Six Startups Demo Their Ventures at InnoTech Austin

By LAURA LOREK
Founder of Silicon Hills News

Paul Murphy, CEO of Clarify.io, answering a question from the audience at the InnoTech Austin Beta Summit

Paul Murphy, CEO of Clarify.io, answering a question from the audience at the InnoTech Austin Beta Summit

Six startups showed off their ventures during six-minute presentations at the InnoTech Austin Beta Summit Wednesday morning at the Austin Convention Center.

The demos provided the companies an opportunity to show, not tell, the audience what their companies did, said Bryan Menell, managing editor of AustinStartup.com and the panel’s moderator.

First up, Burpy, an online grocery delivery service available in Austin, San Antonio and Houston, showed how easily customers could place orders and have them delivered to their doorsteps. Burpy charges $6.99 for orders under $50.

“Burpy is your shoppelganger, we’re you inside the store,” said Sharez Prasla, Burpy cofounder.

Burpy spun out of Longhorn Startup, a semester long class geared at nurturing undergraduate entrepreneurs at the University of Texas at Austin. The founders also recently completed the Techstars Austin program.

Next up, Paul Murphy, CEO of Clarify.io, formerly known as Op3nVoice, an application that makes audio and video files searchable. Murphy showed off Clarify’s self-service API that allows developers to make apps to search audio and video files easily using keyword and topics.

It’s perfect for searching all kinds of media files, Murphy said. For example, CallTrunk, a service that allows people to record and archive phone calls, uses the technology to allow its customers to search past calls by keywords. Mobento, a site that aggregates educational videos online, uses the Clarify technology to search its videos for exact keywords and then it marks where in the video those words appear.

Right now, Clarify’s technology only works with the English language, but it’s expanding into other languages, Murphy said.

The third startup, PatientIO, a product of Filament Labs, provides a patient delivery care platform. The platform allows healthcare providers to deliver treatment information and reminders to patients.

“We provide a real time window into what’s going on outside of the clinic,” said Jason Bornhorst, its cofounder and CEO.

Filament Labs graduated from the Techstars Austin program in 2013. The company, which has five employees, has raised $1.2 million in seed stage funding. The company’s app is available on the iOS and Android platform and via the Web. It also has plans for SMS delivery in the future.

Bill Boebel showed off Pingboard, an online office management tool. Boebel, managing director of Capital Factory, previously co-founded Webmail.us and later sold the company to Rackspace Hosting.

Pingboard, founded in 2013, officially launched its beta test this summer. The company has raised $1.25 million in seed stage funding. What Pingboard seeks to do is replace paper management tools in the office by providing an office directory, vacation calendar and employee database. The service lets employees set status alerts when they are out of the office or on a business trip or home sick. It also lets them schedule vacation and makes that information available to others in the office.

Lander Coronado-Garcia, CEO of Thread, a dating site for UT students.

Lander Coronado-Garcia, CEO of Thread, a dating site for UT students.

Lander Coronado-Garcia, CEO of Thread, a new dating app only available to University of Texas at Austin students, showed how it works.

“Our mission is to make connecting around campus, fun and safe and especially classy,” he said.

The app also has a method to report on people who are acting improperly on the site, he said.

Thread, which launched at UT this month, already has 1,000 users, Coronado-Garcia said. The app asks students to rate their favorite restaurants, activities, classes and other interests and then offers up 25 matches with photos and profile information per day to each user. Only confirmed students, who’s identities are verified through their UT email addresses, can connect with each other.

“Once a connection is made, chatting with someone is really simple,” Coronado-Garcia said.

Thread, founded by Zachary Dell, son of Michael Dell, is starting off at UT and plans to rollout to other colleges once it reaches critical mass at UT. Thread also plans to integrate geo-location features in the future too, Coronado-Garcia said. So that someone who goes home for the holidays can find other students to date in his or her hometown.

Lastly, Kevin Warden of Wingup.com demonstrated his mobile app that allows people to network with others in cities they visit.

“This is going to help you essentially take a break from that solo trip,” Warden said.

The app integrates with Trip.it, a trip itinerary organizer, and enhances business trips by providing information on how to connect with other Wingup travellers visiting a city.

The app isn’t live yet. Warden plans to launch Android and iOS apps soon.

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