33 Startups Showcasing At Tech Cocktail’s SXSW Event – Vote For Your Favorite

February 29, 2012

3:00 pm

We are excited to announce the participating startups for Tech Cocktail's South by Southwest (SXSW) event: #Startuplife Celebration presented by .CO. It was one of the toughest group of startups we've ever had to sort through, and in all honesty, we wish we had the space for everyone to come and show off their startup. Instead, we had to make some tough choices. Without further ado, here are the contenders (in alphabetical order):

5Degrees – Chicago, Illinois
5Degrees makes relationship management software for our mobile society. By combining contacts, communications, and events within a single, simple to use mobile application, 5Degrees helps busy professionals manage their relationships while on the go. 5Degrees was founded by Jeb Ory, Kilton Hopkins and Kelly Schwedland in Chicago.

Apptopia – Boston, Massachusetts
Apptopia is a marketplace that helps broker the sale of mobile apps.  Think micro business acquisitions and an exit strategy for app developers. Apptopia was founded by Jonathan Kay and Eliran Sapir in Boston.

BookBrewer – Boulder, Colorado
BookBrewer makes it easy for anyone to self-publish a book electronically or in print, then sell it through major retailers like Amazon and Apple, sell directly from their Web sites, or publish to branded iPad apps. BookBrewer was founded by Dan Pacheco and Andy Lasda in Boulder.

Brass Monkey – Boston, Massachusetts
Brass Monkey's app turns smartphones into controllers for their browser based video game console. Brass Monkey was founded by Chris Allen, Francois Laberge and Jim Bull in Boston.

Buyvite – Toledo, Ohio
Buyvite is a new way to organize and pay for a group purchase like event tickets, gifts and vacations. Buyvite was founded by Brandy Alexander-Wimberly and Mike Bogdan in Ohio.

Compath Me – Tokyo, Japan offers a mobile app that lets users create and share their original location map while sharing and discovering places you love through photos. Compath Me was founded by Hiromichi Ando and Shoko Sakurai in Tokyo.

DeadSocial – London, United Kingdom (JUST ADDED!)
DeadSocial is a software platform that enables people to create a calendar of secret, timed messages. These messages are distributed on DeadSocial, Facebook and Twitter simultaneously after the user passes away. DeadSocial was founded across the pond by James Norris and Richard Cook.

Echoer – Montreal, Canada
The Echoer app allows you to read minds and explore the world of thoughts around you. Built on a fun and engaging visual platform, Echoer lets you shape and explore a world of thoughts, ideas and discoveries anywhere, anytime. Echoer was created by Daniel Cowen and David Surfer of Echo Labs Limited in Hong Kong but is now based in Montreal, Canada.

FitOrbit – Los Angeles, California
FitOrbit democratizes the personal training industry by making it accessible to everyone.  FitOrbit is a disruptive crowdsourced web and mobile health platform that matches people with certified online personal trainers. Clients sign up to FitOrbit and are matched to a personal trainer based on their goals and needs. FitOrbit was founded by Jake Steinfeld, Ron Conway and Tim Armstrong.

Forecast – Austin, Texas
Forecast is a fun and simple way to share where you're going with your friends and check in with one touch when you arrive.  It's like Foursquare for the future. Forecast was founded by A.T. Fouty, Eric Katerman, Richard McClellan and René Pinnell in Austin.

Gauss – The People Magnet – Cologne, Germany
Gauss is a proximity-based real-time social discovery and introduction engine for people. It’s a mobile app that discovers, introduces, connects and facilitates face to face meet-ups with new relevant people around you in easy, fun and safe ways. Think of it as a People Magnet for your pocket. Gauss was founded by Arne Horn, Kit Blake and Vidar Andersen in Cologne, Germany.

Getwear – Los Altos, California
Getwear lets anyone design their own jeans. Every element of the jeans, such as fabric, style, wash, embroidery, fading, even size is customizable. Once the jeans are designed, people can order a pair for themselves or they can post their designs for sale and get paid each time their design has been used to order jeans. Getwear was founded by Tatyana Kanzaveli, Yaakov Karda, Nikhil Bafna and Slava (Vyacheslav) Olesik in Los Altos.

Grandstand – Washington, D.C.
Grandstand is a platform that transforms social and mobile actions into real-time social games and eye-popping data visualizations. Grandstand was founded by iStrategyLabs in D.C.

KULA Causes – Boulder, Colorado
KULA is the world’s first global currency for giving. We drive charitable and cause-oriented giving by enabling businesses to create meaningful brand loyalty and monetizing the value of their social responsibility. KULA Causes was founded by Gerrit McGowan and Matthew Marcus in Boulder.

Lemur IMS – Arlington, Virginia
Lemur is a SaaS solution that enables big box retail managers to have quick impactful conversations with their customers while at the same time moving their inventory faster and with more profit.  Its front end platform aggregates unstructured data and back-end algorithm optimally prices product at the local level and then connects to the local customer in real-time. Lemur IMS was founded by Will Fuentes and Cary Scott in Arlington, Virginia.

