For more than 20 years, DEMO has been the launchpad of many of the most innovative companies and ideas in technology, and it’s nothing if not a compelling and entertaining industry event.
This year was no exception. Over the course of two days last week, DEMO introduced some exciting new start-ups, as well as a costumed monk, ballet dancers and cabaret singers, and a live bird to the stage to bring new products, services and ideas to life.
Our CEO Dave Hagan had the opportunity to provide feedback and advice to up-and-coming companies during the “Media & Entertainment” panels,
and we have some overall favorites from the event, including:
Ube: Austin-based Ube presented a vision for the connected home of the not-so-distant future. The company presented a cleanly designed, intuitive smartphone app to control all home electronic devices, using at-home Wi-Fi or the company’s cloud-based solution. Want to turn lights off automatically when you leave the house, turn the thermostat down, and set mood lighting and music volume before you walk in the door? Ube aims to have you covered with its apps and smart dimmer, plug and outlets, the latter of which measure energy usage.
Birdeez (EcoLek LLC): Birdeez was founded by three UC Santa Barbara students just this year to encourage people to “reconnect with nature.” The easy-to-use app can help the surprisingly large “birder” community identify and learn more about birds that they spot, logs the sightings, and allows users to share via social networking sites. The founders plan to enhance the app with crowdsourcing functionality in the future, allowing users to take pics and upload them to the Birdeez community and database.
Givit: A video editing app, Givit promises to “put an end to boring videos.” The app allows users to take a video, tap to select the best parts, add effects like slo-mo and music, and share it all within seconds. Givit offers a sort of Instagram-meets-iMovie, and might just be on our fall download list (though we’ll be watching our cellular and Wi-Fi data use via Boingo’s enhanced Wi-Finder app with data tracker).
Bandu by Neumitra: This start-up, founded at MIT two years ago, aims to track, manage and collect macro data on stress in our day-to-day lives. Bandu is a small watch-like device that tracks stress levels through the autonomic nervous system, and prompts users to engage in a pre-defined anti-stress activity, like listening to a song, calling a loved one, or playing a game, to relieve their stress. The founders soon hope to be able to define stress zones in cities to help local business and governments to address stress in their areas.
Neurotrak: This health start-up aims to diagnose the on-set of Alzheimer’s disease up to three-to-four years before the first sign of symptoms via a series of tests. This knowledge has the potential to help define who should be in clinical trials and more effectively measure drug efficacy.
With more than 77 start-ups launching, there were many more interesting companies and products to explore. You can check out the full list of DEMO Fall 2012 alumni and AlphaPitches here. For an expert opinion, we also recommend TechCrunch’s round-up of interesting start-ups at the event, and Michael J. Miller’s thorough analysis in his PCMag.com “ForwardThinking” column.
Which DEMO Fall 2012 pitch are you most excited about? See any companies that will be the next DEMO success story, like WebEx, E-Trade, Leapfrog or, ahem, Boingo Wireless?