EdTech

A look back at StartX last demo day with Paypal and Yahoo cofounders

Last Saturday, September 27th, a demo day was organized by the young Stanford-affiliated incubator, StartX, presenting startups at every stage of the development process.

Luke Nosek, cofounder of Paypal, opened the event explaining that, from the beginning, Paypal was a huge success. Indeed, in one and a half year, there were one million people using the website. In one month, each of the 6 founders, had earned one million dollars. But he also explained that it was not enough for his personal fulfillment, as he put it: « the greatest mission of an entrepreneur is what he is doing for the world, not for himself ». Paypal was part of this goal but he wanted to go further by helping other early-stage startups to get the means to succeed and to improve people’s daily life.

The demo started and among the great startups which introduced their solutions, some were particularly outstanding.  Here are our three favorites:

  • Nearpod: The aim of Nearpod is to help teachers bring life to class through the use of mobile devices. Teachers create the class and the kids can interact along with it. Nearpod is creating a growing community of teachers who are sharing content.
  • Datafox: This app is an automated industry analyst. It allows to pull data on tech companies and extract, thanks to key words, all the useful data to make better business decisions.
  • Boosted: It is a motorized design, light and quick riding longboard. Speed is controlled with a hand-held remote. The main assets are that it is quick, easy to carry away everywhere and very intuitive. Plus, the longboard is electric with regenerative brake.

Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, opened the second part of the evening. Jerry recalled his time at Stanford being fun and exciting. This is also the state of mind he had when he started Yahoo! “We wanted to have fun with a culture of excellence”. The main value of their company was team-work. Jerry added that he left Taiwan when he was 10. He keeps in mind his experience of the 90’s fascination of the internet in Asia. He gave us the example of the Chinese internet marketing of the last 10 years and the development of a huge amount of tools and marketing tactics.

Among the startups presented during the second round, here are our top 3:

  • NovoEd (ex Venture Lab rebranded in 2013): NovoEd aims at bringing web 2.0 to online education. This EdTech company offers massive open online courses (MOOCs).
  • Light up: Light up provides kids with augmented reality. Today, kids want smarts toys, they want the content to adapt to what they are doing. That is why they created their smart education toy. How does it work? The kids just have to take a picture of something and receive all the information they need on their iPad thanks to augmented reality.
  • Sension: Sension uses recognition technology. It is a face tracker to recognize facial expressions. This engine can help people to better recognize and understand the expressions and emotions of others. It is a tool to help overcome communications barriers for those with autism and related disorders.

You should definitely keep an eye on these 6 startups in the coming months as they’re going to shake things up in EdTech, Data analytics, Transportation and MedTech.

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