APPSESSED: MINGLETON

We do everything on our phones nowadays—why not also meet people? Mobile dating apps, such as tinder, have become increasingly popular due to their low-key, low-commitment platforms. They’re fun and easy to use, sometimes even an ego-boost

Dating, networking, and mingling can be quite awkward, especially if you are shy. The mobile dating app Mingleton helps take away the awkwardness of breaking the ice with people who are literally around you.

The app uses iBeacon technology to connect you with people in the same room. Specifically, the app uses Core Bluetooth and Core Location technology that is already built into iPhones. Tinder, on the other hand, uses GPS to locate others around you, which shows a greater range of potential matches, but none that are as close in proximity as with Mingleton.

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MEDIAPOST ONLINE SPIN: THE END OF ADVERTISING

Have you ever heard of CONANDA? For those of you who answered that it was America’s neighbor to the North, you’re an idiot.

CONANDA is actually The Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights’ Council of Rights of Children and Teenagers, which earlier this month issued a resolution effectively banning all advertising to children under age 12 and imposing restrictions on campaigns aimed at 12- to 18-year-olds.

Resolution #163 provides that any marketing communication to children under 12 years old is abusive, unless it falls under one of the narrow exceptions to the Resolution, namely campaigns aimed at educating children about good nutrition, safety, education, health and other aspects of children’s social development.

Congressman Luiz Carlos Hauly, proponent of the bill, regards advertising to children as abusive because it is “a coercion or extortion” of children, who would be compelled to buy products that are“unnecessary, superfluous and sometimes even harmful.” Also, in his opinion, these products would be usually incompatible with the average Brazilian family income.

But seriously, tell us what you really think!

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APPSESSED: INSTACART

Have you ever forgotten to pick up an essential ingredient for your dinner party? Or find yourself night after night eating greasy delivery because you’re too busy to cook? In big cities like NYC and SF, it can be difficult and discouraging to grocery shop, especially without a car. Instacart, the grocery delivery startup, is here to help!

Recently launched on March 26 in NYC, Instacart does your shopping for you. With local grocery stores, Costco, and Whole Foods to choose from in several cites across the US, Instacart delivers your groceries for just $7.99. 

Boasting its fastest delivery time as just 12 minutes, Instacart connects you with a personal shopper who checks if your eggs are cracked before walking, biking, or driving them over to your place in under 2 hours.

It’s easy to get stuck ordering Seamless every night, but nothing beats fresh ingredients, hand-picked just for you. Save time and eat fresh—what’s better than that?

Follow them on Twitter @Instacart to find out where they’re shopping next!

MARCH NY TECH MEETUP RECAP

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The Evol8tion team hit up New York Tech Meetup this week to hear the latest in the NYC tech community, watch some awesome startup demos, and admire the creative Hacks of the Month. Demos ranged from healthcare to improving work-life to helping middle-aged women learn how to code. Read on for Evol8tion’s highlights. 

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MediaPost Online Spin: Innovation Is A Life-And-Death Decision

No, this article is not about the “ROI of Survival,” as I like to refer to it when I give keynote presentations on innovation. Well, actually, it kind of is — but using an indirect example to illustrate the point.

Texting and driving is a bit of a global epidemic. For example, in the U.S. texting while driving is responsible for 1.6 million accidents and 330,000 injuries every year. In fact 25% of ALL car accidents are texting-related. Worse still is that nearly a dozen teens die every day from texting while driving.

Texting and driving is today’s equivalent of drinking and driving.

Currently, 43 states have banned texting while driving, with fines ranging from $20 in California to $243 in New York and up to $10,000 and one year in jail in Alaska!

To help counter this disturbing trend, enter “It Can Wait,” an initiative designed to educate people, especially teens, about the dangers of texting while driving. Think of it as today’s, “This is your brain on drugs” PSA du jour.

One of the elements of the program is a series of downloadable apps for mobile phones. These apps include:

  • AT&T DriveMode
  • Verizon Safely Go
  • Safely Go for Sprint

Let’s start with the good: AT&T’s DriveMode uses the phone’s built-in GPS functionality — like Waze — to essentially calculate speed traveled, and when the vehicle is moving at 25 mph or faster, the app automatically sends a customizable auto-reply message to incoming texts, letting people know that the driver will reply to them when they are finished driving.

Safely Go will receive calls and texts for the driver when they’re on the road, kind of like a virtual assistant.

From a technology standpoint, this isn’t rocket science, but what I really like is that it conforms to several key practices that I teach startup founders when they’re looking to build their prototype:

1.     What’s the inefficiency you’re addressing or problem you’re solving?

2.     How can technology help?

3.     What built-in, natural phone functionality can be leveraged to achieve this?

Now the bad: AT&T is only available on Android and BlackBerry. Verizon and Sprint don’t indicate a platform restriction, but both links only go to Google’s Play page.

And the ugly: There’s nary a mention of T-Mobile or any other carriers.

