Impact Global Venture Summit Highlights Sacramento Region Startups

Impact Summit

The inaugural Impact Global Venture Summit was held on November 14, 2016 at the brand new, state of the art, Golden 1 Center. Over 700 people attended and 50 Northern California startups participated in the summit with the goal of providing local startups exposure to investors.

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Impact VC Founders (left to right): Jack Crawford, Dixon Doll, Eric Ball

This was also the big debut for event organizer, Impact Venture Capital.  Impact VC was formed from Sacramento based Velocity VC in partnership with Dixon Doll and Eric Ball.  Dixon Doll is a well-known Silicon Valley investor with early investments in 20 unicorn (with a valuation over $1 B) companies.

Most of the event consisted of pitches from 20 startups.  Many were from local startups including HomeZada, California Safe Soil, Gatekeeper Innovation, and Barobo.  Startups from the Bay Area also attended with Mountain View based Nightingale Security and Santa Clara based Cornami each receiving an investment from Impact VC.

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HomeZada Co-Founder John Bodrozic

The other big star of the summit was the Golden 1 Center itself.  For many of the attendees, it was their first visit to the most technologically advance arena in the world. The event in concert with the arena really illustrated Sacramento’s emergence as an innovation hub. Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, tweeted out, “…Now that’s #Sac3pt0!”

 

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.

Apptology Awarded $50 K RAILS Grant from the City of Sacramento

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On November 1, 2016, the Sacramento City Council awarded RAILS (Rapid Acceleration Innovation & Leadership in Sacramento) Grants totaling $1 M to 15 groups that drive acceleration, innovation & leadership for startups in the Sacramento area.  Apptology was awarded $50 K for the StartupSac project.  In partnership with Sacramento Startup Community Leader, Laura Good and Digital Splash Media, the goals of the StartupSac project include:

  1. Expanding and enhancing the website to encompass the full range of  information, services, and resources in the Capital Region, thereby making it easier for innovators and entrepreneurs to connect and engage with each other and help foster and grow the Sacramento startup ecosystem. The goal for StartupSac.com is for it to be the go-to resource of all the services available to entrepreneurs across the region, such as:
    • A curated directory of area startups
    • A job board
    • Continued expansion of Sacramento Startup Ecosystem Circuit Board that visually shows the pieces of the Sacramento startup ecosystem
  2. Extend the access to StartupSac.com, by developing a free native StartupSac iPhone / iPad and Android Apps.
  3. Further catalyze the startup community by connecting organizations and people by curating a directory of area startups, writing and publishing interviews with founders, funders, entrepreneurs, and other innovators, creating profiles of startups and others in the ecosystem, and providing event coverage, etc.
  4. Through public relations and digital marketing activities, promote our startup ecosystem to the community which includes hosting a meetup group to feature events and promotion through digital advertising as well as pitching local startup stories to local media, writing blog posts, and features on social media.
  5. Provide promotion, event management and organizational guidance to grassroots volunteer startup building organizations like Startup Weekend, Health 2.0, Startup Grind, and others, to keep these events (and the community they build) happening in our city.
  6. Highlight female and minority entrepreneurs on a regular basis on the StartupSac website and app and at Startup Grind.

The StartupSac team looks forward to extending the reach and impact of this website, working with other RAILS grant recipients and all members of the Sacramento community to catalyze and grow the Sacramento innovation economy.

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.

 

2016 AgStart Showcase


AgStart Dinner and Drones

AgStart held a fundraising dinner that also promoted their member companies on August 20, 2016.  AgStart is an incubator based in Woodland that helps Agricultural Startups.  AgStart was formed under the now defunct SARTA and this was their inaugural event. Here are the Ag Startups featured at this event:

Ag For Hire was formed at the Apps for Ag Hackathon held at UC Davis where they won 1st Place.  Their elevator description is that they are the Linkedin for Agricultural workers.

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AgShift is a Santa Clara based startup.  They developed free productivity tools for small and medium farms.  Their strategy is a Big Data play where they plan to monetize using the data generated from their tools.

Agshift

Foodfully’s mission is to eliminate household food waste.  To this end, they have developed an app that will track the food purchased and alert the user before food in the fridge spoils.  They’ve developed integrations with the loyalty cards of several major grocery chains.  In addition, the app will also provide recipes for the food purchased.

