Today I attended the Washington, D.C. start-up incubator Launch Box Digital, where I saw eight new start-ups show off their stuff to a crowd of local investors and media outlets. I attended the event last year and shared my thoughts. No disrespect to last year's class but this year the pitches seemed to be more polished and offered better business models overall.
Here is the full list of the start-ups that launched:
Social Collective - a browser-based service targeted at event marketing and the enhancement of the event experience for both attendees and sponsors.
KeepFu - a simple note-taking and organization tool to help manage consumer-defined “projects” like trip planning, event planning, and important purchases.
SECWatch - offers investors, bloggers, journalists a platform and tool set for digging deeper into SEC filings.
unblab - attack the email overload problem by answering the question “What emails should I be reading”?
Keen Guides - platform for delivering download-able audio short-format, video and audio tours.
BandsInTown - automatically plugs into music players such as iTunes, last.fm, Pandora and other sites to learn your artist preferences, and then lets you track your favorite artists (and related ones) and receive alerts when events of interest are coming to your area. Also looking to sweeten the relationship between ticket buyers and sellers.
TapMetrics - a tool that brings together sales data, user feedback, software metrics, and other information into a consolidated dashboard for mobile apps to allow developers to manage a portfolio of applications quickly and easily.
LegalRiver - offers a free platform to help connect lawyers with clients and clients with lawyers.
Here is a quick video about the LaunchBox09 startups.
Who was my favorite? I don't have one but I do have a little to say about each of them. I like Social Collective since it made SXSW a breeze last year and should help again this year. I also have been using BandsInTown since meeting them a few years ago in Boston at a TECH cocktail event. They have helped me to not miss my favorite bands when they come to town. I think SECWatch and LegalRiver are going to do great since they both seem to be fixing a problem that has not seen a lot of love from consumer facing apps in the past, so they have a pretty open field to grab online real-estate and mindshare. TapMetrics is going to help LOTS of iPhone app developers better understand the metrics side of the game, which will prove to be very important. KeepFu could be interesting if it helps to organize the apps I already use but I will have to test it out further to better understand the power of it. unblab is looking to help fix your email inbox and could be very popular especially if they are able to break into the enterprise space. I am looking forward to testing out the unblab iTriage iPhone application. Keen Guides has a very intriguing business around distributing audio and video tour guides which taps into the travel category and has a very passionate vision focused on helping those with disabilities.
For another take check out what TechCrunch had to say. Finally, it takes a lot courage, determination and drive to start and run your own business so congrats to all the startups and LaunchBox Digital on another great year!