It might be Winter, but Silicon Alley is so hot right now

February 3, 2017

To kick off 2017, I was fortunate enough to spend some time meeting with entrepreneurs, journalists and old friends while exploring Brooklyn and New York City. Two of my favorite experiences from the week came from Techstars and NY Tech Alliance events.

Barokas client, Techstars, the global ecosystem for startups, hosted a wildly successful demo day for their inaugural IoT program. Ten startups converged for (what I’m told) was a 15-hour day of pitch after pitch after conversation after demo. I caught the last pitch of the day, hearing founders speak about real problems related to healthcare, construction, food and fuel waste, and how they hope to solve these costly, unsafe issues. Two startups really struck a cord with me.

Union Crate: Aims to eliminate food waste and overstocking in grocery stores by helping grocers make sense of customer purchase-behavior on a hyperlocal level. Food waste is something I constantly think about, given the undeniably unequal distribution of access to quality food across the globe. Enabling grocers to eliminate over-ordering so those items can go towards other grocers and areas just makes so much sense.

Galaxy.AI: Uses AI to change patient healthcare from reactive to proactive prognosis identification and treatment. Starting with heart attacks and strokes, Galaxy.AI’s technology reviews patient imaging to predict future hospital visits, so doctors can treat for symptoms before the patient returns to the hospital. This saves the patient from unnecessary hospital visits which directly translates to lower healthcare costs and reduced intake burden for understaffed hospitals. A noble endeavor.

Another powerful ecosystem out east, the NY Tech Alliance, hosted its monthly demo event where I found, what might be one of my favorite startup ideas ever.

DogParker: Creates internet-connected dog houses that live outside restaurants, shopping areas and coffee shops. Through a mobile app, dog owners can reserve an air-controlled, camera-enabled DogParker for up to 90-minutes while they enjoy a coffee with friends or run a few errands. Chelsea Brownridge, CEO/founder, noted that New York has more dogs than children. Keeping dogs and people safe, while making sure our furry friends get the outdoor time they crave and deserve led to DogParker. An idea I am 100% in support of!

Pundit: Brings the fun back to voice messaging with filters. Think Snapchat for voice communications. Co-founders Billy Shaw Susanto and Chris Aston demoed the app, showcasing “Hey Billy, let’s get milkshakes!” in chipmunk and robot voices.

Stay tuned as we explore other startup ecosystems across the country in the coming months.

-Rachel

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