May 2012: Technori Pitch Recap

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Great times once again at the Technori Pitch last night. It was another sell out, and featured some of the best presentations to date. As always, the show kicked off with a great keynote speaker, and the following pitches didn’t skip a beat.

Delicious food mixed with technology? Sign me up. That’s exactly what keynote speaker Nick Kokonas had in mind with his innovative take on the dining experience. Kokonas is the man behind three of Chicago’s most popular spots: Alinea, Next, and The Aviary. All establishments consistently receive rave reviews from locals, as well as global recognition. The cool thing about Nick is that he didn’t have a background in the restaurant industry upon getting started, but he did possess an impressive business background paired with a desire to shake things up in an otherwise traditional industry. Audience members got to hear about how his background in trading currencies translated into developing a technology platform for dinner table reservations. We all love instant gratification, so why wouldn’t we enjoy clicking a button and instantly securing seating at one of Chicago’s top restaurants? Kokonas’ dynamic pricing table reservation system is interactive, intuitive, and transparent- all ingredients that feed demand and provide a sustainable model for prolonged success. To give you an idea of how popular the system is, there were over 1,100,000 page views in a single hour upon release of a specific event. Now, that’s a lot of eyeballs on a computer screen. A lot of people seemed to doubt his vision at first, but Kokonas surely didn’t; his success as a restaurateur is well documented.

After his presentation, we all got to hear from five of Chicago’s most interesting start-ups, with the usual five-minute presentations followed by a three minute Q&A. Check out a rundown of the companies:

Tempo

Heavy on the tech side of things, Tempo delivered a great presentation for its product, which is providing an innovative solution for mining the ever-increasing amount of data at our fingertips. On a daily basis, there are millions upon millions of devices putting out data that is extremely useful to organizations across countless industries. Simply wrapping your head around this concept is complex enough, let alone being able to derive context and meaning behind it all. Enter: Tempo. The details get pretty intense, but essentially, Tempo provides the capability to store massive amounts of data from the past and present, in turn equipping you with the knowledge needed to make educated business decisions. Three main components of Tempo DB revolve around a visualization and analytics engine, as well as a storage infrastructure. Open source enthusiasts will certainly appreciate the various tools and technologies associated with the product. Learn more by visiting their site at www.tempo-db.com

Open Airplane

Ever wonder where or when you will rent out your next airplane for a trip? Be able to utilize your pilot license to its full potential? Okay, maybe these statements don’t resonate with the average person. However, the rental industry for airplanes is well above $1 billion a year and impacts over 600,000 licensed pilots across the USA. According to a study, the demand for rental access vastly outweighs the demand for ownership. Figures show that 96% of pilots would rent more often if the process were less complex and more streamlined. Backed by wide industry support and an established group of pilot, Open Airplane is creating a platform to fill the airplane rental void in the marketplace. The vision is to make renting an aircraft as simple as renting a car, so long as you have the correct documentation and licensing to fly a plane. Open Airplane’s web and mobile based application puts the power into the hands of pilots, and ensures that available aircrafts are not just sitting in a hanger, but cruising the skies. It is a win-win for everybody. Keep an eye out for big things to come from Open Airplane. And perhaps you should start thinking about learning to fly a plane yourself because those capabilities are sure to expand in the near future. Spread the word and get more details at www.openairplane.com

Resultly

The amount of information available at our fingertips at any given moment can be overwhelming. Go ahead and use Google or any other major engine to search for a simple topic and be prepared to click through hundreds- sometimes thousands- of results. The problem is that these results can become obsolete in no time, not to mention time-consuming to acquire. The Founder of Resulty, Ilya Beyrak, was in a similar scenario when the light bulb went off for him. In an effort to gather information about purchasing a new tablet, he found that all of the resoruces he had to reference to gather information was a major headache and took up a lot of time. Scour Google, check the tweet waves, browse Craigslist, sift through results on Yelp…and he list goes on. That’s where Resultly comes in. It is a real-time search engine that aggregates details surrounding a variety of different channels to deliver user-specific content. Imagine being able to utilize a single platform that uses the most popular and credible sources to help you make an informed decision. Information changes. Prices fluctuate. Product reviews differ. Don’t seek all of this information out; let it come to you. Check out more at www.result.ly

Klutch Club

Maybe the boldest move of the night, Klutch Club decided to ditch their PowerPoint slides and wing the presentation. Maybe it had a little bit to do with Keynote speaker Nick Kokonas knocking PowerPoint and challenging the presenters to go without it. Hopefully Klutch Club gets a free dinner out of it! The company is simplifying the process of helping customers actualize their healthy aspirations. Whether it is eating right, staying fit, or simply trying out new holistic products, it can all be solved with the convenience of a nifty little box. That’s right, a box.

Does that sound too good to be true? Don’t knock it until you try it. Klutch Club offers a subscription-based program that delivers an array of products right to your door, all for an extremely competitive price of $16-$18 per month. The best part is that the contents in the box are valued around $50- each one filled with health and fitness products, supplements, apparel and more. They are able to offer this great deal thanks to strong brand partnerships. The fun doesn’t stop there, as exclusive promotions and tips continue down the road. Start indulging with your first box today at www.klutchclub.com

PhilterIt

“Regain control of your inbox”. If you are like most people, your inbox can quickly turn into a mess. Emails from Grandma, hot deals from Groupon, and maybe even coupons for the new Cheesy Bread from Domino’s- these are just some of the many emails we get on a daily basis. PhilterIt is striving to create a clean, simple, and intuitive platform that takes the headache out of opening up your email. By creating a customized dashboard, you can organize all of your messages based on brands. Want all your Facebook emails in one place? Ensure your Groupon deals are stored safely in one folder? Never want to miss the Comcast monthly bill alert? PhilterIt is making all of this possible. Now all of your emails will be accessible simply by clicking on the brand image, all in one interface. No more sifting through pages upon pages to make sure you don’t miss an important email! It is currently available for Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL accounts. Check out the product video on their site for a brief overview at www.philterit.com

Big thanks to everyone that came out to support the presenters. Be sure to check out their products and services further while spreading the word. It was another great experience for everyone involved and we hope that the next Technori Pitch will go just as smoothly. See you next time!

[Photography: Tim Klein]