Eleven startups graduated from Seattle startup accelerator 9Mile Labs today after a 14-week program, each with a different vision for business-to-business software or cloud technology.
“It’s a very emotional time for all of us,” said 9Mile Labs co-founder and president of TiE Seattle, Sandy Sharma. “We’re very proud to see how an idea is starting to blossom into a real business.”
The program from 9Mile Labs provides startups with $35,000 to $105,000 cash, as well as intense mentorship sessions with more than 100 entrepreneurs and industry experts, like venture capitalist Bill Bryant and tech execs like John Hansen. In exchange, those startups give 9Mile Labs up to 10 percent in equity.
As the accelerator launched its 11 newly-minted grads into the world with their final demo pitches, the 9Mile co-founders encouraged investors in the audience to introduce themselves to the companies.
“The laws around public solicitation are still pretty vague and fuzzy,” said 9Mile co-founder and ex-Microsoftie Sanjay Puri. “Some of these companies are indeed looking for funding, so if there are accredited investors amongst you or if you know accredited investors, please go talk to the companies and make those introductions…It all starts with a smile and a handshake.”
Here are the companies in the 2016 cohort and the highlights from their 3-minute demo pitches:
ClientLinkt: An app for real estate agents that helps them to add value and stay connected to customers after they make a sale. “While 88 percent of clients say they’d recommend their real estate agent, only 17 percent actually do,” CEO Jay Maharaj said. “We make it easy for clients to share and recommend their agents within their networks.”
CPESuite: Marketplace of online courses for licensed professionals continuing their professional education. “Ten million licensed professionals are required to complete CPE every year,” said CEO Evan Hiner. “CEPSuite provides a great tracking mechanism for pro training, it delivers that training in bite-sized segments, which is perfect for today’s environment, and brings together a vast pool of resources all into one place.”
Globatom: A cloud-based platform for automating international trade. “We’re a one-stop shop solution to book, create, and track a shipment from beginning to end,” said CEO Daniel Acosta. “You can build a quote and shipment in a matter of minutes — no more clunky binders or manual data tracking for managing your global trade deals.”
IoTfy: Helping businesses enable the Internet of Things with a WordPress-like management platform. “A lot of enterprises are moving onto business models which are services on top of hardware, consumables that get delivered by connected hardware,” said CEO Arpit Chhabra. “We IoTfy devices so that they can send information to the cloud….with a single unified dashboard.”
See previous GeekWire coverage: “IoTfy bills itself as the ‘WordPress for Internet of Things'”
Jodone: Software-as-a-service solution for solid waste and recycling involving a robot/human hybrid model. “Jodone combines the hand-eye coordination of human beings with the speed and stamina of robots to eliminate manual labor,” said CEO Cole Parker. “Less than one percent of trash today is sorted by human beings because their pick rates are too slow…But robots are too dumb. They can’t handle the dense machine learning environment to tell the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. So what the market needs is a hybrid.”
Previous GeekWire coverage: “Jodone combines human intellect with robots to solve automation problems.”
Minima: Data management for enterprise IT companies to control “data sprawl.” “We start where the data is, discovering every data source…[and] learning everything about the data and the directory and users who are using that data,” said CEO Ahmed El-Shimi. “Then we apply our data analytics and learning algorithms…We let the data itself tell us where the is value, the growth and actual risk and need for a business, and we archive and store the rest.”
Muze: Cloud-based DJ simulator for bars and lounges. “Bar owners want something that’s legal to play in a place of business, they want their customers to be able to make musical requests without disrupting the staff, they want music videos, and they want their music to transition smoothly from song to song,” said CEO Karan Oberoi. “Essentially, these bar owners want a DJ in their establishment 7 days a week….None of the existing mediocre apps have been able to replicate the DJ experience, until now.”
Namastream: Subscription software-as-a-service platform for on-demand virtual wellness studios. “We allow wellness professions to teach, train, coach, and serve their clients online,” said CEO Jennifer Barcelos. “Most yoga practitioners do yoga at home and this is the first time that a small yoga studio can reach those clients.”
StormSensor: A cloud-based monitoring platform for storm water data from construction and industrial sites, the number one cause of water pollution in the Puget Sound area. “We built StormSensor, the only solution that automates the entire data collection, monitoring, and reporting process for storm water data at test sites,” said CEO Erin Rothman. “StormSensor notifies our users of rainfall at their sites so they know exactly when to sample…so they can focus on solving problems instead of wondering they have one.”
Trenzi: Market maker for social influence that allows influencers to promote products for brands. “In the US daily, there are 3.3 billion brand mentions in everyday consumer conversations and Trenzi puts a dollar sign next to each of those mentions, which allows money to flow from the advertising bucket to social media endorsements,” CEO CJ Wong said. “We figure out how much an endorsement from a specific person to a specific audience on behalf of a specific brand is worth in actual sales…And for influences, Trenzi lets them pick and choose from what campaigns will best resonate with their followers.”
Viato: Deal escrow to protect against channel conflict to indirect sales partners. “There is a classic stalemate between companies and channel partners before they trust each other,”said CEO Jagan Nemani. “We make the channel partners feel comfortable sharing data with companies by giving control over the information to the channel partner and protection for sharing their data.”