The who's who of the Silicon Valley startup scene is meeting this week at the 2019 Startup Grind Global Conference in Redwood City, California, a small town near Palo Alto that was once ridiculed as "Deadwood City" but has since become a significant tech hub in the region—its home to Oracle, Electronic Arts, Box.com, Evernote, Impossible Foods, Nintendo, Sumo Logic and soon to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic company created by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.
More than 8,000 people, mostly entrepreneurs, venture capital (VC) investors, and professional services providers (lawyers, accountants, etc...) are expected to attend the two-day event, which kicks off tomorrow with discussions led by Stripe cofounder John Collison, Front CEO Mathilde Collin, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Melanie Whelan, CEO of SoulCycle, and investors Jessica Verrilli (Google Ventures), Bryan Schreier (Sequoia Capital), and Steven Sinofsky (Andreessen Horowitz).
For its seventh annual edition—the fourth in Redwood City—the conference organizers have planned five concurrent stages (main, growth, storytelling, developer, venture capital) jam-packed with high-quality content provided by a roster of nearly 200 world-class entrepreneurs and investors.
Startup Grind came a long way since it was founded in Silicon Valley in 2010 by Derek Andersen and Spencer Nielson. Back in the day, I remember attending the company's meetups in borrowed spaces that were gathering just a few dozen local entrepreneurs seeking funding, partnerships, and sometimes new hires and mentors.
At the Startup Grind Global Conference this week, an underrated conference about entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley—alongside The Startup Conference next June—more than 200 startups from around the world will be pitching and below is our selection of the 19 to watch for at the event.
- Anduin Transactions is a platform that streamlines the workflow, communication, and collaboration during the fundraising process between entrepreneurs, VC investors and legal teams.
- Think of Billpocket as the equivalent of Square, which allows merchants to accept credit card payments on mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) using a plastic dongle, for Latin America.
- Bootkik and Virtual Gurus are two marketplaces that connect entrepreneurs with industry experts, independent consultants, and gurus to help them grow their business.
- ClearMask is a full-face transparent surgical mask that makes healthcare more human by improving whole-face communication for more compassionate, inclusive connections.
- CommonGenius is a marketplace that enables professionals to schedule one-on-one video meetings with leading experts and executives, empowering them to make better, faster business and career decisions.
- Dhonor's platform seeks to assist the millions of patients with deficient organs around the world by safely giving them access to organs from drivers deceased in traffic accidents and assisting the families of the deceased through this everyone-wins ecosystem.
- Fansure enables fans to ensure their game tickets based on whether their favorite players actually play. If their desired player sits out, they get reimbursed up to the full cost of their ticket.
- Generation Transfer and Miigen have developed digital time capsules to help capture memories, insights and life experiences.
- Halan provides a ride-hailing service to underserved communities in Africa and the Middle East using light transport vehicles that are most adept for these areas including tuk-tuks, motorcycles and tricycles.
- Ingu Solutions’ Pipers technology is an in-line screening tool for small diameter and unpiggable pipelines which helps identify risks that threaten pipeline performance and safety with zero downtime.
- miiCloud's Passwordless is an Authentication-as-a-Service solution that allows developers to integrate face recognition technology into their application (mobile and desktop) and manages user credentials.
- Presentr is a mobile coaching app that replicates the experience of having a communication's coach by your side when you practice for a public speaking performance.
- SkyHive built a platform to apply a skills-based approach, as opposed to a job-based approach, to match work opportunities. Its skills-matching uses machine learning to extrapolate the technical and soft skills possessed by job seekers, as well as the hiring needs of employers. By matching job seekers with work based on skills, it exponentially increases the number of opportunities a candidate is qualified for and offers a larger and more qualified pool of candidates to employers.
- Syfer built a device that sits between your router and Internet modem (cable or ADSL) that encrypts your data through a VPN, blocks ads, alerts in real time of malicious activities, including phishing attacks, ransomware, and malware, and allows you to set parental controls.
- Valisure is an online pharmacy attached to an analytical laboratory where all medications are batch-tested and delivered with a certificate of analysis, at no additional cost.
- VR NEXT is a cloud-based platform to easily create 3-D and virtual interiors decorated by finishing materials from DIY and online furniture shops.