The New York entrepreneurial ecosystem is BOOMING. A clear indication of this is in the numbers of new companies that are being created everyday. Not only are a ton of new companies being created, the quality is, in my opinion, getting better every year. I have a birdseye view on the market, being the CEO of AlleyNYC and having the awesome opportunity to mentor for Techstars.
The other day, Techstars had its Winter 2015 NYC Demo Day, and the companies presenting were all amazing. The following list of companies along with a brief description is proof that the NYC startup scene is stronger than ever.
(Special thanks to Alex Iskold, managing director of Techstars, for curating the descriptions which can be found in this post).
Mackenzie Barth, CEO of Spoon University was the first one to present. Spoon University is a food network for the next generation. They have experienced more than 10x growth in the last 4 months, and now have 2.5MM uniques. Spoon University is building a new type of media company: a true network. Three thousand students contribute content from 100 campuses around the U.S.
Ariel Briner, took the stage next. Cartesian Co enables rapid electronics prototyping with their desktop 3D printer for circuit boards. Think MakerBot for electronic circuits. To make this technology possible, Cartesian team had to invent a new kind of ink. To date they’ve sold $300,000 worth of printers to both hobbyists and big names like Google and NASA.
Alexandre Strzelewicz, CEO of Keymetrics, came to Techstars by way of Paris. He took the stage next. Keymetrics offers a real-time platform for managing and monitoring NodeJS applications. Their open-source product, PM2, has been downloaded more than 600,000 times and grew 14x in the last 12 months, and is now seeing 40 percent MoM growth. Keymetrics powers tens of thousands of websites around the world and has Intuit, PayPal, and Southwest Airlines among their beta customers.
Brandon Paton, a serial entrepreneur, a Y Combinator alum, took the stage next to present his new company. Localize offers localization as a service, and helps translate your website with one line of code. They make a typically painful process completely painless with no developmet effort. The company now has 150 paying customers and served translated pages to more than 10 million unique visitors in March. Localize has been experiencing rapid growth, averaging 15 percent revenue and customer growth WoW.
Next up was Sathish Naadimuthu, CEO of Stefan’s Head, the first text-message driven retail brand. Looking for something off the beaten path? Look no further. Whimsical Stefan is your weekly shopping concierge and companion. He dreams up cool, limited edition products and texts you when the next one is ready. Hurry, if you snooze, Stefan will offload his stuff to other peeps. To get on the list: TXT STEFAN: 646-759-0904.
(PRO TIP: I am a lead mentor for this company. This is one of the most creative ideas I have seen in a while, and it’s no wonder why they are catching the attention of people such as Marc Ecko:
Jonathan Cornelissen, CEO of Data Camp, was up on stage next. DataCamp is an online data-science school that offers hands-on courses using video lessons and interactive coding challenges. More than 100,000 data scientists have signed up. DataCamp is ramping up its monthly revenue via subscriptions, and have partnered with GA, Coursera, top universities, Microsoft, IBM and Accenture.
Next on stage was Krystle Mobayeni, CEO of Bento Box. This company offers restaurants a platform to manage mobile-first websites, marketing and operations. More than 100 restaurants in New York City, including Union Square Hospitality Group, Spotted Pig, Breslin and Meatball Shop, are using Bento Box today. The company is seeing 30 percent MoM growth, and is now expanding to other cities.
Thierry Schellenbach, CEO of Stream, took the stage to talk about new kind of data store designed for building, scaling and personalizing feeds. Five hundred thousand apps have feeds in them and they keep re-inventing the wheel. Much like Elasticsearch changed the game for search, Stream is making building feeds easy. The company has 100 customers, and has seen 50 percent growth WoW in Techstars. They served 10 million feed requests in March, and have Rhapsody, eToro, and StockTwits in beta.
Romain Cochet, a serial entrepreneur in music space, took the stage next to present his new company. Unique Sound is a platform for composers and sound creatives to showcase their work and get hired. As the mobile video is growing the demand for high quality original music grows with it. UniqueSound now has a database of 1,000 composers who have done projects for L’Oreal, Mandarin Oriental, and Samsung.
Shane Scranton, an architect by training, took the stage next to talk about how virtual reality will impact the way we experiencing spaces. irisVR builds software to share, edit, and visualize 3D models in virtual reality. With the company’s platform people can experience spaces in VR before they are built. IrisVR helps save money on costly updates and post-construction changes. IrisVR has 1,200 beta signups including top AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) firms in NYC.
Joseph Fasone was the last CEO to present. Pilot is a new kind of internet provider for businesses. It is fiber-based, 10x faster than Google Fiber, features transparent pricing, 100 percent uptime guarantee and white-glove service. Pilot built smart software that helps guarantee speed and makes it easy to manage Internet in the office. They have 150 customers in NYC, 30 percent MoM growth and will be soon expanding to Chicago.
I would like to congratulate the Winter 2015 Class of Techstars NYC. You all have done an amazing job through the program and I am looking forward to covering the continued success of each of your businesses. Hustle ON.