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August 12, 2014

StartupCamp9: Meet This Year's Three Competing Startups


Day two of ITEXPO 2014 ended on a riveting note with the highly anticipated StartupCamp9—a true event favorite which certainly did not disappoint. This evening’s event was produced by business consulting firm Embrase and featured judges Catharine Tebnick, senior research analyst at Dougherty & Company; Brad Bush, CMO of Genband; and Dave McLaughlin, founder and CEO at Vsnap, who actually participated a few years back in StartupCamp as a competing participant. It was a treat to be able to see a former contender come full circle and take the stage as a critic.

As a reminder, competing startups are only permitted five minutes to pitch their product or concept. First to take the stage was Onkol, a Wisconsin-based provider of connected monitoring services for the elderly. With 35 million age-in-place elderly individuals in the U.S.—a number that is slated to double over the next few years—and so many Internet-connected devices currently in use, Onkol CEO Erich Jacobs feels that the company’s home and health monitoring systems have the potential to gain significant market share.

“Adoption of new technologies by the elderly is awful,” Jacobs said. “[Onkol] focuses on what is stopping these individuals from adopting new technology. After all, when I bring something new into my mom’s house, it better be dirt simple and there better be five reasons why she’ll want it.” This kind of solution will show blood pressure numbers to families in real-time via text, for example, or can show who is calling your elderly relative.

Next up was Next Caller, a NYC startup that touts itself as the market’s most comprehensive caller ID system. Ron Coroni, co-founder of Next Caller, stressed that there is huge room for growth and improvement in this area. For example, businesses last year spent $15 billion asking callers how to spell their names—and that is only in the U.S. Not only this, but Coroni stressed that Next Caller’s clients save up to 90 percent on their caller ID costs. “Our information is over three times more accurate than competitors.”

Last but certainly not least was San Francisco-based HelloMD, a solution that connects users with top doctors who offer quality treatments for cash. Mark Hadfield, founder of HelloMD, explained that millions of patients exist across the world but accessing a doctor can oftentimes be difficult. Patients across the world need access to priority care in near-real-time, and that’s where HelloMD comes into the picture. For example, Dr. Brian Andrews, San Francisco’s best neurosurgeon, can be made more accessible facilitated by the services provided by HelloMD.

Patients need to simply visit HelloMD to access doctors via a convenient telehealth platform, which combines medical record applications with real-time communication services. The platform currently boasts the top 1 percent of doctors as well as a myriad of helpful content resources including a blog.

All three presentations were inspiring and innovative, but only one could be the frontrunner. Stay tuned to find out which company will be awarded as winner—the news will be announced tomorrow!





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