Posted by Insider Louisville, August 16, 2013
FoundersLab’s faux demo day highlights five startups helmed by Ky. students
By Melissa Chipman
Last March, Kentucky Science & Technology Corp. announced the Kentucky FoundersLab, a 13-week summer program that provides mentoring and funding to startup businesses founded by Kentucky students. Thirty student-led companies submitted applications before the deadline in May, says KSTC’s Sean O’Leary, and five companies were accepted.
All of the companies had to have at least one founder who was a full-time student in a Kentucky school– all the accepted students were from Kentucky universities.
O’Leary hosted the event in the absence of Meagan Hennig who gave birth to a healthy baby girl on Monday, 10 days in advance of her due date. O’Leary gave much of the credit for the success of the program to Hennig.
He called it a “Fake Demo Day” because the companies were not required to demo anything (although some did). He said that FoundersLab was meant to reach companies at the earliest stage of development and lead them through the Lean Launchpad model. All companies became LLCs, and in exchange for the $11,000 in investment that Founders Lab gave each company, Founders Lab got a small amount of equity.
The program relied heavily on mentorship, and familiar names popped up again and again: Greg Langdon, Kelby Price, our friends at Awesome Inc., even Insider Louisville’s own Cheryl Boyd.
The participating companies:
O’Leary announced the first team as being on their “home field.” And indeed Sam Borstadt and the Tally Rally team won the Second Louisville Startup Weekend back in March in that same venue, the Jefferson Community and Technical College Entrepreneurship Center.
Tally Rally has come a long way in five months. The app is a social scorekeeping application that allows both individuals and corporate sponsors to set up challenges and competitions. It can be as simple and domestic as a challenge between friends on who can bring their lunch to work the most days in a row. Or it can be a jogging mileage challenge sponsored by Nike with prizes and incentives.
The team is eager to get its iOS and Android version 1.0 into the respective stores so that they can get feedback and adjust the app accordingly.
Control my ADHD
We met Grant Weherly from Control My ADHD, during Ben Yoskovitz’s visit to Lexington. He co-presented with Paul Dimayuga, who said:
Whose idea was it to write books for people who suffer from ADHD? Sure, they may get through a couple of chapters, but they’ll just add them to the pile afterwards. And the pile keeps growing. People with ADHD could start their own libraries!
Clearly a crowd favorite.
Weherly says that the CDC puts the yearly cost of illness for ADHD at $12,000 – $17,500. A subscription to Control my ADHD will run somewhere between $19-$29 a month.
The company is currently housed at Lexington’s Awesome Inc. and has been funded by their new Cherub Fund.
Lorinth’s Lab competed at the inaugural Louisville 5Across competition.
They are working on Urban Combat, technology that takes video game-style leaderboards to laser tag and paintball arenas. Gamers can play laser tag in any of the approved arenas, and their experience points and scores will follow them from game to game.
They’ve completed quite a bit of market research and see this as an opportunity to get videogamers off the couch and moving around.
Share Lab originally began developing their product to fill a need by Scott Hack, local Realtor from Finish Line Realty, who wanted to be able to show properties digitally in places without wifi.
Share Lab developed a solution using Raspberry Pi technology, where the mini computer could hold the information and broadcast it directly from the mini computer.
But they soon realized that not all Realtors are as innovative as Hack.
Hack also owns a photo booth rental company, River City Photo Booth, and suggested that the technology could also be used in the photo booth industry. You could attach the Raspberry Pitechnology to the booth and broadcast pictures to people’s cell phones after the pictures were taken. That way they could walk away with both a physical and digital photo.
They field tested the tech with Magnolia Photo Booth Company at the most recent First Friday Trolley Hop and it was a tremendous success.
The Local Bride
The Local Bride is a Lexington-based web resource for brides-to-be and is run by mother-daughter team Pam and Lauren Stein. The Local Bride seeks to connect local brides, share inspiration and highlight local vendors.
The Steins taught themselves WordPress publishing using an online video and used those new skills to create their site. They will feature daily blog posts from industry experts, like “Travel Thursdays,” featuring travel agents and tourism specialists, and “Fitness Friday,” featuring tips to get fit for the big day by local trainers. On “New Bride Monday,” a recent bride will recap her special event and recommend local vendors.
The Local Bride will also begin hosting bridal networking events sponsored by local vendors in the near future.
All five companies seemed eager for forge ahead with development and fundraising.