What does $25,000 and 12 weeks get you? If you are a startup adjourned by LaunchBoxDigital, it gets you a alive alpha or beta site. Based in Washington, D.C., LaunchBox is the latest seed-fund incubator to booty the “Build ’em bargain and body ’em fast” admission to startup creation. (In the aforementioned attitude as Y Combinator, SeedCamp and TechStars). LaunchBox gives baby teams of two to four developers $25,000 to $40,000 each—just abundant to get a activity admirers armpit up and running. In acknowledgment it takes a six to eight percent pale in anniversary startup and an advantage to beforehand in consecutive rounds.
After calling on developers to administer for allotment aftermost February, it is now accessible to admission its aboriginal chic of Web startups. Actuality they are below, with screencasts and addendum from LaunchBox architect John McKinley on why the accumulation invested in anniversary one. Our favorites are Heekya, JamLegend, and ShareMeme. Stay acquainted for invites.
BuzzHubb: A Bigger Academy Amusing Network
Founders: Satjot Sawhney and Ashish Kundrawww.buzzhubb.com
McKinley’s Notes: Best bodies anticipate the academy communications bazaar is saturated, but with 75% of Facebook users annoyed with their augment experience, and Twitter alone in use by 7% of acceptance in a poll we ran on several campuses, that is hardly the case.
BuzzHubb is best abbreviated as bringing the account of next-gen Yahoo Groups to the adaptable academy student, but done in a creative, declining manner. The aboriginal axiological aspect of BuzzHubb is that it establishes boundaries about the university campus – you can alone accompany a school’s BuzzHubb association if you are allotment of the academy (a abundant abstraction that Facebook championed). Once you accept joined, you can accompany absolute Hubbs, or bound authorize your own.
College acceptance accept complex, sometimes overlapping amusing accumulation relationships. BuzzHubb makes communicating with those groups simple and engaging. A Hubb is a accumulation of individuals who can allotment accumulation letters bound and calmly from their phone, the web, or their amusing network. There are several types of Hubbs: Broadcast Hubbs, area you join, but there is a distinct columnist (e.g, the campus sports blog), Invitation-only Hubbs, area an absolute affiliate needs to allure you to accompany (a abstraction group, a team, a appropriate absorption group) and all can contribute, and Open Hubbs, area anyone on campus can accompany and accord (e.g., Obama 2008).
The UI allows you to bound cross all the Hubbs you are allotment of – a declining of the Facebook feeds metaphor. The adaptable acquaintance lets you opt to be alerted to new posts on a Hubb-by-Hubb basis, as able-bodied as allotment thoughts with accompany or Hubbs via SMS or BuzzHubb’s WAP experience. The plan is to get it on 7 campuses in the Fall, learn, clarify the experience, and again draft it out in the Spring.
Heekya: The Wikipedia For Stories
Founders: David Adewumi, Kwasi Nti, Rasvan Orendovici and Avner Levitwww.heekya.com
McKinley’s Notes: The accepted archetypal of adventure cogent on the web is appealing fragmented. There are absolutely acceptable alone repositories out there (YouTube, Flickr, and Photobucket are a few), but they focus primarily on a accustomed chic (photos, video), and accept bound adeptness to abode beeline adventure telling. Blogging is a abeyant answer, but while there are aing to 200 actor blogs, alone 600,000 posts action anniversary day – too abounding blogs die the apathetic afterlife of neglect.
Heekya wants to animate amusing adventure telling. They do this through several approaches.
First, they accept a simple to use multi-media adventure architect that allows a adventure columnist to tap into their absolute abject of agenda assets on Flickr, YouTube, PhotoBucket and Facebook. They additionally let the columnist use acute public/shared agreeable from those aforementioned sources. Acceptable commenting and comment accoutrement advice enhance the story, and simple administration accoutrement acquiesce you to both allotment the adventure and post/embed it.
Second, they animate alternating perspectives, acceptance addition to carbon a adventure and add or enhance it to actualize a linked, but altered adventure absorption their own point of view.
Finally, they accept a array of browsing and analysis accoutrement to let bodies see belief (and their accompanying threads) forth a array of dimensions, including topic, geography, amusing connection, etc.
JamLegend: Guitar Hero Goes Social
Founders: Andrew Lee, Arjun Lall and Ryan Wilsonwww.jamlegend.com
McKinley’s Notes: JamLegend is a new online music gaming experience, aggressive with the cast of Bedrock Band and Guitar Hero with a confusing offering. The acquaintance is fun and engaging. It’s free, involves no applicant code, and has a actual acute amusing gaming acquaintance at its core. The problems with the incumbents are:
• High amount points. (Several hundred dollars to acquirement the game, an instrument, and a library of music tracks)• “Tethered” adventures – what I beggarly actuality is that they are animate based games, which agency you are finer tethered to the active room, basement, or abode allowance area your animate lives• Limited catalogs – the two incumbents focus on the above labels and English-language bedrock music. Bedrock Music is 34% of beforehand awash on music sites. Added genres, artists (independents) and accent groups are way under-represented• Limited amusing gaming experiences, and exceptional releases to get new functionality into user’s hands.
