways to use their services. Whether you need to use them on a regular basis, or as the perfect back up plan, ShuttleBee has a plan for you. They offer Group Transportation, have Hourly Rates and also Custom Chauffeur/Event Services. All are great options to safely get your kids where they need to go. The Group Transportation is for parents who are looking to set up daily transportation for their children. ShuttleBee works with them to match their kid's travel plan with other children heading in the same direction. They consider it their most cost-effective plan. The Hourly Rate plan is for parents who are looking to book a group by minivan or daycare bus routine service or things like single field trips or events. This option makes it easy for the cost to be divided among riders if needed. Lastly, the Chauffeur Service is perfect for specific appointments or those early-mornings work meetings that keep you from being able to drop the kids off at school. This service will offer routes that are competitively priced and include in-vehicle video monitoring.
If you would like more information about this unique and convenient service, make sure to check out the full interview and then head over to their website for more specifics and updates.
WorkHERO by Encast is a great platform designed for employees to be excited about their potential ability to be philanthropic and support a charity or cause that they truly love and are passionate about. This sits very well with them and the results are that the company they work for has better productivity and happier employees. Verizon and Campbells have funded a research project called ROI that interviewed a lot of companies and found that corporate social responsibility programs that use platforms like this see a 7.5% increase in engagement and 13% increase in productivity.
CEOs like WorkHERO because having happy and satisfied employees reduces turnovers. It has been proven that there is a 31% increase in productivity and a 37% increase in sales when WorkHERO was available in their company. When a company has to let someone go, there is a loss in the productivity of their position. There has to be a replacement and that costs the company money to train someone new. It is 10 times more costly to attract and hire a new employee than to retain an existing one.
Millennials make up more than 50% of the current workforce today and they want more than just a job. They are looking for work culture and community involvement so to them their job has meaning. They feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their employer when the company embraces charitable giving that aligns with their passions and community projects. WorkHERO allows employees and employers to find that common ground.
WorkHERO is the only workplace giving tool that offers fee-free giving. The management felt that it was an important part of their business model because it guarantees that the charities receive more of the pledged money than with any other platform.
For more information go to encast.gives.
Mai Atta is a co-founder of Humachina, a career board site powered by Marvin, an artificial intelligence career coach who crunches the numbers to help users find the perfect job. Currently in beta mode, Humachina aims to help both job seekers and those seeking career advancement.
Atta and her team, all from Cairo, were inspired to develop Humachina as a result of their convoluted journeys to their current careers. They worked in fields outside their majors and spent years uncovering their true passions and discovering the right paths to them. They felt there should be a better way to explore career options more efficiently at an earlier stage. Thus was born Humachina, which uses sets of psychological assessments within a holistic framework to suggest career, development and vocational options for job seekers intended to be in closer alignment with their actual skills and interests, so users can develop greater professional awareness to make more informed career decisions.
When a user registered on the site, a short two-minute chat with Marvin the AI Career Counselor gives the AI system a sense of where the job seeker is, and where he or she wants to be. Then Marvin creates a customized profile for the user, which can be accessed and updated as needed. Where the usual ratio of job counselor-to-student is about one per 500 students, Marvin is a dedicated personal adviser. The platform helps users identify valuable skills for the current job market, learn what's new in the employment arena, makes professional learning and development recommendations, and helps source related online MOOCs and relevant offline courses at nearby Community Colleges or Universities.
Whether someone wants to be a data scientist or a professional surfer, Marvin makes no judgments, only crunches the numbers. It can detect if a user is bored, or focused more on skills than interests, or if the user wants to say something further. The AI will provide percentages of career fit, plus odds for success based on career development paths, predicting when the user will be able to achieve the career of choice, based on the selected professional and personalized Learning Path. It also helps select the best style of learning for the user, based on whether it understands the user to be a visual or auditory learner. With a database of 140,000 jobs, Marvin can also make recommendations based on location, travel and relocation preferences.
Rolling out Humachina at Collision 2018, Atta and her team are hoping for exposure and funding, so they can expand out beyond their proof-of-concept beta test location in New York City. You can meet Marvin at the company website to learn more.
Glorius Corporation is an online platform which caters to international buyers who are looking to finance homes here in the United States. Cofounder, Renee Crawford was available to discuss the details with us. They launched earlier this year and aim to bring these very specific buyers together with lenders who specialize in foreign investment mortgages. To begin, they have focused on property in Florida, but are looking to expand to other states as the business grows.
There is definitely a market for real estate sales to buyers and investors from other countries. It is not, however, always easy for these buyers to obtain financing for these large purchases. Most conventional lending institutions have little to no appetite for making loans in this arena due to the potential risks. And the application process is long and cumbersome with multiple requests for more documentation and can still result in your loan request being denied. Renee and her partner saw a perfect opportunity to help both buyers and investors and seized the opportunity.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, but are looking to purchase property and don't want to use up all of your cash in the process, Glorius is ready to assist. They make the financing process quick and easy with closings in as little as 5-10 days in some cases. They also enable you to look at multiple lenders and loan options with the ability to negotiate your own terms. No credit reports are required and it's up to you if you want to provide financial statements of income and assets for improved terms. You will receive help throughout the process, removing the pain of complex and restrictive guidelines. And your personal data will remain anonymous until you agree and accept the terms you negotiate with your lender.
And the service is unmatched on the investment side, as well. If you are looking for better investments with high return & low risk, Glorius will match you up with the right buyer. You'll be brought together with private individuals to negotiate your terms and manage the documentation directly. You will be the holder of the mortgage and have the ability to choose the terms, interest rates and points that best fit your plans.
You can get more information in the full interview, as well as by visiting their website.
Ian Bernstein, the founder of Misty Robotics, joined us at Collision 2018 to talk about Misty, the advanced personal robot with professional grade, programmable sensors, bringing us ever closer to the reality of a useful robot in every home and office. Evolved from Sphero, Misty is a robot made for developers of every skill level.
Inspired by the household robot imagery that he grew up with, like Rosie in the Jetsons and the android assistants in Star Wars, Bernstein started building his own robots when he was just 12. Eight years ago, he launched Sphero, an app-enabled, connected play robotic ball now used in STEM education programs in 10,000-15,000 schools worldwide. From there he developed the popular home version of BB-8, a droid character in the Star Wars franchise. Misty is the next generation of Bernstein's robot imagination, an outgrowth of his interest in telepresence robotics. Taking a page from devices like the Amazon Echo, and how people interact with it, Bernstein decided it was more important that his version of a personal robot leverage the power of personality, with telepresence capabilities, but also much more.
