The theme for 500 Startups Batch 19 Demo Day was Valentine’s Day (although it technically was on February 15) and accordingly Founder, Dave McClure, kicked it off dressed as the Queen of Hearts. Batch 19 had 44 companies participated in two tracks, B2B and Fashion and Beauty. I’m always impressed with the diversity of 500’s startups. Almost half of the startups are international and over half the founders are woman and minorities. I wish I had the time to write about each startup but alas, I only have time to mention my personal favorites. So in no particular order…
The startup that I would personally invest is Park Evergreen. They have developed a parking management software that makes it easy to find and pay for parking. Oddly enough, on my drive to Demo Day, I was listening to a Freakonmics podcast called Parking is Hell which describes the high cost of parking. It made me think of the times when parking is a challenge and how much I would pay to not have to drive in circles to find parking. Their platform allows a driver to pay and reserve a parking space. In my mind, if it solves this problem effectively, it will be a unicorn.
I’d Buy That!
O6 makes a little widget that can be mounted on the steering wheel. In conjunction with their companion app, you can navigate through your iPhone while you’re driving without taking your hands off the steering wheel and it allows you to keep y our eyes on the road. Interestingly enough, as I was getting a demo of the product, Silicon Valley icon, Tim Draper, was waiting in line behind me wanting to buy one (I don’t know if actually was interested in investing in them also).
ClaimCompass declaration of free money caught my attention. If your flight gets delayed or cancelled, their platform will automatically check if you are eligible for compensation and if you are; they will make a claim on your behalf. They can get you compensated up to $650 and take a 25% commission if successful. I’ve bookmarked their site just in case I have to go to battle with an airline in the future.
Sign Ruby Up!
PawPrint allows you to move and maintain your pet records on their platform. If you have a pet, you know what a hassle it is to manage their shot records. Mental note: sign Ruby (she’s our dog) up.
Shameless Plug for the Sacramento Region
This is a shameless plug for Sacramento based startup, GymHit. GymHit has developed a business management software for the fitness industry. (I also gave them a warm referral to 500 Startups).
Clever Use of Social Media Data
Sickweather has developed an innovative method to track the spread of disease using social media. You can track the spread of illness on a map like a meteorologist tracks weather. The data they’ve gleamed has outperformed data provided by the CDC.
This is original idea I haven’t seen before. Kompyte has developed a platform that allows their users to automatically track and analyze their competitors. At my last company, we had a full time employee that performed this function. I can see this platform being extremely useful for any company that actively tracks their competitors.
Join Batch 21
How well the Batch 19 companies do remains to be seen, but 500 Startups does have an excellent track record. Producing 3 Unicorn startups (with a 4th possibly on the way), 37 Centaurs (valued $100-999 M), and over 300 Ponies ($10-99 M), you might be wondering how to get into 500 Startups. Well, first you’ve got to apply!
If I piqued your interest in 500 Startups, they are currently looking for applicants for Batch 21. Good candidates should have:
- Balanced Team
- Product Launched
- Traction with Good Metrics
If your startup is interested in applying for Batch 21, find the application here.
After applying, be sure to ask your local Startup Grind director for a warm referral!
By Rich Foreman, CEO / Apptology and Director of Startup Grind Sacramento. Rich co-authored the book Tap into the Mobile Economy and his blog has been listed in the Top 20 Mobile Marketing Blogs of 2014. Follow Rich on Twitter at@ApptologyCEO or attend a Startup Grind Sacramento Event.