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GivingGarden is another 1st place winner for the Apps for Ag Hackathon held at UC Davis.  They developed an app where urban gardeners can communicate with each other and provide crowd source data to help their community.

givinggarden

Vibe Imaging Analytics has developed the Vibe QM Instrument that allows farmers to quickly inspect rice and seed samples.  This is a significant time saver compared to current process where rice and seed samples are inspected by hand.

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WaterBit Inc is a Santa Clara based startup that has developed an Irrigation Management System that uses sensors to optimize water usage.

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Wexus Technology Inc is a San Francisco based startup that has developed technology that tracks water and electrical usage and allows farmer to reduce costs by providing actionable data.

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 The AgStart Showcase was held at the beautiful Windmill Vineyards and was a wonderful evening.  Drone demonstration and races provided a bit of fun before the Farm to Fork dinner.   All in all, it was a great beginning for AgStart.

 

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.

 

Sacramento’s $10 Million Innovation Fund

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On June 21st, the Sacramento City Council unanimously approved a $10 million Innovation and Growth Fund.  The purpose of the fund is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship within the City of Sacramento.  As Mayor Kevin Johnson states, “A more diverse, more entrepreneurial economy means a stronger Sacramento: more jobs, more innovation, and mostly a better quality of life for all of us.”

The fund is one of the largest of its kind.  In comparison, Los Angeles’ Innovation Fund only has a $1 million.  In addition, the fund will continually generate $2 million annually.

Currently, $1 million dollars has been earmarked for the RAILS (Rapid Acceleration, Innovation, and Leadership in Sacramento) with Grants (ranging from $10 k – $250 k) being given out in these three categories:

Acceleration Grants:  Given to accelerators and incubators supporting Sacramento Startups

Innovations Grants:  Civic Tech companies and organizations that foster the innovation community

Leadership Grants:  Educational programs that help train entrepreneurs in technology and Leadership.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, you can do so here.   The deadline is July 22nd.

$500 K has been earmarked for the Economic Development Department to attract technology companies to move or expand in the area.  According to Ash Roughani, Program Manager, “Sacramento is also exploring venture fund investments to increase access to capital for area startups and put Sacramento on the map. “

“Sacramento is truly starting to become a hub of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology and it’s something I’m really, really proud of,” stated Mayor Johnson.

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.

 

Aging 2.0 Sacramento Startup Competition

Sacramento-CA-USA

The mission of  Aging 2.0 is to accelerate innovation that improves the lives of older adults.  They have a venture fund and an accelerator for Startups that focus on senior care and aging issues.  In addition, they are conducting the Aging 2.0 Global Startup Search which is a series of 40 local aging focused startup competition that culminates in a Final Showcase to be held in Sacramento on October 13.

On June 30, Aging 2.0 held a startup pitch competition in Sacramento.  Over 50 startups applied to compete in the competition and 8 companies were selected.  These are the winners selected by the 4 person judging panel (for which I was a member):

1st Place:  Stack

Stack Labs has developed a responsive lighting system that is able to provide circadian lighting, sense occupancy, and light sensing.

2nd Place:  Hello Nurse

Hello Nurse has developed an Eldercare system that helps detect falls and bed moisture of elder residents.

3rd Place:  PT Tracker

PT Tracker is a Sacramento based startup that is developing a solution to improve compliance with Physical Training through a mobile app and wearables.

Stack also won the audience choice award which was determined by the popular vote of the local audience.

Stack will go compete with other area winners at the Final Showcase on October 13.  The event was a great success in promoting the Sacramento startup scene and the Aging Innovation Space

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.

Apptology is Recognized by the California State Legislature as a 2014 Small Business of the Year Finalist

Apptology a Finalist for Small Business of the Year

Apptology a Finalist for Small Business of the Year

Apptology, an award-winning mobile applications development and mobile marketing company based in Folsom, was recently awarded as a 2014 Small Business of the Year Finalist by Assemblyman Dr. Richard Pan (ninth assembly district) and the California Small Business Association.

Honoring outstanding leadership and exceptional service within the community each year, Assemblyman Richard Pan partners with the California Small Business Association to honor a “Small Business of the Year.” This year, Apptology was selected as a finalist “for their hard work and commitment to providing valuable services that has significantly contributed to the well-being of our region, thereby benefitting all the people in the State of California.”