It's easy to program in a variety of languages, as well as through a visual block programming interface. Users can modify robot functionality as desired and it is also hardware hackable. Misty comes equipped with far-field microphones, voice and face recognition, capacitive touch, bump and depth sensors and more. The magnetic panels are easy to remove, as are simple screws in other locations, and the robot is well equipped with serial and USB ports, along with an Arduino backpack to enable further customization of responses and actions.
Misty comes in two versions, with an MSRP of $3200 although there are discounts and a referral program to reduce costs. Misty I is available now, and Misty II ships in December. Right out of the box, Misty is able to generate a detailed floor plan of your home, and charge herself at the nearest outlet, as well as perform some other basic tasks. With a wealth of developer tools on the website and an active developer community, imagination is the only limit to creating customized user functionality with Misty. You don't even have to own the robot yet, to be active in the Misty Robotics community. All you need is an interest in robots.
You can learn more and follow Misty's journey at the Misty Robotics website.
The process of buying a new car has not always been the best or easiest experience for most people. Now Jonathan Grisley, who was previously associated with Kelley Blue Book and Nissan, has developed an ingenious and immersive app for purchasing your next new car called SPIN.
This app is so very user-friendly and exciting to look at. As most potential buyers usually spend approximately 14-15 hours online doing research before narrowing down their choices and making their decision, with SPIN the colorful and beautiful pictures make it less stressful than flipping pages and clicking on numerous buttons. Because the photos are of extremely high quality it seems you can almost reach out and touch the cars. There are approximately 35 photos offered per vehicle. The specs are easy to see and very clearly stated.
Safety is one of the most important reasons people choose certain vehicles. With SPIN, all of the safety features are right there front and center. There are areas for specific information such as how much legroom and headroom is in a certain car. It shows very clearly where all the airbags are located and gives a diagram for blind spots which is a very important feature. There is a great animated feature for collision warnings and an autonomous braking system which proves in today's world, that technology is here to stay.
In addition to all of this, one of the best other features is the simplicity of the language used in the app. Many other car companies use such unfamiliar terms for the description of their product and their features. Such as in the case of Audi, which refers to their mentioning of Quattro, which is nothing more than all-wheel-drive. Having consistent terminology makes it easier to compare one brand to another without worrying about why one car has a seemingly important feature and another seems to be missing a similar feature.
If you want to experience it now, the app is currently available for both iPhone and iPad. After getting investments, they hope to bring it to Android. For more information go to the company website.
There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to go to an event such as a concert or a play or even a movie and not having anyone to go with. Worse yet is trying not to drag or coerce a friend to accompany you who really doesn't want to go at all. GoWithMe is an event-based app specifically designed for finding someone to accompany you through a common interest.
The catalyst for this creation came about when Amanda Denatala, the company's founder, had her 17-year-old daughter looking for a new group of boys for her to choose from to date. In an effort to try to solve some of the issues of security and catfishing now found in today's society, she shared the request with her husband. He suggested that they either said no directly, knowing that she would probably do it anyway. The other option was to find a way under their parameters. The daughter agreed and found herself struggling with all the questions asked of her. She felt like she was looking for a husband! It showed that there was a big gap in the market. Amanda needed to fix it as she had 3 more children younger than her oldest daughter. It was a scary world that they would be facing as they grew up especially since most people lie on their profiles. After much research and reading, she just started seeing what worked. Instead of feeling inadequate about other profiles compared to hers, she tried posting that she had tickets to a certain concert and hoped someone would respond. They did and her idea was born.
This app can also be used for finding a golf partner or a group to play cards with as it can be adjusted for multiple people. There is a built-in security feature that tracks you. When the event is over you let the app know the event is over and that if you don't, it may think you are in a dangerous situation. It will text you to see how you liked the event. If you don't respond, it will send a text to a pre-designated emergency contact. It can connect to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Google. The event tickets have 3 different options: you pay for tickets, which is called paid, or stag which is like Dutch treat or sponsored which is like asking someone to pay for the tickets because you have no money.
The app is available now. Check out the company website for more information.
There has been a lot of progress in the agricultural field these days. We met Alexander Olsen the CEO of Babylon Micro-Farms, which is producing a low-cost hydroponic system for in-home and commercial use. This system uses 90-95% less water and produces a better crop of produce and plants than if they were grown outdoors. All you need is an active water line like for your refrigerator.
This process is touted to be the future of agriculture. There are no GMOs or pesticides used so the health aspect is greatly improved. The growth rate is 2 times faster than the traditional way. Another benefit is that with the traditional way, you lose 50% of the nutrients within a day of harvesting. The best part of this is that you are the one doing the harvesting and you get it as fresh as it can possibly be.
This is being targeted for various markets such as consumer and restaurants. In the restaurant business, it is necessary to order fresh produce from all over the world on a daily basis. This system will eliminate that. The freshness factor will definitely be enhanced. It is in the form of a dose pack that is simply put in a pod similar to a Keurig. The pods are pre-measured for a single serving. The dose control recreates the perfect environment for each particular crop so that you can program in what it is you want to grow and how to grow it. This results in a very consistent and successful crop of your chosen plant.
Finding the right staff was a challenge for Alexander. He had to look long and hard to find people who were dedicated and meshed with each other. They also had to be willing to work very long hours for very little pay at first.
The current unit is similar to a refrigerator in size. It measures 4x2.5x6 feet. Hopefully, it will be available in the next 6-9 months at a price point of $8,000.00. For more information go to the company's website.
In these strange times, there is a lot of civic activity all across the country. We get a glimpse of some of the larger events that take place, but only from the point of view of the channel that we happen to be watching. What's really happening down among the participants? What is their actual message and how are these messages being translated among them? Also, on the flip side, companies and groups that sponsor and have created these events want to make sure that they not only get maximum exposure but that it is from a perspective that is as fresh and unaltered as possible.
We got a chance to learn about a new online and mobile platform that aims to create an engaging and seamless interface between organizing, participating and viewing these civic events as they happen when Edward Hill, IV, President and co-founder of CausEcho stopped by the studio. Basically, this platform simplifies the process for civic engagement by giving the various advocacy groups the ability to not only create/advertise their events in the system, and also the ability to mobilize and livestream them. The types of events include demonstrations, rallies, fundraisers and disaster relief efforts.
Potential activists can discover and support the causes of their choice. They can then either actively participate in the events, donate or both. Users can explore the event pages of the various advocacy groups and watch the live, or past, video footage that is uploaded by attendees. Everything is in one place, with the best moments highlighted through the eyes of those that were there as the content is uploaded using real-time video and photo footage. This not only gives viewers a truer perspective of the content, but also helps to increase overall awareness for these cause oriented events.
