Startups had a chance to battle for top billing last week at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013’s Startup Battlefield, which was held at the Manhattan Center, April 29-May 1. Thirty companies were selected of the hundreds that applied to enter the competition and by the third day, seven had been short listed for a run at the Disrupt Cup.
It’s fair to say that the competition was stiff and the selection process was even tougher. The seven ran the gamut in terms of focus and talent.
- HealthyOut, an innovative meal-planning program in which meals are tailored according to the restaurants in the subscriber’s area and delivered to the home or office
- Floored, which will map an internal space and then convert it to 3D
- SupplyShift, (which we wrote about last week) offers an inspiring way for producers to take an even bolder step toward complete sustainability
- Handle is a task management app that manages your inbox, can capture ideas and organize your day practically on its own
- Glide is a visual messaging app that refers to itself as a video walkie-talkie
- Zenefits, a benefits management program that boasts that it “can outsource your time-consuming administration headaches in 60 seconds”
And the winner, Enigma.
Enigma is a researcher’s and techie’s dream all rolled into one. Developed by Marc DaCosta, Hicham Oudghiri, Jeremy Bronfmann and Raphaël Guilleminot, Enigma’s web service helps researchers sift through public data in record time, with record results. Best of all, it simplifies the process of accessing public data, which any researcher knows is three-quarters of the job of data collection. With contracts now in the works with Harvard Business School, S&P and the New York Times to name a few, it’s clear that Enigma is already sizing up its potential market.
It will be interesting to see what the final product will be when it comes to the public’s access and affordability. The real beneficiaries of this type of service include those who may not have the finances and the clout of large companies, such as private researchers and journalists who can’t pay substantial user fees.
For their accomplishments, Enigma’s founders won a $50,000 check and the prized Disrupt Cup – as well as some of the best publicity a newly formed startup could ever hope for. Their fight for the title wasn’t easy though; contestants were forced into a second round of nail-biting evals before the final winner was selected. If the seven finalists of this Disrupt Battlefield are anything to go by, we’re in for even better startup surprises later this year when the Battlefield moves to its other venues.
Images courtesy of TechCrunch.