Parking Panda – Baltimore, Maryland
Parking Panda is a community marketplace for parking – Airbnb meets parking. It enables parking space owners to capitalize on their underutilized parking spaces by renting them out to the community of drivers. People in need of parking can save money and time by finding a place to park and paying right from their mobile phone or reserving a space in advance on the web. Parking Panda was founded by Nick Miller and Adam Zilberbaum in Baltimore.

Peekseed – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Peekseed is a social content sharing platform for individuals wishing to explore their interests, express themselves, and connect with others in a more meaningful way.  Through innovative new features, users are able to completely control the content they experience and quantify the precise viral impact of what they share through a visually stunning point and click interface. Peekseed was founded by brothers Ryan and Dylan Brown in Philly.

Personal – Washington, D.C.
Personal is a life management platform that provides individuals with the tools to build a private, personal network and data vault where they control access to their personal information and manage their online identity. Personal was founded by Shane Green, Edin Saracevic, Doug Wheeler, Tarik Kurspahic and Jennifer O’Keefe in D.C.

RAVN – San Francisco, California
RAVN is both a traveler's companion and a local's insider guide. It’s a new online activities search and booking engine that enables consumers to discover, compare and book every possible thing they could be doing in their city right now. RAVN was founded by Jonathan Wu, Steven Ou and Dennis Liu in San Francisco.

Rock Your Block – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rock Your Block is an online and mobile application that helps teens find odd jobs and part-time job opportunities within their community. Rock Your Block was founded Sarah Young, John Hibscher and Steven Ladin in the land of 10,000 lakes.

Sanebox – Boston, Massachusetts
Sanebox helps you spend less time in your inbox by letting you focus on what's important. Sanebox filters all unimportant messages out of the inbox into a separate folder, and summarizes them once a day. It is easy to use, and works on any email service and client. Sanebox was founded in Boston by Stuart Roseman and Dmitri Leonov.

HomeSnap by Sawbuck – Washington, D.C.
HomeSnap is Shazaam for real estate. Just take a picture of any home to find out: how much it's worth; when it last sold and for how much; beds, baths, sqft, lot size, etc; property taxes; which schools it goes to; local demographics; local housing market stats and trends; similar nearby homes for sale and recent sales. Sawbuck was founded by Guy Wolcott, Steve Barnes and Lou Mintzer in D.C.

Shortlist – Chicago, Illinois
Shortlist is mobile-social app that helps people connect better and faster at professional events (like SXSW). Using existing social profiles, Shortlist's proprietary connection engine surfaces attendees you don't know but should. Shortlist was founded in Chicago by the team of Jason Goodrich and Brantley Harris.

Simplee – San Francisco, California
Simplee offers a platform for tracking and paying health care bills. Their mission is to help people understand and manage health care expenses. Simplee was founded in Palo Alto by the team of Tomer Shoval and Roberto Rabinovich, both formerly heads at, and Tom Tsarfati.

Sonar – New York, New York
Sonar is a mobile application that leverages social network data to reveal hidden connections and interests you share with the people nearby. By providing the context for people to get to know the folks around them better – whether they're friends, friends of friends or strangers – Sonar aims to make the world a cozier place. Sonar was founded by Brett Martin and Daniel Klaus.

Spotflux – Brooklyn, New York
Spotflux empowers users with a more private, secure, and open Internet experience on your PC and Mac. Spotflux was founded by Chris Naegelin and Dean Mekkawy in Brooklyn.

SpringPad – Boston, Massachusetts
Springpad is a “smart” notebook app that that lets people discover, save, share and act on the things that matter to them:  places, products, movies, books, recipes, tasks and notes. Because it’s social, Springpad lets you discover and share with people whose interests are similar. SpringPad was founded by Jeff Janer, Jeff Chow and Jason Horman in Boston.

Stitch Labs – San Francisco, California
Stitch Labs is an online multi-user business tool created for businesses that design, make and sell products. It integrates inventory management, order fulfillment, invoicing, accounting and business analytics through numerous sales channels into a single SaaS product offering to a growing group of subscription customers. Stitch Labs was founded in San Francisco by the team of Brandon Levey, Michelle Laham, Jake Gasaway and Willo O'Brien.

TappedIn – Washington, D.C.
TappedIn is a matching engine for professional networking events. It matches you to people in the room based on your business and personal needs. TappedIn was founded by Dahyu Patel and Zainab Zaki in D.C.

Votifi – Washington, D.C.
Votifi is a mobile polling and analytics company that facilitates political exploration and network building through their platform and related technology. They discern users’ points of view to facilitate peer-to-peer connections across political and social boundaries. By amplifying people’s voices, Votifi changes the dynamic between elected officials and the public.  Votifi was founded by the team of Lou Aronson, Vijay Perincherry, Sid Smith, Brett DiResta and Aasil Ahmad in D.C.