Learn more about the platform's ability to increase awareness, promote, organize, fundraise and engage communities in the full interview and then check out their website here.
For anyone who has tried to buy shoes online, they have found that each company has its own sizing. This makes shopping hard because customers wind up returning their purchases. In fact, up to 10-30% of online shoe purchases are returned because of improper fit. Daniele Delle Case, CEO of Addi.fit, has come up with a clever and easy way to help solve all these problems. This idea came to Daniele because when he was a soccer player, he had problems finding the proper fit for his soccer shoes because not all brands in his size were fitting him.
The process starts with taking only 2 photos of the top of your feet which creates a 3D model. It then compares the sizes of the shoes. It uses the statistics of the 3D picture and extracts the info and creates your personal data for the selection of your shoes. It then holds this information in a personalized profile after your first purchase for future purchases. This makes your online shopping faster and easier. As Daniele said, "shop faster for the cart!"
This is a process that will benefit many people of all ages. Think of small children whose feet change and grow quickly, sometimes weekly. The photos have to be updated on a regular basis to ensure a proper fit for growing feet. With the elderly, there are many medical reasons to keep up with their feet. The onset of arthritis and rheumatism causes the feet to become misshapen and very hard to fit. Comfort is so very important
to our seniors' well-being.
This is not a platform for the consumer specifically. It is targeted for online retailers to improve the shopping experience of their customers. The cost for the retailer is free and costs nothing until purchases are made. Then it is 1 Euro ($1.13 US) per transaction.
Daniele has plans for the future of Addi.fit. He wants to be able to create his own line of custom-made shoes and at the same time be able to promote their designs with other designers and their ideas. He feels this is a good starting point to help other designers and the economy. He is hoping for this to be happening in 2-3 years out. For more info go to the company website.
Sirli Roosnomm, who represents Horizon Business Hub, has brought us a new and exciting device for health care. There is now available a test to detect astigmatism early in children long before other machines can. This is called DAT, which is the Direct Astigmatism Test. That is a very important thing to be able to do. There are other machines out there that will do this but the children are as old as 7 or 8. This machine will catch this problem as young as 3 or 4.
The DAT will also be able to find an undetected issue such as a heart problem which could result in a serious or fatal heart attack if not found. Myasthenia Gravis, a genetic disorder, is an abnormal weakening of certain muscles and is difficult to detect because there are so many other disorders which also have those symptoms. Just going to a doctor sometimes doesn't get results early enough. Most people do not even go for a checkup unless there are real problems and many times it is too late to correct them. With DAT you can find any issues and talk to your doctor about them.
With children, having them take an eye test is difficult because they may not be old enough to read an eye chart yet. DAT uses LED lights and colors to assist with their results. It asks them what do they see and they respond by answering simple questions. In adults, they are asked about textures of surfaces as well as colors. Since they say the eyes are the mirrors of the soul, there may be underlying health issues that could go unnoticed until too late.
Sirli sees that there are many people that could use this early detection whose very job it is to use their eyes specifically, such as pilots, truck drivers, or even surgeons. This test is very easy and can be self-administered if needed, although it is not being marketed for home use. The price point is somewhere around $1,500.00. They are hoping to be able to make an app for it to be available for a mobile device. For more info go to the company website.
One of the hardest parts of creating a product is getting the billing system together. Creating a pricing structure, then programming an interface to a billing system, and then creating a script to run on a regular basis to charge the customer for the billing level is complicated. Add to that having a customer who wants to upgrade or downgrade their features. What happens when a credit card gets declined? There are a lot of conditions to consider, and getting it right the first time is difficult.
Luckily, Servicebot is here to remove the difficulty. Rather than having to consider all of those billing questions, Servicebot allows a developer to focus on their product's features and, with just a few lines of code, can implement Servicebot to handle all of the billing conditions. All you have to do is create an account, setup your billing options, embed the code on your website and let Servicebot handle the rest. The service supports recurring billing, as well as discounts for paying annually, and add-in features on top of your standard subscription. There is really no standard billing scenario that cannot be handled through this service.
From a management standpoint, companies can see all of their information about subscriptions and purchases in one place. The dashboard shows information like conversions (how many people became customers), churn rate (how many users left the platform), total subscriptions, paying subscriptions, invoice rate and more. These features make Servicebot not just a developer's best friend, but also is an important tool for management, as well.
In addition to the plug-and-play capabilities, Servicebot also offers a full-featured API to implement capabilities in a more customized way. This gives developers the ability to include billing management directly in their product, rather than relying on a website to manage billing. It also allows developers to test the features that a user is paying for to ensure that they are receiving all of the features they are supposed to get.
Servicebot is available now with pricing based on monthly revenue.
If you have spent any time online interacting with new people, you know it can be a questionable experience. Is the person you are talking to the person they claim, or are they possibly a St. Bernard that got ahold of a phone? There is absolutely no great way to tell. That question becomes even more important when you are considering inviting the person into your life, either as a date, a client, a housekeeper, babysitter, or more. That is where SafetyPIN Technologies comes in.
Their platform allows a person to generate a third-party verified account that shows that they are likely a safe person. Think of it like a background check that you perform on yourself, but you only share a verified status with others. The recipient does not get to see the results of the check, they only get to see that you have a verified SafetyPIN. This idea creates an environment of protection for both individuals: the sender's privacy is protected and the recipient's safety is protected.
So, how does it work? Let's say you want to be a house sitter, and you sign up on an online platform for people looking for house sitters. Before you do, you go get a SafetyPIN. The company will ask some questions about you to be able to do research. This will include SSN for a background check, as well as personality-type questions to look for problems. Once the process is done, if you are deemed to not have major red flags, you will receive a personal identification number (PIN), that you can share with prospective clients of your house sitting business. If red flags are found, you will not receive a PIN.
SafetyPIN is already supported by some big-name services, like LinkedIn, Bumble, HomeAway, and Nextdoor, and the company plans to expand their partnership network over time. You do not need to be on a supported platform to request a PIN from someone else, though, as you can verify right on the company's website.
When most people think of data analytics, the industry that comes immediately to mind is finance. While that association makes sense, in reality, any industry can benefit from looking at data. As the technology has improved and artificial intelligence platforms have become more accessible, the businesses that have benefited the most involve a lot of manual processes. For example, office cleaning. The process is almost entirely manual, with people traveling from location to location and performing fairly repetitive tasks.
