Tesla for Wheelchairs, An Algorithm API and Crowd Sourced Security
This month, SV Forum is celebrating thirty years as a not-for-profit organization supporting innovation and startups in Silicon Valley. The organization holds a staggering 200 events per year for entrepreneurs and investors, and therefore, is well suited for naming the industry’s top tech visionaries and promising startups.
On Tuesday, SV Forum announced the 2013 visionaries, which includes Steve Blank, a highly influential serial entrepreneur, author and academician, Peter Diamandis of the XPrize Foundation, Ray Kurzweil of Google and Padmasree Warrior of Cisco. This award honors the industry’s foremost pioneers and leaders, and in the past has included Bill Gates, Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway.
In addition to announcing this year’s visionaries, SV Forum also held a LAUNCH event for startups, giving promising teams the opportunity to pitch to a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors. Members of the panel included Bill Reichert of Garage Ventures and Ron Weissman of Band of Angels.
Here are three startups not to be missed:
We all know data is important; this company takes it a step further and transforms data input into intelligent output. Their API is simple enough for developers to build applications without writing algorithms. Current clients include a semiconductor company who uses the API to decrease the strain on its sales force by automating smaller purchases. Another creative use of the API is building a predictive model for entrepreneurs. This application is currently in beta testing with a VC firm, where it helps predict the next interesting company by using a combination of graph analysis and classification.
WHILL is attempting to disrupt the $1.7B wheelchair market by introducing Electric Vehicle technology to wheelchairs. You can think of it as Tesla meets personal mobility. The actual product has a very slick appearance, having been designed by the CEO, Satoshi Sugie, formerly of the Nissan Design Center. Another feature is the unique wheel, which moves transversely with a small turning radius, optimizing the mobility of the user, and is especially helpful for daily street obstacles.
Bugcrowd – Crowdsourced Security
“It takes a crowd to stop a crowd.”
Simply put, Bugcrowd crowd sources security. Large corporations, such as Google, Facebook and Etsy, already do this by incentivizing researchers to exploit and test security flaws. Bugcrowd uses a similar concept, and in a recent case involving a large grocery store chain, the company crowd sourced over 250 security researchers to solve a mobile risk which had led to the grocery chain’s infrastructure. The magnitude of what Bugcrowd intends to introduce is quite impressive (perhaps prime for the elusive hockey stick?) when you consider the growing concerns in security and mobile.