April 30, 2015
Startup accelerator, Seed Sumo, announced the eight participating companies in its second annual year. The founders will participate in the three-month program starting May 20, which includes intensive mentoring, business model design, and a twist on demo day for investors.
“We really had a total of about 16 companies we felt pretty comfortable funding. This year was extremely competitive and these 8 teams we ended up selecting are some of the best out there,” said Bryan Bulte, managing director at Seed Sumo.
Seed Sumo reviewed 1,227 applications and conducted a series of reviews to get down to its eight startups. The first 700 teams were cut based on lack of team, traction, or tired concepts (e.g. workout apps or Uber for anything). Seed Sumo then evaluated a little over 500 teams using a recruiting star system to rank startups by team, market size, traction, and idea – similar to what is used in college football.
Based on this review process, the following eight startups were accepted:
TheCarforce is a virtual auto dealership and service center. It provides concierge service for automobiles under warranty, picking up and dropping off the car while providing a loaner to the owner during service.
Gripe-O is a customer service platform. Its marketplace addresses complaints and provides resolutions for consumers and businesses. Simply put, GripeO sees all feedback, even negative sentiment, as an opportunity.
Kinskii. is the integration of video chat and gaming to bring families closer together. It transforms video chat technologies to real world play experiences for military families, traveling parents, separated families, and anyone who is currently dealing with a family lacking communication and engagement.
Sleepra the first device to touch-enable your bed. With a Sleepra tucked under your sheets, you can touch, tap, or swipe gestures on your bed to snooze an alarm, turn on a lamp, adjust a room’s temperature, and control an ever-expanding array of smart home devices from the comfort of bed.
Polco is the social network for politics. It gives citizens a better platform to engage and politicians real-time, localized policy analysis, while providing digital politic advertisers valuable real estate. (Think Facebook for friends, LinkedIn for professionals, Polco for politics)
PrepFlash creates study aids such as flashcards, multiple choice, and True/False quizzes in real time, automatically using cognitive science software similar to what is in SIRI and IBM Watson. A user supplies the content from an image of a textbook page, PDF file, web page, Microsoft Word Document, class notes from Evernote, or from Kahn Academy videos and PrepFlash automatically quizzes you.
PetQuest offers online veterinary advice for Chinese pet owners. A curated selection of veterinarians answer questions about pet health instantly for $5, in a market where veterinarians are not as trusted as in the U.S. and it is difficult to get help quickly.
TargetVision is changing the shooting experience with technology. Using a camera that is placed 10 to 15 feet from the target, a video signal is broadcasted back on an iPad or iPhone instead of using a spotting scope.
Seed Sumo provides $50,000 in seed funding, in exchange for a small equity percentage in each company. Its original class started with $20k/each and has gone on to raise almost $4.5MM since graduating.
Image Credit: Flickr/Edward Dalmulder
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