TechStars Seattle just accepted their second batch of entrepreneurs — 10 new hatchlings who are furiously writing code (probably right now as we speak) in all-out effort to create the next big thing.
Historically, the high-tech incubator has kept the names of the companies secret until Demo Day when entrepreneurial teams emerge from their dark dens to make formal pitches to the investment community. But GeekWire got a sneak peek at a few of the teams now moving through the incubation program.
We also plan to feature an occasional behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on inside TechStars Seattle through the eyes of Fireplace, an Israeli startup co-founded by Gilad Avidan and Shlomi Atar that’s participating in this year’s Seattle class. (Look for the first installment on GeekWire this Friday).
If you are not familiar with TechStars, here’s how it works. Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the program — which also operates in Boston, Boulder and New York — get up to $18,000 in seed funding to participate in a three-month immersive startup experience. That includes extensive mentoring by a group of experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
The application process is extremely competitive. For the most recent class in Seattle, nearly 700 companies applied. Just 10 were selected, half of whom hail from outside the region.
Here’s a look at seven of the 10 companies who made the cut. (I am told that the three others are currently “pivoting” their businesses, and therefore staying below the radar for now). So, without further ado, here’s the new crop that Andy Sack and crew at TechStars Seattle are currently cultivating.
Beamit: Cost-effective way to transfer money overseas, sending money using a mobile phone instantaneously.
Bluebox Now: Creating a loyalty platform with real rewards so companies can delight their customers.
Fireplace: The Israeli startup is building a new online page builder.
Flexminder: Unlocking money from Flexible Spending Accounts.
Piratebird: Quora for dating.
Romotive: Simple, universal and affordable robotic platforms that interact with people in meaningful ways. (GeekWire actually bumped into the founders at the ThingOut meetup in Seattle last weekend, and shot some video with Phu Ngyuen).
Vizify: Helps people get hired by turning their resumes into interactive infographics.
We’re looking forward to learning more about the projects as they emerge, and will be tracking the progress of the startups and TechStars Seattle in the coming months.