Start Engine Demo Day at the Armory

November 29th, 2012 by Caroline Scheinfeld View Comments

Despite the recent surge of female entrepreneurs, Startup Engine’s demo day attendees illustrated the population of venture capitalists remains predominately male. Start Engine, a Los Angeles based “rapid accelerator,” is the brainchild of successful entrepreneurs Howard Marks and Paul Kessler. Start Engine, an incubator referred to by a participant as “Entrepreneur Paradise,” is a 90-day program suited for LA tech startup companies. The chosen businesses receive up to $20k in funding along with connections/introductions to some of the most renowned human capital in the startup world including Venture Capitalists and Angel investors. Start Engine not only provides crucial services such as legal administration assistance, but also office space. The portfolio of participant companies tends to be early stage with a focus in the e-commerce, mobile or web space. Howard Marks, who introduced the 10 companies presenting said the key reasons for starting his own incubator were to “help LA become a startup city” as well as “help entrepreneurs build successful businesses.” The 90-day program happens four times a year and features 15 companies per class. The support and camaraderie amongst the presenters confirms the positive impact incubators have for breeding wonderful companies! The 10 startups that presented are:

Pagewoo is platform for the mobile ad industry. Advertisers can highly target their ad campaigns through algorithms designed to deliver demographic targeting as well as choose where to advertise their ads.

GonnaBe is a social life concierge, which combines social, geo and the future. The company’s goal is to be more than a tool but a resource that assumes the role of a “hooked up best friend” for users.

The Style Club makes celebrity style affordable and accessible for teens who love to share their favorite fashion finds on the web. Each month, a celebrity designer will create a capsule collection sold only through the Style club. Users can also buy items from each other’s closets displayed on the site.

Enplug is an interactive advertising platform enabling the world of advertising to be a social experience. The platform includes social media, analytics and traction engagement all in real time.

MyRight allows users to learn their rights as well as seek legal information prior to hiring a lawyer. The platform’s goal is to create interactive legal content.

Smilu is a gaming platform, where all gamers can play all their games in one place despite a myriad of devices. Through Smilu, gamers will be able “to compete everywhere.”

Wheremydogsat is a social platform for people who love dogs and have dogs. Owners can coordinate with each other to find dog friendly places as well as other necessities for their pups. connects businesses with a legal way to play music without any special hardware. In addition, the site has the capability to recommend certain music depending on the brand.

Hoonto helps employees make more data driven decisions and manage all different SaaS platforms on one dashboard. It’s a “business intelligence tool,” that enables users to create widgets refreshed in real time.

Flinja is a marketplace where college students/alumni can receive help in procuring and securing jobs. Users must have an edu email to access the site creating an exclusive environment.



About Jay Levy

Jay Levy

Jay Levy is a co-founder and principal of Zelkova Ventures. Jay focuses most of his time in working with the current portfolio company and looking at new investments in the software-as-a-service, internet media and green tech space. More »


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