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Startups from Disrupt

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

At Wired.com Ryan Singel and Mike Isaac posted a list called “The 7 Coolest Startups You Haven’t Heard of Yet,” which has a title that pretty much explains it all.  These new startups in the list were all presented at this year’s TechCrunch’s Disrupt Conference in San Fransico.  Out of that list two really stuck out to me:

Trello – Trello is a simple, powerful and free tool for team collaboration from well-known programmer/entrepreneur Joel Spolsky at Fog Creek Software. Projects are broken down into “cards”, which can be assigned to team members, with to-do lists on each.

Team members can see the entire board, keeping an eye on who is working on what, and what the progress of the project is. It’s akin to Basecamp and Pivotal Tracker, both online services popular with software teams, but Trello’s intended to be useful for all sorts of project management, from class projects to running a company. Expect this to be widely popular as its free features are hard to pass up and premium features are expected in the future.

I remember during school working on projects using a number of different programs of tools to colaberate with team members, Google Docs, wiki spaces, and email of course.  Despite having teams with great communication abilities, determination, and general know how our work on projects could often get confusing.  Who is doing what, is this updated, has this been finished, and other questions could require some effert to answer.   Having a free service which gives users basic project management functions could be helpfull in so many areas, and while I haven’t used Trello I am going to spend some time to experiment with it.

CakeHealth – Insurance companies want to screw you, plain and simple. Documentation is intentionally convoluted, deductibles and out of pocket maximums are difficult to keep track of.

CakeHealth aims to cut through the confusion of dealing with health care. Enter your provider and personal enrollment information, and the service acts as a financial planner that keeps track of your activity throughout the year. From warnings on potential billing errors to knowing exactly how much you’ve paid into meeting your deductible, it’s a clear dashboard amid confusing noise.

There’s an added bonus for mobile users — forgetting your insurance card at home is no longer an issue. With the iPhone app, you’ll never leave home without it.

For me dealing with my insurance company and doctor’s office to resolve issues could never get too easy.  So anything that can consolidate information, digitize my insurance information, and show me potential problems will get on my radar.

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TechStars

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

 

A post at TechCrunch yesterday sparked my interest in a new documentary “reality TV” show, which premiered last night on Bloomberg TV, about a group called TechStars.  I had only briefly heard of the organization before, which is best described by their own words:

TechStars is the #1 startup accelerator in the world.  We’re very selective – Although thousands of companies apply each year, we only take about ten companies per program. We have selection rates lower than the Ivy League, so you have to be among the best of the best to be in TechStars.

The show, which will give viewers an inside look on the TechStars process of mentoring 10 startups from the “class of 2011,”  could be worth watching for numerous reasons.  First, it could give me an inside look to the types of ideas that could be emerging in technology and cloud computing in the coming years.  Secondly, and of a bigger interest to me, it could provide a better view of how startups like these need to refine their ideas, present to investors, and work with different companies to support them.  

I haven’t been able to watch the premier episode yet, or the trailer, so I could be wrong about the show.  What I do know is that I have had family set my home DVR to record the show, and I will need to sit down and watch it when I get back.  Hopefully, my predictions of the shows content are correct and there will be something valuable and insight recorded back home.  In my mind that is a rarity with reality TV.

 

 

TechStars – Top Minds In Tech from Elizabeth Gould on Vimeo.

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