Tech Crunch Disrupt NY 2016 took place last month and didn’t disappoint. As usual, the startups that got the coveted Battlefield slots represented a wide variety of categories. Several related to health and wellness (like WaterO, next generation water purifier and ArtVeoli, a hardware start-up using algae and microfluidics to produce oxygen and freshen indoor air). Others related to the Internet of Things (IoT), like Lumenus, which integrates electronics and LEDs into smart-clothing, and Spinn, an internet-connected centrifugal coffee maker. We’ll take a closer look at some of the hot new companies worth checking out.
New ways to create and manage content
TimeLooper promises “immersive time travel technology [that] enables tourists to experience destinations at key moments in history through VR videos on smartphones.” While visiting popular tourist destinations, consumers download the TimeLooper app to their smartphones, which they place into an inexpensive holder, similar to Google Cardboard.
TimeLooper content partners will create short augmented reality (AR) films that recreate an historic event that you can watch in the place that it happened. For example, look around at the 1666 Great Fire of London while visiting Tower Bridge Museum or watch the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall as you stand at the site in Germany.
TimeLooper envisions a freemium content model where some AR videos will be available for free while many others will cost a few dollars, which they split with the tourist destination operators. They also plan to generate revenue from native advertising (imagine a Coke billboard in the Berlin Wall video).
Laugh.ly was one of the “wild card” startups presenting at Disrupt, meaning they were selected by a vote of the conference audience and TechCrunch editorial staff. Essentially, they want to be the Pandora app of comedy. Laugh.ly already has over 400 comedians onboard whose material will be distributed through the app. Consumers can enjoy playlists based on artist or themes (e.g., jokes about in-laws) and can share playlists or specific jokes with friends. The app creators made a point of explaining this is not just a comedy content play. Their vision is to expand to other forms of spoken word entertainment and they’re building proprietary technology for indexing and searching content in audio files. The app is available to consumers at no cost but those willing to pay $7.99 for a monthly subscription can enjoy the service ad free and can download content.
Botify Is designed to help digital marketer control how Google understands their websites. They claim that Google’s search bots ignore 35 per cent to 55 per cent of web pages across various commerce verticals like travel and classifieds. Webmasters at beta customers including Expedia, eBay, Airbnb, and Time Inc., have all used the Botify tools to analyse which pages are not getting crawled by Google, so that they can redesign their site structure to improve coverage.
Botify reports sites have been averaging a 35 per cent improvement in Google indexing within the first 6 months of use. This Paris-based startup completed a $7.2 million series A funding round and will offer the tool through a SaaS subscription model.
New approaches to job placement
Scoutible is a mobile game-based hiring platform built on the premise that recruiters and candidates are making decisions based on the wrong data. Their belief is that measuring soft skills, in particular cognitive assessments, are the best predictors of job performance. Scoutible “gamifies” the process of candidate evaluation by administering 20 minute tests that feel like games but measure decision making and personality strengths like risk tolerance, attention span, memory retention and mental processing speed. The company has $1.5 million in seeding funding from Mark Cuban and plans to generate revenue by charging employers set up fees, subscription fees, and sourcing fees for finding new talent.
UpScored is another new company with an eye on making it easier match the right candidates to employers. The site invites candidates to upload their resumes then answer a few questions about their work style, personality, and career objectives. UpScored then uses their proprietary algorithm to evaluate of over 30,000 jobs to identify a short list of 25 that are most likely to be a fit. Their revenue model is based on charging employers to post positions and receive prequalified candidates. So far, the site has only launched in New York City but will be rolling out to other major cities soon
The companies listed here are just some of the startups that presented at TechCrunch Disrupt. To learn more about them, and the other contestants in the Startup Battlefield, check out the TechCrunch news coverage. In just 4 months we’ll be enjoying another round of startups competing for attention at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, on 12-14 September.
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