TechStars Demo Day Yields 10 New Seattle Startups—and a Lot of Work Ahead

11/15/10Follow @gthuang

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tried to crack this market. Will probably need to sign big partnerships to get traction.

World Blender
Founders: Mike Arcuri, Peter Schlichting, Jeff Huang
Idea: Location-based strategic war games that friends can play on their mobile phones.
Tagline: Turn the real world into a virtual playground.
Analysis: This was probably the most fun pitch I saw. If the games (GPS Assassin, WarGames) can take off with college students and fraternity houses through Facebook Places, they could potentially reach critical mass. Will make money by selling virtual goods such as long-range missiles and defensive shields.

Kinizi.com
Founders: Phillip Lee, Bryan Leptich
Idea: Online deal site for renters to find discounted apartments, and property owners to fill vacancies.
Tagline: The best place to save on apartments.
Analysis: This taps into the Groupon-like, buy-it-now mentality for people in urgent need of an apartment, and (after Seattle) it’s targeting cities with high vacancy rates like Phoenix, Fresno, and Jacksonville. Craigslist and other classifieds leave room for such sites. But can it get critical mass? And is it sustainable if the economy gets better—or worse?

Deal Co-op
Founders: Nate Schmidt, Mike Schmidt
Idea: Daily-deal marketing platform for organizations and publishers in smaller markets and geographies.
Tagline: The best daily-deal partner on the Web.
Analysis: No rocket science here—this is like do-it-yourself Groupon for smaller communities (the founders come from Alabama). The service lets other websites offer and make money from group-buying discounts. Obviously this is a very crowded space with hundreds of competitors, so the team faces a long slog. But they’re already making significant revenues, so are off to a good start.

Thinkfuse
Founders: Brandon Bloom, Steve Krenzel
Idea: Better online tools for teams and businesses to manage and share weekly status reports.
Tagline: Smart tools for team collaboration.
Analysis: Sounds like it could be boring, but it’s not—there’s a growing need here. But there are tons of other companies trying to create more powerful and efficient alternatives to … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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