Welcome back to Aly in the ATL, your main (and only) source for monthly recaps of The Consumer Show.
For those of you that haven’t seen me guzzling far more coffee than I should at the Octane bar, my name is Andrew Osborn. I’m the Project Manager and one of the Front End Engineers at Landing Lion. Watch out, here comes the plug…
The Landing Lion platform replaces the painful process of creating and publishing web pages with an enjoyable creative experience. Not only that, once your web pages are live, we provide one of the most robust testing and analytics tools on the market. Check out our features and start building your web presence with a free trial today.
Shameless Landing Lion pitch aside (it's in the best possible AlyintheATL tradition ~ Aly) — let's get to what y’all are actually here for: The Consumer Show #15 recap! This month’s edition, hosted by Bloveit founder Ugo Ezeamuzie, was one of the best to date. Turns out Tavani can convince Ugo to do just about anything for a T-shirt. For all those consumer startups out there looking for cheap labor, look no further: Ugo is your man.
After some not-so-brief technical difficulties, we were off to the pitches.
THE PITCH RECAPS:
It’s an outdated process with more friction points than anyone wants to deal with. Where is the closest rental store with the availability I need? What’re they going to try and sell me on when I get through the door? Will the truck even be there once I make it to the other side of the city?
What did they do really well? Founders Adam Steinberg and Chris Glace said they accurately identified a problem and came up with a solid solution. From what I can tell, they did a kickass job at it, too.
— Fetch —
In comes Fetch. Fetch provides instant online reservations for rental trucks. All you have to do is show up to the truck’s location, and the app will even unlock the truck for you. The entire process is completely self-service, and trucks are located across the city in the most convenient locations for you. Enter your dates and go!
Adam tells us that Fetch also removes the asterisk from classic rental vehicle pricing; the price you see is the price you get. There are enough costs for you to worry about while you’re moving, the last things you need to get hit with are fees like insurance and gas.
Looks like U-Haul finally has some much-needed competition. Being a truck owner myself, I’ll be sure to send my friends who “only need to borrow it for an hour” straight to Fetch.
Haste: The key to lag-free gaming | I don’t know where to start with this one. eSports have recently gained a massive following, touting more than 25 million viewers across the globe. All of these gamers have one common problem: lag.
Let’s imagine a scenario. You’re in a gaming tournament with more prize money than you could imagine. There’s seconds left in the gameplay and you’re going for the killshot that’ll win you the tournament. Your screen freezes. Before you know it, your cold, animated corpse is laying on the ground. Your competitor is running away with your cash prize, and there was nothing you could do about it.
Well, now there is.
Enter CEO Adam Toll and the team of networking gurus at Haste. These guys developed custom network infrastructure, paired it with proprietary software that optimizes the paths between your machine and game servers, and found a permanent solution to lag. The platform implements a multi-path strategy, duplicating data and sending it over multiple routes to trump poor connectivity.
What did they do really well? The Haste team has done a killer job engaging their users and assimilating with tools gamers already use. The numbers speak for themselves: HBO should create a Silicon Valley sister series off of this team.
What can the community help with? The next step for Haste is converting their user base from free to paid. To do so, they are looking for top-notch marketers to help with marketing automation, funnel automation, user experience optimization, and AB testing. Reach out!
— Haste —
Adam said a gamer knows their latency, jitter, and packet loss like the average person knows their shoe size. In turn, gamers know exactly the benefit that Haste provides because they can instantly see the difference. This makes the $10-a-month price tag an easy sell to even the most novice gamer, and makes the benefit that Haste provides indisputable.
The greatest part about Haste? The technology here is not limited to only video games. It can be used to optimize any type of real-time data transfer. Imagine the possibilities. (This sounds like an HBO plot ... oh wait, you already got there ahead of me, Andrew! ~ Aly)
I can’t even begin to explain the technical complexity here, so I’m not going to embarrass myself by trying. I do know that this product is going to explode ... because it already has. After releasing their beta in January, Adam says Haste has had 115,000 sign-ups in over 100 countries. Most startup founders dream about landing these kind of numbers within four months of their launch date.
If you’re a gamer, you need to join the 115,000 people who already have one leg up on the competition. You won’t regret it. As for me, this may sadly kill the only excuse I have for being the worst gamer to ever graduate from Georgia Tech: my lousy connection.
Snappi: Screenshots made easy. | Tired of screenshots of mock-ups, application bugs, and the like cluttering your desktop? Snappi has a solution for you.
Founder of Snappi, Israel Machovec, said he came up with the idea while arguing with his coworker Justin Grant over a new episode of "The Bachelorette." Justin and Israel were in disagreement over a UI treatment and Israel just couldn’t find a way to get his point across remotely. He ended up screenshotting his treatment and using PowerPoint to add annotations, a complex solution for such a seemingly easy issue. It took up so much "Bachelorette" time that he lost a few points with his fiancee, so naturally he had to come up with a solution.
Israel and Justin founded Snappi.
What did they do really well? Snappi founders focused on shipping the most basic functionality they needed to help solve their users' workflow issues, and they plan on iterating with their users to continue increasing the value of the product.