RozaRoute is a new product designed to analyze cleaning company behaviors and help these companies better estimate the cost of new contracts. Starting out, the product can use standard timings for things like cleaning windows, vacuuming floors, and more, to create a time estimate for a new contract. You enter the needs of the contract, and it will base its estimates on averages across the RozeRoute customer base. Over time, it will learn your team's timings and increase the accuracy of your estimates even more.
For example, let's say a company has 3 offices, a conference room with a table, and a waiting area. This office wants the floors vacuumed twice per week, windows cleaned weekly, and the trash taken out daily. By entering the information about this contract into RozaRoute, you can get an accurate estimate on how much time, and how many people, will be required to accomplish this job. In the past, you had to manually calculate and hope you got it right, then probably add 10% on top to account for miscalculations. With RozaRoute, you know that your estimates are more accurate and, therefore, there is less waste for you and the client.
RozaRoute is looking for early access and beta testers now.
All of the big businesses focus a lot of their advertising money into digital marketing. Whether it be through search ads, pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll video ads (like on YouTube or Facebook), live ads (like on Twitch), or podcasts, digital is the place to be. Unfortunately for small businesses, the cost to get into digital advertising and to see any success from it is so high they normally cannot participate. That is exactly the problem that Contento set out to solve.
The team members had previously worked for standard ad agencies and had noticed that small businesses simply could not participate. They like to think of Contento as your "virtual, digital marketer." To create a lower cost solution, Contento looked for efficiencies provided by technology. As a client, you help them create a profile of your business, by browsing through related sites, by describing your business and your customer base, the algorithm is able to generate a model of the company.
Once the model is created, the system will tell you which online channels will be a good fit for your business. For example, a media company would likely have success on YouTube and Facebook, but might not have any need for Google+ or Instagram. Contento will also help create content for those channels, especially targeted for each channel. For example, a square video is successful on Instagram, portrait-style video works best for IGTV, while traditional landscape video is more successful on YouTube.
While there may be a lot of technology involved in the system, one of the things that Contento prides themselves in is the human factor. Currently, the company works directly with their clients to ensure that what is being produced is in line with the needs of small businesses. This is an important feature because many small businesses place a high value on knowing the people that they are dealing with, and knowing that there is a person there if they are in need.
Contento is available now, starting at $75 per month for the automated service.
Imagine being at an event, like a music festival, with your friend or family member, with thousands of attendees. You each go different directions and agree to meet back up in an hour. When that hour comes up, you cannot find your friend, so you call them to try and sync up. You each try and describe where you are in a sea of similarities, making it nearly impossible, and definitely annoying, to finally find one another. Most people can relate to this scenario, and we have all wished there was an easier solution to the problem.
Enter Flaregun AR, an Augmented Reality platform that is the middle ground between making AR useful and helping you find your friends at an event. Reimagining the previous example, when you cannot find your friend, rather than calling them and giving vague directions, you simply open the Flaregun AR app, request to find your friend, and use the camera and GPS built-in to your phone to locate your friend. It works very similar to Pokemon Go, in that you can see through your camera on your screen, and arrows point you toward your "target," only in this case you're not looking for Pikachu. Once you have your phone pointed at your friend, you can begin moving toward one another.
Obviously, this is way better than trying to call, for a number of reasons. First, you're not dependant on your friend to give you accurate location information. Instead, the Flaregun platform does all of the work for you. Second, at a concert, festival, conference, etc., the noise is going to make it more difficult to hear. Even better, it works for more than just finding friends at an event. You can drop waypoints for things like your parking spot and never fight over which section you parked in at the mall or theme park.
Flaregun AR is available now for iOS, with Android capability coming soon.
Today, there are so many different ways to find a job that the process can be overwhelming. That's mostly because the majority of the work is placed on the applicant, despite the fact that both sides have a vested interest in the process. While the job seeker is in need of work, the company is in need of someone to fill an opening. So, why does the job seeker always have to apply to the company, instead of the other way around? Findable believes that companies should be able to apply to job seekers, and that is exactly what their platform allows.
If you are searching for a job, you can create an account on Findable. Once you sign in, the system will walk you through setting up your virtual resume. The profile is broken into basic sections, like Contact Info and Languages, but also has more practical sections, like Experience, Education, Responsibilities, and Skills. After your profile is created, it will generate a resume for you, based on the information you entered. You can download and share this resume in any way you seem fit.
However, where Findable sets itself apart is in its reverse search capability. Rather than you searching for open positions, companies with open positions will search for you. Based on your resume, they can locate the candidates that match their requirements. If you meet their needs, they can contact you and pitch the job to you. From there, you will go through a fairly standard hiring process, all logged through the platform. You can see how many profile views you've had, whether you have been shortlisted by employers, as well as see how many have listed you as contacted, interviewing, and hired.
You can create your profile now for free and start looking for the right job.
Our team was very excited to meet Mike Brown and hear about his new app called MySongList. This is a creative new app for allowing people to access entertainment, particularly live music. It is basically a virtual jukebox for live music. The user can literally be sitting in his living room and can listen to an artist who is performing somewhere maybe across the country and hear it live without being there. The user can then enter a request for certain songs and not interrupt the artist.
One of the cooler things is the ability to purchase their merchandise, such as CDs, shirts or posters. You are also able to put in a tip for their granting your requests. Payment can be made through the app. The app makes listening to your favorite genre of music even from around the world live as it is occurring. It can also notify the user when a certain artist is about to go live so that they can log in and listen to the concert. They can virtually "attend" a concert without actually being there and still request songs. You can even listen in your bunny slippers!
As an artist, you any be very skilled in certain genres of music. With this app, you can tailor the list to your audience for each venue, depending on the area you are playing in. People in that area can then request a song or songs from that list as it goes into the queue. Another feature is the proprietary software that allows you to see your lyrics or chords as you are playing.
Mike's partner is a programmer. He came home from a gig unhappy. It seems the paper he'd passed out to tables for song requests were all getting soaked with spilled beer. It costs the artist money to provide that paper and the people still were walking up to him and asking for requests instead of writing it down. Hence the idea for MySongList is born. Other musicians were all on board and loved the idea of networking on the app.
Another fun area to use this is for karaoke. When you use it for this, you can see in the queue where you are in the lineup to sing. If your party is anxious to leave and you have one last song to sing, you can pay a little bit, say $1.00-$5.00 for a "priority bump". What a cool idea for karaoke! There is no cost to the user for this app. However, the artists will pay$20.00 a month for the year. There is the ability to add a tip from the listener.
For more information got to MySongList.com.
