That Sounds Like a Great IDEA!

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IDEA Showcase is ITEXPO’s way of honoring robust startups seeking to take the next steps in business growth. ITEXPO 2019 marks the fifth iteration of the startup celebration, and this year’s field spanned business communications, security, supply chain and more, showcasing what a great idea paired with some elbow grease can create.

The event kicked off with a keynote from Automation Anywhere’s Executive VP, Digital Worker Ecosystem Max Mancini setting the stage for an intriguing evening at the Broward County Convention Center. Once Mancini wrapped, the action kicked into full swing with BOAST Groupware.

Paul Kandle, President B.O.A.S.T. Groupware explained the company’s vision of transforming the way companies buy and utilize software. By consolidating takes, BOAST – or Business Operations Activity Simplification Toolkit – is able to deliver simplification and Swiss Army Knife –like functionality. The platform features 14 fully integrated applications on one page, eliminating the need for employees to jump between multiple tools and screens to execute tasks.

Next to the stage came FBO, a company with the aim of connecting products to customers via robust forecasting capable of predicting business opportunities, bringing together buyers and suppliers. The cognitive, cloud based platform will deliver management of the process and train team members, as well. The supply chain solution sends opportunity notifications including locating competitor activities and procurement history; unlimited filters for government opportunities; manage your bid/win ratios; as well as lead gen filters.

Frictionless payment and simplified services followed with Fleetfare. Co-Founder and COO Ainsworth Spence illustrated the struggle it can be making financial transactions in foreign countries, specifically the Caribbean. While 20 percent of tourists connect online, 80 percent are forced to visit a banking branch. Fleetfare’s SaaS solution is customizable, enables digital payments and simplifies experiences. The firm is poised to ease this headache and support an industry critical to Caribbean fiscal success.  

StatusCast takes aim at an issue that is of hypercritical import in any modern organization – IT’s notoriously poor communications skills. Let’s face it, “Everyone makes fun of IT,” StatusCast’s John Peterson mocked, going a step further as to explain why. He notes IT is viewed as a dark art, they are traditionally removed from day to day activities, tend to take on a “clique mentality” and exist in a land of broken feedback loops. In an effort to improve communication between IT and the rest of the organization, StatusCast provides an easy-to-rich dashboard that provides teams with complete status updates to alleviate the need to break workflow and reach out to IT. 

Transitioning the program toward security, Jared Hufferd VP America Sales for STELLAR Cyber took the stage. The venture funded, data-driven cybersecurity startup recently completed its series A round of funding, gaining an influx of nearly $10 million to augment market presence of its SOC command center platform. The platform boasts the ability to collect data, detect threats, empower analyst investigation and guide response actions. A perfect fit for SMB and mid-sized enterprises, Stellar Cyber is taking aim at the “Goldilocks problem,” leveraging data to aid with resolution that is just right.

Turning back to IT, IDEA invites its final startup competitor to the ITEXPO keynote stage, TEHAMA. TEHAMA Senior Vice President Gene Villeneuve noted at the core of TEHAMA is securing and simplifying IT service delivery. He highlighted regulatory compliance, abuse of privilege/credentials, legacy hardware and infrastructure restraints, data loss and breaches as well as intellectual property theft as key drivers to the development of the cloud based platform. The SOC 2 type compliant offering provides a comprehensive solution “out of the box,” capable of providing services remotely.

Judges Akshay Sharma, Andy Abramson, Jeff Pulver and Natalie Gil had their hands full, as they selected STELLAR CYBER as the winner, barely eking out victory over TEHAMA – a two point difference separated the two. It’s no surprise these two were neck and neck as TEHAMA earned audience approval, chosen by audience voting as the winner.

Both STELLAR Cyber and TEHAMA offer strong examples of diagnosing a need and developing to fill this chasm with next generation solutions capable of supporting the rigorous demands of the digital age.

Are you a startup? Think you have what it takes to compete in the IDEA Showcase? Well then, we better see you next year!




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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