January 9, 2015

What DC Tech Did at CES

If things seemed a little quiet this week, remember all the cool folks are in Vegas for CEA's annual Consumer Electronics Show. We talked to some about what they saw and did. (The G-rated version.)

Talklocal founder Manpreet Singh, at CES with five colleagues, was chosen to speak on building a consumer Internet brand on a startup budget. He tells us it came about after he reconnected with an old friend at CEA, which wanted to involve more startups. (It's still pretty rare for a startup entrepreneur to speak there.)

Doug Anderson (Feb12) RTECH

Talklocal, a virtual concierge service for needs like plumbing and electrical work, also had a small booth on the exhibition floor. Manpreet says the real value came from meeting with current and potential partners. In other talklocal news, the startup grew enough (nine full-timers, 12 interns and 15 salespeople) to move out of Crystal Tech Fund to its own 4k SF space in College Park. (We started writing about them when they were in their parents' basement. Sniff.) And it's done service requests in 10,000 ZIP codes or about 25% of the country. The plan is to launch the service in every US city by the end of the year. 

TRX Systems, based in Greenbelt, was exhibiting its indoor location and mapping technology in Eureka Park, the part of CES focused on the newest technology emerging from startup companies funded by NSF and other investors. CEO Carol Politi (left) says they've been surrounded by wearable sensors, smart homes and “a world of seamlessly connected things.”

CES is all about cool technology and major announcements. CEA CEO Gary Shapiro arrived in a driverless Mercedes-Benz, which debuted at the show. 3D printing was on full display with all kinds of things it can produce, including a titanium bike frame. The next generation of fitness trackers was also buzzing, including one designed by Swarovski. The Ghost drone was also demo'd out in the desert. It sells for $600 and can be controlled using a smartphone. 

Gary also announced consumer electronics would grow 3% this year and reach an all-time high of $223.2B in revenue. Emerging product categories like 3D printing, 4K Ultra-High Definition TVs, connected thermostats, unmanned systems, IP cameras and wearables will double to $11B. Smartphones and tablets will continue as top revenue drivers, bringing in $76B

  Share: Email Facebook Twitter LinkedIn  
Wingate Hughes (OnTop) TECH
Cardinal (NewYear1) TECH
Reston (ShuttleSevice) TECH
Bisnow (Sales-Checklist)

Top stories on Bisnow.com

Job Cuts in 2014 Hit 17-Year Low JC Penney Announces Store Closures, Layoffs
Senate Votes to Renew Terrorism Insurance Act Caesars Clears Bankruptcy Hurdle

App Developers Getting Younger

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. (It's also why we wrote this article four hours past deadline.) Students at Howard University Middle School think they have an answer for it: an app that sends reminders and alerts about homework and tests, and lets students reach out to teachers and keep parents updated. It's called S.E.E.D., and it's one of the concepts that won best in state at Verizon's third annual Innovative App Challenge held this week. The team includes (standing) Marcel Gabriel, Wesley Ellis (assistant principal), Quran WattsAche'a Cunningham, Zandria Tuckson Haynes and Jaiye Garrett. Not pictured: Alonus Lette-Daffeh

The students will advance to a national level and the winners will get tablets, funding for STEM programs at their school, and help from an MIT team to develop the app and sell it. The company launched the competition to inspire more kids to pursue STEM professions – 3 million STEM jobs are unfilled in the US, and STEM jobs will increase to over 9 million by 2022. This team at Cardozo Education Campus High School won Best in State for its EduCentral app concept, which is designed to increase attendance and cut down on dropout rates. The team includes Davina McKinnonFrancisco Delgado and Gabriel Solomon, with Principal Tanya Roane. Also on the team but not shown: Carlos Hernandez and Daities Broome.


AOL/Yahoo Merger?

Could this be the new face of AOL? Rumors are swirling that AOL may get bought by Yahoo. USA Today reported this week that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is considering a cable acquisition like Time Warner's CNN or Scripps Networks, which owns the Food Network. Hedge fund Starboard Value is behind the push for a Yahoo and AOL merger instead. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong wouldn't comment on the rumors on CNBC Wednesday. Starboard is also pushing for Yahoo to spin off its stakes in Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. 

Tell Us

What startups are you watching this year? It's OK if it's your own. Tell Bisnow's Tania Anderson.