5 companies debuted products and customers at NMotion Demo Day 2017
Christine McGuigan, Silicon Prairie News
Last week’s 5th annual NMotion Demo Day at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln was a thrilling introduction to the 5 startups that just completed the 100 day accelerator program.
The evening began with an intro from NMotion Managing Director Beth McKeon and a thanks to representatives from startup heavy-hitters Hudl, Zilliow, Nelnet, Opendorse and Bulu Box for participating in the programming.
“In 2017, the mission of NMotion changed. By stepping into the [Managing Director] role, I realized we had an even bigger opportunity to serve the community,” said McKeon.
In her intro, she explained that a startup, by definition, doesn’t know who their customer is and doesn’t know the road map to becoming a viable business.
“The beautiful thing about that though, [is that through that uncertainty] comes breakthroughs in technology and innovative business models,” said McKeon.
NMotion provides its startups with a Founder Roadmap, taking them through the process of validation, testing, acceleration and growth. The program is divided into three phases: Prelaunch, Accelerator and Nebraska Fellows to meet the needs of startups at various stages.
“The trick to building a successful company is to build a repeatable process,” said Keevin O’Rourke, NMotion Program Manager, in his introduction to the 5 demonstrators.
Without further ado, here is SPN’s recap of the night’s 5 pitches:
Utilize is looking to introduce equipment rentals to the world of e-commerce. The company wants to bring the industry online and cut the cord on their reliance on phone calls from 8-5, Monday-Friday to do business.
“Utilize created a platform as powerful as the equipment we represent,” said Zach Davy, Business Development and Sales for Utilize, during his pitch.
At a cost of $150 a month per shop to license, Utilize is an accessible product that will enable companies to work smarter and harder.
Notable customers: Davy announced hardware chain True Value as a signed customer, bringing Utilize into over 4000 stores nationwide.
Companies spend over $60 billion a year on search engine marketing. It’s a specialized field that not only gets their clients traffic, but uses technology to bringing content to the top of search results.
However, specialists in the job have to spent over 40 hours per client reviewing content which makes it impossible to create a scalable business and onboard more clients.
“Our team is inc excited about the problems that we’re solving in [search engine marketing] today, but we’re even more excited about the problems of tomorrow,” said Doc Bolton, Customer Development and Operations.
Kiai analyzes websites to see if keywords and content are being used properly. It will also scan competitors’ sites and social media and because Kiai is AI based, it gets smarter as it scans and learns.
Notable successes: During NMotion, Kiai scanned over 2 million websites and onboarded 3 users.
“10 years ago, a friend asked me to help her with a video project,” said Alex Kuklinski, founder and CEO of Fyiio. “With the intention of helping her, I helped thousands.”
Since that first tutorial went online, Kuklinski’s videos have been viewed over 23 million time worldwide, beating out companies like Apple on showing customers how to use their own products.
Fyiio’s videos became so popular because they’re short and to the point (on average viewers have a 2.5 minute attention span for a video) and they feature both written and video directions.
Tutorials can be advanced based on search terms because Fyiio’s software can guess where viewers are in the creation process. The videos are also short and to the point (on average viewers have a 2.5 minute attention span for a video) and they feature both written and video directions.
Notable customers: Kuklinski announced that Zillow Group and Praxidyn have signed up for the platform.
Nearly 40% of PT patients give up, resulting in incomplete care and loss of revenue. Patients complain about feeling disconnected from treatment and doing exercises incorrectly, resulting in an increase of opioid use.
“The old way of engaging patients in physical therapy isn’t working,” said Jordan Mather, CEO of Health Snaps. “What we’re doing at Health Snaps is evolving treatment.”
Health Snaps allows patients to consult with video tutorials for proper training, providing an easy contact source between patients and therapists.
“We’re engaging with the community and keeping it simple,” said Mathers. “What we’re doing is building a program for the millions of people who suffer from pain.”
Notable customers: Testers from San Francisco to New York have converted to paying customers.
Kronfeld Motor’s Cyclomobile is an aerodynamic, compact pedal-powered vehicle that utilizes the driver’s energy to gain speed and run efficiently through a power multiplier system.
It’s not a bike, it’s not a car, is a highway speed cycling vehicle.
“I can pedal from Omaha to Lincoln in 45 minutes […] and I’m pretty sure I could get a ticket for speeding,” said Rich Kronfeld, Kronfeld Motors Founder and CEO. “We’re at the dawn of a new auto age.”
Kronfeld built the prototype on a Minnesota energy grant. Designed by an artist, an MIT engineer and an Emmy award-winning TV producer, the team built a type of vehicle that never existed before.
Notable customers: 18 of the 20 cars in the first production run have been pre-sold.