“I believe that entrepreneurship and innovation is what makes America great and we are humbled to receive this recognition. This award is a source of great pride to all of us at Apptology,” said Rich Foreman, Apptology CEO and founder.

According to Foreman, in the past two years, the app market has “exploded.” In less than nine months, the Apple store reported over a billion downloads then doubled the number in half the time. The app craze has now spread to Android, Blackberry, and every other mobile market under the sun. Apptology has been serving clients for over four years and is unique in their service offering because they are the only company to offer a comprehensive suite of ReadyBuilt affordable solutions for the mobile applications industry for the SMB, according to Foreman. Their management team consists of entrepreneurs and industry pioneers from Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies working in mobile, interactive and new media technologies. Apptology also has a team of nearly 100 developers who have created hundreds of applications for various companies around the world on all mobile platforms.

On Jan. 24, 2014, Apptology was awarded the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce at the 21st Annual Installation and Awards dinner.

California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg described Apptology as “a company that exemplifies technology in the 21st century.”

For more information about Apptology, visit www.apptology.com or call 877-990-APPS (2777).

 

Marketing Research Chart: Top Mobile Marketing Objectives

Whenever marketers begin to investigate the implementation of a new tactic, it’s likely that the first questions asked are, “Why should I do this?” and “What are our goals in doing so?” Mobile is no exception.

When asked about their top objectives, 63% of respondents indicated they hoped to increase sales conversion, followed by increasing lead generation (55%) and lead nurturing (50%). As we learn — somewhat unsurprisingly — in subsequent charts in the Benchmark Report, sales conversion was the top choice for B2C companies, while their B2B counterparts focused on lead generation.

If you’re a B2B marketer, do you see mobile as a viable lead nurturing channel? What types of lead nurturing tactics have you employed in your mobile marketing? What restrictions, if any, have you faced in nurturing leads through mobile efforts?

Despite the fact that increasing sales conversion was a top mobile objective for 63% of marketers, improvement of the customer service experience was a low-ranking category, at just 19%.

Has your company used mobile to improve the customer shopping experience? How have these efforts paid off for your company? Does your company’s approach reflect these findings, or do you feel focusing on the lowest-ranked categories might benefit mobile efforts?

 

 

 

 

Apptology at California Women’s Conference

Look for Apptology, Booth 801 at the California Women’s Conference in Long Beach, Sept. 23 & 24.  Apptology is showcasing their portfolio of mobile applications which has reached  nearly 200, with over 3 million downloads.   Their success is due to the 2012 Spring launch of a new low cost line of ReadyBuilt mobile applications that are customized specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) including real estate professionals,  dental and medical  facilities, restaurants and bars, salons, spas, non-profits, professional organizations, and retail and grocery stores.

Apptology has been creating mobile applications for over two years with a development team of over 100 software engineers.  They have had recent success developing applications for small companies who are using apps as a marketing platform to engage their customer base.  They are also getting mobile app requests from larger corporations including the California Woman’s Conference, Round Table Pizza, Siemens, and Billboard Chart musician, Nicholas Gunn. Apptology has also developed partnerships with technology companies including Nuvel and BizHappy.  Apptology’s most popular apps with the largest amount of downloads have been from a Facebook chat application, a drug testing resource app for parents, and BizHappy’s mobile business directory.

“With research indicating mobile app downloads are over 45 billion and growing, we think there is only one direction for Apptology’s growth to go and that is up,” said Rich Foreman, Apptology CEO.  “Our development and project management teams are very busy with both our custom and ReadyBuilt product offerings, and we currently have a healthy pipeline of work,” he adds.  “We are beginning to expand our business developing resale partnerships with companies such as digital and social media agencies, franchises or other businesses who can resell mobile applications to their client base,” explains Foreman.

Apptology’s ReadyBuilt mobile apps are a low cost application that customers can purchase for as low as $550 per platform, including iOS, Android and Blackberry, with a nominal monthly hosting fee.  ReadyBuilt apps are popular for the Small Business clients because they are a marketing platform for sending promotional text alerts, geo-based coupons, utilizing m-commerce functionality and integrating social media for sharing.  In addition to mobile applications, Apptology also offers clients mobile marketing services including custom branded QR codes, push notifications and mobilizing websites.

