Through This Ourglass, Watching TV in Public Is More Fun

“Making TV smarter” has been the mantra for many a failed startup over the years. I won’t tell the sad tale of AOL TV, which I helped build content for. That said, Ourglass is approaching things a little differently: targeting TV out-of-home and looking to make public experiences with the tube more fun and useful.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Dial Drunk — There’s a ‘Mode’ for That

Drunk Mode is an app that helps users navigate their inebriation — and avoid making embarrassing calls at 2 am. (I’m looking at you every 22-year-old.) CEO Josh Anton, who will be speaking at Street Fight Summit, developed his suite of location-based apps after getting one of those late-night phone calls from a friend.

If the Gym Fits, Reserve It — Startup Makes It Easy to Never Miss a Workout

A bloom of new companies are aggregating gyms and offering single subscriptions to all of them with one “membership.” FitReserve saw the simplicity and convenience in such a program back in 2015 when three co-founders launched to fill what CEO and co-founder Megan Smyth calls a void in the market.

7 Startups Decamp to the ‘Smartest Place in the World’ to Rethink Mobility

When machines around us communicate asynchronously in a meaningful way — in the service of the consumer — we’re likely to see some astounding outcomes. While the machines might not be chit-chatting with one another about the weather too soon, in Singapore it’s all being tried.

CloudSponge: Soaking Up Your Contacts to Connect You Anywhere

The startup is touting tremendous success for at least one company using their service: local (under the radar) giant, Nextdoor, has seen a significant uptick in growth since deploying CloudSponge’s technology. How? We talked with Jay Gibb, the company’s CEO, to find out.

Voice Bots Have One Big Problem: Human Behavior

We’re surely moving in the direction of voice input to bots, but unless microphones advance — allowing you to request things with a near-silent whisper (or perhaps with thoughts) — people will continue to let their fingers do the talking.

Google Analytics for Brick-and-Mortar? Spatially Targets Where to Set Up Shop

Hillit Meidar-Alfi, the company’s founder and CEO says the service “is building the most powerful platform for location search and analytics with applications for small and medium businesses, marketing technologies, ecommerce, real estate, and more. Businesses using location analytics will have a significant competitive advantage over those that do not.”

Post in the Machine: How Blockast is Taking a Shot at Local News Collection

The local news automation camp keeps graduating hopefuls. One of these is a four-year-old startup spawned from the mind of a former Microsoft-Amazon engineer who faced a very common problem: “how do I find out what’s happening outside my home right now?”

The Buzz on Wikileaf: Compare Pot Prices Then Map a Route to Your Next High

A GasBuddy for pot? Why not? That seems to be the conclusion of one Seattle-based entrepreneur, whose location-based pricing-and-reviews service wants a slice of what he estimates will be an $8 billion industry in 2017.

Hand Delivery, No Lines, Pharmacist Chats — You Call This a Pharmacy?

Capsule dubs itself a “next-generation pharmacy here to make your life simpler and healthier.” We recently caught up with founder and healthcare investor Eric Kinariwala to find out exactly how his startup is going to take the pain out of getting relief from what ails us.

Mobile 1.0 Had Its Own Uber: Recalling the Birth of the Future

Somewhere in the nascent days of flip-phones, when I headed up AOL’s mobile products division, we came across a little company with an ambitious goal: let people hail a cab or black car virtually using their cellphones. The company, Qsent, had been working on a mobile-phone version of a service called iQtaxi.

Pingup and EatStreet Set the Table for Simple Digital Food Ordering

Ordering dinner is getting a little bit easier. Two powerhouses in the chain that links that Chicken Phad Thai to the plate on your table are partnering to simplify the process of actually getting it there. EatStreet, the digital ordering service with more than 15,000 restaurants in over 250 cities in its quiver and transactional tech developer Pingup (connecting scores of […]

App Connects Travelers With Revelers, Parties Ensue

Thanks to the recently refreshed Party With a Local app, this lonely planet of ours may become just a bit less so — or a least more social. “The idea … came from my own experiences of finding that a night out anywhere is better with a local, but it’s not always easy to meet locals,” CEO Dan Fennessy said of the service.

Can Augmented VR Turn Window Shoppers Into Buyers?

The technology is here — if not packaged yet — and ultimately the costs to manufacture will likely fall enough to allow SMBs to participate. But until that day arrives I guess we’ll have to hold up our smartphones or don bulky headsets to experience the future.

Local Loyalty: Klosebuy Plans to Bring Powerful Marketing to Main Street

New loyalty entrants are looking to make life simpler for the thrifty with suites of services that stretch from the marketer all the way to a consumer’s wallet. And some of those, like Klosebuy, are focusing local — targeting the SMB by giving them the power over loyalty programs once reserved for the big guys.

TRAY Cooks Up Ways to Make Restaurant Checkout More Mobile and Social

The startup is seeking to reinvent service businesses for both customers and proprietors by bringing a different experience to the table with cloud-based “self-service checkout made easy.” The company’s beta launched at the beginning of the year.

Your Local Broadcast: Centric Finds the Cameras in Your Neighborhood

The new service is a video discovery app and broadcasting platform that enable users to browse, view and interact with video that’s being shared around them. “It’s like being handed a new map to your neighborhood that has all sorts of stuff you didn’t know existed before,” said CEO Vincent Gibson.

Picking the Locksmiths: Bizyhood Unlocks the ‘Ghosts in the Data’ Problem

What would you do if you wanted to game Google into thinking you’ve got a vast network of local shops servicing area customers based on their search queries? According to a recent New York Times article, some lead gen companies are creating thousands of ghost listings to achieve just this. Bizyhood is trying to combat the practice.

ClipCall Uses Mobile and Video to Help Consumers Connect With Home Service Providers

Lots of companies have taken a whack at the local home services space — from Angie’s List to a raft of startups. ClipCall, which came out of beta in January and will present t Street Fight summit West on June 7th, relies on customers using the company’s app to record video of a job they need doing and then sends that video out to nearby experts.

Will an ‘Internet of People’ Threaten the On-Demand Heavies and Give Power to SMBs?

Fermat wants to allow customers and small businesses (or people offering services) to talk directly to one another and pay for services using the likes of Bitcoin. As founder Luis Molina says: “Fermat aims to replace the ‘Sharing Economy,’ where powerful intermediaries extract significant value and information from every exchange.”