The list of problems caused by landfills seems to keep getting longer, day by day. As does the growing frustration of those of us who are concerned about the environment. We've come a long way with many recycling initiatives. With large cities making big strides to become zero waste, to large beverage companies recycling water. And recycled items including things like roads, trophies and even jackets. But there are still so many items that we can't seem to do much with. At least not anything truly useful.
Luis Martinez is the CEO of Lixo Verde, a Brazilian company that is taking recycling to extraordinary new heights. The name itself means green waste. Their intent is to get the waste out of nature. He stopped by our studio at Collision Conference 2018 to give us the details of this amazing process that recycles tires. That's right, tires! And not into playground ground cover or heavy ottomans this time.
The company developed a pyrolysis reactor. Basically, they collect the used tires from auto mechanic shops and a chemical reaction occurs inside the chamber of the reactor. Now, you might think that this would have the opposite effect on the environment. But actually, there is no oxygen in the chamber, therefore no combustion inside. The result is a very potent gas and a black carbon powder. The powder goes right back to the industry to make more rubber for tires. And the gas can be used to make energy. This process recycles 100% of each tire. No waste and the materials get sold back for reuse. They are currently focusing on tires, but in the future, the system can be also used for plastics and any petroleum-based materials. They also look forward to someday moving forward with other forms of waste.
After you watch the full video to learn more about the process and their two pilot plants in Brazil. You can also visit their website.
In the Information Age, one of the things we have learned is that no one seems to know what their actual rights are, and that includes law enforcement. This gets even worse when you travel across the country, as things can change from town to town, not to mention from state to state. All of this combines into an environment where you may not know what you can and cannot do in any particular scenario.
Fortunately, thanks to mobile technology, we now have a product called Reyets (pronounced rights). This system is designed specifically to give you a heads-up on what your rights are wherever you are. Imagine walking down a sidewalk and being approached by a police officer. The officer begins to ask you questions that you feel are inappropriate to your current situation. Can you refuse to answer or are you required to interact with the officer? Can you simply walk away, or should you ask if you are free to go? Those requirements change based on location, but Reyets can tell you, based on GPS, what you can do and how you should react to the situation.
We all know that a simple situation can go from calm to chaos in the blink of an eye. We've all seen a simple traffic stop get out of hand and end in tragedy. Reyets knows this and includes the ability to record your incident. In fact, in areas without required two-party consent, the app will automatically record while the app is open. Afterward, you can decide what to do with the recording; you can share it on social media, contact the press, find a lawyer, and more.
Reyets is available now for iOS with Android coming in the future. Check out the company's website to learn more about the platform.
Online retail can be a challenge. Not because selling things online is particularly difficult, but because setting up the store has so many steps, and it has not gotten better in the past few years. While just a few years ago, potential customers were happy with some photos, today they expect photos, video and, in some cases, a full 3D rendering. If they're really fancy, maybe a customer expects VR or AR content. All of this can be expensive and ultimately time-consuming. For a small or medium sized business trying to build out a store, the challenge can be nearly impossible.
Prisma Systems has developed a system called XSPACE, which is designed to help fill in the gaps behind the scenes for online retailers. They developed a fairly large machine which is capable of creating the photos, videos, 3D renderings, and even VR content that will set any online retailer apart from its competition. This machine, which Scott referred to as a robot photographer, can currently handle products in a 4-foot cube, but they are still working on prototype hardware. They are working on a future model that would accommodate a mower, fridge or couch. Ideally, they would like to build the technology up to the point where they could even photograph something as large as a car.
The best part of this whole process is, as a retailer, you don't have to be a part of it at all. When you contract with a new distributor or manufacturer for a new product, you simply inform them that, as part of our process, we need one of each new unit shipped to our photography studio and Prisma takes care of the rest. What you get is a final product, consisting of all of the product information, completely consumable in the form you need for your shop. You can even have a marketing department or company use the images, including the AI-powered color correction and adjustment, to customize the images for their usage.
XSPACE is currently looking for beta users. To find out more about the platform or to sign up for beta access, check out the company's website.
Interest in renewable energy sources has been on the rise for the past few years and, with the cost of solar and wind power falling below coal for the first time in history, interest is sure to grow even more. The problem is, building a renewable energy system can be difficult for the average person. Regulations, construction rules, and financing can all get in the way far too easily. Luckily, Positive Energy is here to help mitigate a number of these problems.
Imagine you inherit a large plot of flat land in Arizona, and you have no reason to hold it. You discover that it is perfect for a solar farm, so you put together a plan to use the land to generate power. Once you're ready, you can head over the Positive Energy and submit your project on the platform to pitch your idea to investors who are interested in funding these types of projects. The system will even pair you up with investors who match certain criteria that make them appropriate for your plan. Once funded, you can maintain your due diligence documents within the system, so everyone involved knows exactly what is happening.
After the farm is built and you are generating electricity, Positive Energy can help you manage and monitor your equipment. With management dashboards, you can see the production, efficiency, and health of your entire property. You can see historical data and compare it to current data to look for anomalies, and even get reports on unexpected behaviors.
For investors, the system gives the ability to buy and sell assets easily. The whole process is done using blockchain, so when a project is initiated, a certain number of tokens are created. Those tokens' value fluctuates as the value of the project fluctuates. As an owner of a token, you can sell it at its market value, releasing you of the liability, but also of the future potential. The technology also protects all of the data in the system, including contracts and due diligence.
Positive Energy is available now for both investors and providers.
Ever since the industrial revolution, we've had inventors, engineers and architects forging out new and fantastic gizmos, machinery and buildings, all aimed at making our lives better. The brilliant and hardworking alike see a need and discover a way to fill it. We've become so used to it that now there are crafters and makers of all kinds who are able to use their creativity to do the same thing. We are living in a truly amazing time right now because even entrepreneurs are thinking outside of the box to fill a need that can make life easier for so many people.
When something is too big and cumbersome, it isn't long before somebody develops a way to make it more manageable, with more features to boot. And now, during a time when so many services are controlled by just a few large corporations and seem to be getting more expensive by the day, there are those who find a way to offer these services in a new way, at a much lower cost. Franco Sakkal is the co-founder of ClapCars, an Argentinian based company that has done just that. ClapCars is a vehicle-sharing service. This kind of sounds strange at first. But we rent out other people's houses now on such a regular basis that the entire travel industry has been taken by storm. So why not cars, too?
Basically, those who would like to rent their vehicles out to earn some extra cash will fill out some information on their web platform (the mobile app is still in development) to get started. Once accepted, they offer the vehicle with the dates available on the site. When rented, owner and renter agree upon a meeting place for pick up and drop off on the specified dates. ClapCars handles the vetting of both sides as well as other details. For example, the cars are covered against all risks by the insurer Sura, during the rental time.
