Startup Roundup: Health Options Worldwide, Embedle, STOPit, Promoted Online, TapFactory, NJIT and WebTeam, Spudder, Phroogal

Photo: Clark Lagemann of Health Options WorldWide Photo Credit: Courtesy Clark Lagemann
Clark Lagemann of Health Options WorldWide | Courtesy Clark Lagemann

Health Options Worldwide: Health Options Worldwide (HOW), the Somerset startup whose cofounder. Clark Lagemann, is the Scarlet Startups organizer, has received $45,000 in initial funding. That funding came from Tallwave (Scottsdale, Ariz.) after HOW won the venture development firm’s High Tide for Healthcare IT competition.

The HOW product, MyHint, uses behavioral economics to help users manage their health proactively. The system looks at a given population to determine what gaps in care exist, then engages at-risk individuals to comply with clinical guidelines. MyHint is for consumers; the company’s product Hint is aimed at the employer marketplace.

Said Lagemann, “We went through a very challenging process of milestones, business and customer validation, pitches, etc. … with this win [Tallwave] is reaching out to its capital network and facilitating additional investor partners for us. This should all happen more concretely over the next 90 to 180 days.”

Lagemann said he is “thrilled that as the only New Jersey company in a health IT competition that included startups from across the country, we finished as the winners. I think it speaks to the caliber of local startups.”

Photo: Embedle cofounders Fei Deng and Daoliang Yang Photo Credit: Courtesy Embedle
Embedle cofounders Fei Deng and Daoliang Yang | Courtesy Embedle

Embedle: Somerset startup Embedle has a new tool, Twitter Assistant, that tweets popular articles for users from the media sources of their choice. Twitter Assistant lets users select media sources they trust and provide a desired tweeting time. It then tweets popular articles from those sources throughout the day. Users have an hour to review the tweets before they are sent, which allows them to ensure that they represent the brand, Embedle said.


Photo: Todd Schobel CEO of STOPit Photo Credit: Courtesy Todd Schobel
Todd Schobel CEO of STOPit | Courtesy Todd Schobel

STOPit: STOPit is a mobile app that lets victims of and witnesses to cyberbullying report incidents anonymously. The app, which launched in January 2014, has been adopted by three schools in the Kenilworth School District, three in the Somerset Academy charter network (Jacksonville, Fla.) and at the Saint Denis School (Manasquan). Both founders, Detective Sgt. Thomas Rich and Todd Schobel, are from Tewksbury, and Rich is a New Jersey police officer entering his 17th year of service.

Photo: Leo Zuniga of Promoted Online. Photo Credit: Courtesy Leo Zuniga
Leo Zuniga of Promoted Online. | Courtesy Leo Zuniga

Promoted Online: Leo Zuniga, who frequents many Garden State tech meetups, has announced his new venture, Promoted Online (Elizabeth). An official Google Maps-certified Internet photographer, Zuniga offers businesses an opportunity to add Google Business View — billed as a premium-quality, 360-degree virtual tour powered by Google Street View  technology — to their Maps profiles. Zuniga says he is one of just five Google-certified Internet photographers in the Garden State. He adds that he offers his clients skills in social media marketing, Web design, search engine optimization/search engine marketing and Google AdWords, among others.

TapFactory: Seton Hall University (South Orange) senior Taseen Peterson, a Newark native, and two of his partners at the development shop TapFactory have developed Notefuly, an app that helps users share the digital version of sticky notes on cellphones, tablets and computers. TapFactory’s website says, “Notefuly’s cloud technology keeps your notes and reminders securely updated across all devices, automatically. For example, create a to-do list in your Web browser at work, and that same list will immediately appear on your iPhone. Or create an alarm on your iPad, and it will remind you via all connected devices.” At the most recent South by Southwest festival (Austin, Texas), the TapFactory team beat 64 other teams from 22 colleges to win the Student Startup Madness contest. The Brick City Live article about the win can be found here.

NJIT and WebTeam: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) (Newark) has signed an agreement with Somerset-based WebTeam Corp. to collaboratively design and develop a customizable learning device that helps children with autism spectrum disorder master a range of skill-building lessons contained in the device’s embedded educational software.

For the initial project, an NJIT team that includes students will work with WebTeam. The group will develop a tactile-friendly 3-D device with embedded sensors to interface with the company’s iLearnNEarn2 program. ILearnNEarn2, part of the Colors program for autism management, is a gaming model that uses touchscreen kiosks and mobile devices to deliver evidence-based learning sessions.

NJIT students have been working on a learning device for children with autism spectrum disorder since 2011. At that time, a group of Honors College students from the university’s Interdisciplinary Design Studio proposed developing an educational toy. The toy’s purpose: to engage children who might lose focus or interest after staring at a computer screen, and to assess their cognitive abilities. WebTeam CEO Nish Parikh was one of the sponsors whose funding allowed the team to pursue research and development on the NJIT campus last summer.

Photo: Dennis Harabin presented Spudder at the New Jersey Entrepreneurs and Technology Startups Meetup at JuiceTank Feb. 20 Photo Credit: Esther Surden
Dennis Harabin presented Spudder at the New Jersey Entrepreneurs and Technology Startups Meetup at JuiceTank Feb. 20 | Esther Surden

Spudder: Somerville-based Spudder — the company headed by Raritan Valley Startups and Entrepreneurs meetup organizer Dennis Harabin — has almost reached its $5,000 goal on Indiegogo, Harabin said in an update. The funds are intended to help move along the company’s development work. Harabin and other Spudder team members have recently been pitching the startup at various tech meetups around New Jersey. The company bills itself as a secure, easy platform through which local sports teams can communicate and fundraise effectively. Spudder currently takes the form of a team website that is mobile-friendly on any device.

Photo: Jason Vitug, CEO of Phroogal, an Elizabeth-based startup. Photo Credit: Courtesy Phroogal
Jason Vitug, CEO of Phroogal, an Elizabeth-based startup. | Courtesy Phroogal

Phroogal: Elizabeth startup Phroogal founded by Jason Vitug and Max Martines  won Bank Innovation’s first DEMOvation challenge. Phroogal is a question and answer portal for financial advice –a sort of Quora for the financially curious, Philip Ryan wrote in Bank Innovation. The challenge was held in Seattle the beginning of March. Conference attendees were divided into ten groups that made their way around the room listening to six-minute pitches from digital finance startup companies. Participants voted via text messages.

Vitug tells us, “We didn’t win a cash prize but did receive a nice Seattle local gift basket which I devoured on the flight back home. The highlight from this experience is the increase of visibility and the angels and VCs that have since reached out to us. We’re excited in the meetings we’re having and future meetings to come to secure our first seed round”.  The company received $78,000 in funding through a successful Indiegogo campaign.

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