Paul English, co-founder and former CTO of Kayak, and Bill O’Donnell, former chief architect at Kayak, have teamed up to create Lola — a smartphone app designed to connect travelers with live travel agents over a messaging interface that’s enhanced by artificial intelligence. This tech startup debuted its iPhone app in May 2016 with plans to release a second version of the app and expand internationally after recent funding. Lola could revolutionize an already crowded platform to become everybody’s new go-to source for travel.
Circle aims to make online international payments more convenient and headache free. Goldman Sachs and a number of Chinese investors are among those backing this mobile app founded and led by Brightcove co-founder Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville. Think of it as Venmo across borders and between currencies with Circle’s own exchange rates. The company has hinted at expanding into lending, savings and investing which could benefit people of all ages.
Relax those pre-date jitters and take some stress off your shoulders with Date Seat. Available on Android this year, Date Seat is a dining app that lets users discover restaurants in Boston based on preferences in atmosphere and ambiance. Selections can even be filtered through categories like 1st Date, Classy date, Summer night, etc. So take a step back and let the app do the work for the perfect night out.
RateGravity aims to help homebuyers find lower-interest mortgage rates on the market. This startup, founded by two former community bankers, focuses on an automated service that shops a network of lenders to get you the lowest rates before assigning your own personal mortgage expert to guide you. By taking away the salesperson model, this ultimately gives homebuyers a chance to compare multiple personalized offers and hear unbiased advice. As of May 2017, RateGravity has matched over 150 people with $40 million in approved mortgages since last July and keeps gaining traction in the property market.
Hoping to be the “Bloomberg of weather forecasting,” ClimaCell aims to monitor the weather with pinpoint accuracy. This software updates every minute and looks at a distance of 300 to 500 meters from street level which increases accuracy in real time. Instead of tracking over one general area, it tracks weather changes street by street. The software combines meteorological signals from wireless and communications networks with traditional sources like radar and satellites. This technology could help airlines, international businesses, professional sports leagues and even governments around the world to ensure public safety. ClimaCell is now working on an app for mobile devices to make this information accessible for everyone.
Ever wanted to get ready for a big event but unsure of which salon to pick? How about having a makeup artist glam you up for the big night? BeautyLynk is an online service that makes it easier to book appointments with specialized hair stylists and makeup artists. They offer options for on-site and at-home sessions to top it off. This not only builds and increases exposure of salons in the respective areas but provides an extra income channel for stylists and artists. This service is available in Boston, Atlanta, and Washington D.C, with additional locations launching in 2017.
Jibo is a robot specifically designed for domestic interaction. The team wanted to engineer a robot that develops a personality and expresses a range of emotions. Jibo works through machine learning, speech and facial recognition, and natural language processing to learn from its interactions with people. The startup encountered some problems late last year which delayed the early release of this social robot but plan to release Jibo later this year. Keep an eye out for this interactive character as he heads out into the market.
With hundreds of thousands of applications being sent to universities across the nation, it’s not surprising for students to feel a lack of personalized support. This is where AdmitHub comes in. This ed-tech startup created an artificial intelligence-powered messaging platform to help colleges guide students to and through college. The more connected the student feels to the university or college, the more likely he or she will succeed. With $2.9 million in recent funding, AdmitHub hopes to expand its college network across the United States in 2017.
Even though Slack is a great way to communicate together in one place, it’s not something that employees can use to compose thoughtful write-ups and detailed projects. Tettra aims to expand on this with its newly developed wiki software which neatly sorts all the documents and conversations giving everybody in the company an organized way to access information. This helps in cultivating a more open and transparent work culture so keep an eye out for this in your office.
With cyber attacks on companies increasing in frequency, it’s becoming more apparent that cyber security is an important and growing business. Cybereason uses behavioral analytics, machine learning and military grade technology to detect and respond to security breaches and threats giving the world’s top brands a better and more reliable way to secure their most critical assets. They have since secured more funding to expand internationally.
How about an app and online service that helps you plan for your death and “life” after? A little morbid but useful in the long run. CAKE aims to help a person organize his or her entire online life into a bundle of digital living wills, funeral plans, multimedia memorial portfolios and digital estate arrangements. Your profile is a guide for you and your loved ones to refer to, turning a rather complicated and uncomfortable topic into a piece of cake.
Quilt hopes to better the experience of getting insured in America so that the current under-insured population of millennials can have the coverage they need. Launched as a smartphone app, it allows users to find and buy insurance for their life, pets, homes, and cars, to name a few. Their most recent partnership with Generation Life, a 50-year-old-insurance company, will help in expanding into other areas of insurance.