This is my 6th program as Managing Director of Techstars NYC, and I am really grateful to 3 people who run the program with me – KJ Singh, Jill Canning and Raj Patel.
We’ve been lucky to be able to work with an amazing group of 80 startups, including 13 new companies from our summer program. Before diving into the details and talking about the new companies, I wanted to share some news about the Techstars NYC alumni.
As of this Summer, the companies from our first four programs have raised $185MM in venture capital and are now valued at over $500MM. This is an amazing milestone given that these companies went through Techstars in the last few years, specifically 2014-2016. Our fast growing alums include Pilot, DataCamp, IrisVR, Stream, Joany, GreatHorn, LiveLike, Foodworks, Flip, SPIDR, Healthie, Skopenow, and Mantl. We’ve also returned significant capital to our investors through exits from Tutum and Infinit (both acquired by Docker) and Spoon University (acquired by Scripps).
Truly fantastic and diverse group of companies participated in Techstars NYC Summer 2017 (Techstars class 101) . The founders have leaned to Techstars network to significantly grow and accelerate their businesses. Every week they set ambitious goals and worked really hard to accomplish them. We are really proud of this group and the progress they made.
We are proud to have 6 out of 12 companies are led by women CEOs. 8 of the 12 companies are local to NYC, one came from San Francisco, one from Portland, one from UK, and we’ve had our very first ever team from India. These founders are working on developer tools, healthcare, e-commerce, search, business applications, analytics, consumer brands, architecture, education and more.
MEET THE COMPANIES
CottageClass is a community marketplace for childhood education that empowers families to enroll their children in microschools: homeschool cop-ops, preschools, schools, afterschool programs and camps founded by local teachers. Founder, Manisha Snoyer is a former teacher who in the last 15 years taught more than 1000 students around the world. Manisha launched CottageClass to help 75MM families in US get higher quality, more affordable education by connecting them with millions of qualified teachers. Since launch, has CottageClass helped 400 familes, generated over $1MM in Tuition Contracts, and has been growing 90% MoM over the last 3 months.
Gather is a data infrastructure as a service company, providing managed dataops for developers. Companies are spending $65BN a year on managing data, yet data engineering is a tangled mess of scripts. Ben and Cathy, the founders of Gather, see the opportunity to bring order to chaos by creating one cohesive platform for integrating, transforming and managing data. Gather provides a visual pipeline environment that supports dozens of integrations with data sources including APIs and public sources, intelligent libraries of transformations and flexible outputs to Tensorflow, databases and BI tools. You can sign up to try Gather at gatherdata.co.
Geopipe automatically builds expansive virtual models of the real world for architecture, video games, special effects, training simulations, and VR applications. The founders of Geopipe, Dr. Christopher Mitchell and Thomas Dickerson, created sophisticated machine learning algorithms that understand the structure of the world from raw data like satellite and street level photographs, laser scans, terrain contours, and maps to produce rich 3D models. Geopipe’s pipeline intelligently identifies and tags objects inside every model including buildings, landmarks, trees, and allows users to customize the level of details in their models. Geopipe has just launched their platform, providing full models of New York City and San Francisco and is starting a beta program with several major architecture firms.
Hawthorne is the first personalized brand for all men’s bathroom needs. Phil Wong and Brian Jeong are serial fashion entrepreneurs, and their vision is to upgrade and simplify the men’s bathroom with premium, convenient, and personalized products. Their first product is personalized cologne based on your body chemistry and lifestyle data. Your cologne is made by award-winning Tom Ford and Polo fragrance creators, and Hawthorne’s tailoring algorithm has 95% accuracy based on 10 simple questions. Hawthorne is generating $100K in monthly revenue and has been growing revenues 50% MoM. Customers are wild about the product, and Hawthorne’s return rate is below 5% while margins are 70% fully-landed. The company expects to generate $500K in sales in Q4 and is planning to launch its second product, personalized deodorant in Q1 of 2018. This week only, get $10 off Hawthorne by using promo code “Alexi10”.
