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DreamIt Ventures graduates 14 startups on Demo Day

Yesterday afternoon, hundreds of people braved the sometimes-torrential rain to file into the bottom floor of World Cafe Life. There was no concert, instead people came to see the culminating event of 14 startups working non-stop for three months with the hope of becoming the next great Philadelphia-born startup.

DreamIt Ventures held its fourth Philadelphia Demo Day in a year that saw the accelerator expanding to New York City for the first time garnering it significant national attention.

As we wrote in this week’s VC Roundup, the current crop of companies weren’t using Demo Day to reveal products, many were actively raising money and some already had. After the jump, read our company-by-company synopsis of the day.


This DreamIt class originally included a 15th company, Polin8 that was not present at Demo Day.


CEO and Founder Ted Mann calls SnipSnap the “iTunes for coupons.” Not because iTunes allows you to purchase music, but because iTunes led the way for the average person to digitize their CDs and store them on an electronic device (though Mann says there are plans to distribute coupons via SnipSnap).

SnipSnap allows users to take a picture of a printed coupon and it will automatically digitize and tag it on your iPhone. Once digitized the app can remind you of coupons when you enter stores and warn you if a coupon you scanned with expire.

“At my house we call the bowl of coupons the bowl of shame,” said Mann. “Only one percent of all coupons are redeemed.”

The company is seeking $500,000 in investment for marketing and hiring.

Grassroots Unwired

Grassroots Unwired aims to modernize and digitize the door-to-door sales and canvasing industries through its SaaS platform.

CEO Russ Oster told the audience that the company is focusing on political campaigns in 11 states and already has netted $300,000 in revenue. Oster says he anticipates more in the 2012 election year. Using the Grassroots United platform, canvassers can see data collected by other canvassers in real-time and adjust the operation immediately. A big improvement from the days of a paper and a clipboard, said Oster.

“We’re the best holistic option for anyone looking for a door to door campaign platform.”

The company is also chasing other door-to-door sales operations and announced it has signed a partnership with Solar City, the solar panel maker with offices in Broomall.

Oster said the company plans on additional revenue from selling the data collected by its platform.


Qwite CEO David Payne

When David Payne, the gray-haired CEO of Quite, took the stage at World Cafe Life, he acknowledged what most people in the audience were thinking.

“Yes I’m one of the entrepreneurs, not one of their parents,” he said to some chuckles.

Qwite is app to help streamline customer feedback in restaurants and small business. Instead of asking customers to fill out comment cards or to call a number to take a survey, Qwite gives restaurant owners real-time information and customers real-time rewards in exchange for the feedback.

The application is available for Android. The company is not raising money, but will after its beta tests said Payne.


Refining its pitch from Philly Tech Meetup last week, Austin-born ThaTrunk is a location-based content distribution tool allowing creatives to sell to their audiences by proximity. Users can attach content to their network and then automatically find a way to distribute content from Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G and 4G.

During his presentation, CEO Hassan F. Johnson unintentionally created the funniest moment of the day when he asked a room full of investors, lawyers, businesspeople and accountants if they had ever heard of Dubstep.

One hand went up. You’ve got some work to do, fellas.

ThaTrunk is raising $750,000 and plans on testing its technology in its native Austin during FunFunFun fest andSouth by Southwest. Johnson said the company already has five-figure revenues and its application will be in the Android store soon.


Credited by DreamIt managing partner Kerry Rupp for “their non-stop chatter that always kept the office awake” CloudMine is a backend for mobile developers to help them streamline the application creation process.

You may remember our coverage of Cloudmine before they arrived at DreamIt Ventures and their close involvement with Philly Startup Weekend.

The company says it has over 600 users and has powered 12 applications and is the technology behind four app-driven startups.

CEO Brendajohn n McCorkle said the company is seeking $1 million.


Kwelia aims to modernize the way property managers work by digitizing their portfolio and collecting data on properties.

The company has been gathering datasets from The 67th Ward and Philadelphia for months and is founded by John Njoku who said that in his time as a property manager and landlord, he spent little time optimizing his process because he had so much to do everyday.

The company is raising $300,000 and has already partnered with Allan Domb Real Estate.


ClrTouch founder Mark Spates

Founder Mark Spates made no apologies to the World Cafe Life crowd. He loves tablets and he loves good design.

“I probably own 10 of them,” he said after being introduced by Kerry Rupp as being the most stylish member of the DreamIt class. “I have cool socks and cool shoes so we’re always thinking about design and the way things look.”

Cleartouch is an ad platform for digital publishers to help make advertisements for touch screen devices.

The company is raising $1 million.


Flirq aims to take away the “creep factor” of online dating by placing full control in the site’s women users.

In order to see woman’s full profile picture, men must answer quiz questions to determine if they are compatible. Women, however, can see male profiles with no restrictions.

After a woman approves a man to see her profile she can then invite her friends to a “gossip room” to offer commentary and advice about interested man.

“Women don’t have to worry about getting those creepy messages anymore,” said founder Chaochi Chang.

Flirq is targeting the Asian dating market and is raising $300,000. The company is likely moving back to Chang’s native Taiwan.


Oneaway helps users find out friends and friend of friends that are in the nearby area. User can then chat with their friends to help people organize last-minute get together and to help users meet new friends with a common connection.

CEO Anis Herb said that the company has already raised $100,000 of a $350,000 round.


After seeing founder Keya Dannenbaum speak at TEDxPhilly, present at PSL’s Founder Factory and participate in GoodCompany Ventures we’re pretty familiar with ElectNext.

The company is a “ for voters” helping users determinate the political candidate that best represents their views. After launching during the 2011 election the company is focusing on scaling in 2012 and using its dataset to deliver targeted political advertisements to users.

The company is seeking $750,000.


UXFlip founder Micahelr Raber demoed his company’s kinda-sorta pivot from Feedback Trail, a service that allows application developers to collect feedback from users, to its new service which helps developers made fast design changes to their app without the need to force users to re-download.

The company is raising $350,000.


Spling, the first DreamIt company in this class to raise money, helps users share content with specific social circles, similar to Google Plus.


MetaLayer offers tools to help users easily apply filters to data sources and embed the result. The company is targeting online-only publishers to help offer them additional ways to tell stories. For example a publisher could pull in Tweets that mention “Occupy Philly” and have a positive sentiment and embed that in a story about the public’s opinion of the movement creating a living, dynamic story.

CEO Jon Gosier was the former VP of StremStage and his Wikipedia page claims he’s worked with Kanye West.

The company has $100,000 in revenue, mostly from consulting and already has 600 users in its private beta. Gosier also said MetaLayer is in talks with Mashable, Al Jazeera and NPR.


We’ll give Supplyhog, formerly Nopone, the award for funniest presentation.

CEO and Tennessee native Nathan Derrick said that SupplyHog is a time-saving tool for contractors and construction companies to have supplies delivered or ready for pick up. Typically, said Derrick, contractors spend a majority of their workweek tracking down the right supplies, waiting for supplies at stores like Home Depot and then getting the materials to the crew out in the field.

“That was only on Monday,” said Derrick. “Repeat this cycle six days a week until you die.”

Derrick, while featuring a slide that had his head superimposed on top of a svelte contraction worker said that the company already generated $40,000 in revenue during its private beta in the Chattanooga maker and plans for aggressive expansion next year.

“The construction industry is a big-ass mother of an industry,” he said. “We have assembled the perfect mix of geeks and rednecks to tackle this problem”

The company has $100,000 committed and is looking for $750,000.

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Kristen Fitch

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