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Tech Cocktail Boston

Demo Day: TechStars Boston Launches an Eclectic 13 Startups

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Thirteen startups are making a grand entrance on the TechStars Boston stage today.

As always, demo day marks the end of a 3-month program where startups received $118,000 in funding (upped in September), mentorship, and office space.

This is the fourth annual TechStars class from Boston since 2009. But with only 1 percent of applications accepted and clamoring demand from startups, TechStars has decided to hold another Boston class in 2012. Apply here.

Here are today’s 13 companies, with a remarkably high caliber of founders – and 2 located in France:

  • Bison: A service for pension fund investment managers to track their deals and read easily digestible industry reports to help them make decisions. Cofounded by Mike Nugent, a long-time investment professional, and Rasmus Goksor, who worked at a law firm for entrepreneurs and founded Boston’s PitchPub.
  • docTrackr: A document management service to track and update documents after you’ve shared them by email or on platforms like Dropbox. Recently announced an initiative to integrate closely with Box. Based in Paris.
  • Laveem: Creators of SweeterSpoon, a site that lets you build recipes and see the estimated nutrition information. Their big-vision goal is to collect and analyze data to understand all foods and help us make better eating decisions. Cofounded by former Google product managers Varun Chirravuri and Shaun Seo, as well as Ken Lee from OptimizerHQ. (Pivoted from Lessonsmith.)
  • Libboo: A service that can automatically price and market your books to increase their popularity on sites like Amazon. Headed by Chris Howard, who has a PhD in computational physics and researched and taught at MIT and Harvard University.
  • Mortar: A tool for developers that makes Hadoop easier: use it in the cloud, code in languages like Python, and speed up your development. Led by a team who previously worked at Wireless Generation.
  • Murfie: A music service that lets you send in your CDs to be stored and then stream, download, and trade your songs. Now integrated with the Sonos music player, so listeners can play on their Sonos devices. Grown to a team of about 45 and raised $1.4 million in funding in January.
  • Pact: Creators of the iOS app GymPact, which motivates you to go to the gym: if you go, you earn money; if you don’t, you lose it. Partnered with Puma. Cofounded by female entrepreneur Yifan Zhang and former Harvard research assistant Geoff Oberhofer.
  • psykoSoft: Creators of Psykopaint, a tool to turn photos into paintings, with style options from modernist to watercolor. Based in France and led by a 4-person team of self-proclaimed “crazies” who want to bring the art and humanity back into technology.
  • Shopsy: A women’s fashion site that recommends outfits based on your personal style. Founder Lisa Morales-Hellebo wants to make shopping fun, quick, and self-expressive – an alternative to the pre-packaged looks seen in many sites and stores.
  • SimplyGood Technologies: Creators of Loop, an iPhone and Android app where salespeople and waiters can give discounts to customers on the spot. Already used in Canada but expanding to the United States. Led by a team who previously worked at Research in Motion.
  • Testive: Technology that makes test preparation more engaging, now powering Kaplan’s SAT Turbo Test. Cofounded by MIT grads Miro Kazakof and Tom Rose (also a teacher).
  • UberSense: Apps to record and analyze your sports techniques and get personal coaching from experts. Cofounded by Krishna Ramchandran, who worked on GoToMeeting, and Amit Jardosh, previously at Yahoo! A prize winner at MassChallenge 2011.
  • Zagster: A bike sharing service, or “Zipcar for bikes,” that works with apartment buildings, companies, and hotels. The team hopes to make this alternate form of transportation easy and affordable.
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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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