Matchaful is committed to bringing premium, organic matcha to cafes, offices, and consumers. Hannah Habes started Matchaful after working in the CPG industry for 8 years. Matchaful is obsessed with helping cafes company’s and individuals experience a perfect cup every single time. The company offers Emerald Matcha for drinking, Jade and Matcha for mixing and baking. Matchaful also offers convenient stick packs for offices, as well as whisking tools, and machines for making Matcha. Matchaful is the first company to offer Single Origin Matcha directly from solar powered farm in Japan. Since launch, Matchaful signed up 80 coffee shops and corporate offices including Cafe Grumpy, Butchers’ Daughter, Hu Kitchen, and Nike’s world head quarters. Matchaful has generated $150K in revenue in 2017, has tripled sales from Q1 to Q3. This week only, get $10 off Matchaful using promo code “TECHSTARS10”
Obsess is a Virtual Reality platform for experiential shopping that works on the web and in VR headsets. Neha Singh, a former Google engineer and Head of Product at Vogue, started Obsess because she realized the enormous opportunity for shopping in virtually reality. Obsess is a B2B platform that helps create interactive, photorealistic, 3D stores for major brands. The stores let users browse and buy products and also see what they would look like in different settings. Obsess launched the first-ever cross-channel VR shopping experience for Vera Bradley and won the virtual commerce competition organized by Walmart’s incubator Store No. 8.
Parakeet is a connected phone system that integrates with customer service and sales tools to make teams more effective. Current phone systems are clunky, inefficient, and inflexible. Parakeet is the first multi-platform business phone system with a completely open API for customers to build on top of. Parakeet supports both voice and text, and already integrates with HubSpot, Pipedrive and Zendesk. Just 4 weeks after launch, Parakeet has 25 customers and $1K in MRR.
PhoneWagon is call tracking software that helps businesses and digital marketing agencies attribute phone calls back to specific marketing campaigns. Ryan Shank, founder of PhoneWagon, believes in his company so much that he invested $300K of his own money in it. Phone calls continue to be a significant source of leads and revenue, but call tracking is just broken. With PhoneWagon SMBs and advertising agencies can track phone call as easily as clicks from digital channels. PhoneWagon is now generating $10K in MRR, up from $2K just 3 months ago. The company has 110 customers and had 11 consecutive weeks of expansion revenue.
SVRF is a search engine for immersive content for virtual reality and augmented reality. Sophia Dominguez, the co-founder of SVRF, is one of the early virtual reality pioneers, and the founder of the AllThingsVR newsletter. With SVRF, Sophia and her team are making it easy for everyone to find and experience immersive content. Visitors to SVRF can spin around beautiful 360º photos, watch fun 360º videos, submit their own creations, and soon, explore the best interactive 3D content. By centralizing distribution for immersive content, SVRF has positioned itself to power the most engaging medium in history to consumers everywhere, and you don’t need a headset to experience it. SVRF is currently available on desktop and mobile. SVRF’s audience grew 25% WoW in the last 3 months.
TypeLead develops Eta, a pure-functional programming language on the Java Virtual Machine that simplifies development of complex enterprise applications. Jyothsna and Rahul, the founders of TypeLead share passion for functional programming. They spent 1 year porting Haskell to run on top of Java Virtual Machine. The result is Eta, a new functional programming language, that is strongly typed, and has awesome security and native concurrency support. The beta version was launched just 3 months ago and already has more than 25K active developers, including engineers at Stripe, Atlassian, Twitter, Google, Salesforce and Netflix.
Virgo is a cloud-based video recording platform for colonoscopies that leverages incoming video data to develop automated polyp detection systems. Matt, David and Ian, the founders of Virgo have strong combined experience in healthcare and hardware. The company has created a simple device that seamlessly plugs into current colonoscopy hardware, and automates video capture to the cloud. Virgo provides a portal for doctors to easily access and manage videos. In the future, Virgo is looking to leverage machine learning to automate polyp detection. Virgo is now working with 10 of the top gastroenterology programs in the country, including Stanford, UPenn, Vanderbilt, Columbia, UMASS, Rush University, and Indiana University. Installed with two large private practices (NYC and Phoenix).
