Boomtown Accelerator Graduates First Class, Announces Device Lab

6/29/14Follow @MichaelXBD

Startups in Boulder, CO, might be getting a little more connected.

The Boomtown Accelerator hosted its first demo day Friday. Six startups showed off their work and pitched investors at the Boulder Theater, and Boomtown announced it will open up a new “connected device lab” in the city. The accelerator hopes to make Boulder a hub of the connected device industry as the so-called “Internet of Things” emerges.

Boomtown is a startup accelerator launched earlier this year and co-founded by advertising industry legend Alex Bogusky, the former principal of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Its focus is to find seed-stage Internet, mobile, and software startups, primarily in the media, design, marketing, and ad tech sectors.

The idea to create a connected device lab was sparked by two startups in this year’s program, Boomtown co-founder and co-director Toby Krout said. Boomtown’s also bullish on the Internet of Things because market research firm International Data Corporation expects the global market for connected devices to reach $7.1 trillion in 2020.

The lab will be in downtown Boulder and already is under development. Boomtown said in a release that it would be open to Boomtown companies and the community.

Here are the startups that graduated the accelerator:

6px has developed an application programming interface (API) for processing images in the cloud. The software allows developers to create image-based apps and services and can support the growth of photo-oriented applications. The company was co-founded by Nick Parsons and Dustin Higginbotham and is pursuing a seed round.

Chui is a smart doorbell that uses facial recognition to unlock doors and activate smart home devices. Applications include home or business security, and the product can be integrated with automatic locks, alarms, music systems, lighting systems, and more. The startup hopes to ship its first product this fall and is currently raising a seed round. CEO Shaun Moore and chief technology officer Nezare Chafni founded the company.

Wüf is developing a smart dog collar that features a GPS tracker, activity monitor, and Bluetooth technology. It connects with a mobile app that will track and analyze dog behavior. Wüf currently is testing its second prototype in Boulder and intends to launch a nationwide beta program in three to six months. The company is trying to raise a seed round to finish product development and take the collars to market. CEO Sean Kelly, chief product officer Tyesha Snow, and chief technology officer Jonathan Ozeran co-founded the company.

PhotoFeeler has developed software it says can tell users what kind of impressions their photographs convey to viewers. PhotoFeeler launched its product six months ago, and its product is currently geared to business headshots and tells users whether they look competent, influential, and likeable. It says it is in the process of raising a seed round and has more than 7,000 active users. The startup has plans to expand its software to include photos for social networks and online dating sites. It also plans to develop a mobile app and API. PhotoFeeler was founded by CEO Ann Pierce and chief financial officer Ben Peterson.

Content BLVD is developing a “sponsored content marketplace” that connects brands with content creators. The idea is that brands that want to be featured in social media, online videos, and even TV shows can find creators willing to incorporate them into their content through Content BLVD. The marketplace should make interactions easier, lower transaction costs, and allow for better integration of products into content, the founders said. CEO Dan Ripoll and chief operating and marketing officer Mike Sobol co-founded the company.

College Press Club helps brands and advertisers reach college students through its automated buying platform that allows advertisers to buy and manage ads in college newspapers. The startup said it can automate an ad campaign and that there are more than 1,000 college newspapers that reach more than 20 million students in the U.S. CEO Alex Kronman founded the company.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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