Get more information about this service that is currently offered in Argentina in the full interview.
PLuGHiTz Live has had the pleasure of attending the Collision Conference since 2015. In that time, we have seen the conference change significantly. It has changed locations, starting in Las Vegas, Nevada, moving to New Orleans, Louisiana, and moving once again to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the 2019 show. We've also seen the event grow in size: in 2015, the event was 2 days and housed in a pair of permanent tents in the Nevada desert. This year, we experienced 3 days of exhibits in a large slice of an even larger convention center. We also had the opportunity to speak with Mike Harvey, the head of strategic communications for Collision Conference, as well as its big sister, Web Summit.
Most importantly, we have gotten to see the organization itself grow. While some people have come and gone, the core group has stayed the same. However, the team gets bigger every year and, with that, comes more confidence. Like any convention or conference, the team gets more comfortable with what they are doing every time, and with Collision, it has shown. That confidence has even grown beyond their walls, with the startup industry gaining confidence in the show.
Of course, the industry's acceptance of the show has meant that more companies want to be part of the fun every year. Because of that, the Collision team had the ability to curate the content better this year than any prior year. While 2015 was filled with "mad scientist" level startup pitches, today the show is filled with companies with an idea, a product, and a clear vision for their future. The show has definitely solidified itself as the place to be for serious startups, investors, media, and industry insiders.
Collision Conference is already looking for exhibitors for their 2019 show, and more information can be found on their website.
We've all heard the phrase, "Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it." Unfortunately, it is difficult not to ignore history, as it gets mangled and misinformation is introduced by "common knowledge." For example, that quote above is incorrect, as the correct quote is, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." That is just one reason why Ancient History Encyclopedia has produced a place to make learning and retaining the history of the world easier.
The non-profit behind the encyclopedia takes a very unique approach to creating content. First, they get an author who is an expert in their field: a historian, historical writer, archaeologist, etc. They then produce content in their field of knowledge, written so that it is historically accurate, though easy to understand. Then, the editorial team from Ancient History Encyclopedia reviews the content to ensure that it meets the requisite criteria of accuracy and comprehension.
The intention is to make the content not read like a dry research paper. Instead, the content should come to life, presenting the story in a compelling manner. A full story is far more interesting and attractive than a list of dates and facts. More interesting means that the reader is more likely to continue reading, to retain the information they read, and to continue to come back for more.
This combination of criteria and unique writing style has served the site well, earning them 20 million visitors per year and at least one web award. The concept has been so successful that even educators have taken to using it as part of their curriculum. In fact, about half of the site's users are in education, though they don't want to replace the traditional textbook.
Ancient History Encyclopedia is available now to all.
Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Etherium, have become a major topic of conversation, not only among technologists but also among the general population. As the value of Bitcoin skyrocketed, interest in its usage did as well. As the value has dropped, interest has not diminished by much. But, the problem is, few people understand exactly how to take advantage of this new style of virtual currency. If you are a retailer or a restaurant, for example, how can you accept Bitcoin in your establishment? Credit cards are easy enough, with payment processors available a dime a dozen, but what about cryptocurrencies?
Enter Wampei, the non-standard payment processor bringing cryptocurrency to a variety of businesses. Accepting cryptocurrency creates a number of efficiencies. For example, businesses have no need to worry about chargebacks, a massive source of loss for many businesses, because they not only lose the money but also the product, adding insult to injury. Since cryptocurrency works like cash, once a transaction is complete, it is complete - no take backs.
Also, since there are no financial institutions involved, the cost of transactions is far lower. With credit cards, companies can pay upwards of 10% of the transaction as a fee to the payment processor, depending on the processor and the type of card used. That means that products have to sell for a higher price to make up for the loss to the processor. With Wampei, however, they're not really a processor - more of a facilitator. Businesses whose average transaction is under $500, which is probably most, can save up to 80% over accepting credit cards.
With Wampei, you also don't need to have a bank account, which is not the case for credit cards. You can store your company's Bitcoin is an offline, protected wallet and only have enough available online for refunds, similar to having cash in your register. Converting your Bitcoin to standard currency is also fairly easy, as ATMs have begun popping up all over.
For more information on Wampei, or to sign up to begin accepting Bitcoin, check out their website.
One thing that makes education difficult is the fact that different people learn differently. For some, learning a physical skill can be done just by watching a video, or being around someone else who is performing the skill. For others, a step-by-step instruction makes the learning easier. This might be written, spoken, or even visual. For some, however, a more hands-on approach is needed to really master the skill. Unfortunately, having someone who can provide a hands-on educational experience is not always possible. That's where Vidoni comes in - to provide a hands-on experience when one isn't readily accessible.
The platform takes advantage of augmented reality, as created by the Microsoft HoloLens, to virtualize the hands-on experience. Take, for example, learning to play the piano. Watching someone else do it is nice but is probably not going to teach you the proper technique. Hearing a step-by-step could be a success, but could also take a long time. But imagine using a HoloLens to combine these techniques into a single experience. You can listen to a skilled instructor while watching their hands on the piano in front of you. You can literally put your hands on the same keys as the instructor, even though they are not in the room with you.
Of course, this platform is not limited to playing the piano. In fact, any instrument could benefit from this technology. But it goes far beyond just the reaches of musicians. Vidoni is the realization of Microsoft's idea of the HoloLens being used as a remote help tool for tasks such as fixing a leaky pipe. Rather than hiring an expensive plumber, you could get ahold of a HoloLens and have an expert show you exactly how to fix it, step-by-step, all without being in the room with you.
For more information about Vidoni and how it is being put to use, check out their website.
When most of us in North America think of the stock market, we think of the NYSE or NASDAQ. With that comes images of giant screens with real-time information, and tickers outside showing the exact price of any stock at any moment. We might even think of sites like MSN Money, where hobbyist investors can get near real-time information on stocks, as well - entirely for free. Unfortunately for those in other parts of the world, the experience is very different.
Take, for example, Ecuador. Their stock exchange runs on software that is sometimes 3 decades out of date. Even professional investors can struggle to get accurate information, making the value of the exchange far lower than it could be. That's where LYNX Trade comes in: they have developed a platform that is easy to implement and can greatly improve the value of the stock exchange by increasing the speed at which data is available.
In addition to the services for the exchange itself, LYNX Trade also provides services for investors themselves. Their platforms offer investors the ability to visualize the data in a variety of ways, similar to what we might be used to with the NYSE. Using graphs and charts, it is easy to see the progression of a particular stock, whether up or down, and use that information to make decisions. Not everyone likes graphs, though, so raw data is also available.
