Techstars’ Demo Day: A Boulder Look Into the Future
Last Wednesday, I saw into the future. Boulder Techstars’ public Demo Day played the part of crystal ball, foretelling a future of virtual reality and revolutionary healthcare platforms. The 13 startups of Techstars’ 10th-anniversary class offer a new reality: a future that prioritizes efficiency and convenience to the point that the questions “Is there an app for that?” becomes on par with “Is the sky blue?”
Every startup deserves praise for undertaking a monetary risk in the name of making our lives easier. However, as a young professional seeking both organization and inner peace, I compiled a list of my favorite startup presentations at Demo Day:
Every couple needs time to rekindle their love sans toddlers and Paw Patrol. This revolutionary app is like a Little Black Book of babysitters, complete with scheduling options, payment solutions, and networking. Are all your go-to sitters busy? Borrow your friend’s trusted sitters through the app’s networking features. Because Sitter relies on trusted networks, you can always be sure that your children are safe. And then, when you’ve come back from a night at Arcana, you can pay your sitter with the tap of a button.
Hardbound couples quick, interactive visuals with nonfiction knowledge. Here’s the gist: every week, you get delivered quality content based off bestselling authors. This format allows you to rapidly learn new things in an engaging way. In fact, it’s so engaging that the majority of users finish their books, compared to less than 30% engagement on websites. Hardbound’s CEO, Nathan Bashaw is serious about his product, summarizing Hardbound as mobile phones, “when the artists got a hold of it.” He considers each invention to have two phases: the technological innovation (think films that existed to prove film could work) and the storytelling innovation (think Casablanca). Well, Hardbound is the Casablanca of mobile apps.
3) Data Nerds
Ah, nerds. They work hard so you don’t have to. That’s what founder Josh Fraser has set out to do—make life easier for you and business. You see, buying a home isn’t all the bells and whistles HGTV’s Property Brothers makes it look like. It’s complex, filled with gotchas and details that are easy to miss. That’s where Data Nerds comes in. By aggregating real estate data, Data Nerds makes it easy for the real estate entities to draw trends and find solutions. You may be using a real estate powered by Data Nerds’ API and you might not even know it!
Candl is set out to connect everyone. Most people actively avoid connecting when traveling abroad because of expensive charges or having to change SIM cards. Candle kills the SIM card. Through their online marketplace, users can change carriers virtually, without requiring any hardware in the process. This app has even more significance now with the Syrian refugee crisis; displaced people are often unable to get data and connection when they need it most. Candl also lets its users donate data to those who need their smartphone and internet to reach safety in foreign lands, and reconnect families who’ve found refuge.
When Rob Kunz, an angel investor, introduced Stateless, he hailed it as a “big, unsexy business” and that “when everyone’s looking away, that’s the time to invest” in large markets like internet infrastructure. Boulder-native startup Stateless is set out to change the landscape of network infrastructure to handle a changing internet. The reality of networks is actually quite messy: firewalls crash, load balancers raises costs, and clunky hardware requires upgrades as often as I require Kilwin’s fudge. Stateless does away with all of that, implementing a software-based approach to networks that means your firewall’s data is safe—even if it crashes (and that’s rare). And that’s how the sausage is made.