Thursday, September 25, 2014

Central Desktop: Easy Online Collaboration

Central Desktop is an online collaboration software company headquartered in Pasadena, California. Founded in 2005 by Isaac Garcia and Arnulf Hsu, Central Desktop helps people work better together. An alternative to email, SharePoint, and file-sharing websites, Central Desktop's online collaboration platform, SocialBridge, connects teams, content, and customers in the cloud so everyone can get things done together from one private, centralized website.

SocialBridge makes everyone's files, conversations, calendars, and other stuff accessible from anywhere, including the office, home, and even on the go. The platform also speeds up existing business processes by letting users automatically assign tasks, send email reminders, update databases, and route documents for approval. In addition, organizations can use SocialBridge to share and communicate easily with their vendors and clients.

Recognizing that different types of teams work differently, Central Desktop offers SocialBridge in three versions. SocialBridge for Marketers and Agencies are designed to speed up creative approvals and enable teams to work more closely with third parties. SocialBridge Professional lets small businesses operate like a big company without the high price tag. SocialBridge for Enterprise helps business units collaborate across different locations and time zones.

SocialBridge is equipped with numerous useful features, including private workspaces, real-time access to the latest version of files, search, project management, reports, web meetings, and more. With 99.98 percent uptime, SocialBridge is protected by enterprise-grade security provided by Akamai, McAfee, Alchemy Communications, and Corexchange Data Center.

Central Desktop serves more than 500,000 users worldwide daily. Notable customers include Harvard University, the Humane Society of the United States, Upshot, CBS,, WD-40, Workday, Moxie, Javelin Marketing Group, and the American Red Cross.

Central Desktop has been named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Inc. 500, Red Herring 100, and InformationWeek Startup 50. The company has also won multiple Stevie Awards and other honors.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Keezy: A Simple Music App for Musicians of All Levels

Keezy is a free iOS app that lets you play with music. Everyone enjoys music, but today's music software is too complicated for most people. This is where Keezy comes in. It's the simplest music app available – its creators even say it's easy enough for toddlers – but it's powerful enough for professional musicians. Whether you're a talented artist who can play multiple instruments or a music fan looking for a fun app, Keezy is a great way to create music on your phone or tablet. Use it with your friends or for capturing your musical ideas.

Keezy lets you record unlimited sound boards with up to eight sounds each. If you need a little creative inspiration, the app comes with a dozen free sound boards from artists such as Reggie Watts, Tegan and Sara, and Reni Lane, among others.

The first app from Brooklyn-based Elepath, Keezy has been downloaded more than 300,000 times and has received numerous glowing reviews.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ShapeUp Brings Employees Together to Get Healthy

ShapeUp is a wellness platform that uses the power of trusted social networks to promote employee well-being. Founded by Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Dr. Brad Weinberg, ShapeUp is based on the concept of health being a social phenomenon. The people around us influence our health, and vice versa. We are more likely to exercise and eat healthy when our friends, family, and co-workers do so. On the flip side, it is more challenging to maintain healthy habits when everyone around us is snacking on donuts and watching TV all day. Both health and unhealthy behaviors are contagious within social networks.

ShapeUp aims to improve the well-being of individuals and populations by bringing folks together for social support, accountability, and motivation. This approach, called Social Wellness, is the backbone of ShapeUp's healthy challenges. There are team challenges that are run as 6- or 8-week competitions, weekly bonus challenges that are designed to introduce participants to new healthy behaviors, and spontaneous user-generated challenges where participants challenge their colleagues to one-off wellness tasks. All challenges seek to motivate workers through healthy competition, unite staff, and inspire significant life changes.

ShapeUp's online tracking interface lets participants monitor their progress in any kind of activity they want to track, whether it's pushups per day, exercise minutes, or number of hours slept every night. Participants can access their tracking data online, on their mobile phone, or via text. ShapeUp has partnered with to offer real-time, real-world rewards to users. Employer can fully customize their incentive parameters including achievement thresholds, reward amounts, frequency, points, and rewarded behaviors.

ShapeUp counts Amica, Aetna, Raytheon, GTECH, HP, Paychex, KeyBank, and Cleveland Clinic among its customers. Over the past seven years, the Providence, Rhode Island-based company has made wellness fun and helped individuals lose more than a million pounds of weight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Jungl: Pay What You Want and Give to Charity

The Jungl is a different payment platform that enables websites to double their monthly revenue and users to support their favorite websites and charities at the same time. The Jungl lets users pay whatever they want in exchange for access to exclusive content. In addition, half of the amount they decide to spend goes to their chosen charities.

While this payment model may seem counterintuitive, independent research at UC Berkeley has shown that letting people pay what they want, combined with a charitable element, generates more than two times the revenue of fixed pricing schemes. When people donate half of their money to charity, they tend to spend more than they would normally, with some even spending five times more.

