Boulder Techstars Demo Day concludes with new Foundry investment

by Kate Rosow Chrisman
October 13, 2014
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Techstars Demo Day never fails to get people excited. From making the search for missing children faster and more effective to cutting out the busy work of expense reports to funding climate-friendly solar projects, last week was no different and these young companies are off to a great start. We've broken down the core mission of the companies that presented at Boulder Techstars.
 
 
The Problem: Besides the new paycheck, no one likes the “onboarding” process at a new job.
 
The Solution: All4Staff takes the onboarding process and makes it digital and simple. The company takes that first day (or week, depending on how poor the current process is) and expedites it, leaving new employees to do something more fun than writing their social security number dozens of times. The app will work well for companies with seasonal or temporary employees – like the ski industry in Colorado or retailers before the holiday season.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Really, really impressed by this year's #TSDemoDay. Wunder and @All4Staff are killer.
 
The Problem: Ever forgotten to send in the registration card when you buy a new toaster? Where did you put the warranty, instructions or other pertinent information for that brand new TV or 15-year-old refrigerator? Ever missed a recall notification?
 
The Solution: A platform that brings together various manufactures and their customer base. Customers can use the platform instead of filling out those annoying postcard product registration forms. Customers can look up information or receive notifications (time to change your water filter!). But it doesn’t stop there, manufactures get a direct line into their customer base. Unlike when they sell a product through a retailer (and get no follow-up information on their customer), this allows them to see who is buying things, learn about their demographics and use that information for advertising. 
 
Exciting News: GE has signed on as a client and they are growing at 30% month over month.
 
The Problem: Having to fill out your expense reports.
 
The Solution: Software that automates expense reports, approval and payment.  For employees, it takes the pain out of having to collect receipts, manually fill them into Excel, and then inevitably forget about some expenses.  The software pulls information from calendar, emails and credit card information. The upside for companies: their employees can spend up to 90% less time filling out expense reports, leaving them free to do their actual work!
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Ed from @ExpenseBot just crushed it at #tsdemoday -- We don't do expense reports any more, now they do it themselves. http://expensebot.com 
 
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The Problem: Changing your credit card information every time someone in Russia or China hacks a US bank or US store is time consuming.
 
The Solution: Final helps customers break free of that problem and modernizes the credit card system. By assigning a new (and disposable!) credit card number for each vendor, it means that when one company has a data breach, clients don’t need to cancel their credit card and wait for a new one. Instead, Final shuts down that one number, assigns a new one, and everything keeps working as it should. They also alert clients to strange activity. In the world of increasing data breaches, this might finally be a solution.  
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Wow. This is a game changer. I'm already counting down the days for my @final card @iustusinc #CoolBiz
 
The Problem: The big goals – like growing your business – lack easy ways for leaders to monitor and access them.
 
The Solution: A software platform that allows corporate bigwigs to monitor and track big goals, engage their employees and do it all for a reasonable price. The information can be used in real-time.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Boom! @ravivturner: Team @kapta @afraymond is killing it on stage! #tsboulder @techstars 
 
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The Problem: The time it takes to spread the word for missing kids.
 
The Solution: The app helps parents send out notifications to their “village” – made up of friends, family and neighbors - if their kid is missing. Parents can then “escalate” the notification to inform the authorities and other app users. The app includes updated pictures and information about the kids. The app is free, but parents can buy premium features that help track the kid (with a GPS enabled device).
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Yes!!! "@bfeld just announced that @foundrygroup is investing in @LassyProject at @techstars demo day in Boulder #tsdemoday #GRINDINGSTARS
 
The Problem: Unless you're in the know, relying on word-of-mouth recommendations for the best things to do leaves lots of people unfulfilled.
 
The Solution: An app that gives users recommendations on what to do based on their set of interests and location. It’s linked to user’s social media accounts and requires answering a few questions about interests. If a user is into outdoor yoga – Native can give him or her suggestions on where to go and which of their friends is likely to tag along. 
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Super proud of @LianneHaug & @devontivona for their great pitch of @native_app at @techstars.
 
The Problem: You can’t be home all the time.
 
The Solution: A smart sensor that can detect anything from break-ins to knowing that the propane in the grill is running low before a big BBQ. Each device has eight different sensing capacities, ensuring that everything from the trivial to the important is covered. Sensors are connected to smart phones and can be customized. Through their smartphones, users get notifications when something’s gone awry.
 
Their kickstarter campaign goes until October 16th.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: The latest in home security- @notion. And it's (a lot) smarter than you. #thegadgetflow @TheGadgetFlow
 
The Problem: Most small businesses are not social-media mavens, but rely on those sites for advertising and engagement.
 
The Solution: Outsource the work! Shareable social creates posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that are specific to its client industries. The company posts content for clients, leaving them free to focus on their core business.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: "Our customers pay us to tweet" social media for SMB @ShareableSocial #tsdemoday
 
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The Problem: Improving your game with homemade video of soccer games.
 
The Solution: Bring players, coaches and Hollywood-style videos together to improve the game. Players can record their own work and get feedback from coaches. Or, they can watch videos of others making the perfect kick.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: I'm a huge soccer and tech fan - I gotta get involved with @Sportsy Great pitch and cool product guys!!
 
The Problem: Cold-callers have feelings too.  Plus, they’ve got to make the sale!
 
The Solution: Use social networks to make cold-calls less cold. QuotaDeck’s software helps make warm connections using social connections, which otherwise cold-callers pay for. It gives the seller a chance to tap into networks they might not otherwise access and, assuming their product is good, gives the buyer a reason to listen (it’s coming from a friend of a friend).
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: #tsdemoday @quotadeck reminds sales folks that getting hang up on SUCKS. They will change that.
 
The Problem: No one – not even HR departments – enjoy the job hunt.
 
The Solution: Boulder based Wellhire is making the job search more like dating. Instead of making potential employees fill out long forms, send in resumes and cover letters, users create a profile. The system connects employers and potential employees based on compatibility, qualifications and interests. Job seekers can get notified of new jobs and have employers come looking for them, based on matching information.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: @RunningPi: Great presentation from @WellhireNews! Well hire is an awesome HR tool #tsboulder #tsdemoday 
 
The Problem: Opportunities to invest in solar projects are extremely limited.
 
The Solution: Boulder-based Wunder Capital offers accredited investors fully-vetted solar projects. Like other asset classes, this means investors don’t need to be solar-geeks to successfully make money off the asset. Wunder also promises that with every $5,000 invested, 2,000 pounds of carbon is displaced yearly. The company expects investors to make returns around 7% annually.
 
Best Tweet Mention at TechStars: Thanks, Trevor! @ZimmermanTrevor: An asset class that saves the world! cc @WunderCapital https://www.wundercapital.com/ 
 

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