(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
A packed crowd gathered at the Emerging Technology Centers’ Highlandtown campus got a taste of what the six companies have been working on during the three-month accelerator program.
Each company had an opportunity to pitch the crowd, complete with a wireless mic, orange stand and sleek flat-screen. This year’s cohort drew many alums — and current students — from Johns Hopkins and MICA. The founders also embraced new technology like beacons and sensors that are just starting to come to market.
Here’s what we learned:
MICA alum Bryan Bamford has worked on building games. But now he, Evan Fuller and Justin Livi are building Brinkbit, a platform for game development. It uses HTML5, which Bamford said helps make games available to every platform once they’re built. The platform also allows work on the cloud, which makes for maximum collaboration. Bamford said the team is working to introduce the beta version of the platform, and you’ll still see them at ETC Haven even though AccelerateBaltimore is complete.
“Who here has ever worked in a restaurant?” Paige Cantlin asked. That’s how she began the pitch for Full Society, an app that splits restaurant bills and gives diners an option to donate to people in need. Cantlin recognized that Full Society has a lot of competition in the bill-splitting app department, but she said most other apps require a reservation, or customers to turn on the app before their meal. The social mission of Full Society also sets it apart, she said. The team is still working to finish building the app, and hope to release it this summer. Check out a full profile of Full Society.
Tonika Myers stepped up for Baggio, maker of a smart bag. Bluetooth connects the bag to a smartphone app, while sensors detect whether you have all of the items you want to take with you. Myers, a CPA, is cofounder of the company along with her husband Cory, an IP attorney. The company’s prototype is a diaper bag, and they’re working on bringing it to market.
Johns Hopkins sophomore Seal-bin Han got the crowd pumped with his pitch for ShapeU, a gym app that organizes workout groups with a personal trainer. We talked to ShapeU when AccelerateBaltimore 2015 first launched, and the technology was in use at Johns Hopkins’ Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center. Next month, beta versions will be tested at the likes of Merritt Athletic Center and several other local gyms.
Matt Longley laid out the vision for Visable, a platform that’s looking to make on-campus recruiting easier for both students and companies. The idea was born of Longley’s many hours at job fairs, which he found to be inefficient. Students looking to enter the job market can create a profile, and link up with recruiters. Longley, a JHU alum who worked as a research analyst at CEB, said the system offers more data and chances for repeat engagements than job fairs can.
Sunyan Lee pitched Promotious. It’s a promotions app for restaurants and bars that uses beacon technology to tell people when they’re walking by a location with a deal. Since talking to us for a profile back in February, Lee and cofounders Stanley Ho and Yiran Zhang have been honing their pitch with trips to TechBreakfast and building out the app. Heading into the summer, they’re looking to keep pounding the pavement to get more restaurants onboard.-30-
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