The Jungl and its partner websites believe in social responsibility and recognize the value of charity in society, thus encouraging donations by rewarding users. The Jungl is a service of Oriku, Inc., a technology company based in Dallas, Texas.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sendwithus: Transactional Email's Best Friend

Based in San Francisco, California and Victoria, Canada, Sendwithus is a tech startup dedicated to helping marketers grow their companies quickly by making transactional email easy and painless. Founded in 2013 by Matt Harris and Brad Van Vugt, Sendwithus helps marketers recognize the importance of the often overlooked transactional email. The Y Combinator-backed company has already assisted customers such as HootSuite, 8tracks, Homejoy, MeUndies, and Olark in managing and tracking their email-driven engagement and revenue.

Transactional emails are crucial to a company's growth, as users are four times more likely to open and click them than marketing campaigns. Updating them can be a long and tedious process, however, usually requiring designers and developers to get involved. Sendwithus fixes that by putting the marketer in control.

Sendwithus integrates with a number of email service providers, including SendGrid, Mandrill, Mailgun, Message Bus, Postmark, and Mailjet. With Sendwithus, marketers can quickly update content and test new ideas whenever they want without having to call developers and designers. Because A/B testing is built into Sendwithus, they can test subject lines, headings, and call-to-actions and see what works and what doesn't in minutes. Marketers can also create and control drip campaigns, which are great for sending automated follow-ups to customers, without writing any code.

Sendwithus' powerful analytics lets marketers measure everything – who's opening welcome emails? Which links are clicked? Were certain emails delivered successfully? Sendwithus also has a customer search feature that can be used to look up an individual customer's overall engagement score and the full life cycle of all the emails they've received. Other useful features include automatic CSS inlining at send time, template snippets, customer email inbox view, and email resending.

Sendwithus is free for up to 1,000 recipients per month while paid monthly plans begin at $79. The startup has been featured in Betakit, TechCrunch, and Techvibes.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Captora: A Cloud-Based Top-of-Funnel Marketing Tool

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Captora is the first marketing cloud solution that helps modern marketers expand and optimize their campaigns to engage and convert thousands of new customers. Captora analyzes untapped marketing opportunities, then uses existing content to scale targeted campaigns across various channels. Once new buyers are discovered, Captora tests and optimizes campaigns to deliver the highest possible conversion rates. With Captora, marketers can shape their marketing campaigns based on insight and data instead of guesswork.

Captora was founded in 2012 by Paul Albright, Srihari Kumar, and Anindo Mukherjee. They realized that top-of-funnel marketing hadn't been tapped by modern technologies yet and saw a huge opportunity to improve the way contemporary marketers scaled demand. As marketers and entrepreneurs themselves, they understood the pressure of delivering sufficient high-quality leads and buyers to meet company revenue goals.

Today, Captora tracks and reports on more than 50 million buyer/competitor activities each day and averages over 100 percent uplift on conversions for its customers, which include Marketo, Salesforce, DocuSign, and The International Culinary Center.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Findster: Know Where Your Child or Pet Is at All Times

Findster is a location system that keeps your loved ones closer to you. It is an innovative GPS tracking system that helps you monitor your children and pets, and find them quickly if you ever lose sight of them.

Findster has five components: a parent/guardian module, a child/pet module, a smartphone app, a base station, and a portable charger. The two primary components are the parent/guardian module and the child/pet module. As you've probably already figured out, you wear the former and your child or pet wears the latter. These devices are wirelessly connected to each other. The smartphone app lets you follow your loved ones' activity and notifies you whenever they leave a security zone (defined by you).

The base station expands your connection area, protecting your family even when you're not with them. For instance, you can place base stations in your child's school and a trusted neighbor's home. Your child's module automatically connects with these base stations whenever she is in the vicinity, letting you know her whereabouts.

You can monitor multiple modules simultaneously, and several users can monitor one module. The Findster app displays your child or pet's location on a map, as well as your distance from them in space and time. Moreover, the child/pet module is equipped with a three-axis accelerometer that detects falls and tracks the daily activity of pets.

Unlike other tracking systems on the market, Findster does not have any monthly fees. You pay once and that's it. Thanks to Findster's innovative radio frequency communication system, modules have a communication range of 1 kilometer and do not have to rely on a cellular connection, thus eliminating the need for monthly fees.

Findster has been featured on TechCrunch, BuzzFeed, Geeky Gadgets, The Gadget Fellow, Exame Informatica, and more. It is currently available for pre-order on Indiegogo.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tripcast: A Private Travel Journal for You and Your Loved Ones

Tripcast is a new app that lets you share your travel photos with only the people you trust. Built by the folks at Cluster Labs, Inc., Tripcast is a living travel journal that keeps your friends and family back home posted. Stay in touch with your loved ones and update them in real time. Your friends and family will get notifications whenever there's new activity, and they can like your posts, leave comments, and ask questions.

If you're traveling with other people, you can use Tripcast to collect everyone's vacation photos in one place. You can then download everything when you get home. No more emailing or transferring photos. Tripcast also keeps your photos organized by automatically adding them to a trip map. This feature allows you to browse your snaps by location instead of by date.

Tripcast is available on iOS, Android, and the web. Use it to bring everyone along on your adventures while keeping your privacy.