Vsnap – Boston, Massachusetts
Vsnap makes it easy to send short video messages, up to 60 seconds, with attachments. It's a more personal alternative to email. Engaging customers via vsnap gets them to take action 41% more than email engagement. Record or receive a vsnap on any device, and senders can see metrics to know whether a vsnap and any attachments were viewed and shared. Vsnap was founded in Boston by Dave McLaughlin, Claudia Santoro and Jim Joyce.

Zamp – Atlanta, Georgia
Zamp is Foursquare + Klout for travel. Users check-in to travel, connect with others, and provide expert ranked feedback to providers. Zamp was founded in Atlanta by the duo of Sam Zebarjadi and Nafis Zebarjadi.

Zeel – New York, NY
Zeel is a free online service for booking appointments with top wellness practitioners. They make finding and choosing a qualified, experienced massage therapist, acupuncturist, personal trainer or nutritionist as simple as booking a hotel room. Users can browse detailed, personal provider profiles, learn more about effective treatments, and schedule an appointment within minutes. Zeel was founded in New York City by Samer Hamadeh, co-founder and former CEO of and entrepreneur-in-residence at Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Alison Harmelin, an Emmy-nominated television news correspondent.

Finalist (Now Unable To Participate)

Goodzer – Reston, Virginia
Goodzer finds all sorts of products in all kinds of local stores, big and small. Goodzer was founded by Dmitry Pakhomkin and Artem Zarutskiy just outside of Washington, D.C. in northern Virginia.

WooCommerce – Cape Town, South Africa
WooCommerce is an open-source, e-commerce platform built on the web's most popular CMS, WordPress. WooCommerce has accumulated 50,000 users in 4 months and supports 30 different payment gateways. WooCommerce was created by the South Africa based WooThemes team of Adii Pienaar, Magnus Jepson, Mark Forrester, Jay Koster and Mike Jolley.

Alternates (not in the poll)

BlogMutt – Boulder, Colorado
Blogmutt is a crowdsourced blog writing service. They can provide all original content for just about any business blog to keep the content flowing. BlogMutt was founded by Scott Yates and Wade Green in Boulder. – Austin, Texas & London, United Kingdom uses the power of built-in assessments to match jobs to ideal candidates beyond words on paper. They leverage companies' existing candidate attraction models to deliver them a pre-assessed shortlist of qualified candidates. Hirematch was founded in London by Marc Mapes and OraRuth Rother and has recently taken to the US market with roots in Austin.

iCardMall – Los Angeles, California
iCardMall is a website where you can find eGift cards all in one place and have the ability to personalize them with an eGreeting card. Similar to the gift card malls at your local grocery store, but strictly online, providing personalized delivery with an eGreeting card, including instant delivery. iCardMall was founded by Tally Oliveau in Los Angeles.

LocalHero – Palo Alto, California
LocalHero helps friends and people nearby help each other out more easily. The mobile app makes it easy to connect people who need something with friends and people nearby who are more likely to be of help. LocalHero was founded by Ana Baltodano in Silicon Valley.

Shindig – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Shindig is a marketplace where local artists and venues can leverage their social media fan bases to get more and better events booked.  Shindig's unique social software platform connects event demand with event supply, looking to disrupt the music industry. Shindig was founded in Wisconsin by the team of Brendon Thomas, Wayne Smith and Cindi Thomas.

TagSeats – San Francisco, California & Charlotte, North Carolina
TagSeats is a web and mobile application where fans can discover concerts and sporting events that their friends are attending and see where they'll be sitting on interactive seating maps.  Fans can view available tickets near their friends, or if they already have tickets, enter their seat info to “tag” their seats with their profile pic and info. Fans can then share their tagged seats across their social networks to encourage their friends to join them. TagSeat was founded by the team of Jack Dietrich, Brandon Lucas, James Sack and Mike Walker.

Tixelated – Washington, D.C.
Tixelated is an event ticketing platform that allows tickets to go viral by making them mobile, liquid and social. By broadening ticket distribution channels, making all tickets easily transferable, and unlocking the social experience that ticket buying should be, it encourages people to buy tickets early and effectively convince their friends to do the same. Tixelated was founded by Philippe Chetrit in Washington, D.C.

Vote For The People's Choice Award

Now that you have read about all the participants, you can help dictate the “People's Choice” award!  Your opinion counts – vote for your favorite startup showing at our SXSW event. The top vote getter will be awarded the “People's Choice” award on Saturday, March 10th at our SXSW event in Austin, Texas.

Soon we'll also announce our esteemed panel of judges who will put in their votes for the best in show and a number of other awards. Help dictate one of those awards by voting for your favorite startup below.

Special thanks to the sponsors of our event which include the following:





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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.