At the May 9, 2012, Startupalooza event there was only one winner, but the exhibit floor of the NJIT student center’s atrium was filled with promising startups, many from N.J. or with N.J. roots.
Some 38 exhibitors set up tables, presenting their companies to120 attendees.
The other finalists in the digital category were vehive.com, a Delaware company that arranges chauffeured ground transportation; HopSkoch (New York), which focuses on social games for branding; and AgilityVideo, a Cherry Hill company that uses video analytics to secure infrastructure.
In the healthcare arena, HiLin Life Products, a Newark-based company located in the NJIT Enterprise Development Center, took the day. HiLin offers a saliva fertility monitor. The runners-up were Symple, a South Jersey woman-run company providing an app to track symptoms; Starling, a touch-screen device made by New York-based LanguageMate that is designed to help optimize healthcare communications; and e-Zassi, a Florida company aiming to revolutionize the medical device industry by making evaluating new technologies more efficient.
Some N.J. companies, and those whose founders are originally from N.J., caught NJTechWeekly.com’s eye. Walking around the packed atrium, we found MIDAS, which stands for Media Interactive Directory and Advertising System and replaces the static mall directory. We spoke to Richard Kirshberg, chief marketing officer, and Julbert Abraham, VP of communications and branding, who work out of the NJIT Enterprise Development center for the privately held company, Front Street Media.
MIDAS is a multi-touch mall directory that will not only help shoppers find stores once inside the mall but is on the web so people can scout out stores and bargains before leaving home. It will provide information about current promotions, coupons available, job openings and other mall-related activities. The MIDAS directory will be available in both mall kiosks and as a smartphone or iPad app.
Also in the e-commerce category is the Belleville company Phammo, which is developing an as yet unnamed product to revitalize Main Streets. The idea is to cluster all the stores on a town’s Main Street into an online marketplace that will allow each store to brand itself. Consumers essentially simulate walking down Main Street and buying from local businesses; however, they obtain a single, more convenient receipt. Founder Moise Phanor says the company is in its very early days.
HerFlix, a woman-run company headed by N.J. native Adriana Shaw, is an online content discovery and curation solution for entertainment choices targeting 40-plus women. The firm emails women movie and TV program recommendations. “We tell them what’s on cable that they shouldn’t miss,” said Shaw. HerFlix has a website in beta and a monthly cable show based in Manhattan. The company is looking for seed money to help further develop its curation platform.
Another company with several founders from New Jersey was B2B Anywhere, which uses the simple idea of putting sales catalogs on the iPad. Rather than having to pull this material up on a PC, salespeople can dazzle their prospects with the color pictures of available items. Salespeople register with the company and import their catalog PDF files, and the company creates an app for them. The firm hopes to first interest individual salespeople and then win contracts from companies who want to outfit all their sales staff with a more robust version of the iPad catalogs. Marvin Windows is already using the app for its catalog.