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500 Startups Demo day review by Bill Clark | Monday, January 30, 2012

I just got back from the 500 Startups demo day and saw 34 great companies that have some exciting new technology and ideas. Here is a brief overview of the 10 companies that I was the most interested in from the pitches. I have excluded companies that were not looking for funding or were outside of the US. These are in order of how they presented in demo day.

1) Tiny Review- It combines instagram and Yelp to give users a way to share photos with 3 lines of text. They have 30,000 reviews so far since they launched.


2) Lookacross - Uses social networks and email to determine the best time to contact a sales lead. This improves efficiency for sales reps and they have had great user feedback. They have over 1,000 users and 60% come back every day.


3) Centrally - They turn retailer fan pages into stores. If a brand you like wants to sell a product they can load a picture to go through the newsfeed and the customer can purchase without leaving Facebook. The newsfeed is the most coveted space in Facebook and they have great process to get people more engaged.


4) Postrocket - They help Facebook marketers optimize their Facebook posts. If people don't engage with posts the Facebook edgerank will eventually drop the posts from your newsfeed. Postrocket helps you determine best time to post, how to post and what is the most effective way to get people to click on your post.


5) Paybygroup - A payments company that helps groups aggregate payments from many people. If you have ever tried to book a trip with a group of friends and had to pay upfront and then try to get your friends to pay you back this is a great solution. They collect all the payments and then pay the service for you.


6) Fileboard - This service manages files for an ipad. I use my ipad all of the time for work and one of my main issues is with files. They help solve that problem.


7) Mopix - They are helping video publishers reach an audience through digital distribution. Louis CK a comedian recently did this and it was very successful.  


8) Brandboards - Advertising company that is making it easier and more efficient to get your ads in Sports stadiums where the audience is captive. Over 30% of ads usually go unsold but their process aims to simplify it.


9) Safeshepherd - This company helps protect your online identity. For $65 per year you can use their service and they will scan the web and provide you links to where your profile of personal information is online for anyone to see. If you don't want the information out there they will go through the process of opting out which can be time consuming.


10) Fitocracy - A fitness app in a sea of 1000's of apps but this one is different. They have been in private beta and already have 230,000 users with 80% using the service every day. They have a process that adds gamification to fitness and they currently have a web app. Their iphone app will be released soon which should add to their users.


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