The Enterprise Development Center Showcase, last Tuesday, highlighted the innovations that the center has to offer. Companies were showing off their wares as students were presenting their resumes to prospective employers. While all of the companies had a sort of impression of the crop of the students NJIT has to offer, I was able to talk to 14 of the companies to give you guys a taste of how cool the Enterprise Development Center really is.
They all had a sense of passion and pride in the work they do. Like how a painter paints and how a writer writes, these startups aren’t interested in the money but rather interested in innovating minds and helping society. From Wickr’s secure messenger apps to iSpeech’s voice recognition systems or Vita Vantage’s new perspective on medical treatment to Argo Text’s idea of turning the watch into something magical, these companies are all trying to make a difference. What’s even more awesome about all of this is that these companies are across the street from campus.
Vita Vantage is essentially social media for health. When I talked to the founder, Rita D’Onofrio, she explained that the site is a place for patients to update their health record such as weight, blood pressure levels, height, age, and other factors. Then, doctors and other medical experts can come in and tell the patient what they can do to improve their health. It’s basically a way to keep patients and medical professionals connected which can help prevent a lot of medical issues in the future and in turn save a lives.
Vita Vantage, as Rita D’Onofrio explained, was born because she needed advice on how she should be managing her health.
To all the gamers out there, remember Team Bondi’s use of mocap for their AAA hit, L.A. Noire? Well, the way that worked was using multiple cameras aiming at different points on the actor’s head. That technology they used was amazing; they were able to get facial expressions right and even taught me a few things about how to lie.
Now, did you know that an EDC company is making that same system? However, Larry Gardner and his team were able to get the same level of detail with only one camera. By figuring out key vertex points on the face, the guys and gals of CyberExtruder are able to render one’s face in a 3D image quite easily.
CyberExtruder started as an idea when Jack Ives and Tim Parr went out one day and wanted to make something that they thought was cool.
For those who had to get a prescription at their local pharmacy, you know that automated system that easily gets your order filled out? In a nutshell, along with mobile app development, TeleManager Technologies is a provider in telecommunications services for pharmacies. More specifically, they develop interactive voice response systems.
Mark Yanney, director of technical services of TeleManager Technologies, explained that the company started as an idea by two guys who literally walked into a pharmacy and presented their idea. Now, they make the IVR systems for multiple pharmacies.
Cell Podium is a maker of mobile multimedia technologies and a provider of mobile e-learning services. Without the need of the user having to find information on their phones, Cell Podium allows users to view all sorts of media with any phone, without the need of the internet. In essence, they allow people who want to provide their content on all cell phones, even those dating back to when the Motorola Razr was the thing, including presentations and videos without the need for the internet.
As with a lot of ideas at the showcase, the founders of the company, Dr. Bandera and Dr. Schmitt were working on some intellectual properties and they just happened to hit it off, back in 2000, with Cell Podium.
Starting as an idea 10 years ago, Argo Text came about as a desire to put technology on smaller platforms. Mark Schaffer came up with the idea of putting a full computer on a watch while trying to put a full QWERTY keyboard onto a watch.
With the growing popularity of the pebble watch, Mark Schaffer made the bold move to unleash his idea to the world and has since been getting notice from big tech companies including Swatch, Sony, and Samsung. Funny thing is, Mark was just a retired guy who happened to come up with a good idea.
Linda Peace has had at least 7 years of experience with photography. A former NJIT student, Linda wanted to see her photos go corporate and head into the 21st century by getting into the mobile app market.
For a company that specializes in all sorts of photography, including event photography, it’s amazing to know that the company kicked off with a 12 picture portfolio.
A company that works with the processes of manufacturing vehicles, 4.0 Analytics is a software development company that has helped increase the efficiency of vehicle manufacturing. The way they do it, as described by NJIT student Sandeep Raveesh, is by creating programs that collect data on a car’s status.
A startup that was started by Network Securities Professor, Dr. Statica, Wickr is a mobile app development company focused on creating an encrypted messenger app. Incorporating a secure and private messaging system, the app keeps users anonymous as to keep things secure. The app is currently available for Android and iOS.
Vital Image Concepts:
Vital Image is a business development firm whose goal is to help build businesses. Vital Image helps businesses by establishing that company’s brand. Kind of like an incubator in an incubator, Vital Image Concepts seems to be the perfect company for any rising startup to consult with.
A favorite among ACM students, iSpeech is a voice recognitions software developer. Creating messaging systems that incorporate text-to-speech systems to translators that understand what you say, iSpeech has won multiple awards in speech recognition systems from various tech magazines.
iSpeech founder, Heath Ahrens, says the reason why he started creating voice recognition systems was because he had trouble learning through the conventional methods of reading and writing. Thus, using his self-taught knowledge in programming, he basically made voice recognition systems in order to do his homework better.
Unique Mobility and Starship Enterprises:
Two companies started by Andrew Hines, Unique Mobility focuses on creating mobility devices to help both those with disability and those aiding the disabled while Starship Enterprises is a more general invention company developing innovative gadgets that anyone can use.
With a brain that has been in manufacturing for 25 years, Andrew Hines had an experience where his mother fell and couldn’t get up. Finding out about his mother’s embarrassment about calling 911, Andrew began inventing and has been developing dozens of creative prototypes, since.
Started by Deepti Deepak and Deepak Vittai, Vizzical is a call receiving app whose purpose is to help people understand what kind of calls they are getting. Deepti Deepak expressed how she was always called by people with weird phone numbers and never knew who they were from but because those calls had the chance of being important, it made it all the more difficult decide whether or not to pick up the phone.
What Are Minds For, Inc.
What Are Minds For, Inc. (WRM4) is a voice recognition solutions company developing systems that allow users to, essentially, naturally talk to their tech. Using their Vognition software, they are in the process of making that goal a reality.
What Are Minds For, Inc. (WRM4) was created by Michael Liguori because, like all independent game companies and small startup businesses, he had an idea that he didn’t want bogged down by big business. Wanting to do his own thing, Mike created What Are Minds For, Inc (WRM4) and has been able to develop Vognition.