Cincinnati area, UpTech is a rather new accelerator. It was formed in January of 2012 and they’ve been working diligently over the past 5 months to build their business, their space and solidify their inaugural round of startups. Each of the 8 startups selected will receive an investment of $100,000, along with mentorship, support services and research assistance from Northern Kentucky University.
“We are thrilled to finally announce to our region UpTech’s first round of winners,” said Bill Scheyer, President of Vision 2015 and an UpTech co-founder. “Our ultimate goal is to fund 50 of the best and brightest early-stage informatics companies from the United States and abroad. These eight companies will complement the foundation of a growing informatics cluster in our region, an important business sector in a 21st-century economy.”
The contest was judged by a panel of business analysts, executives and investment experts from companies like CBS, Dell, Proctor & Gamble and more.
Some of the ideas the selected startup companies are working with are untapped markets.
7 Moose games, founded by Brett Carter and Susie D. Roth, specializes in the gamification of complex and sometimes dangerous business training simulations. For example they may produce vide game style training modules for the public safety sector that could include fire safety, or even hostage negotiations. They also have had interest from oil and gas companies that can’t provide real world training on some of the more risky aspects of their industries.
Our goal is to use game engine technology to create extremely effective simulations which illustrate inherently complicated and/or dangerous subjects,” the company said in its UpTech application. “Oil and gas, public service and health, armed forces and game industry professionals are a few examples of the industries which have expressed interest in our products.”
Citilogics, founded by Jim Uber and Stu Hopper, is developing realtime data fusion software for water utilities. Their software will help reduce energy costs, reduce water leakage, improve service reliability and the quality of tap water.
Founder Jim Uber has had twenty years of experience in the water industry including developing water security software and a multi-species water quality simulation package.
“We develop models, analytics and software that help our clients better operate and manage their large-scale urban water infrastructure investments, and deliver a wide range of services from complex engineering and data analyses, to full functional software custom software solutions,” the company said in its UpTech application. “Our current focus is data fusion software that will revolutionize efficiency and effectiveness in the water industry by reducing energy costs, controlling leakage, improving service reliability and enhancing water quality.”
Crowdspark, founded by Elizabeth Sparks, is gunning to be the SurveyMonkey or Eventbrite of contesting. Crowdspark technology allows users to quickly and easily implement contesting into their online marketing or websites. Now, people who’ve always thought a contest would be a useful tool in their marketing arsenal won’t need a consultant or thousands of dollars in capital to create one.
“Contests are an engaging marketing tool and an effective way of identifying top talent. Crowdspark … allows anyone to design and manage and online contest.”
The free Crowdspark tool is feature packed. Contests can include photos, and paid entries. They can also have a custom domain, and can be designed in minutes. It’s a complete turnkey, easy to use contesting platform.
InstrumentLife, founded by Chris Sturm, aims to be the CarFax of instruments and more. This unique internet based application uses a social media interface to connect musical instruments with owners, retailers, repair shops and schools.
InstrumentLife really does just what the name suggests, it brings your instrument to life. When the site launches a musician will be able to register their instrument, along with it’s warranty information. They’ll be able to add pictures and connect with service providers for that information and also post performance histories, gigs and repair service.
This will be a valuable asset to any musician down the road if they were to ever sell their instrument. It will also have a huge value for those who sign up for InstrumentLife and end up famous. Imagine the entire life story of an instrument. If you think about it some instruments have been to amazing places.
MakeupHaulic, founded by Brinda Chatterjee, realizes that there is an abundance of make up related vlogs. Chatterjee is going to aggregate all of those amazing make up and beauty related vlogs into one socially charged community based web platform. This way women will be able to go to makeuphaulic and find all the content they need from one stop.
It looks to be the YouTube of sorts for make up related video blogs (vblogs).
“Social networking is now the most popular online activity, ahead of emailing, Internet searches and gaming,” the company said in its UpTech application. “The ‘vlog’ phenomenon, in which women share details of their product purchases, is rapidly changing the way women interact and shop. And retailers are taking notice.”
OneMorePallet, founded by Bill Cunningham, aims to be the hotwire of the shipping industry. OneMorePallet allows small shippers to find pallet space available on “Less than a truckload” (LTL carriers). There’s no reason to pay for an entire truck when you have one or two pallets. With Cunningham’s innovative idea small businesses will be able to locate trucks that have room for “one more pallet”.
“Similar in concept to PriceLine.com, LTL carriers can increase their profitability without damaging their standard rates by using OneMorePallet as a broker of excess capacity,” the company said in its UpTech Application. “The shippers and carriers save time and become more profitable. OneMorePallet makes money by charging a transaction fee for each successful order, collects the money via credit card upon placement of the order and pays the carriers upon delivery.”
StudentDesigned, founded by Adam Treister, is an online tool that will connect businesses and universities who are outsourcing projects to students, vetted by professors as assignments.
StudentDesigned is a collaborative crowdsourcing platform. Universities benefit by having a more organized platform to pick and choose projects that businesses would like to have performed by students. Administrators and professors can pick the most viable, educational and service worthy projects for the students to work on.
Businesses will benefit from StudentDesigned by having another avenue to outsource work to rather than just typical free lance channels.
“Once the work is completed, the business takes ownership of the work just as if a contractor had completed it,” the company said in its UpTech application. “Student Designed will replace email, phone calls and any ad hoc communication between the parties, and substitute a streamlined, commission earning process. This will save the university time and allow them to complete more projects.”
Text and the City, founded by Shawn Blain, looks to be a mobile engagement platform for text messaging. Text and the city incorporates a website and mobile site that will connect users on a hyper local basis. Text and the city incorporates events, local deals, mobile coupons and communities through text messages onto the web.
Text and the City is already available in three local communities and bills itself as a new way to connect.
From their website it seems like Text and the City may have solved the problem of getting “dumb phones”, feature phones and smartphones to all communicate at the same time and socially connect without the traditional smartphone app barriers.
All 8 companies will move into UpTech’s premium riverfront office space in Newport with a view of the Cincinnati.