ARK Challenge, 'NFL Combine' for Entrepreneurs, Names Winners

by Mark Carter  on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 3:22 pm  

It might have done so for CayMay Education of Singapore. After its presentation, CayMay founders were approached by a senior official from Wal-Mart International who expressed interest in CayMay's 360-degree online camera, developed as part of the startup's online education technology.

"We were surprised by his interest," Caymay CFO Jenny Bac Nguyen said. "He wanted to know about a certain aspect of our technology that we hadn't thought of marketing on its own."

Btique co-founder Sara Beck said the funding will enable her firm to hire more employees and officially launch next year. Her firm has developed an automated social commerce platform for independent boutiques. 

MineWhat developed a cloud-based e-commerce consumer engagement platform. StackSearch invented a cloud-powered product search server designed to increase conversions for e-commerce clients.

Participating ARK Challenge startups are:

  • Agricultural Food Systems, an Innovate Arkansas client firm based in Siloam Springs. The perennial pitch contest winner developed a product to accurately measure the tenderness of meat.
  • Btiques, Kansas City, Mo., and Fayetteville, has developed an automated social commerce platform for independent boutiques.
  • CayMay Education of Singapore, offers a platform where teachers can create and sell lesson plans online.
  • Earn & Play of Cincinnati developed a mobile app that connects brands with customers at the grocery store shelf.
  • EpicPledge of Singapore is a mobile app leveraging social media to provide incentives to accomplish personal goals.
  • Farmeto of Fayetteville connects small farmers with retailers in an online marketplace.
  • Mass Vector of Fayetteville provides real-time analytics for e-commerce companies.
  • MineWhat of Bangalore, India, created a cloud-based, e-commerce consumer engagement platform.
  • Refurrl, an Innovate Arkansas firm based in Conway and winner of October's G60 Conway pitch contest, leverages social networks to help users to buy and sell from friends.
  • SavvySinc of New York provides startups with targeted discovery of beta users and customers.
  • Sooligan of Berkeley, Calif., has developed a social media platform that enables users to find and share information about any city in the world.
  • SpareTime of Fayetteville created an engagement platform that provides charitable organizations a way of marketing their projects to volunteers and donors.
  • StackSearch, another Innovate Arkansas firm based in Fayetteville, has invented a cloud-powered product search server designed to reduce cart abandonment and increase conversions for e-commerce clients.
  • Streamix of Fayetteville created a crowd-curated music platform for music venues.
  • Truckily of Kansas City, Mo., built marketing software, a social network and an app for food trucks and their customers.



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