DEMO DAY @ 42
42 Silicon Valley hosted its very first Demo Day on Wednesday, October 3rd. This was a chance for visitors and potential investors to see six of the most innovative and exciting companies created by students from 42 Silicon Valley. Attendees got to learn more about startups from our Robotics Lab and Innovation Hub during their 5-minute pitches. Afterward, they had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the founders to learn more about their startups. Below is a summary about each team and their company:
Cerebro Voice is silent speech communications technology developed by a co-founding team of engineers that all met while working on projects in the 42 Robotics Lab. The team is led by Dan Goncharov, the head of 42 Robotics. Cerebro Voice’s three other co-founders are Annie Ho, Taylor Yang, and Mikhail Filipchuk. The device collects electrical signals directly from the vocal cords and uses machine learning to translate it into words and sentences. This technology was first seen back in 2004 with research conducted by NASA Ames Laboratory. They named this technology “synthetic telepathy.” It’s a hands-free private mode of communication that is 3x faster than texting.
Cardioid is a music collaboration service that helps musicians connect around the globe with tools for your desktop and the cloud. The team consists of CEO Brad Vautour, Michael Vann, Isamar “Isa” Hodge, Maksud “Max” Aghayev, Jeyhun “Johnny” Tahirov, and Yuriy Nenakhov. Audio editing is disruptive by nature. If a musician wants to work with other people on the same song it gets messy. Cardioid allows the collaboration process to work naturally by allowing you to connect and collaborate with other creators. You can read more about Cardioid here.
Kafali Pay is building a peer to peer digital money transfer platform that first addresses the question of access to funds in developing markets, with a primary focus on the mobile payment/banking needs of the non-banked and under-banked communities of the world. The team includes CEO Obsaa Abdalhalim, Brandon Montoya and Lexi Quint. Their first product is a payment aggregation services that target the Sub Saharan region of East Africa. East Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to in the world.
Kafali Pay provides its users with all the best available cash pickup locations near them in order to receive remittance. They can access the funds through the trusted services they currently use and later access the funds in their mobile wallet. Kafali Pay is focused on reducing fees and increasing convenience in Sub Saharan Africa and East Africa. This region has the highest percentage of unbanked people. It is not a small problem, there is a large market potential. According to Obsaa, the payments industry globally is $1.2 trillion. There is $600 billion sent globally in remittance yearly, and $135 billion sent from 44 million foreign-born Americans.
BAD HONEY BUN GAMES
Bad Honey Bun Games is a VR game studio whose first game demo, Conversion: Artificial Dawn, is currently on the Oculus Store.The team includes CEO Kaochoy Danny Saetern, Sean Darsie, Andy Gardner, Jo Chang and Claudia Villa “Kiototoy.” Bad Honey Bun Games’ first virtual reality game is a VR first person shooter. They wanted to make something different from current VR shooters that focus on controller movements and wave shooter mechanics. Controller Thumbstick movement system can be problematic because too much movement with it can cause a disconnect between body position and what the player feels should be their position. This can lead to motion sickness. Wave shooters mechanic forces the player to stay at only one position on the map. The environment and player position doesn’t change. This doesn’t give much room for story.
Their solution: Bad Honey Bun Games created an on-rails shooter. This reduces the player’s field of view while only moving the player short distances with visual cues of the destinations. This helps fights locomotion sickness while allowing room for story and progression across the map. According to Danny and Sean, VR Gaming is an emerging market. But it is growing ever more popular and with the release of the new Oculus Quest hardware in early 2019, it will be easier than ever to join the medium of entertainment. Bad Honey Bun wants to establish themselves in the market now, so they can become experts when it becomes mainstream.
Wilderness Patrol is an app that was developed to help park systems keep track of trail issues and closures. It is currently being tested within the Santa Cruz division of the California State Parks at Rancho del Oso. The Wilderness Patrol team includes Elliot Tregoning, Ian Wagner, and Sam Bogar. The application was initially built for the 1,300 Wilderness Patrol volunteers. According to Ian, this year 2 billion was cut from the National Parks Department. Their team works with the California State Parks at Santa Cruz, and there is only one ranger managing the park. Before the app, the ranger would have to drive around and collect the volunteer reports from boxes. That type of overhead is getting harder and harder to provide because of the budget cuts.
Wilderness Patrol’s solution was to create an entire system for their management. This includes a map-based view of their issues, re-opening the report and making it so they could add more information later. The app makes it possible to include a status. People can mark things as reported, and it reports to both iOS and Android. One of the team’s favorite features is how even if you lose service, the app can still find your location. It can upload the information once you have service again. In other words, there is a map-based view, and they are able to drop a pin if they don’t have a GPS signal. Ian shared that for a lot of parks, the primary source of funding is based on the number of visitors who attend. So by adding more accurate data, they will get better funded.
6figr.com, a startup founded by Vinod Chandrashekar, is all about career & money. We try to create financial security for most of our adult life. Yet, unhelpfully in this endeavor, there are no insights on where we rank financially among people with similar backgrounds or of similar age. And what we cannot gauge or measure, we cannot — 6figr crucially understands — improve. They have effectively used artificial intelligence (AI) to provide actionable insight. Backed by evidence of core data and in a manner that is outcome-driven, 6figr quantifies what is a person’s realistic potential “lift” of pay and social status.
6figr is able to rank which moves are the best and quantify outcomes and, even better, calculate and tell you the odds. According to Vinod, AI is likely to put over 47% of the entire labor market out of jobs by 2024. 6figr’s Future of Work feature tells you what the probability is of AI taking over a job type. It also tells you what skills one needs to learn to make a transition into a “safe zone” job title to remain employed. 6figr has now influenced 750k+ career professionals across the world.
Innovation and Startup Culture at 42
42 Silicon Valley’s pedagogy encourages innovation through our project-based learning and our environment simulates a startup culture. We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds to take their initial ideas and work on them in a team setting. To learn more about student projects at 42, click here. If you want to learn more about investing, reach out directly to the company team members.