It’s no secret that New York City’s tech scene is on fire. In March, we wrote about one of the newest startup incubators to launch in New York City, the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA), a NYC-born early-stage investment firm that aims to build the next-generation of leading technology, media and Internet companies. Today, the ER Accelerator announced the 10 startups that will participate in its inaugural summer 2011 program, set to kick-off in New York at its Times Square offices on June 6th.
“We are very excited to have received interest from such a wide group of top-flight entrepreneurs for our inaugural ERA program,” said Murat Aktihanoglu, Managing Director. “We are thrilled with the group of companies which will be participating, and we look forward to working with them and our extensive mentor network to help these companies succeed.”
According to Jonathan Axelrod, ERA’s Managing Director, they received hundreds of applications from all over the country and the world. He said the 10 startups are a group of outstanding founders and incredibly talented teams with dedication and the ability to execute a product within the 3 month timeframe. Each startup in the ERA program will receive a $25,000 investment, access to nearly 200 mentors and three months of free office space at the ERA office. In exchange, ERA takes a company stake of 8%.
“This event was off the charts”
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Here are the 10 startups accepted into ERA’s inaugural class:
Remember the old school table buzzers at Applebee’s? BuzzTable is taking that device and putting its use on your mobile phone, establishing a direct line of communication between the restaurant and their customer. This line of communication includes a built in loyalty program, so BuzzTable is essentially replacing the table buzzer and the punch card with your mobile phone.
While there are plenty of ways to find local businesses online, there isn’t a lot of visibility around hours and pricing. U.S. consumers spent $540B on local services like haircuts, massages, oil changes, and yoga classes in 2010, yet over 80% of local service businesses do not post prices and hours online. Centzy is a clever, new search engine where consumers can find accurate prices, hours, and ratings for every service in their city.
LetGive is a way to let developers turn their products into fundraising vehicles for nonprofits and charities through LetGive’s platform that connects application developers, charities, and socially conscious consumers. The entire donation and distribution process is managed seamlessly by LetGive.
We’ve seen QR codes pop up frequently in recent years, but no one really knows what to do with them yet. Nabfly is a simple mobile tagging platform for QR codes that lets people scan posters with their phones and engage with a brand through a native application. The service makes it easy to remember and interact with the cool things you see walking around a city.
We first wrote about numberFire when it predicted the SuperBowl Winner [story here]. The analytics platform uses quantitative modeling to bring new insights and analysis to the world of sports. It will also include new community features in the coming months. numberFire’s founder Nik Bonaddio runs the company on his own using $100,000 he won on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” “You might say that Regis Philbin was my first angel investor!” he jokes.
Parking Panda is a mobile, real-time parking discovery tool. An Airbnb meets parking, if you will. It enables parking space owners to rent out their underutilized spaces to a community of drivers. People in need of parking can save money and time by finding a place to park and paying right from their phone. Sign up for early access here.
Time to fire your SEM consultant! Pricing Engine is your new savvy business intelligence tool for digital marketers to boost ROI during campaigns. It provides users with a simple visual interface to discover actionable insights for improvement and includes patent pending advertising optimization and valuation across the full range of creative and targeting options, media choices, and pricing models.
How many times have you wanted to call your local government about something in your community but didn’t know who to turn to or where to go for help? Potholes? Garbage pick-up? Community services? In New York City, we have 311, but small-medium sized municipalities can’t afford a service like this. PublicStuff’s web-based solution addresses the service needs of both local governments and residents by increasing consumer participation while also driving down costs for public agencies. The municipal platform allows agencies to cost-effectively manage communications with the public and better manage the delivery of services; its consumer platform allows the public to request a variety of services.
Sitesimon is social browsing that makes it easy to find and enjoy new content online. Users can share their browsing seamlessly, connect with what their friends and others are looking at, and be recognized for discovering sites that others love too.
Thrift stores are a $13 billion business in this country, and it’s one that hasn’t been disrupted by the Web- yet. WebThriftStore enables anyone to turn their unused “stuff” into tax-deductible, charitable donations. It makes it easy to offer anything online, and then allows consumers to use their social networks to convert it into cash for the charity of their choice. Say you have a lamp sitting around your house, simply type the product in, WebThriftStore will locate it, then pick a charity to associate it with. Once someone buys its, WebThriftStore ships you a box to ship the product out, and the money goes to the charity of your choice.
While ERA’s investment and equity stake is comparable to other incubators, the perks of being accepted into ERA are pretty enviable. Each of the ERA companies will receive free legal services from Gunderson Dettmer and 10,000 Business ExtrAA points, which are redeemable for up to five domestic round-trip flights on American Airlines flights, American Eagle or AmericanConnection or used for other travel awards, making flying out to San Francisco to talk to Ron Conway a breeze.
Other professional services include free hosting and free banking services with support from selected partners and sponsors such as Amazon, Microsoft, CBRE, Cogent Communications, Steinberg Foreman Group at Morgan Stanley, Phone.com and Manning Publications.
At the heart of the program is its 180 plus mentors, a group of all-star experienced entrepreneurs, operating executives, technologists, and investors including Fred Wilson, Esther Dyson, Jos White, Geoff Judge, Charlie Federman, Brian Cohen, David Pakman, Jeff Stewart and Howard Morgan, who have come together over the past 4 years to form the Entrepreneurs Roundtable, a global nonprofit organization active in USA, Japan and Turkey (India coming soon) with the sole aim of helping entrepreneurs become successful.
The ER Accelerator includes 3 co-founders: Jonathan Axelrod, a technology and media entrepreneur who previously co-founded MusicGremlin, Inc., a New York-based venture-backed start-up; Charles Kemper, an entrepreneur and investment professional; and Murat Aktihanoglu, a technology entrepreneur. Aktihanoglu was the original founder of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable 4 years ago.
“We believe there is no better place to be starting a technology company today than New York,” said Jonathan Axelrod, Managing Director. “We look forward to helping to build the next great generation of New York tech companies.”
He’s right! And in case you missed our piece from over the weekend, read up on Why New York City’s tech scene is thriving.