Tech Cocktail just couldn’t get enough of all the startup love in Pittsburgh, so we are headed back for another Tech Cocktail Mixer & Startup Showcase. Make sure you join us at CAVO on April 17th to meet some of Pittsburgh’s hottest startups and see them compete for a chance to become the Nation’s Hottest Startup.
We’ll have a gaggle of startups on hand, showcasing their goods, but before the event kicks off, we want to know what you think: Who is Pittsburgh’s Hottest Showcasing Startup? Let us know your thoughts by answering the poll at the end of this post (ends at 6:00pm local time on the day of the event – get the official rules here).
The winner will be announced live at the event and will receive recognition in the editor’s note of the weekly newsletter and added press recognizing the honor of being elected Pittsburgh‘s Hottest Showcasing Startup, as well as a chance for a spot at this year’s national competition, Tech Cocktail Celebrate. Don’t miss out.
Who is Pittsburgh’s Hottest Showcasing Startup?
AthleteTrax- Team managers spend an average of 50 percent of their time coordinating practice, communicating schedule changes, managing budgets and fundraising, and implementing and tracking performance improvement programs. Most team managers are volunteers, with many other commitments, who are frustrated by the inordinate amount of administrative time they spend managing their teams.
Diamond Kinetics- While other sports have been able to successfully adopt and utilize technology for the advancement of player performance, baseball/softball still relies on rudimentary techniques both for proper equipment selection as well as player performance evaluation and improvement. The sports are essentially void of technology outside of the professional ranks. Coaches and players still rely almost exclusively on live visual assessment and feedback to improve a player’s swing and ultimately performance. While there are a plethora of physical swing training aids and video-based tools, none provide real-time quantitative analysis, swing/mechanics diagnostics and training drills for improvement. Separately, bat selection occurs using a height/weight chart as the primary decision tool. Up to 60 percent of the 15 million youth players in the United States ultimately choose a bat that is likely not optimized for their size, swing and ability to generate bat speed and ball velocity.
Emplified – Traditional forms of top-down management have led to increasing dis-engagement within the millennial knowledge workforce, a demographic that will make up more that one-half of the entire workforce by 2017. Disengagement leads to turnover rates of about 1.5 to 2 years, leaving small/medium-size firms with expensive knowledge gaps and extensive replacement costs. Emplified is an employee-led retention platform that empowers the employees to manage up within an organization and allows managers to gain transparency into the turnover risk within their organization.
FLIKBAK – Making social more about us and less about me
MaxMyTV- MaxMyTV avoids use of multiple devices for Social Interaction while watching TV thereby avoid losing focus. It makes any TV into a Smart TV with Android capabilities. MaxMyTV also acts as a Home automation server and makes accessing devices while watching TV.
MeshNet Inc.- Many employers are not satisfied with the quality of their college recruits, while universities are struggling to understand and develop students adequately. There is no existing technology where employers, universities, and students collaborate to build and deploy a career development system that fixes the “skills gap.”
PieceMaker Technologies Inc.- Brick and mortar retail stores are the bedrock of the American town. They are, however, finding it increasingly difficult to compete with e-commerce stores that capture growing market share every year. Without the traditional requirements of physical inventory and floor space, online retailers can sell more goods, at a lower price, delivered right to the consumer’s door. Independent retail stores are in even worse shape, as they face higher costs of goods, stock less inventory, and are less likely to have a strong e-commerce counterpart. Yet through the years they have persisted. By actively finding new ways to provide better customer service, more unique products and an overall superior shopping experience, traditional retailers have repeatedly proven that they have something truly special. PieceMaker gives these stores access to millions of customizable products on-demand, all within 4.5 SF of floor space. This means improved sales, increased foot traffic, and a better experience.
Tagalong Tour – When visiting a city, oftentimes travelers do not have a simple way to learn about the all of the points of interest in the area. There’s no self-guided way to explore a community unless the traveler researches all of the different points of interest and attempts to visit each during their stay. In short – it’s not easy to learn a city. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just tag along with a friend as they show you their neighborhood? We’ve developed a mobile platform that gives travelers the ability to tour a city, by themselves or with friends. It’s a solution where users can create and take walking tours through a selected city or neighborhood, introducing them to points of interest and giving them an easy way to explore and discover a city.
Tailored Fit – We aim to decrease the significant amount of time wasted sifting through clothing shoppers don’t like or aren’t looking for, the difficulty of creating item-specific ads for small retailers, and the lack of insights on how a retailer stands relative to the competition, especially regarding current trends and styles.
Thread – Globally, two big problems plague the developing world: poverty and trash. Despite over a billion dollars in foreign aid, post-earthquake Haiti remains the poorest economy in the Western Hemisphere, with an estimated 40.6 percent unemployment rate (CIA World Factbook). Haiti is also one of the most polluted places on the planet, ranking 155th out of 163 countries in the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. Utilizing waste as a renewable resource allows Thread to solve these problems. ‘Powered by Thread’ offers unique value to the fabric Thread is creating and to the manufacturers we partner with. Thread’s ‘Powered by’ platform offers much needed supply chain transparency within the textile industry. A growing consumer trend focuses on knowing where products come from and who makes them.
As the Events Manager for Tech Cocktail, Kimberly Blackburn fulfills her passion for entrepreneurship and desire to help connect and foster the entrepreneurship world through creating memorable and constructive networking events. Kimberly is based out of Washington DC and in addition to her role as event coordinator she likes to consider herself a permanent tourist.
Prior to her role as Events Coordinator at Tech Cocktail, Kimberly also worked as the Marketing and Training Coordinator for the Maryland Small Business Development Center. At the SBDC she coordinated over 100 training workshops a year for small businesses in the DC Metro area. She also has the opportunity to work as the Events Director for an angel investor group called the Washington DC Archangels, helping to plan their monthly meetings and workshops for companies all across the country.