Everyone has an accelerator nowadays and Microsoft is no different. At its Global Startup Day event in San Francisco today, the company that Windows built put 11 companies on stage to present their company for VCs, journalists and analysts.
General Manager of Microsoft Ventures, Rahul Sood took the stage and talked about mentoring companies from around the world to bring “creativity, engineering and business together.” Of the startups that brought those elements together at the event, these three are our favorites.
Apparel shopping company, Von Bismark is deploying virtual mirrors that place 3D representations of clothes on shoppers this summer. Pick the outfit you want, and you’ll be presented with how that clothing looks on you without having to wait in line for a changing room. Now it wants bring that technology into your home. By using the Xbox One Kinect, you’ll now be able to virtually try on and buy clothing in your home. The Kinect-powered system will even be able to take your measurements for optimal fittings. Founder, Eoghan O Sullivan presented a feature that will let you buy the clothes worn on your favorite shows by snapping the app next to the TV show on the Xbox One.
Von Bismark’s virtual mirror will be launched on London’s High Street and in airports this summer and the Xbox One app is expected in 2015.
Getting a site up for your small business can be a pain. You have to find a designer and every time you want to update the site you have to track down that designer or hire someone new to keep everything up-to-date. NowFloats CEO and Founder, Jasminder Singh Gulati, says that his company is a “simple solution to fairly complex problem.”
With NowFloats small business owners can send an SMS to build and update a site. Send text via any phone (even a features phone) and within minutes, the site is updated. The company even takes care of localization SEO so when nearby customers are looking for your type of business, it appears in Google results. Plus, the service helps with social network integration. In addition to SMS support, there are Android and iOS apps that support image uploading and Gulati announced a partnership with Microsoft to embed the service on Huawei Windows phones in Africa to help get local businesses online.
The company finds enough videos for a site’s entire inventory and makes sure that the videos are presented to the correct person when they are browsing products. Launched in July 2013, the company already has 15 million video views on partner sites this year.