Los Angeles Business Journal

StartEngine Motors on With Fifth Startup Class

By Natalie Jarvey Wednesday, June 19, 2013

While most of the L.A. tech accelerators have only graduated two classes of startups since they launched in 2011, Westwood’s StartEngine has powered through to its fifth demo day.

StartEngine's class of eight startups trotted out in front of investors and other interested parties Tuesday evening at the Cross Campus co-working space in Santa Monica.

First to present was GoodFit, a technological approach to the size charts found on e-commerce apparel websites. The company asks a series of questions and then determines the best fit for a person's body type. It will launch with its first retailer in the fall.

VuSay pitched its technology for commenting on videos. Instead of adding a comment to the thread below the video, VuSay allows people to comment on specific parts of a video and has the comment pop up as the video plays.

Synosure Games is creating mobile games for hardcore gamers. Its first title will launch during the Halloween season and depends heavily on friends encouraging other friends to play with them.

Also in the game space is YummyYummyTummy, which is developing educational video games for grade schoolers.

Brander will launch in November as a sort of ad agency for social media. It connects advertisers with people who have large social media followings who are willing to promote a product. It brokers the ads similar to Ad.ly but said it will work with smaller brands.

Diverging from the rest of the class, which was heavy on digital media and Internet startups, is TruBrain. It has developed a supplement to support peak brain activity throughout the day.

This class also featured two startups that were part of StartEngine's entrepreneur-in-residence program. Through this one-month program, teams meet established businesses to develop a startup idea and then begin to work on that idea at StartEngine.

Howard Marks, StartEngine's co-founder, said this program is designed for entrepreneurs who need the extra help developing a startup.

"We believe sometimes it's just too hard to execute, to go out in three or four months and start a business," he said. "So we'll intro you to 10 to 15 chief executives in town. They'll talk to you about what they think is a good idea."

One of those companies is Dreamsha.re, which recently launched a domain name generator called Gum.bo. Those looking to register a domain name can enter words into the generator and it will suggest seven names that are available. It works in partnership with Culver City web hosting company Media Temple to register the names.

Also presenting from the program was Rasberi Labs. The team worked with YouTube network Maker Studios to develop the idea for SideVision, a technology that allows people to buy the products that they see in YouTube videos.