To say that the market for cloud startups is hot right now would be an understatement. Some of the biggest exits of the past few years have been cloud companies, and the market seems to be getting stronger.
Startup accelerators are a great place to look for the next big cloud companies or trends. On Thursday, April 9, Techstars hosted its Techstars Cloud Demo Day at the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.
"Cloud is a general enough vertical that we can get companies that are working on a variety of different things that fall within that vertical," said Blake Yeager, managing director for the cloud program at Techstars. "And, it allows us to attract from a much larger geography."
The companies represent six different countries and run the gamut on what aspect of business they are engaging with cloud technology.
Cloud startups often prove a great asset for enterprises looking to innovate. Here's what you need to know about the 10 companies that presented at Techstars' demo day.
Appbase is a cloud service for building real-time apps. The service is geared toward back-end developers as it combines features like collaboration and search into a single API. Basically, it combines a bunch of different layers to simplify part of the backend process. There is both a free version and a paid version available. Pricing for the paid version is determined by storage and API use.
A sort of performance-enhancing drug for tech, Bitfusion boosts your existing software applications without you having to rewrite any code. The company's website says that it can make applications in existing data centers up to 100 times faster for users who employ the Bitfusion appliances, which are hardware accelerators with software libraries. So far, the company has worked in five different verticals and secured some strategic partnerships.
Launching in the summer of 2014, Callinize connects your CRM to your phone systems to help your sales team perform better. When a call occurs, the tool brings up relevant records on the contact being reached, and users can make notes about the call and more easily log activities. Call analytics then allow users to revisit the calls and examine the call data. The company has 90 paying customers including Intercontinental Hotel Group, Girl Scouts of America, and SugarCRM.
Card Isle is a cloud-based service for sending greeting cards. Users personalize a card using their smartphone, computer, or one of Card Isle's cloud-connected touchscreen kiosks. Cards are printed on demand at the time of customization, and they can be picked up at a kiosk or mailed wherever you want them to go. All cards are designed by independent and local artists.
Users of Elasticode can customize the way certain users interact with their mobile application, based on how the user accessed the app and other unique filters. For example, if a user's device is registered to a specific country code, you can have your app display content for that market. The company also provides analytics to show you data on interaction, exposure, and conversion.
Fantasmo Studios is a Philadelphia-based startup that is using phone sensors to expand on augmented reality to operate in a space called "integrated reality." The company has built a mobile game called "Blaminals" that it says is similar to the popular Pokémon franchise. The company is currently operating pre-launch.
While the market for cloud-based marketing tools is fairly saturated, many tools are geared towards generating new business. San Francisco-based Knowtify is an engagement marketing platform focused on long-term engagement by helping you more effectively market to your existing customer base. Email templates, personalized messages, and customer profiles are some of the company's top features.
Nebulab's mission is to help life scientists, like biologists or physicists, find their research and data quickly and easily. Sometimes, even just finding the right file can be incredibly difficult, and Nebulab's web interface gives users the ability to add context such as tags, attachments, links, or comments to make data more readily discoverable and easier to find.
For business travelers, Stabilitas provides security information relative to the traveler's current location, including information from other travelers. The tool also helps companies and loved ones track the traveler as well. Stabilitas was founded by some former military personnel, including a former Special Forces officer. The company is currently running a pilot program with some major universities and a few Fortune 500 companies.
Virtkick is a SaaS tool that helps smaller hosting companies compete with big providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. According to the company, it will help increase conversion rates and simplify aspects such as server management. Virtkick is in a limited rollout with 30 customers right now.
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.