So apparently, there is a price or budget ceiling when it comes to saving lives and keeping people safe.

Nice job, everyone!

I’m not sure whether these are specific startups that have licensed their technology to the different carriers, an initiative funded by Google, or just a work in progress from the not-for-profit (and therefore budget constrained) organization. Either way, it’s completely unacceptable that something like this isn’t available to EVERY carrier on EVERY platform or operating system.

On a macro note, it’s endemic of many — if not most — corporate innovation initiatives that applied once upon a time to digital (think banner, button and skyscraper versioning), social (choose your social hub) and these days, mobile (pick an operating system; don’t show me; now place it randomly back into the pack.)

For most corporations or brands, we’re talking rounding errors on an obtuse and bloated budget that throws (away) the overwhelming lion’s share of dollars to the paid media landfill. And yet, every single penny associated with game-changing innovation experimentation, evolution or investment has to be begged for, borrowed or stolen.

It’s an embarrassment in general, but in this specific case, it’s an absolute disgrace.

I’d like to see every single wireless carrier, operating system and handset operator join forces to co-fund an initiative that not only is 100% inclusive and representative, but also invests heavily in innovation in order to continually iterate the solution.

Instead of standardizing pixel sizes, like buttons or mobile OS, how about standardizing saving lives instead?

And as for every other brand, the stakes may not literally be life and death, but it may very well be the difference-maker to your corporate longevity, health and wellness.

How We Watch: The Future of TV @ General Assembly

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Last night was a jam-packed evening for the Evol8tion team as we divided and conquered multiple events in the NYC area, one of which was a stimulating conversation at General Assembly about the future of television and how mobile devices, social media and internet video has changed the way we consume TV. Quartz senior editor, Zach Seward, interviewed Head of TV at Twitter, Fred Graver who shed light on the ever-changing landscape of technology and its impact on the television industry at large. 

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Socialdipity

My fourth book is called “Z.E.R.O.,” although it was originally meant to be called “Socialdipity: Serendipity in a Social World and a Social Age.”

The idea behind socialdipity was really twofold:

1.     We are social animals. We thrive on interactions with, and connections between, other people.

2.     Social media has allowed us to fulfill this social want or need — and in some cases, created experiences which otherwise were not possible.

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SXSWalkabout

When we started planning our SXSW experience at Evol8tion, we thought a different twist would be going back to Austin’s roots- how did this little tech hub become the “Chosen City” for SXSW?  Instead of the party hopping (which cough cough, might have happened as well)- the highlight of my SXSW experience was meeting, and educating brands on the authentic culture that makes Austin such a vibrant startup scene.  The “Austin All Stars” panel introduced our brands to top notch local entrepreneurs, including from Mellie Price, the Managing Director of Capital Factory, to legendary entrepreneur Brett Hurt of Baazarvoice, a SF Google transplant now based in Austin, and Mohr Davidow Ventures- who is increasingly investing in more and more startup talent coming out of Austin.  The session wasn’t held in a restaurant, convention center, or a hotel meeting room where most things take place at Mega Conferences- but instead had OneSpot, a powerhouse content startup open the doors of their beautiful new home to host everyone in their office.

SXSW has become a Mecca for brands.  I encourage them to step outside their comfort zone of being wined and dined by their agencies, or taking the Facebook meeting they could have back in their NYC office.  What new value, or experience are you hoping to achieve?  Instead, go meet with the entrepreneurs, get out and explore- embrace the local grassroots culture!  The most rewarding comment I received from one of our brands was he felt he “had a new level of understanding content marketing…” after meeting with OneSpot and Written- two incredibly talented local startups.  The best party I went to wasn’t the MRY event (though in fairness, I did hear it was quite Epic), it was the TechStars bash on Saturday night.   Whether it’s Austin for SXSW, or Vegas for CES - cities across the country are filled with these local gems that are craving the opportunity to showcase their talent. 

Dare to be different, I guarantee the memorable experiences and new friendships will outweigh the party #fomo.

Accelerant Micro-Fund

Introducing Accelerant

It is no secret. Israel is ‘Startup Nation‘.

It has the highest density of tech startups in the world and a rich history of technology innovation. In recent years it has also answered the call and delivered on BIG EXITS. From Waze to Viber &Trusteer, Israeli entrepreneurs have proved they are ready to build big, massive global companies. They are not tempted to sell early. And they have reminded investors that Israel is a place to watch for game changing technologies.

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Mediapost Online Spin: Startups Care More about Consumers…

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I just returned from San Francisco, where I attended Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH conference, a place where a whole host of startups get on a highly visible stage in front of tech’s mover and shaker elite and… LAUNCH themselves.

I also got to hear from Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick, Coin’s Founder Kanishk Parashar, and a real highlight, Stuart Williams, from the University of Louisville’s Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, who exhibited 3D-printed ventricles of an infant’s heart!

However, it was the Consumer VC panel that delivered my moment of Zen, when VCs talked about what they looked for in successful entrepreneurs, founders and startups.

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