Yesterday, I attended Google Demo Day 2017, an event in San Francisco produced with the support of Google for Entrepreneurs that showcased 13 startups from North America. Startups were nominated by partners from the Google for Entrepreneurs's North American Tech Hub Network and hand-picked by Google based on traction leading their industry and demonstrating significant product adoption. Industries represented included: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, B2B, and health and wellness.
The startups pitched to a group of investors including Steve Case of Revolution, Bedy Yang of 500 Startups and Di-Ann Eisnor of Waze and a few hundred people.
Meet the 13 startups
Carbon Robotics (San Francisco, California)
Highly intelligent and easily programmable robotic arm that automates manufacturing tasks.
CareAcademy (Boston, Massachusetts)
Online education platform that teaches caregivers to provide safe, high quality care to older adults.
GreenLight Medical (Nashville, Tennessee)
Cloud software that accelerates and optimizes decision–making for medical technology procurement.
IdealSpot (Austin, Texas)
Mapping tool that matches brick-and-mortar businesses to their ideal locations by mapping local demand for their product or service.
Keatext (Montreal, Québec)
AI technology that boosts customer satisfaction using insights from customers’ online comments.
Peanut Butter (Chicago, Illinois)
Platform to administer student loan assistance programs so employers can attract, retain, and engage college-educated talent without increasing HR staff or investing in additional systems. (Note: 2016 Startup of the Year finalist).
Pig.gi (Mexico City, Mexico)
An app that delivers free internet access in emerging markets by providing users with data credits when they interact with sponsored brand content on a phone lock screen.
Pilotly (Oakland, California)
Platform that enables content creators to quickly gather feedback from target audiences, generating insights to help inform creative, marketing, and distribution strategy.
PRSONAS (Durham, North Carolina)
Holograms that scale the 1:1 human user experience and analyze customer engagements.
Stackfolio (Atlanta, Georgia)
Online marketplace for loan trading, powered by a data research platform to help institutions make sophisticated trading decisions.
Step One Foods (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Physician-formulated foods for healthier eating, packaged into easy, single-serve “doses.”
TritonWear (Waterloo, Ontario)
Advanced wearable sports technology that provides accurate real-time data in training and prescriptive feedback over time to improve athlete performance.
Waymark (Detroit, Michigan)
An art and technology company that offers smart marketing tools for businesses to build high-quality marketing and digital ads in under 10 seconds.
The People's Choice Award
The crowd was able to participate in the excitement and were able to choose their favorite. In the end, the audience gave the People's Choice Award to Waymark from Detroit.
Waymark's platform can create a new video advertisement for your company in just ten seconds by leveraging your existing social accounts photos. Each video is unique in that the application uses machine learning to prevent duplicated content.
I was very impressed with the quality of the video ad produced and feel like it could really help a lot of small business owners who aren't as tech savvy when it comes to creating a commercial quality video.
Steve Case lobbed a question about the defensibility of the application as companies like Facebook might be able to launch similar features, but the team did not feel it was an immediate concern. Animoto could be another possible competitor to this product as they too have a platform for creating unique videos on the fly as well, but don't that the creative ad component for small businesses.
The Judge's Favorite
The judges favorite was Stackfolio from Tech Square Labs in Atlanta. During their presentation, Stackfolio shared some extremely impressive traction in the banking industry in a very short period of time, and the judges noticed.
Steve Case had this to say:
“[Stackfolio] is a compelling idea, with a lot of traction, and it's a reminder that there are great things happening, particular in the fintech sector in Atlanta.”
The excitement didn't end there. Allen Nance of Tech Square Labs committed $150,000 to the judges favorite and Steve Case took an interest in the company saying he would take on 20 percent of whatever Stackfolio plans to raise in their current fundraising round. Case also gave all 13 startup companies something to strive for as he offered them all a $100,000 investment in their round if they were to raise at least $1 million dollars within 100 days. Not bad.
To watch the almost three hour Google Demo Day in it's entirety, we've include the video (below) – you may even see me in the second row.
Photo credit: Stackfolio team photo thanks to Google for Entrepreneurs.