I joined Techstars in 2013 and ran my first program in Spring of 2014. This summer 2018 program was my 8th program and it will be my last.
We were lucky to work with an amazing group of founders for this summer session, Techstars Class 142. After 8 programs I know exactly what makes for a great group – diversity. It was a real pleasure to see these different humans come together, grind together, and help each other.
We had 4 companies from NYC, and also companies from Ohio, Maryland, Boston, Pennsylvania. One company from Australia, and one was our first ever team from Israel. Four of these companies have female CEOs.
The companies tackled a wide range of problems including menstrual products, single origin spices, financial education for minority women, sales commissions and accounting, application of micro-biome to skincare, analytics tools, automated fitness coaching based on machine vision, cloud-based B2B integrations, flying drones remotely around the world, and SIEM security and monitoring.
The companies worked really hard during the program to figure out their businesses.
MEET THE COMPANIES
Aunt Flow stocks organizations with 100% organic cotton tampons and pads, so companies and schools can offer them for free to employees & guests.
Aunt Flow is a brainchild of Claire Coder, a college drop out, 2x founder and a product designer. Claire started the company after unexpectedly getting her period in public. Claire is not alone, 86% of women start their period unexpectedly. Claire thought that if businesses provide toilet paper for free, they should provide menstrual products too, since both of them respond to natural bodily functions.
Aunt Flow is selling directly, and through distributors, to schools, universities and large enterprises. SMBs can purchase Aunt Flow products directly through the web site. Aunt Flow products are biodegradable and come with custom dispenser that makes it easy and convenient for facilities to manage their inventory. Menstrual product space is $35B globally, and Aunt Flow’s immediate annual opportunity in US is $700M.
There are 150+ business currently stocking their bathrooms with Aunt Flow products. Ranging from coffee shops to Fortune 500s, some of their customers include Viacom, Twitter, and Brown University. Aunt Flow is generating $250K in revenue. Watch Aunt Flow pitch below and reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Burlap & Barrel
Burlap & Barrel sources beautiful artisanal spices directly from farmers around the world.
Burlap & Barrel was started by Ethan Frisch, a chef and humanitarian aid worker, and Ori Zohar, a marketer turned entrepreneur. They’re creating a new, transparent way to get beautiful, unique spices from around the world to professional chefs and home cooks. The magic behind the company is the direct way in which Burlap & Barrel sources the spices and tells the stories of their partner growers.
In addition to supplying the spices to restaurants, Burlap & Barrel sells direct to consumers online. Customers enjoy organic black peppercorns from Zanzibar, wild mountain cumin from Afghanistan, smoked pimenton paprika from Spain and over 40 other spices and gift sets. Spices market is $20BN globally.
Since launching, Burlap & Barrel has generated $300k+ in sales across their wholesale and retail channels. Their customers include Dig Inn as well as several Michelin star restaurants (Eleven Madison Park, Momofuku Ko, the Finch). They were recently featured in Epicurious and Popular Mechanics. For more information reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clever Girl Finance
Clever Girl Finance provides financial education and tools for women of color.
Clever Girl Finance founder, Bola Sokunbi, is an immigrant, computer science major and a certified financial educator. Bola’s first job out of college paid $50K, but she managed to save $100K in 3 years. Bola realized that many women of color were not financially savvy and decided to change the status quo.
Today Clever Girl Finance offers over 20 different, bite size financial education courses, ranging from getting out of debt to managing your wedding on the budget. Customers get access to courses for $10 a month. Clever Girl Finance customers call the platform eye opening. Many, have been able to get out of debt and starting on their path of financial independence. There are over 20MM employed women of color in US, this is growing demographic that both needs help and will also hold a lot of purchasing power in the future.
Clever Girl Finance has 400+ paying customers $5k MRR, over 100K followers on social media. Their platform now hosts over 20 different financial education courses. Reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Concert Finance automates manual financial reporting in real-time, starting with sales commissions. Concert’s platform is compliant with new accounting rules (ASC 606) and has add-on modules for SaaS Metrics, Invoicing, and Revenue Recognition.
Sanj Sanampudi was previously a CFO with 15 years of experience in finance at Return Path, Sanergy, and Viacom. He felt the pain point first hand and launch Concert Finance to help sales teams and finance departments modernize their commission calculations.
Concert Finance platform runs on top of Salesforce with a simple, no-developer integration, eliminating the manual work in commission calculations. With Concert, reps can get real time updates about the commissions they are earning. Concert Finance’s initial target market is 25K SaaS companies that are spending $1.25BN on commission calculations annually.
