Wetware Wednesday – Blue Startups

First, let me say that The Fix is a lot cleaner looking than what I remember of SoHo.  It’s a great space now, with comfortable furniture and new paint.  However, the projector contrast was very bad and the microphone periodically stopped working, which kind of tainted the pitches.  Other than that, the atmosphere was fantastic.

Wetware Wednesday (10/2/13) was a packed house.  Full of the usual crowd and also a lot of new faces.  I was blown away because every single pitch presented was completely new to me.  I’m used to seeing the same pitches at Blue Startup events, but this one was full of completely new and very interesting tech with mostly high quality presentations.

I’d like to say something about a new ‘standard’ in pitching that is developing.  Please, if you are pitching, do not use the phrase “the market is HUGE“.  Everyone is saying it.  Stop.  Stop saying it.  It means nothing, it’s getting worn out.  Now, onto the pitches themselves.

The Lineup

See rescue – Great visuals and humor backing up a solid plan.  See Rescue is a bright orange streamer that makes helicopter sea rescues easier by increasing the visibility of the victim.  It’s an already successful product that is moving from military to the consumer market.  $160 for a large orange streamer seems like it has great margins.

Happy Hour pal – An app for keeping track of local happy hours at restaurants.  Restaurants pay to participate and the app is downloaded by users for free.  Presentation was a little bland but they had impressive numbers, 40k downloads and 100+ paying customers.

Gibi tech – Find pets with gps, great idea and good presentation.  Basically attaching a phone GPS to a collar.  This company is still fundraising for their manufacturing phase.

Henks wild card – Blue Photo Stories is a company that is… annotating pics with voice?  I think?  They didn’t really elaborate on their companys product.  I felt like it was a weak presentation that focused more on rhetoric than substance.

Sift – Another unclear presentation.  I think they improve meeting management using smartphones?  Not very clear on the specifics of the product.

Xmap  – This is an app that is like geocache in that they have tresaure hunts, but their business model is to sell hints to find treasures.  I cringed a little because it’s like a lottery, but they did a solid pitch with numbers to back it up.  20k+ downloads with no advertising, $5k/$10k prizes, a lot of confidence that they will obtain market dominance.  Definitely a new approach to gambling, and they stated they already made $20k+ net.

Workers on call – A new internet based freelancer allocation tool.  Very cool idea and sounds like it could revolutionize freelancing.  Is 10% overhead gonna be worth it for the participants though?  Would have liked a comparison with the margins other organizations get from their freelance aggregation sites.

Nerdvana – Oceanit presentation about all their projects that are going on.  Every time I hear about their projects it gets me into a science fervor.  One piece of research stood out in particular – a project that used ants to identify the presence of specific chemicals in building.

Event shoutouts came at the end of the event, two or three people spoke about their clubs.  If you have a tech related business or event going on you should definitely soapbox during Wetware Wednesdays.