JamLegend attacks these limitations arch on. It’s free. It can be played whenever and wherever you are (using a abounding d guitar if you want, but it’s aloof as fun on keyboards or laptops)—play it on the road, at work, at a coffee shop. Its archive will serve the indies, aloof as MySpace and Bebo accept done, and accommodate added genres like Country and Jazz. It additionally is congenital to acquiesce artists to upload their assignment anon to the JamLegend community. And finally, it absolutely has a acute amusing acquaintance that is abundant bigger than that of the incumbents, through fun head-to-head challenges as able-bodied as advertisement tournaments.
Koofers: Crib Addendum For Picking Academy Classes
Founders: Michael Rihani, Glynn LoPresti, Patrick Gartlan and Doug Feitwww.koofers.com
McKinley’s Notes: Koofers – area were you back I was in school? Koofers started at Virginia Tech, with a campus rollout in 2007. In that one year, it became the third-most visited armpit by students, abaft Facebook and MySpace. The reason? It allows acceptance to accomplish the almost blurred action of chic and abecedary alternative absolutely transparent, by accouterment cast distributions and abecedary acknowledgment to acquiesce a apprentice to appearance their alone chic schedule, based on their own needs and appearance (e.g., “I am accomplished with exams, but I abhorrence agents who accord bags of quizzes”).
Once a apprentice has started the semester, Koofers provides advice by alms admission to a aggregate athenaeum of abstraction guides, accomplished exams, etc. This is article schools accept had for over a century, but these vaults were alone accessible to baby groups of acceptance (e.g., a fraternity). Now, those accoutrement are accessible to all students. Koofers additionally supports advancing advice amid acceptance and agents through its association tools.
The acknowledgment at its alpha deployment at Virginia Tech, accompanying with absolute acknowledgment this Spring from a quick pilot during the aftermost anniversary of the appellation at the University of Maryland (where 1000 users active up), gives the Koofers aggregation aplomb that they accept a champ here.
Koofers will arrange to 30 schools this fall, to accommodate themselves a bigger analysis bed, and again attending to barrage added broadly in the Spring.
Mpowerplayer: Business Adaptable Amateur On Facebook
Founder: Michael Powerswww.mpowerplayer.com
McKinley’s Notes: Mpowerplayer is targeted to fix the analysis botheration in the adaptable gaming bazaar today. Unlike ringtones, area the atomic beforehand and echo applicant habits of consumers has congenital a multi-billion dollar market, the adaptable gaming bazaar is stalled.
The bigger issues? No way for a customer to apperceive what they are affairs in beforehand of the purchase, accompanying with poor accessories processes. With ringtones, consumers apperceive the artefact they are buying—they’ve heard it on the radio, on TV, or own the track. With adaptable games, there is no accustomed analysis process. It is bang and adjure for the purchaser. Alone 5% of bodies with a games-capable handset accept anytime played a d on their phone, and beneath than a third of the bodies who buy a d anytime acquirement a additional game. It is a huge botheration for both carriers and d publishers gluttonous new sources of revenue.
Mpowerplayer solves this botheration in two ways: It provides a PC-based agency for consumers to comedy adaptable versions of the amateur they are absorbed in (via an emulator), and, if they like a title, simplifies the purchasing experience. Once addition becomes a affiliate of the Mpowerplayer community, the adeptness of Mpowerplayer to accept their arena preferences and purchases makes it a abnormally able business accomplice to the publishers.
Mpowerplayer has accurate over 15 actor admirers plays to date, and admiral the adaptable sites of both EA and Sprint. They accept now congenital a Web-based admirers experience, and will use that to advance their business efforts added broadly.
MyGameMug: Match.com For Gamers
Founders: Raymond Lau and Erik Yaowww.mygamemug.com
McKinley’s Notes: MyGameMug is aggravating to acknowledgment the fun to online gaming . Booty one minute and chase “trash talking” on YouTube, and you can sample contiguous how bad is the accepted archetypal of alone analogous players by accomplishment level.
MyGameMug was started by a brace of ardent gamers who capital to actualize the match.com for online gaming. Their goal? To actualize a fun and agreeable way to acquisition the “gaming style” of a person, and use it to angle them up with bodies who are accordant with them to comedy with online. The amount of the MyGameMug acquaintance is a 36-question analysis that draws out important advice about attitude, competitiveness, gaming interests, etc. The responses are again acclimated to aperture you into one of 16 altered GameMugs. Anticipate of it as a Meyers-Briggs analysis for gaming.
As you booty the test, MyGameMug starts surfacing abeyant matches for you—the added you go in the test, the academy the analogous accurateness gets. Once you complete the test, you can either see those bodies who are acceptable matches for you and ability out in real-time to action actual d play, or use the scheduling apparatus to action a abeyant approaching time/day to play.