Concert Finance is focusing on B2B cloud services companies, with over 20 sales reps. They currently have 5 companies using the product with an ARR of $90K. Watch Concert Finance pitch below and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FlyThere is building the future of immersive entertainment by connecting their customers with drone operators, allowing them to fly remotely and experience the world through the eyes of a drone.
FlyThere is the evolution of immersive entertainment, it’s real-time remote traveling around the world. Imagine instantly being able to fly a drone and experience your favorite place in the world, a place you have always dreamed of visiting. This is the reality that FlyThere brings to our lives. The Big Buddha temple in Thailand and the Pirate ship in Cancun are only some of the first locations you can experience remotely.
FlyThere is expanding to new exciting locations and will soon offer remote drone flights in Argentina, Brazil and Indonesia. In the future, we will see drone owners traveling with their drones to amazing places in the world and offering people to FlyThere.
Fly there is available in 8 locations in 3 countries. FlyThere serviced 170 flights by 120 users between the ages of 8 and 75 and over 20% repeat usage. Watch FlyThere pitch below and reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Le CultureClub allows customers to test their skin micro-biome and delivers actionable data that empowers consumers to purchase skincare products that actually work.
Le CultureClub’s mission is to help people choose skincare products (e.g. cleansers, moisturizers) using the science of the micro-biome. The company has developed an easy to use at-home kit. The customers swab their skin and send their sample to Le CultureClub. The company performs the analysis of the micro-biome – the bacteria that is found on the skin. The test helps track common skin concerns such as acne, oil production, hydration and other wellness goals.
The results of the analysis are shown on a dashboard that provides personalized wellness recommendations to each customer. By using Le CultureClub, people are actually able to tell which products will help them achieve their skincare goals. Le CultureClub also offers an annual package that allows customers analyze their skin quarterly. The global skincare space is $136BN, and Le CultureClub is working to put consumers in control.
Le CultureClub has $4k in revenue from pre-orders for their Stardust Kit that is currently in development, and a 3K subscribers to their newsletter. Watch Le CultureClub pitch below and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Pandium is a platform that makes it easy for software companies to develop, deploy, and support integrations that they provide to their customers, reducing engineering time by up to 80%.
Co-founders Cristina and Shon previously worked together at Handshake. There they realized how time consuming and costly B2B integrations are. They’ve set out to create Pandium, which takes a fresh approach to integrations by delivering cloud-based platform focused on developers.
Pandium makes it easy to deploy the integrations by taking care of authentication, scheduling and other basics. The developers are able to focus on specific integration logic and don’t need to worry about hosting and scaling the integrations. Today, Pandium supports dozens of integrations including Shopify, Mailchimp and Salesforce. The company’s vision is to become a major player in $400BN application integration market.
Pandium has $40K in ARR via 1 paid customer, and 1 contract out. 20 qualified leads / $300K ARR in their pipeline. Watch the pitch below and reach out to email@example.com for more information.
Perch uses camera vision and machine learning in the gym to create optimized, connected, and safe strength training workouts.
Perch is the brainchild of 3 MIT alums with experience from Apple, Oculus VR and Tesla. Perch’s vision is to create an automated coach that uses machine vision to record and help improve movement. The company is starting with the strength training market. Perch’s solution includes a camera and tablet which is mounted to the rack for recording and displaying data. Users login and workout as usual. Perch automatically records each rep, as well as velocity – a critical component for athletic performance.
Perch stores all the data in the cloud and in the future will have a dashboard that will help coaches and athletes work together to improve athletic performance. Perch is rolling out their product with colleges and professional teams. They will be expanding into commercial and home gyms as well as other verticals in coming years. As the company grows they are amassing a unique data set on human performance that will help athletes improve and will help power automated coaching in the future.
In the last 3 months Perch has made sales to colleges, Special Operations Facilities, and Home gyms. They have installed product in 9 of their 10 locations, including the Phillies, LA Kings, Ole Miss, and Georgetown. They have formed a pipeline and waitlist of 100+ elite organizations including Alabama, Georgia Tech, DC United, and Penn State, deals collectively worth over $350,000. They are discussing pilots and partnerships with Equinox, other high profile gyms and equipment manufacturers such as Life Fitness. Watch Perch’s pitch below and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
SeekWell changes the way analytics teams share and write code, and helps companies create living data taxonomies as analysts work.
Mike Ritchie, co-founder of SeekWell, spent 15 years leading analytics teams at Bank of America and venture backed startups. SeekWell offers an elegant, and collaborative approach to analytics by combining a slick analytics platform and common code repository. Analysts can quickly write, share and reuse SQL queries. Under the hood, SeekWell’s engine compiles, organizes and offers a natural language interface to the code repository.
