Everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Justin.TV was there. It was Demo Day for SSE Labs, now called StartX or Stanford Student Startup Accelerator, and the AOL presentation room in Palo Alto was packed.
The event was to showcase the companies graduating from the Lab and others just beginning to work with the Lab. In all, seventeen companies presented. Each was given only a few minutes and the presentations were surprisingly crisp. There was the occasional miss–after one pitch audience members looked to each other and asked, “Yes, but what is it?” Overall, though, the mood was festive with a slight hint of entrepreneurial anxiety.
It was also, of course, very testosterone heavy. Only one in five founders accepted to the Lab were female, but those companies led by women were compelling. A few of those companies:
BiteByte: An ontological and data approach to finding specific food dishes.
Laura Borel of of BiteByte was engaging and has an interesting idea on her hands.
ClearEar: Removing medically challenging earwax buildups more safely and quickly using a new patent-pending medical device.
Lily Truong and Dr. Vandana Jain, the women behind ClearEar, not only grossed out the audience with images of Q-tips piercing ear drums but also garnered the respect of everyone by not backing down under tough questioning from the crowd.
6Dot: A technology design company whose first product is a new portable, easy-to-use Braille labeling device based on unique labeling technology.
Karina Pickhart of 6Dot demonstrated how helping the blind, a population of 2 million, is not only good design (they’ve already won several design awards) but also good business.
All three companies were interesting because they demonstrated the many applications of technology, but more importantly they highlighted a new generation of women entrepreneurs. Could this be a new kind of start?
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