ITEXPO (News - Alert), the world’s largest communications and technology event, offers an abundance of exhibitions, keynote sessions and resources for the communications and technology community. For those trying to get their foot in the door, StartupCamp is one forum hosted along with ITEXPO that targets early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators in communication technology.
Industry leaders, investors, developers and media join here to network and validate entrepreneur pitches for their startup company and ideas.
TMC (News - Alert) caught up with two companies that attended StartupCamp in previous years to answer an inevitable question: Where are they now?
netBlazr is a Boston-based provider of broadband and high-speed Internet to home users. It was a semi-finalist in the 2010 and 2011 MassChallenge startup contests and has made positive strides toward expanding since it attended StartupCamp in 2011.
Since StartupCamp, netBlazr (News - Alert) has made a lot of progress: it has taken its pilot network to a production network, raised $275,000 in seed money, now has four full-time people working in the company and 39 business customers.
The company also recently launched a residential offer, a 15 Mbps symmetric Internet that is only$39 for people who have a mobile phone and are not looking for a three-way bundled package. In the next few months, netBlazr is planning on coming out with a new model for targeting multitenant commercial buildings; its original target.
In the future,it hopes to provide more products and solutions to business customers, as they have more demand for Internet connectivity and are affected by packaged, bundled three-service deals more than residential customers.
“It was excellent as information gathering and as practice,” said Brough Turner (News - Alert), co-founder and CTO, netBlazr. “As far as netblazr goes, we’re having fun and we’re actually starting to make money, so we’re definitely on track.”
Another attendee who has experienced success since StartupCamp is vox.io, a provider of free voice and video calls over the Internet. vox.io's messaging, content sharing and calling make it simple to share experiences with those that matter most to you, wherever you are and wherever they are.
Since StartupCamp, vox.io has reached about one million users and is still growing strong month-by-month, has increased from six employees to 10, has products for both the browser and for iOS, and has been featured in major publications such as Wired, The Next Web and TechCrunch.
“We weren’t expecting to take off so quickly and get such good feedback from people actually using the product,” said Stolfa.
Its blog is responsive to customer feedback, and recently added the capability to creatively customize a user’s vox.io profile. It also spent a lot of time creating vox.io’s Group Chat function, which can be used in two main ways; creating or joining a public group chat for certain topics or choosing to have a private group for friends or family.
The biggest thing you can expect to see from vox.io in the future is the upcoming update of its mobile vox.io app, which will feature chat, voice, video and embedded content in chat (while you’re in a conversation, you can share links or photos and view them straight from the feed without leaving the conversation).
“The event was a good experience for us,” said vox.io Tomaz Stolfa, founder of vox.io. “There were a lot of important people from the industry that we got to meet. I would advise anyone who has the chance to, to go there and get through this experience.”
“StartupCamp is always a very exciting part of ITEXPO, as attendees get to see young companies pitch new ideas to the judges and audience and start to solidify their go-to-market strategies on the stage,” added Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) , CEO at TMC and conference chairman of ITEXPO. “It’s exhilarating for all of our attendees to see and start thinking about innovation at the startup level.”
StartupCamp6: Comms Edition is happening Oct. 4, 2012 in Austin, TX. Don’t miss it!
Edited by Jamie Epstein