If you are a developer, there are tools for you, as well. Fully featured APIs allow outside software companies to interact with the data, as well. This can create a stronger market, just like platforms like MSN Money and a Bloomberg terminal, have greatly enhanced the value of other markets around the world. These platforms could even incorporate the data to bring greater awareness to the masses.
For more information on LYNX Trade, check out their website.
As most people who have been involved in internships can attest, these programs can often be chaotic. Some organizations will use interns as unpaid or low paid office assistants, while others will give them tasks that are mission critical, but that are outside of their realm of experience. Neither of these accomplishes the real goal of an internship, however: learning. The best way to have a successful internship program, for both the organization and the individual, is to have a structure implemented in advance.
Building these programs, and keeping them running smoothly can be difficult. Ahva Sadeghi had one of these less than productive experiences and wanted to help prevent other interns from going through the same thing. Symba, which she founded, is the result. This platform is designed to help organizations design a functional internship program and to give interns an idea of what the program will entail, as well as guide them through the process.
Symba manages the entire lifecycle of the internship process, from onboarding to offboarding, with project management, engagement, and even feedback mechanisms, built in. Never again does an intern have to feel as if they don't know what they are supposed to be doing, especially when someone is missing from the office, or feel like they aren't learning anything. Symba helps to remove all of these stresses from the experience. In addition, Symba helps an intern understand exactly where they are. For example, an intern can get a feel for the culture of a company as part of their onboarding experience.
Where Symba really shines, and part of the founding story, is in remote internships. Imagine interning for someone in another state, with whom you have little face-to-face contact. Add to that the possibility of that program manager traveling often, as is the case with many political internships. With Symba, an intern never needs to feel lost, and a manager never needs to feel guilty for leaving the intern without a valuable learning experience.
Symba is currently looking for beta users, and you can find out about the platform and the beta program on their website.
So, you've installed an array of solar panels on your roof in an attempt to get off of the grid. You calculated just how many it will take to produce enough power to eliminate your reliance on municipal power and installed the number of panels required to produce that power. Now, suddenly, you notice that you are receiving a bill from the power company again, but you just can't figure out why. If you had installed Coulomb by Picma, you would already know what was going on.
Coulomb is a hardware and software solution designed to monitor solar panels and report on unexpected and inappropriate behavior. For example, in our story above, there could be a tree that has grown a little, and its leaves are now blocking just enough of a solar panel to reduce production. Now, because of this tree, you are having to buy power from the power company again, despite having the hardware to avoid that. Coulomb can alert you to this scenario so that you can fix it before it becomes a problem.
While a tree is likely, another major possibility is a mechanical failure. Coulomb is just as capable of detecting this defect and alert you to its presence. Once you are aware of a mechanical problem, the platform can even help you locate a quality, certified technician to repair the problem. Fixing the problem quickly and properly can reduce the amount of time it takes to pay back the cost of your array.
Coulomb can help you calculate the overall payback time, taking into account the cost of electricity, the efficiency of your array, costs of maintaining the panels, and even the effects of weather conditions on overall production. The platform can even break your savings down per panel per month, so if you have different models, or have had one malfunction, you can see exactly how it affects you.
You can find out more about Coulomb by Picma on the company website.
Online affiliate programs have existed for as long as online has existed. These programs are often times what makes free online content, like ours, possible. Some affiliate programs, such as Newegg, rely on the visitor making a purchase for the affiliate to generate revenue. Others, such as Amazon Prime, have ways to generate revenue from cost-free experiences, such as trying Prime Video. While online affiliate programs are a good way for websites and services to generate revenue, a new concept in offline marketing is doing the same for individuals in the real world: Techlolli.
Through this program, individuals can make money simply by giving free things away, such as Audiobooks, or Uber and Lyft rides. Dara Randall, the founder of Techlolli, created the company in an attempt to bring a new aspect to the gig economy, one that allows someone to go to the places they might already go, and help people with something they already want.
The way it works is, every affiliate, or Brand Ambassador Entrepreneur (BAE) as Techlolli calls them, gets a unique code for their program. They then go to places where people want or need the free service being offered and help those people claim their service. For example, if you are a fan of music festivals, you could go to the festival and hand out business cards with an Uber and/or Lyft promo code on it. All the person has to do is sign up for the service, enter the promo code, and get a credit added to their account.
For the companies doing the marketing, it is a massive win. Rather than paying an employee or contractor a set rate for them to attend an event without any way of knowing how effective that person is, Techlolli allows the company to only pay for an interaction that benefits everyone involved. Accountability is therefore placed on both the advertiser and the Brand Ambassador Entrepreneur, making it a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Techlolli is available now and looking for new Brand Ambassador Entrepreneurs. To find out more about the company and how to become a Brand Ambassador Entrepreneur, head over to their website.
There are a lot of reasons why someone might be looking for space in a location for a short period of time. For example, a business person traveling for a conference like Collision Conference, needing an offsite office to conduct meetings. Or maybe a small baker who needs to produce a large number of products in a short time needing a bigger kitchen. Both of these situations, and a lot more, create a difficult situation for the searcher, as there has never been a good way to locate short-term spaces.
That problem is thing of the past, thanks to GotSpot, a new platform for listing and finding short-term rentals on spaces. The concept is similar to Airbnb, except that the listings are for commercial spaces. For example, imagine you own a yoga studio, and you run classes 4 days per week. That means that your space is empty for 3 days per week. Rather than letting the space go to waste, you could list it on GotSpot for those 3 days and potentially generate some revenue from other yoga instructors who need a space for their classes.
Another creative use of the platform is for art galleries. The gallery could rent space during down times to artists to allow them to shows their works. They could also rent space to other groups for more social events. For example, while we were at Collision, our hotel lobby converted itself into a local art studio to exhibit local artwork, as well as having cocktails and snacks, creating a fun atmosphere where we met some of the locals, as well as others staying at the hotel.
Obviously, the platform also works well for more traditional spaces, such as offices and storefronts. Owners of empty office space or storefronts can use the platform to offer those spaces for short-terms. Offices can be useful for those traveling, while storefronts can benefit during seasons other than Halloween, from companies other than Spirit Halloween.
GotSpot is currently available in a limited test in Houston, Texas, with plans to expand their reach into other cities over the coming months.
I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of PR firms in the world. In fact, there are probably a lot of PR firms in your zip code. Most work with companies in a similar way: create a message, hammer that message in. It's certainly the tactic that we see most often online, through platforms like YouTube and Facebook, while we're trying to watch a video. The problem with that is, while we may remember the commercial, we don't feel connected to the message.