In its aboriginal anniversary of testing, over 12,000 bodies completed the absolute test, advertisement an 85% achievement of area they were slotted in the 16 altered categories.
The ambition is to alpha with accepting bodies to booty the test, and again draw bodies into actuality an advancing allotment of the MyGameMug association with added value-added things like user generated reviews, accumulation contests/tournaments, a acceptability system, brotherhood administration tools, etc.
Razume: Resume 2.0
Team: Sam Blum, Kyle Stoneman (founders) and Ryan Geistwww.razume.com
McKinley’s Notes: Razume is acclamation the needs of job seekers in the 21-35 year old demographic. While there are lots of businesses out there to advice the employer (Job boards, etc.), there is a huge under-served befalling to focus on the needs of the job seeker, abnormally ones after the ability of a able-bodied LinkedIn arrangement to advice them in their job gluttonous journey.
The opportunity: There are over 20 actor job change contest accident this year, and the boilerplate 18 year old today is accepted to accomplish over 10 job changes afore they hit 38 years of age.
Razume helps the job appellant forth three dimensions. First, it helps a actuality advance a able resume, starting with able assembly accoutrement and online tips, and again authoritative it simple for a actuality to ability out and get tips on fine-tuning their resume from friends, associates, and aloof as importantly, the Razume association itself. Simple comment and commenting accoutrement acquiesce bodies to accord actual specific acknowledgment to about-face someone’s resume into a better, added able business tool.
After that, Razume helps get the resume into the market. That’s done through two means: a chargeless one-click announcement of the resume to the above job boards (a account that costs $59 at added sites), and use of the Razume Job Finder to browse and bookmark jobs of absorption from over 7 actor job listings on the web.
Once a user has a call-back, Razume helps them adapt for that account with advantageous tips and techniques, additional accoutrement to advice analysis -to-be administration that, ultimately, helps a actuality get the job and accomplish the appropriate decision.
ShareMeme: Evite Meets Twitter
Founders: Ahson Wardak and Luc Casterawww.sharememe.com
McKinley’s Notes: ShareMeme is an accessible apparatus for sending messages, polls, invitations and added things to your accompany and associated groups on the channels that they prefer.
ShareMeme is acclamation a absolute botheration today – careless “spamming” of accompany beyond all the channels you use to collaborate with bodies (SMS, Facebook, IM, email, Twitter, etc.). To ability our friends, we acquisition ourselves broadcasting bombastic letters beyond assorted channels to ensure our bases are covered. ShareMeme takes that botheration head-on. It is congenital aloft a powerful, self-learning belvedere that understands the attributes of a accustomed message, its priority, and almsman preferences to accelerate the appropriate bulletin the appropriate way to your targeted audience.
Interacting with ShareMeme is simple – you can use the mini-forms on the web armpit or its iPhone experience, or use its accustomed accent interface via the web, SMS, Twitter, or Jott to say things like “Invite academy accompany to see the Opening Ceremonies at my abode at 7pm on August 8”, and ShareMeme takes it from there. It understands the accumulation “college friends”, the antecedence of the message, and users’ absolute or acquired alternative in interacting with you, and alcove out automatically via the best able and user-respectful communications channel, be it SMS, Twitter, IM, your amusing network, or email.
The cardinal admiration of ShareMeme is to be the basis area of almsman alternative abstracts on the web, as able-bodied as the abode to ascertain accumulation relationships one time, in a abode that can again be leveraged by you anywhere you want, be it through adaptable communications, email, or your amusing networks. Anticipate of groups actuality as subsets of your amusing graph.
Zadby: Web Video Artefact Placement
Team: Tim McLaughlin (Founder), Beau Brewer (General Manager)www.zadby.com
Zadby deals with the circle of two phenomena: The connected abridgement of capability of acceptable announcement to ability the 18-35 year old demographic, and the poor agency that absolute web video producers accept to monetize the amount of the communities that chase them.
Zadby is a bazaar maker for artefact adjustment in web video. It allows cast managers, agencies and others to tap into the arrangement of absolute web video producers, outline their needs and what they are accommodating to pay per CPM, and again producers actualize proposed videos, get them accustomed by the client, and action them up to their communities, area they get paid on what cartage they generate.
The claiming is how to accompany artefact adjustment to web video in a scalable manner. Zadby’s admission works to break this botheration (and we’ve apparent it accomplish with our balloon efforts).
With YouTube alone affairs ads on 3% of its videos, producers are disturbing to acquisition a way to accomplish their affection a absolute business. Yet, web producers are afterwards in architecture ample communities who chase them. They may not be “Desperate Housewives”-sized communities yet, but at several hundreds of bags of viewers, they battling the audiences of abounding cable TV shows. Zadby leverages the adroitness and ability of these producers to actualize a advantageous pay-for-performance announcement advantage for them to add to their arsenal.
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