What can the community help with? Try out the product! Snappi just launched last week to friends and family, and I think the Switchyards community falls into that category. Focus on how Snappi helps you streamline your day-to-day workflows and share your story.
— Snappi —
The Snappi desktop application moves screenshots you take on your Mac and automatically uploads them to their servers, giving you a simple URL to share with your collaborators. In addition, users are able to annotate, create gifs, or record video directly within the native desktop app.
Users such as project managers and customer support specialists can use the application to easily communicate to customers and collaborators without the need for multiple applications and unnecessary desktop clutter. Just snap, annotate and share.
Currently, Snappi is looking for one million dollars in funding so that they can develop a Windows application. Also, keep an eye on the App Store because Snappi is planning the release for their mobile app for next month (June 2017)!
Israel says they differentiate themselves from their many competitors (DropBox, Apple Preview, Evernote, and others) by having more robust annotation, gif, and video recording features.
Yala: Teeth whitening without the chemicals | Founders Dr. Aaron Schwartz and Daryl Weber said they set out to find a healthy, natural alternative for the damaging whitening products currently on the market.
According to Dr. Schwartz, regular use of many teeth whitening products that advertise phosphorescent white teeth can have negative long-term effects for your dental health! Who would’ve thought ... thankfully, now there’s Yala!
What did they do really well? Adam and Daryl said they got a leg up on the competition by working with a local digital marketing agency to create a brand with personality that accurately reflects their heritage.
— Yala —
Tapping into their heritage, Yala founders decided to create a product based on a natural remedy their families have been using for generations. Mixing natural coconut oil, clove essential oil, and USA Birch Tree Xylitol, they produced a product that has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and whitening properties.
So where can we find this all-natural key to your pearly whites? On their website they offer 30-, 60- and 90-day supplies for purchase in two all-natural flavors: peppermint and lemon. Yala has also been picked up for distribution by Free People, so look for their product in their retail stores!
Best part about Yala is that they donate a portion of every purchase to Healthy Smiles Healthy Children. This program brings dental care to children of low-income families to help fight tooth decay and other oral health issues. Get Yala so you can have a bright, non-toxic smile and help others have the same!
Scamper Van: The all-in-one camping concierge service | Finally, the East Coast has a campervan rental service! Scratch that: It’s not just a rental service. I don’t want to put these guys in the same category as Hertz, Enterprise and the like, because they are so much more.
Scamper Van is a camping concierge service that provides you everything you need to to have the camping adventure of a lifetime. Founders Dave and Dutch told us that Scamper Van can and will plan your entire trip for you if you’d like.
Need camping gear? Done.
Need food and recipes? Done.
Need a road trip itinerary or destinations? Done.
How about a bike and a kayak? Done!
The greatest part? They deliver the van right to your house, stocked full of all the camping gear and supplies that you needed. Then they come and pick up the van once you return from your incredible #vanlife adventure! I’m starting to think these guys would even drive the van for you if you asked nicely.
What did they do really well? Dave and Dutch did a great job with initial branding and marketing for the service. The vans look great, and there is a lot of hype around the idea in the southeast.
What can the community help with? The Scamper Van guys need help with marketing (Landing Lion, cough cough) and word-of-mouth growth. Tell your friends who are looking for the perfect weekend getaway, and post about how awesome your trip was!.
— Scamper Van —
Dave and Dutch went on to describe the vans after showing us this awesome promotion HLN did for their idea. The camper can sleep up to four people comfortably, is easy to drive, and is not much larger than your typical mini-van. Even better, it gets up to 25 miles to the gallon, which is downright impressive for a hotel on wheels. Cook, eat, sleep, entertain and drive all out of your van.
After running a successful Indiegogo campaign that raised 40k, they launched their fleet in April. Unfortunately, most of us will have to wait for the ultimate camping experience because Dutch and Dave have both of their vans completely booked out through August. There are plans to double the fleet this year, and add approximately five vans to the fleet every year after.
If you’ve never tried roadtripping in a camper, you need to do it ASAP! While I was a student living in New Zealand, I used to spend the weekends transporting camper vans just so I could get the experience for free. There’s something blissful about being able to just drive and crash whenever and wherever you feel (although I wouldn’t take the "wherever" part literally, New Zealand camping laws might’ve been a little more relaxed).
You’ll see me on your reservation list soon, Dave and Dutch. (I also want to be on this list! ~ Aly)
(Quick disclaimer: I have absolutely no idea who said what. All I know is that someone is Dutch and someone is Dave and they make a great team. I’m not entirely sure they even know their own names at this point. They’ve probably been spending too much time in the Scamper Van. Anyway, for the purposes of this article I just assumed they both said everything. Apologies!)
Thanks for reading,
Many thanks to Andrew for filling in for me! He's a really good, funny writer ... and apparently also a rockstar Project Manager and Front End Engineer!
You can check out more about Andrew's company, Landing Lion, here.
You can sign up for next month's Consumer Show on June 1 here.
See you all next time! ~ Aly