Top Figure takes a different approach, working to connect potential customers to brands through storytelling. Many people buy products and services because of emotion, and creating a compelling story for the company is a way to connect emotionally with the brand. They use a variety of platforms to accomplish this goal, but focus on social media because of its direct connection to customers and its ability to tell stories.
The story of this company is definitely a unique one, and told best by CEO Abdi Hassan. To summarize, Abdi started selling candy bars out of his locker in high school. While against the rules, his endeavor was so successful he began renting friends' lockers and quickly franchised the concept. He was eventually caught and his enterprise shuttered. He did quickly discover an interested in selling shoes, and moved his passion there.
After high school, he decided that he didn't want to be an employee of another company, but instead wanted to run his own business, which you probably guessed from his past experience. He started the company as a web design shop, and eventually started offering branding and marketing advice as well. While this is not an unusual pivot, what makes it unusual is Abdi's understanding of the intricacies of proper branding and his passion for it.
If you are looking to grow your brand or just starting to build it out, check out Top Figure's website for more information.
In decades past, the way we planned our travel was very different from today. Rather than going to a website and hoping that the place we are headed has a hotel and excursions that are worth paying for, we would go to an expert on the topic: a travel agent. Losing the travel agent means we lost that expert advice and trusted recommendations on where to go and what to do while there.
A new platform called takeabed is trying to return the expert advice without having to rebuild the infrastructure that was needed to have travel agents all over the country. Taking advantage of the growing gig economy, takeabed is turning your friends into the travel agents. There are a lot of benefits to having your friends help you with your travel plans. Theoretically, your friends know you and the things you enjoy, and therefore are able to recommend experiences from their own past that they believe would be a good fit for you. This takes the expertise of the agent and adds the benefit of personal knowledge.
If you are traveling to an area where none of your friends have experience, you can actually engage a local takeabed agent to get an expert view from an established local expert. Working with your friends or a local expert can significantly reduce your chances of staying in a hotel that is a problem, and can help you avoid places that sound interesting but are actually tourist traps. Instead, you can find those hidden jewels that you might have missed previously.
Obviously agents have a benefit of making a commission on their sales. The better the agent, the more likely people will want to work with them to help plan their trips, so they have an incentive to help you plan a good trip and not just a profitable one for them. The best part of all of this is that booking through takeabed does not cost any more than booking with the major online platforms, so you get the best recommendations and the best prices, all at once.
takeabed is available now for both agents and customers to sign up through their apps and company website.
The Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are two hot topics for 2018, so it is a natural pairing to bring them together. One incredibly interesting industry that has been in need of a technological upgrade is the oil and gas industry, so mIQrotech has brought the power of modern connected technology to oil and gas pipeline management. On the surface, this might sound like a strange market to go into, but in reality, these technologies can help prevent natural disasters and slow-moving ecological events.
These pipelines currently have sensors as part of their infrastructure, but they are not terribly modern. Each current sensor monitors only a single data point and is not able to transmit the data wirelessly. That means that either a person has to go to the sensor to collect the data, or there has to be an entire network of cables that runs along the entirety of the pipeline. Plus, because they are physically tethered, they need access to both the inside and outside of the pipes, giving additional points of failure. In fact, almost 3% of the failures on pipelines leading to leaks come from the sensors themselves.
That's why mIQrotech is bringing modern sensors, which can transmit their data wirelessly, read quickly and monitor more than one data point to the industry. Their goal is to reduce pipeline leaks by knowing the warning signs ahead of time, and predicting the leaks before they happen. This is where the AI comes into play. By analyzing the data collected by all of these sensors, their system is learning what happens before a leak, so that is can be stopped, preventing further damage to the pipeline, surrounding property, and the environment. They project 96% accuracy in predicting an issue before it happens, which is a win for everyone.
mIQrotech is taking reservations now for their platform.
The sales pitch for migrating software to the cloud is that the cloud is less expensive than running your own data center. And, while that is an accurate statement, it is really easy to break that reality. You can easily misconfigure your application instances or virtual hardware. You can easily over-estimate your needs and build an environment that costs more than you need. You can also lose business because you underestimate your needs and make your application run slowly because it is not fully available.
Magalix has built a system to help eliminate these issues. You connect the system to your cloud platform of choice: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud, and Magalix helps you correctly configure your instances for your actual needs. The system is able to watch your actual real-world usage, and adjust the specs to meet the current needs. For example, if you get a spike in usage every Friday at 4:45pm, Magalix can learn this behavior and begin the reconfiguration to a higher spec instance early enough that it is setup and switched over in time for your rush. And, if you get a random influx at an unexpected time, Magalix can instantly spin up duplicate instances, or whatever is needed to handle the load.
More importantly, when the peak time is over, whether scheduled or not, Magalix will bring down your instance to a lower mode that is capable of handling the lower usage model. This is important because it allows you to only pay for the system requirements that you are using at any given moment, as opposed to the standard model of creating an environment that can handle the high traffic and paying that amount all the time, manually creating a schedule and hoping it works, or being not fully available. This is a must-have add-on for anyone working in the cloud.
Magalix is available now for Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.
The past few years, one of the hottest topics has been artificial intelligence. While the technology to make it happen has certainly increased at exponential rates since computer scientists began thinking about the problem a little differently, the growth of the technology is still far from what many would call advanced. As it stands today, an artificial intelligence matrix works by building a digital neural network, which is strengthened by feeding relevant data in to the matrix. As more data is fed in, the better the neural network gets at making decisions within the scope of that data.
Dr. Gunnar Newquist from Brain2Bot has a completely different idea on how to structure a network, and it is based on reality. Rather than building a virtual neural network based on data, Dr. Newquist is building molecular networks based on the way animal brains work. He is using his background as a molecular neuroscientist to study the intricacies of certain animals, and building artificial intelligences to match the way they behave.
The technology is clearly in its infancy, but has already produced impressive results. Using a bottom up approach, he studied the fruit fly, and began to model a network around the way their brains function. He started there because the fruit fly's brain is tiny, but they are capable of learning new things, and are still smarter than even the extremely modern AIs in the world today. By looking at their brain cells, and how they connect to one another and store and process data, he has learned a lot about the way a network can be structured.
Obviously, that is just the beginning, as a single species may add some smarts, but it won't quite add lifelike capabilities to robots or more natural communication to automated systems. By adding other animal research in both intelligence and emotion, he has learned some of the common threads between them, and us, and is working to build systems that will respond more naturally to external stimuli, behave in a more realistic way, all while still making our lives easier.
To learn more about Brain2Bot, their research, and their progress, check out their website.