Hello, and welcome to Philly at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in ever-charming and quaint Las Vegas, Nev. We’re so glad we don’t have to actually be there (Sugarhouse will do just fine), but we are hype about the Philly founders that are making the rounds over there. This seems like the biggest Philly #squad at CES, ever. (But as always, correct us if we’re wrong.)
Anyway, allow us to be your tour guide.
Over here, hanging out with Richard Branson, is SmartPlate CEO Anthony Ortiz. SmartPlate is a device that says it can count your calories, and Ortiz has been making the tech mogul pitch competition rounds. Earlier this year, he pitched at Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition (he lost to Scholly’s Chris Gray). Now, he’s trying to get that Branson money in the British billionaire’s annual Extreme Tech Challenge this afternoon. (The Verge has called it an “absurd CES startup contest.”) Three finalists get to go to Branson’s private island. Sounds nice, if you’re into that kind of thing. (These dudes in Baltimore are.)
In beautiful Sands Hall A, Nucleus, the home intercom that counts the City of Philadelphia, First Round Capital’s Josh Kopelman and iPhone maker Foxxcon as investors, has a suite. TechCrunch stopped by the other day.
Fresh off her wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, ROAR founder Yasmine Mustafa is in Vegas hoping to meet possible partners and manufacturers. Mustafa’s company plans to make a device that will reduce sexual assault.
Mustafa met White House CTO Megan Smith at CES.
“Meeting her alone makes this trip worth it!” Mustafa texted to us.
Mustafa told us that The Wearables Store, a new ecommerce shop run by Philly guy Stephen Spivak, was also at CES. Here’s a piece by Philly.com’s “Gizmo Guy” on the new company.
Felicite Moorman and Ryan Buchert, cofounders of East Falls’ smart home company BuLogics, had a suite and were hustling — 33 meetings in three days, Moorman told us via text.
We asked her to send us a photo of their suite, but she said it wasn’t heavy on BuLogics branding, so we asked her for a selfie instead.
She later obliged with a photo, showing off their new app. Not a selfie. Still cool.
Zonoff, which spun out of BuLogics, balled out with a suite for the second time in a row. We tried to find out how much they spent on it but their spokesman demurred. (“A demo suite is not only a better fit for their CES Show goals, but a cost-conscious alternative to renting booth space, designing, shipping and building a booth on the CES show floor,” the spokesman said. They also have a demo suite in their office in Malvern.)
CES is a big deal for Zonoff, their spokesman said, because they’re not direct-to-consumer.
“For this reason, Zonoff is not interested in exhibiting to the masses,” the spokesman said, “but instead comes to CES to have in-depth meetings with clients, partners, prospects, industry analysts and trade media (Zonoff has conducted about 100 meetings at its suite this week).”
Apparently, they also have a kitchenette in the demo suite, which they use to feed guests and team members. No word on who’s doing the cooking.
Last but not least, Center City’s Connectify launched its Speedify Mobile product, which promises to give you super-fast internet, at CES. CEO Alex Gizis got interviewed by Peggy Smedley, who calls herself “The Voice of IoT in the Connected World.”
And here’s team Connectify at their booth.
To close, we found this gem of a tweet from a Philly guy. Till next year CES.
— Francis Rabuck (@frabuck) January 5, 2016
(Psst, should we have our own CES during Philly Tech Week at Sugarhouse?! Or maybe we can just scrap the gambling bit. Idk, sounds depressing. But it does seem like Philly’s consumer electronics scene is getting big enough to do an expo.)