New York City’s brand new startup accelerator, SeedStart, just graduated its first class of companies.New York’s lack of its own answer to Y-Combinator — the ultra-successful accelerator program in Silicon Valley — has been a common knock against the local tech scene.
That’s now a thing of the past.
Run by NYC Seed, SeedStart obviously has a long way to go before it has the recognition and alumni list of a Y-Combinator, but it’s off to a strong start. Its debut class heard talks from top New York City entrepreneurs and VCs like Albert Wenger, Eric Paley, and Justin Shaffer.
Earlier today, the five graduating companies gave their pitches to a group of VCs, entrepreneurs, and us.
Here’s what we saw.
Lexeem is launching two connected platforms for quality translations.
Anyone can post requests for free translations. The community can vote translations up or down, allowing quality translators to build-up a reputation. This is essentially what uber-hot StackOverflow does for programmers.
Lexeem will make its money off of paid translations for people and, especially, businesses that need professional quality, longer translations. Translators that build up a reputation with the work they do for free will be more visible to paying customers.
Datadog is a tool for helping developers and IT operations collaborate effectively.
The service 'provides a consistent, consolidated view into IT data silos and promotes social interactions between dev and ops.'
Never having worked as part of a large software development team, we can't fully evaluate Datadog's pitch, but they've got a smart, experienced team. We'll see what happens when a product is out in the wild.
Introspectr is a personal search engine.
Users give Introspectr access to their webmail, social networks, etc., then provides a single search box to look through all of them. If you can't remember whether someone emailed you that great story or tweeted it at you, Introspectr is there to help.
One particularly neat feature: Introspectr also searches behind links, a la Yolink, so if your search term only appears in an article, but not the, say, email you received linking to it, Introspectr will still find it.
It's surprising this isn't already a feature of Facebook and Google, given how common it is for users to connect multiple accounts through them. This is ripe for being crushed by either of them, but could also be a great Facebook acquisition if the product is good and gets some traction.
Reducify is entering the rapidly expanding market of electricity analytics.
Everyone from startups, to massive energy companies, to Google is selling a vision of a world in which households can easily see their electricity consumption broken down to the level of individual appliances. But the technology is always either not ready yet, too expensive, or not really that helpful.
Reducify's pitch avoided anything at all technical, so we don't know how or if the company is solving those problems, but if it delivers on what it promises, it could be a promising business.
The company will make money initially by referring its users to merchants where they can replace old, energy-hogging appliances.
Risktail helps investors analyse stock options and model risk associated with them.
The company is releasing a dashboard for individual investors, and is also working on enterprise products for firms.
We really liked the look of the product, and it comes at an ideal time: financial regulation is pushing masses of OTC options onto the listed market. As one of the founders put it, 'we're not just good, we're lucky.'