On to our second week of Finalist coverage leading up to the 2017 Most Innovative New product Awards on November 30! This week we are getting to know the finalists in the Software and Digital Media category.
Want to come see who takes the final prize for Software and Digital Media? Buy your ticket or table here!
CEO & President: Andy Taylor
About Approved: Approved is on a mission to bring transparency, efficiency, and sanity to the mortgage experience. We build technology that agents, consumers, and lenders use every day to streamline the back office and provide a world-class experience for customers.
Why did you apply to MIP? We are proud to grow this next generation real estate software technology in San Diego, an entrepreneurial community that inspires founders to tackle difficult problems of enormous scale. CONNECT is the hub of a lot of those conversations. We are excited to show everyone what we’re working on.
What is one of your favorite parts of being a startup? I love getting to work on every aspect of the business. From product design and meeting with customers to sales and strategic business decisions, you get to do a little of everything in an unstructured and exciting way.
CEO: Nathan Renick
About Sourcify: Sourcify is on a mission to make sourcing easy. We do that by connecting a company directly to a pre-vetted factory and walk them through a production run with project management tools.
How did you come up with the idea for your product? When I was nineteen, I started my first ecommerce store selling watches and sunglasses online. In the first year, we did over six figures in sales. What most people don’t know, however, is that we also lost a ton of money to a fraudulent manufacturer. I realized millions of companies face the same problem I experienced; bringing a product to life or cutting manufacturing costs is extremely difficult.
I used to live in China and speak Mandarin, so that helped me to create a solution to solve that problem. I started as a sourcing agent, getting paid a few hundred dollars to email introduce companies to the right factories. As that grew, I realized I could create a whole platform to automate the process. This has turned into Sourcify.
Who is someone who believed in you/your product? Andrew Ballester, the founder of GoFundMe. He is a investor and advisor who connected with our vision early on, becoming a key point of insight for us as we grow.
CEO: Leon Kotovich
About TerraManta: TerraManta helps investors reduce economic risks by providing deeper insights from analysis of growing volume of unstructured data using Natural Language Processing and machine learning technology. Our first focus area is forecasting crude oil prices by analyzing geo political news and impact on fundamentals, i.e. production, inventory, supply, demand, exports, imports.
What is the hardest obstacle you have had to face? Converting geo political news – or unstructured data – to a format which could be analyzed by a machine learning framework.
Who is someone who believed in you/your product? Our first advisor, Steve Prosniewski, a former commodities trader in Chicago, believes in TerraManta potential. Steve is one of our strongest supporters. He is also one of the producers of Floored, a 2009 documentary film about the people and business of the Chicago trading floors. The film focuses specifically on several Chicago floor traders who have been impacted by the electronic trading revolution and whose jobs have been threatened by the use of computers in the trading world.