A couple companies that I’m into:
- Turf : An app from an incredible designer from NYC, Michael Tseng, Turf is a iOS game that combines foursquare with monopoly. You checkin to get points, buy and sell properties, and maintain them. I’d love to see more games that take into account a real world component like location and Turf does this well. He has been thinking about this game for a while and its great to see this passion project come alive over the last year. Check out the kickstarter that launched it.
- Everlane : An online clothing merchandiser that produces high quality apparel for reasonable prices. Started by my TA in college, this site is quietly killing with awesome shirts and accessories without the crazy markups that other brands have because of their retail requirements. As people become more comfortable ordering clothing online, sites like Everlane will flourish. Its still early for them, but I can see this site doing well in the next few years.
- uBeam : Wireless charging. If this works as advertised, its going to be everywhere. Check the video: http://allthingsd.com/20110602/demo-at-d9-ubeam/ . First done in 3 weeks (!) by two female students at Upenn. Really hope this makes it to market!
- Kinobi : Motion capture based learning. A startup out of Startup Weekend EDU NYC, Kinobi makes it simple to create and partake in Kinect based learning applications. Think doing yoga poses or dance moves with the application letting you know exactly how to position yourself. I dreamed about doing this for dance classes when I did motion capture for games back at Carnegie Mellon. Kinobi is making it happen.
- Amicus : Social outreach for non-profits. Having worked with Habitat for Humanity for years, it was easy to tell that even some of the best non-profits need a massive change in thinking about how they do outreach and build an audience for their causes. Amicus gives them a platform to do this. In the future, I envision the platform expanding to a consumer facing platform for engaging with the causes people care about. The founder, Seth’s, fashion taste is also unmatched.
Bonus: RapGenius: A site that lets you write definitions of lyrics. I’ve been a fan of this site for a while, as they are an awesome example of how to do social media marketing / community right; their readers are engaged and respond well to most things they post. They also kill it on SEO for new tracks since they are the first to publish lyrics for new tracks, and the definitions give you the exact search terms that people will remember and search for. They also have sick startup t-shirts.