500Startups Demo Day standouts

startups500 Startups Demo Day is in full swing. The San Francisco startup incubator, founded by legendary angel investor David McClure (who has backed Mint and Twilio), is now on day two of pitches galore and already we may have ourselves a few winners.

There’s insurmountable hype and rampant speculation that can’t help but follow these bright-eyed startups, so staying realistic about a company’s potential can be challenging. That said, a few standouts from yesterday are earning what seems like well-deserved (albeit early) praise.


Singboard stole the show yesterday and is initially being described as YouTube meets karaoke. AllThingsD got a first look at Singboard, a site that creates mashups of real music videos with karaoke tracks, and founder Ray Chan is in the process of working on technology that will let users record their own voices and layer it onto the official music video for a song. It’s much more polished and professional looking than the cheesier, low quality videos out there.

The site’s currently in private beta, but you can sign up for an early invite right now. It should be available in August. 


Internet dating has its caveats, one of them being bad dates. But with ChirpMe, even if it’s not a love connection you’re nearly guaranteed to at least enjoy the experience. You list activities you’re interested in, and set up dates based on other users who want to do the same thing. And dinner and a movie is not an option. It’s like Groupon meets Match.com.



Like LinkedIn, Zerply wants to organize a way to use social networking for professional purposes. Unlike LinkedIn, it wants to be creative. There’s no point in denying that the original professional networking site is an incredibly useful tool, but it is sort of boring to look at. Zerply combines the eyecatching elements of About.me and the professionalism of LinkedIn to make your online resume more interesting. It’s not for everyone (looking for a nursing job? Your Zerply layout probably won’t help you), but artsy types will appreciate it.


This family-focused content sharing application has been getting a lot of attention. The idea is that you use the platform to collect family stories, and ask questions of family members and post video and photo content. The promo video errs on the sappy side, but the concept of an continual thread discussing your family’s history or a specific event could be a useful tool.

Founder Matt Sullivan noticed that retirees didn’t have many applications at their disposal to connect with family, and that technology could make this both easy and compelling. They’re working on an iPhone app so that moments can be capture on the fly and uploaded to your family’s growing Story tree.


This music service is entirely for electronic fans – which is a niche if we’ve ever heard one. But as founders Alex Manelis and Alex Baldwin explains, coders like to listen to the genre during work hours. You don’t have to devote your every waking minute it to it like Turntable.fm, and you won’t be bothered by seemingly random, outside-your-genre-of-choice tracks like on Pandora.   

The site won’t have to pay licensing fees either, which is what kills a lot of music streaming services. The content, at the moment, is all from independent artists from SoundCloud, who sign a waiver when they initially sign saying a site like Console.fm can essentially “restream” their music. 

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