Our favorite #StartupRadar pitches, part 2

Here’s the rest of our rundown on some of the coolest startup pitches we heard at our SXSW #StartupRadar event.

Startup: Waze
The details: Based inPalo Alto,Calif.; launched 2009

Their story: Wave is part GPS, part Siri, and part traffic reporter. When users enable app, available on iPhone and Android, it detects their speed and location. Waze crunches that information to generate warnings for other drivers if there’s a slowdown or traffic jam. If you want to report an accident, simply wave your hand over the phone and speak to it.

Launched in 2009, Waze has drawn $67 million from investors, including VC powerhouse Kleiner Perkins.

Their goal: “If you can actually can use social media to do something that changes how people drive, then you’re seeing a really important change,” says Waze communications director Michal Habdank-Kolaczkowski.  Ultimately, the crew hopes people will use the app to help each other save time and gas on the road. 


Startup: Rockify
The details: Based in Austin, founded in August 2011

Their story: Entrepreneur Joel Korpi wants to bring back old-school MTV, the channel that featured actual music videos instead of reality television shows. Korpi’s Rockify.tv, still in private beta, aims to be a video Pandora, helping smartphone and tablet users discover content.  

The secret sauce: Rockify plans to tap your social graph to figure out what type of music you’re likely to like.

Startup: GroupWink
The details: Based inAustin, founded May 2011

Their story: Founder Dustin Maxey wants to turn group messaging into group dating. GroupWink lets users tag friends they’re hanging out with, create groups, and check out what other groups in the area are doing. You can search groups by topics like “dance,” “chill,” “have drinks,” and can the choose age ranges and gender of other groups you’d like to meet up with.  

The goal: Maxey says he wants to “mimic the natural process” of meeting people.

“Group are everywhere around the town,” he says. The app, currently in beta aims to bring those groups together in a techie but organic fashion.

Startup: ApartmentList.com
The details: Based in San Francisco, launched September 2011

Their story: CEO John Kobs and co-founder Chris Herndon left their jobs in finance to create an apartment-recommendation engine lets users to hone in on a neighborhood, price, and type of apartment they’re looking to rent. The site has partnered with services like Rent.com and Move.com to aggregate listings.

It’s pretty basic so far: type in your location and you can start filtering the picks based on the price range, bedrooms and bathrooms, and features like on-site parking and pet-friendliness.  It’ll also show you top-rated restaurants around the area and popular neighborhoods that your friends frequently “check in” on through location services like Foursquare. The startup currently has 25 employees, 15 of whom focus on the technology behind the service.

A unique twist: ApartmentList has a social arm. If you’re interested in a listing or neighborhood, you can connect through Facebook and share your list of prospects with friends who can give you their two cents.  The crew calls it “digitizing what people do in the real world.” -Laurie

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