What I love most about being the Founder and CEO of Alley is the creative and ridiculously smart people I get the chance to meet and to collaborate with. I get to partner and work with amazing organizations such as TechStars, a business accelerator that invests in early-stage companies and provides capital and resources, such as mentorship. For those Harry Potter fans out there, it’s like Hogwarts for Startups.
One of the special things about Techstars is that they partner with large organizations to program corporate accelerators, which bridges the gap between the startup world and big business. This past year, their partner was AB InBev, the largest beverage company in the world.
I want to personally congratulate each of the graduating companies from the program. Eamonn Carey, MD of Techstars Connection, said, “These 10 teams have made huge strides over the last 16 weeks, and I think they all have great things ahead of them. The energy in our office has been incredible and the support we’ve had from our mentors and from the investor and startup community in New York has been amazing. Almost every single company on the program will be announcing a meaningful partnership with AB InBev at demo day, which is also amazing. The scale that has the potential to provide will be a massive unfair advantage for so many of these teams over the next 12 to 18 months and beyond."
Here are the graduates:
- Afineur developed a platform that naturally enhances the chemistry of food using tailored fermentation. It opens a new realm of possibilities to naturally craft healthier, tastier and more sustainable food. Afineur’s first product, Cultured Coffee, is a healthier coffee with fruity, floral and chocolate notes and extremely low bitterness that is easier on the stomach.
- Analytical Flavor Systems is the first artificial intelligence platform for the predictive manufacturing of food and beverage products. Gastrograph AI models and predicts what consumers taste, and develops new and innovative flavor profiles to meet changes in consumer preferences.
- Drinkeasy is your pocket sommelier. Part AI, part drink expert, Drinkeasy is your shopping assistant for small batch spirits from distilleries around the world. Built for mobile messaging, Drinkeasy’s experts send you a personalized story of a craft whiskey, gin, rum or tequila. If you want to buy, just reply “HELL YES” and they deliver to 40 states in the continental US. As you interact with the service, Drinkeasy learns your tastes and tailors its picks for you. Drinkeasy has launched a subscription box, corporate gifting and a data insights product for alcohol and related brands.
- Octi leverages the latest in computer vision, AI and smartphones to allow groups to create insanely great videos together. Octi’s mobile platform takes multiple camera feeds of an event and automatically edits them together into one seamless, high-quality video that can be shared immediately.
- Intelligent Layer is building a software platform for large companies to understand what consumers want and need in real time. Their platform continuously identifies gaps in data, gathers new information directly from the consumer through active machine learning, then makes predictions and guides decision making.
- NaCa Fermentation allows distilleries to grow and produce more efficiently by making fermentation better, faster, and stronger with their proprietary encapsulated yeast and fermenters. Compared to standard fermentations of 5-7 days, NaCa’s process can ferment in as little as 24 hours. The technology can also be extended to beer, wine, and commercial home brewing.
- Paranoid Fan is a mobile app that uses social mapping to mobilize fans at live events across the globe. Fans can optimize their live experiences with venue maps, watch parties and discover where other like-minded fans congregate. With over 250K users, Paranoid Fan is the premier fan utility for any event, connecting people, venues, and sponsors like never before.
- Party with a Local is a platform that connects people for nightlife all over the world. With over 140,000 members in more than 150 countries, Party with a Local makes it possible for you to connect with new people wherever you are. Whether you are new to a city, traveling solo, or just can’t find someone to go out with - set a party status, explore nearby events, meetup and party!
- PlanSnap makes getting together in real life as easy as ordering an Uber. The app uses machine learning to get everyone to agree on the details of a plan -- even if your friends don’t have the app. PlanSnap makes sure the people, places and things you love to do turn into plans that work for everyone.
- Quantac is a wearable biosensor that tracks alcohol consumption through your skin. Although 60% of people drink, existing tools to monitor and track alcohol consumption are outdated and capture limited data. Quantac provides an easy, automatic, and accessible method of continuous alcohol tracking that can be integrated into your favorite wearable device.