SeekWell comes with an awesome Slack integration that allows business users to ask questions and get answers without having to know SQL. SeekWell is seeing early signs of product market fit and virality – analysts inside Peloton, Spotify and WeWork are telling their colleagues to sign up. Today SeekWell is going after a $1.5BN market and eventually after $12BN enterprise analytics tools space.
They have 150 weekly active users (50 paying), including Peloton, Spotify, and WeWork. Active users are growing by 23% a month and 15% of new users join through the word of mouth. MRR has grown from $500 to $1,600 in the last 3 months. Watch SeekWell’s pitch below and reach out to email@example.com for more information.
SIEMonster is an Enterprise-grade Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), built on scalable, open source components.
Chris Rock has over 20 years of experience in security space. Together with the team of security experts he is building the next generation Security Information and Event Management product based on open source core. Current SIEM solutions are rigid, costly and hard to implement. SIEMonster is the opposite. It supports SMB and enterprise, MSSP configuration, and cloud or on-site solution by offering customized packages and dashboards for each market segment.
SIEMonster features include human based behavior, and threat intelligence. SIEMonster applies deep learning to automatically detect and terminate attacks. SIEMonster customers include major universities, and large enterprises. HP, one of the distribution partners, distributes SIEMonster product to major financial institutions. SIEM market is projected to be $17BN by 2020.
The company has $105K of booked MRR and have grown over 300% in recent month. SIEMonster customers include University of Massachusetts Amherst, BlueScope, Ottawa Hospital, Sydbank and HP. For more information reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU SPEAKERS, ALUMNI AND MENTORS!
We are incredibly lucky here at Techstars NYC to have support from the amazing tech community in NYC, our mentors, our 100+ alumni companies, and amazing speakers.
We are truly lucky to have incredibly engaged alumni, who are coming back to help the founders from business introductions to investor pitch. Alumni is a constant presence in Techstars NYC program and really shape the program. Special thank you to Brian Jeong, Sarah Adler, Erica Jain, Ryan Shank, and Neha Singh for helping with the company pitches.
We felt really supported by 80 mentors who worked with the companies during the program — huge thank you, as always for your support.
Here are specific shout outs from the companies:
Aunt Flow: Melissa Hudson-Wallace (Partner, fivefoottwo marketing)
Burlap & Barrel: Tobias Peggs (CEO, SquareRoots), Chris Phillips (VP/GM, Apartment Therapy Media)
Clever Girl Finance: Jonathan Cornelissen (CEO, DataCamp), Max Wendkos (Product Designer at Aaptiv)
Concert Finance: Carrie Reynolds (CSR Consulting), Jesse Hertzberg (Great Hill Partners)
Flythere: Kevin King (Activate Product Manager, Amazon Web Services), Alli Valli (VP of Product, KeyMe)
Le Culture Club: Chris Phillips (VP/GM, Apartment Therapy Media), Brian Jeong (CEO, Hawthorne and alumni), Todd Saunders (CEO, AdHawk and alumni)
Pandium: Kevin O’Brien (CEO, GreatHorn and alumni), Chris Fraser (CRO at Image Relay and alumni), Graham Neray (Chief of Staff, MongoDB)
Perch: Alex Winter (Director Computer Vision, Netgear and alumni)
Seekwell: Jonathan Cornelissen (CEO, DataCamp and alumni), Weston Stearns (VP of Growth, DataCamp), Jean Sini (Startup Investor and Advisor)
Siemonster: Kevin O’Brien (CEO, GreatHorn and alumni), Dan Herman (CEO, Welcome and alumni)
and a special shout out to the most helpful mentors: Jesse Hertzberg, Todd Saunders, Chris Frasier, Jonathan Cornelissen, Jean Sini and Kevin O’Brien!
THANK YOU ASSOCIATES AND TECHSTARS TEAM!
We feel very lucky to have had a stellar group of associates that absolutely crushed it during the program. Every single week we heard from the founders how helpful they found the associates. Joe Hannon, Adam Kaplan, Daniella Cohen, Nikhil Baradwaj, Sourav Panda (intern), Zach Lev (intern), and Alli Fried (Designer in Residence) – thank you so much for working really hard and making a difference.
Huge shout out to our amazing crew – KJ and Jill – big THANK YOU not just for this program but for the past 5 amazing years we worked together. Very proud of what we’ve accomplished together and will cherish these memories forever.