A quick overview of four startups that caught my attention this week. There’s something for everyone: an artificial intelligence project, a platform for investors, a social shopping experience engine and the most exciting of all – a crowdfunding platform for scientists.
Eterni.me – When You’re Gone, You’re not Actually Gone
This is not for the faint-hearted. It definitely defies the convention and I don’t see it go mainstream any time soon mainly because the way the Western world sees life and death.
The Romanian startup has opened the early access registration where you can sign up for an invitation. They claim Eterni.me is based on the latest advances in the AI research. They’ve built a bot that will try to learn everything about the person while he’s alive and then when he essentially finishes the earthly existence, the bot will keep the person alive. The friends and family will be able to interact with the bot. I’m not sure about this one…
There was a similar experiment with artificial intelligence based on John Lennon’s personality: http://triumphpc.com/johnlennon/ If you actually try it, you’ll see it doesn’t make much sense.
Quantadvisor.com – Smart Investments
It used to be pretty big some 3 years ago but I’m guessing the authors lost the direction a little bit. Well, I’m excited to see them back live.
They’ve just opened early access registration, and if investments is your kind of thing, you should register. This is a platform with two main goals:
- To let professionals share their money management models via the system.
- To help investors manage their portfolio.
I like it because it’s a low-threshold platform, also taking all small investors. The minimum portfolio size is $10,000.
Experiment.com – Crowdfunded Science
At last! I remember having searched for ways to donate directly to scientists. You can call me cruel or whatever, but I strongly believe in donating to causes that promise to make tangible difference for the future, such as nature conservation and scientific research. I also want to make sure that my donation reaches the source with minimum middlemanship. That’s why I ignore all TV adverts begging for money. The funds will go towards the salaries and travel expenses of the charity staff.
Experiment.com is different. Yes, they are in effect a middleman but after they take their 5% cut, the remaining money ends up where it should – in the scientist’s pocket! Result!
A crowdfunding science platform is what we’ve been waiting for. It means that the non-mainstream projects plagued by the ever-increasing “Lefty” streak in the global politics will now be able to attract attention from private non-political investors. Go genetics! Go nanotech!!!
The San Francisco based startup will initially check each submission before it goes live on the site.
The project launched in 2012 as Microryza and instantly attracted a $400.000 investment. Then in 2013 they got involved in the Y Combinator startup accelerator. Now, after having managed to snap up a cool new domain name, they’re relaunching, backed by well-known investors like Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and others.
I’m really excited about this one but also equally frustrated! They announced the launch yesterday (5th February) but the site is dead. Not a good start. I hope they don’t damage their reputation early on.
Motilo.com – a Social Q&A Platform for Shoppers
Motilo.com is trying to monetise the good old “word-of-mouth” marketing in a hip new way. They’ve built a Q&A engine for fashionistas (and fashionists) where they can seek advice and suggestions from fellow style geeks. I’m not sure about the plush badger on their homepage, but what I do like are the question-boards. You can collect an outfit (dress, shoes, accessories) from the available items and then ask your friends for feedback.
This video, if you can look past the really badly voiced narration (come on, Motilo, get a professional to do it, you’ve got millions in your bank!!!) explains what the site does:
It’s almost like kaboodle.com only much more social and much cooler. I think kaboodle.com had its heyday around 4 years ago and although their traffic is still very strong (especially in North America) I don’t think they’re quick enough to introduce new features. Looks a little bit stale to me.
Motilo.com is definitely the one to watch. They’ve just secured a 2nd round of investment from a group of UK-based investors. The total amount of money invested in the startup now stands at $5.8.