Vitally is available in private beta now and will be launching a public beta in the coming weeks.
AND THERE IS ONE MORE COMPANY – TURING ADVISORY GROUP
Turing Group is a research and data-driven sell-side advisory firm for blockchain companies that plan to tokenize their network. We’ve partnered with Bradley Miles, the founder, to incubate the company this summer. After watching entire economies become tokenized, Bradley sought to create a company that could separate the signal of quality from the noise. Turing Group founding team comes from CoinDesk, Smith & Crown, and Ethereum Foundation. Turing Group supports companies from the concept stage to a successful ICO in about 5 months including white paper, smart contracts audits, customer development, pre-sale and ICO. Turing Group’s first customer is a company called FOAM which is launching an open standard to incentivize location on the blockchain, Turing Group has $700K in booked revenue and a strong pipeline of ICO customers.
WATCH SELECTED PITCHES AND VIDEOS
THANK YOU MENTORS, ALUMNI, SPEAKERS and ASSOCIATES!
We are incredibly lucky here at Techstars NYC to have support from the amazing tech community in NYC, our 100+ alumni companies, amazing speakers and dedicated group of associates.
Here is the thank you video that founders made for mentors:
Here are the mentors selected by each company as Most Helpful:
- CottageClass – Christine Carrillo (CEO, JOANY, Techstars ‘15)
- Gather – Olivier Pomel (CEO, DataDog)
- Geopipe – Alexandre Winter (CEO, Placemeter, Techstars ’13)
- Hawthorne – Sarah Adler (CTO, Spoon University, Techstars ’15), Shan-Lyn Ma (CEO, Zola)
- Matchaful – Tobias Peggs (CEO, Square Roots Urban Growers)
- Obsess – Jade Huang (CEO, StyleSage, Techstars ‘15)
- Parakeet – Kevin O’Brien (CEO, GreatHorn, Techstars ‘15)
- PhoneWagon – Dane Atkinson (CEO, SumAll), Erica Jain (CEO, Healthie, Techstars ’16)
- SVRF – Cem Kozinoglu (CEO, Tapslash, Techstars ‘15)
- TypeLead – Thierry Schellenbach (CEO, Stream, Techstars ‘15), Adam Johnson (CEO, IOpipe, Techstars ‘16)
- Virgo – Dr. Alexander Börve (CEO, iDoc24)
- Vitally – Brandon Paton (CEO, Localize, Techstars ‘15)
Here are the Most Helpful Mentors of Techstars NYC Summer 2017 Program – Kevin O’Brien (CEO, GreatHorn, Techstars ’15), Shan-Lyn Ma (CEO, Zola), Cem Kozinoglu (CEO, Tapslash, Techstars ’15), Fiona McCarthy (VP of Product, Prolific), Alanna Gregory (EIR, Techstars). Thank you for your amazing help, advice and support!
The founders got a lot of support from alumni. Here are the ones that were particularly helpful: Alex Winter, Dylan Reid, Daniel Cohen-Shohet, Kevin O’Brien, Christine Carillo, Nathaniel Harley, Adam Johnson, Nick Devane, Erica Jain, Joe Ellis, Sarah Adler, Susannah Vila, Nat McNamara, Jason Baptiste, Brandon Patton, Thierry Schellenbach.
We also had amazing speakers who came to share their stories, and give founders feedback on their companies. Fireside chats and panels were fun, insightful and really engaging.
We were joined for this session by an awesome group of associates. Christian, Wickel, Alexis, Gal and Zach — thank you for all the help and hard work you’ve put in during the program!
GOOD LUCK TECHSTARS NYC SUMMER 2017!