Recap of Social Matchbox DC – Summer Social 2009

“Open mic for startups” — Social Matchbox — convened in the E Street Cinema last evening with presentations from eleven startups in the D.C. area. The evening is mainly focused on 4-minute presentations, where startups pitch their ideas and share what they need — most need money, coders, and Mountain Dew. There’s also time to network and mingle (although somewhat limited during the event itself) and the formal part of the night is capped off by using Social Matchbox Bucks to vote for favorite elevator pitches. For more logistics, see these Social Matchbox posts on the details and presenters.

Here are some highlight of the companies I found most interesting —

TapMetrics

TapMetrics is a LaunchBox Digital startup that offers analytics for iPhone apps — but eventually will expand to other platforms. I previously met co-founder Chris Brown at iPhone Dev Camp D.C. His idea spun out from building iPhone apps — both under his own and client brands — and needing better insight into how to improve them.

TapMetrics provides both product (the app) analytics and sales data and includes neat little tools like the Tap Mini. Chris demoed some new features that will further streamline collecting insight about how an app is doing in the App Store.

Unblab

Tired of email overload? Unblab is a cloud-based system, which they call “Smart Cloud,” that uses machine learning to help identify the most important email in an inbox. Their first product is Gtriage, which works with Gmail and Google Apps. Another LaunchBox09 participant, the LaunchBox site also lists iTriage for the iPhone but it does not appear to be released or mentioned anywhere else yet.

Unblab will eventually focus on the enterprise market, positioning itself as a Postini for email overload. One issue on the consumer side — and a reason why I’m hesitant to use it — is that the tool scans and assumably stores some amount of data about an inbox on its servers.

Earth Aid

Earth Aid is basically Mint.com for household utilities. With a cleanly designed and intuitive site, Earth Aid is able to pull in data from most utility companies by accessing it through those providers front-end web portals. This circumvents tedious back-end integrations, providing users much more opportunity to have a complete perspective on energy use.

GrouperEye
GrouperEye has big plans to completely re-architect the college recruiting process. Instead of the traditional go to college campuses, interview lots of students, talk about resumes, etc. recruiting process, GrouperEye has built a platform that helps identify and surface top talent by allowing companies to see students do actual work.

Companies create “cases,” which challenge students to submit solutions. An example could be Disney requesting a new ride that should be designed. Students have forty days to submit the best solution, at which point the companies evaluate and select a winner. The incentive for students is a small cash prize and consideration for employment.

Launching in approximately twenty plus days, GrouperEye is focusing on building relationships with HR and recruiting departments to establish itself as the leader of this new approach.

Honorable mentionsGrasshopr, SEC Watch, wegoraWinTheTropy