Kevin Fitzgerald, VP Sales at Apptology states, “We are here at the California Women’s Conference because we think there is a huge opportunity with woman-owned businesses, large and small.”  He explains, “We created a mobile application for the conference to show off our ReadyBuilt app capability, giving attendees information about the event, speaker bios, link to blogs, media gallery, accommodation information, directions, and social media links.”  Fitzgerald adds, “Women are leading the way with adopting technology and we look forward to working with these companies to help them expand their marketing capabilities.” The California Women’s Conference app works on all platforms and is available in all the app stores.

Learn more about Apptology.com.

Apptology Delivers Affordable “ReadyBuilt” Mobile Applications to the Masses

Apptology announced today the launch of a new low cost line of ReadyBuilt mobile applications customized specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) including real estate professionals, the dental and medical field, restaurants and bars, salons, spas, non-profit and professional organizations, retail and grocery and many other business types. These ReadyBuilt applications are developed for iPhone, iPad and Android devices and cost $550 to publish on all three platforms with a $49.95 monthly hosting and service fee.
Apptology is a start-up technology company that has been developing custom mobile applications for over two years and has over 100 applications in its portfolio which includes apps for businesses, games, entertainment, pizza ordering, calculators, directories, training, tourism and many more. The last couple of months Apptology has shifted its focus and is now positioned to take advantage of offering ReadyBuilt mobile apps at a lower price point while providing a highly functional sales and marketing tool to a large population of companies who never considered utilizing a mobile application to market their business.
“There are over 80 million smartphones in the United States and they have become a key communication device for many individuals,” said Rich Foreman, Apptology CEO. “Apptology’s ReadyBuilt apps give the SMB market a cost effective solution to leverage the incredible power of the smartphone to promote their business,” he explains. “For a few hundred dollars, a small business can have their own feature-rich app that normally would cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop from scratch,” adds Foreman.
Apptology ReadyBuilt mobile apps are a FREE download for customers and capabilities range with each business type, but some of the featured functionality includes:
• Push Notifications/Text Alerts: Businesses can send promotions, event information and messages to their customers which is extremely powerful because push notifications have a 97% read rate compared to 3% for email.

• Lead Capture: Customers who download the app are instantly asked to join a mailing list.
• Appointment Confirmation: Businesses can communicate, schedule appointments and send confirmations through text alerts.
• Information Delivery: Informational and educational content on products, menus or services can be posted and includes an image gallery for showcasing photos, and the app can stream live content through YouTube.
• Incentives: Retail companies, salons and restaurants can send GPS-based coupons to persons who are in geographic range of the business for discounts on products, meals or services.
• Ecommerce: Companies can showcase and sell products through shopping cart integration.
• Built-in Calculators: Tip calculator for restaurants and mortgage calculators for real estate.
• QR Code Scanner: The app includes a built-in QR code scanner for customers to use at businesses who use QR codes.
• Social Media: Customers are asked to share information, specials and images through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube – this allows the app to generate referral business through social media.
• Links: Allows embedded website links to access other external sources of information.
Apptology is reorganizing its sales, marketing and development teams to prepare for what may be a huge onslaught of business from companies and organizations who never considered branding and marketing their business with a mobile application. They are looking to expand their sales force to compensate for substantial influx of business and positioning themselves for success in this growing market.
Foreman states, “We believe companies are starting to understand that having a mobile application to brand their business is as critical as having a website, and Apptology is ready to deliver this capability at an entry level price point so any size company can participate in mobile marketing.” He adds, “We truly believe that our ReadyBuilt apps will take our company to the next level and we are excited to be offering these inexpensive marketing tools to the masses.”

Smart Phones: The Evolution of Communication

The iPhone and similar devices are changing the way we communicate. The iPhone has a faster processer than a three year laptop. With its built in GPS, it knows where you are. With its built in compass, it knows what direction you’re going. It has a built in camera. It can record both video and audio. You can access the Internet. You can text. You can listen to your music and watch movies. Oh, yeah, don’t forget, you can use it as a phone. All this and it fits in your pocket and cost as little at $49 with two year cell phone agreement.
There are nearly 200 million Smart Phones worldwide. Morgan Stanley & Gartner Research are predicting that within the next four years mobile devices will be the No. 1 access point to the Internet worldwide. As a business, you need to develop a mobile strategy so that your business can evolve with the way your customers, employees, and clients communicate. If you are not, your competitors are. In my next blog, I’ll discuss factors you should consider in developing a mobile strategy for your business.
For more Information on iPhone App Development please visit www.apptology.com