October 16, 2017

A Variety of Representation - HUB Week Demo Day 2017 Recap and 10 Standout Startups

Saturday morning was a little cloudy with some light rain coming down, but that didn’t stop the energy and buzz around Boston City Hall Plaza.

City Hall Plaza was home to HUB Week Demo Day, where over 100 startups and tech-related organizations across various industries showcased their products/services/etc. The three floors of the building were bustling with members of the tech community seeing what these startups were all about.

A few of the companies were alumni of several accelerators and incubators across the city, and some were previously profiled on VentureFizz, such as Perch, RateGravity, and Operation Code.

For us, we love seeing unique and creative startups, and here are 10 that stood out at this year’s HUB Week Demo Day. CEO Michael Brown and Co-Founder and Director of Customer Success Stephanie Roulic. is a content marketing platform that allows brands to connect with freelance writers for a variety of assignments. Their booth allowed attendees to see what work nDash users can be assigned for, such as copywriting and blog posts among others.

Fun fact: Stephanie Roulic,’s Co-Founder and Director of Customer Success, is the main organizer of Boston Startup Week.


A startup out of the LearnLaunch accelerator, BlocksCAD created educational software for children to learn how to use mathematics and basic coding to create CAD shapes. The software is designed to be easy-to-learn for a variety of projects, including art-based ones that the booth highlighted. The company’s Business and Operations Coordinator, Madeline Reich told us she uses the software to teach third graders.


Knightly Founder and CEO Abigael Titcomb displaying the unofficial mascot of her company.

Campus police officers have a lot to keep track of with students on the go. Northeastern University senior Abigael Titcomb founded Knightly, a platform where students can share their locations with each other and with campus PD anonymously. It allows for campus PD to take care of more serious issues, such as out-of-control partying on school grounds and students can take care of themselves.


A slap five is another term for a high five and, as SlapFive’s Co-Founder Jeff Ernst says, “It’s the ultimate form of personal satisfaction.” His company created a B2B platform that will capture and personalize results of a customer’s experience with a particular software. Ernst showcased several members of a variety of Boston tech companies using SlapFive’s text, audio, and video features.


You know how in spy movies when agents use scanners to get into top secret rooms? Veridium is making technology similar to that and underwent an in-depth development process to get the scanning technology down. The company has created that scans a user’s fingertips through a smartphone’s rearview camera. The company’s goal is to eliminate passwords for high-security institutions, such as financial service companies.


Wizio comes from Northeastern University’s Entrepreneurship Group and they are utilizing AR technology to provide apartment shoppers a better look inside a potential new living space. Wizio’s COO John Puma III wants to give the real estate market a new way for agents to interact with customers, and give the customers a close look at every nook and cranny in an apartment.


Placeful is a startup founded by three architecture veterans, and their expertise has allowed them to look inside the detailed inner workings of apartment buildings. The company’s platform displays, among other aspects, zoning regulations, how many people can live in the building, and what kind of utilities are needed. The company’s main goal is to show how several neighborhoods do have the potential to contain more homes.

Water Hero, Inc

From left to right: Eric Koetsh, Dan Sterling, and Vic Berry, the founding team at Water Hero, Inc.

Water Hero comes from the town of Beverly and is founded by serial entrepreneur Dan Sterling. Water Hero developed an IoT sensor to help homeowners track and diagnose problems within their water systems. Users can also control water valves through the app and can be notified through the app that displays water systems’ conditions and properties.


Kuvee intern Tito Mbathi displaying the company's products.

Kuvee had several wine bottles placed on their table and a large, black plastic container with a touchscreen. Kuvee created this device that will keep wine fresh for up to 30 days, by placing a bottle into the container. Another unique feature is the ability to connect to the Internet on the container and order wine.

Vindor Music

The only music-related startup on the show floor, Vindor Music created an electronic saxophone and learning software to teach children how to play some unique sounding tunes. The company’s Chief Musicologist Joel Edinberg played music from movies and classic video games to bring interest in. We captured video of him playing the "Tetris" theme.

The company’s Kickstarter is going live today.

After the show floor closed up, attendees piled into one of the domes set up in the middle of the plaza. Six other companies were named the finalists for Demo Day and engaged in a pitching competition.


CareAline is a digital health company and a MassChallenge finalist. The company is creating a comfortable and wearable medical wraps and sleeves to help ease patients with implanted intravenous lines. Company Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Kezia Fitzgerald told the audience an emotional story behind the inspiration for CareAline.


Tellus Labs is combining several findings from satellites to help solve issues relating to agricultural and economic issues. Much of the company’s data has been stored over years of satellite research and into a platform called Kernel, which is devoted to solving issues involving agriculture.

The Best Bees Company

Best Bees is another unique startup, in the sense, they are doing something that would make an onlooker go “…what?” Best Bees is creating ‘smart beehives’ in order to look into beekeeping data at a much more intimate level. Their presentation showed long-term goals, such as finding ways to improve honey bee health and potentially increase the population of the insect.


Tactile took the stage with some shocking numbers: less than 1% of written text has a Braille counterpart. Tactile created a device that can decipher text and translate it into Braille. During the company’s presentation, they showed how many universities are interested in using the product such as Harvard and MIT.


Twiage is an alumnus of the PULSE @ MassChallenge program. The company created a communication platform that contains a patient’s personal information all-in-one database for hospitals. Twiage wants to eliminate any miscommunication in the ER, as they found a lot of mistakes occur due to a simple error.

PipeGuard Robotics

The winners of the competition, PipeGuard Robotics created an automated robot, named Daisy, that will detect pipe leaks in public water systems. The company displayed what their robots look like (they mildly resemble a badminton shuttlecock) and how they have plans to scale in size and scope with them.

Colin Barry is a contributor to VentureFizz. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKrash.