Last week entrepreneurs from around the world descended on San Francisco for one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year: TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013.
The event spanned five days including a 24-hour Hackathon, nearly 200 startups vying for attention in Startup Alley, and a select few competing in a Shark Tank-esque Startup Battlefield for a $50k grand prize.
Amidst the chaos of quadcopter drones, drained smartphones, and conflicting investor interests, we found 10 startups that were hustling to disrupt their respective fields. In no particular order:
1. Feed.fm – CEO Jeff Yuda presented Feed.fm as a Battlefield competitor. Feed.fm provides a turnkey legal streaming solution for websites, games, and app developers to (legally) enhance their products with popular music. Yuda dropped a powerful statistic: in their early testing, every website integrating Feed.fm saw “average time spent on site” increase by at least 20%. Without exception.
2. TidePool – In a time when people are becoming increasingly interested in quantifying the intangible, Tidepool helps users understand how their personality, thinking and mood influence their daily performance. Using state-of-the-art scientific techniques and patented technology, the app provides insight into each user’s unique personality. TidePool is co-Founded by Galen Buckwalter (the scientific founder of eHarmony) and Vamsee Nalamothu (formerly of Zynga, eBay, and PayPal).
3. Soil IQ – Soil IQ is bringing the “Internet of things” trend to urban and rural farming. They have built a soil probe that streams soil fertility and weather data back to a paired app. Founder Jason Aramburu is a Princeton grad and soil scientist who has worked with hundreds of Kenyan farmers to increase crop yields. The probes can operate on 3G or wifi and can even “mesh” together to cover large segments of farmland. Soil IQ was an obvious crowd favorite and Battlefield finalist.
4. eGood – eGood harnesses everyday purchasing power for social change. At the heart of eGood is a social good movement, powered by real-time connections via a mobile app, online community, and an in-store iPad system. Consumers check-in at eGood businesses and companies donate a percentage of sales to the charity of their choice. If it works, eGood is essentially allowing companies to divert marketing dollars directly to impactful causes without reducing their social presence.
5. Kronicle – Kronicle helps people learn seemingly complex skills and tasks by redesigning and visually breaking down information in ways never before possible. Through the combination of video, audio, images, text and, most importantly, time, the team at Kronicle has built a beautiful (and probably addictive) new learning platform.
6. Regalii – Regalii is a mobile payments system targeted towards Latin America which allows users to send money back home via SMS for the purposes of paying bills or buying groceries. Both Founders have finance backgrounds and have already received notable traction. From an investment standpoint, Regalii is poised to generate real value almost immediately.
7. Cota by Ossia – Wireless power has been a dream since Nikola Tesla’s first attempts in the late 19th century. Hatem Zeine, physicist and Founder of Cota, presented the first public demonstration of his wireless electricity prototype. He wirelessly powered a tiny light bulb and charged an iPhone 5 before a cheering crowd. He claimed that Cota is not only safe, but that it is “impossible to be dangerous.” He hopes to eliminate the concept of “charging” altogether.
8. Dryft – Dryft is a virtual keyboard for tablets named because it will drift around the screen as your fingers become slightly misplaced. It’s patented “touch tap” technology can detect whether a tablet user is resting or typing when touching the keys. The real magic of Dryft is how it minimizes errors before they even occur. By adapting to your typing style, Dryft lowers your dependence on auto-correct. Its Founders are hopeful that soon users will be able to type faster on a tablet with Dryft than they can on a physical keyboard.
9. Shine – Shine is antivirus software designed to meet and keep up with today’s threats and devices. Instead of blocking files or virus signatures like traditional antivirus software, Shine performs real-time behavioral analysis on the device itself using machine learning algorithms. New threats are identified moments after they occur. Shine then “self-heals” by walking the device backward until it’s as if the malicious attack never occurred.
10. Glow – Glow is an ambitious enterprise where for the first time ever, the emerging ability to crunch and analyze vast quantities of data will be specifically used to help women get pregnant. Bundled into this app is a premium service called Glow First, which Founder Max Levchin describes as an “opt-in mutual health financial product,” essentially a private user-funded insurance program. Currently, only the app is fully functional, but according to Levchin the ultimate vision is much grander: “let’s go fix health insurance!”
About our Ambassador // When not reporting for The Fetch, Collin Ferry is carving a path for Ergo Depot, San Francisco’s first and only ergonomic furniture studio. He recently co-piloted a national tour for IdeaMensch and has otherwise traveled all over the planet. Follow him on Twitter at @collinferry.
Image credit: Jeff Bottari/TechCrunch
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