NY Tech Day 2012: Startups that Stole the Show

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 1, 2012

Thursday, April 19th was NY Tech Day. Over 3,500 people registered to attend and 160+ startups exhibited alongside sponsors at the Lexington Armory in New York. The first part of the event had startups showcasing their products to the media, VCs, and tech industry enthusiasts. The latter part of the event was the Awards Ceremony, hosted by David Tisch, Managing Editor of TechStars NY and Charlie O’Donnell, Founder of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.

Of the 160+ startups exhibiting, here are some that received NY Tech Day awards and some others that stole the show:

Award Winners:

Best Unfunded Startup – Unroll.me

Got too many email newsletters or coupon site subscriptions filling up your inbox? To some people Unroll.me is an inbox dream come true. Instead of clicking on “unsubscribe” for each newsletter and not remembering the login to the site you want to unsubscribe to, Unroll.me lets you unsubscribe from them all at once.

This is how it works: Unroll.me crawls through your email inbox and presents all the subscription emails you have with that email address. You then select the ones you no longer want to receive from and click Unsubscribe. Currently Unroll.me is in beta, it works with Gmail, AOL, Yahoo Mail, and Windows Live Mail.

Best Business Model – Temboo

Temboo’s goal is to make software developers’ lives easier. It aggregates application and web protocols, resources and services all into one place, their cloud-based platform. They are diving into the phenomenon of the “composite app” and are finding ways for applications to easily talk to other applications via APIs. The Temboo SDK lets you provision server space, setup databases and connect to different APIs. Temboo provides a Library over 70 APIs that covers a wide range of services from social media to product management. Currently Temboo is in beta, which means all users can signup for “free tier” accounts, this gets you 10,000 calls to Temboo per month and 500 MB of bandwidth to use in those calls.

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Best Social Startup – GiftSimple

GiftSimple is a social gifting site where you give and receive gifts from your friends. Here’s how it works: login to GiftSimple with Facebook, you can see which friends have upcoming birthdays. From the panel, you can list a gift, view my gifts, or give a gift.

  • List a gift: you can create your own registry of gifts to share with friends so they either know what to get you or they can contribute to your gift fund.
  • Give a gift: you can view your friends’ wishlists and contribute to their gift funds
  • My Gifts: Lets you keep track of all your gifts listed and shows you what’s available for cash-out (there is a 3% service fee). GiftSimple also lets you see all your contributors so you can send thank-you notes.

Best Enterprise Startup – SendGrid

SendGrid has a cloud-based email infrastructure that relieves businesses of the cost and complexity of maintaining custom email systems. SendGrid manages infrastructure scaling, ISP outreach and reputation monitoring. It uses domain keys, feedback loops, white-labeling, to manage messages that reach customers inbox. It also provides real-time tracking to track emails delivered, bounces, spam reports, invalid email requests, number of unsubscribes, whatever it is the customer cares about tracking. Looks like so far they’ve demonstrated success with the Pinterest team.

Others that stole the show:

Social Passport

The Social Passport mobile app uses NFC and bar code scanning to combine the common social activities of Like, Follow, and Check-in in one spot. And by performing one of those actions for a business, a user can earn specials, discounts, or gifts. For consumers, it’s easy to receive deals from businesses while you’re physically at the place to redeem them. For businesses, you get free advertising through users when they like, follow, or check-in to your business. For both, Social Passport also acts as a loyalty card and keeps track of the users’ activities at a given business. Here is a video explaining how it works.

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Space Splitter

Got roommate problems? Rob Caucci, Co-founder of Space Splitter explained some of his company products include ‘OurList’, a shopping list of who’s responsible to buy what household essentials; ‘Roommate Agreements‘ to manage roommate relationships; ‘Household Calendar’ to setup and split chores; SMS integration for roommate expense tracking, etc. Space Splitter also helps roommates split rent and utility bill payments.

The Whoot

Ryan Coyne from The Whoot demonstrated for me an alternative way to get together with friends for a night out with their iPhone app. Instead of texting or emailing different people to plan what to do for the night, each day you post what you’re doing or looking to do. This way you’ll know what all your friends are up to in a central location. All posts reset every morning so that you receive fresh information for the night ahead. No more #FOMO!

Shirley Yang has a passion for digital media, technology, and for people. She’s worked at many tech/media companies including Fox, Sony, Audible.com and NBC to strategize and launch products across multiple platforms: web, mobile, TV, and game consoles. 

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