By Dennis Clemente
It’s not every day you find a bar and gallery space as the venue for a presentation of new apps, but Culturefix makes it interesting that way. It also tells us how every nook and cranny of New York–East Village in this case—is open to what is fast becoming a cottage industry in New York—the tech startup.
So between sips of house red wine and small bites of tapas, the startup presentation looks like it is indeed getting a cultural fix—and a multicultural one at that based on the different ethnicities that presented their apps last September 25 at Startupfix’s meetup.
In the first performance art, er, presentation, Run Smart Project presented the Jack Daniels’ Running Calculator, a free mobile app designed to help runners quickly calculate their running and training paces. The calculator offers runners and coaches an app that factors in wind, temperature and altitude.
With so many running apps out there, Run Smart has had the good sense of going beyond targeting elite runners by reaching out to schools with their app. Run Smart Kids is a running program for pupils from third to sixth grades with a goal race at the end of the program. For Run Smart, it’s the way to motivate the young to achieve higher fitness levels.
Brian Rosetti, founder, has always said that it’s easier to educate young people when there’s a specific goal to hurdle. So Run Smart is doing more by partnering with four schools in New York as it also works with over 100 students who have reportedly logged 5,000 miles since 2010.
How would you like your Facebook page to look like a website? Rebel Mouse is the best-looking one so far, but Pagevamp thinks it can still compete, because it captures your activity on Facebook where others may just serve up links.
“All our sites are responsive. You can also pretty much embed what you want,” said Vincent Sanchez-Gomez who presented it with his two other young co-founders, Atulya Pandey and Fred Wang. The three go a long way back from University of Pennsylvania when they were students.
Pagevamp got funded by the Dorm Room Fund, First Round Capital’s student-run investment arm, which gives it access to the fund’s mentorship and network, as well as $20,000 in funding.
Sanchez-Gomez said users from more than 80 countries have created more than 7,000 sites and is looking to expand beyond Facebook. “We look forward to turning Pagevamp into a platform for add-ons from third-party developers.”
Creating a Pagevamp site is free, but you have to pay a subscription fee if you want to publish on a non-Pagevamp domain and if you want access to the add-ons.
Third presenter, Shake, is shaking things up in the legal field. Even presenter-lawyer Vinay Jain has shaken up, if not totally disrupted his legal profession. Founders are RRE’s Stuart Ellman, BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg and Spotify’s Jared Grusd and legal entrepreneur Abe Geiger.
How is it different from any other legal app? “We are anti-legalese,” said Jain explaining how Shake has trimmed the legalese fat for plain English in order to make it easy for anyone to understand contracts, and still make them legally binding. More than 1 million worth of contracts (eg. independent contractor, personal loans, rent-buy) have reportedly been created on the app which is easy to navigate. More important perhaps, the contracts are free.
Last presenter Strito has an interesting Android app that founder Elad of Israel called “Foursquare meets Twitter.” It’s for people looking to find exciting events and activities where they are at the moment. It appears to be more of a search discovery tool for the impulsive in you—or adventurous in you, if it serves up something you think could be exciting but something you have not tried before.
It is clearly not eventbrite.com or any event reminder site. “We like you to interact with events. We allow commenting. We like you to use your social networks with it,” said Elad who said his developers took a year to develop the site, because they were all working on it part-time.”
Since Strito is fairly new, it is focusing on New York City first—and Android first. Elad said it relied on the growth of Android’s market share on a global scale.
Startupfix partner TriNet sponsored a Beats Audio headphone giveaway with Pagevamp co-founder winning the Atulya Pandey winning. Wouldn’t it have been better if the presenters were not included in the raffle?