Introducing the New Additions to 42 Accelerate

Introducing the New Additions to 42 Accelerate

42 Accelerate is an incubator at 42 Silicon Valley where students focus on building startups and projects with a humanitarian focus. Over the course of up to 6 months, they are provided with office space, mentors and peer feedback as they build their product and gain traction, all without 42 taking any equity.

A pitch event was held on August 23rd to give members of the campus community an opportunity to join 42 Accelerate, which already includes two startups: Cupet and MetaHobby. Seven teams presented to a panel of judges and only three teams were selected for an invitation to join: MoverUp, Ognam, and Spottech. We sat down with each new team to learn more about their project, their goals, and what they hope to get out of 42 Accelerate.


MoverUp

L to R: Felix, Johnny, and Egor

MoverUp connects individual freelance movers with companies that are looking to use their services. 42 students Egor Agulov, Jeyhun “Johnny” Tahirov, and Felix Edme sat down to share more insight into MoverUp.

What is the Purpose of Your Project? 

The idea for the project started with Egor who worked in the moving industry. MoveUp is developing an app to improve logistics for moving companies. The moving industry may sound simple but in real life, it is a complicated process; it has a lot of actors and roles and has a lot of people involved. If you want to move from CA to NY you get an estimate first. After that, the moving company is responsible for assembling a team.  They use social media to find people, asking if they are available at short notice.

The app we are developing is basically a tool that will improve logistics. We want to create a time management tool for moving companies where they can specify how many workers they need, the specific skills they are looking for, and the timeframe. We want to make it so the workers can pick their time slots, and we match them. The employers and helpers right now are independent contractors, so it can take a while for them to find jobs. We are trying to make that more streamlined and organized. 

The team is also interested in creating another app for cargo trucks. Only 6% of companies handle everything themselves, everything else is decentralized. Most movers would benefit from an app to help connect moving companies, workers, loads and carriers. Basically, carriers are looking for loads, and companies are looking for carriers, and we can help bring them together. 

What are your goals?

Our overall goal is to streamline the moving process, making it easier and faster and overall more efficient. Egor is handling more of the business side of MoverUp. He has contacts in the industry and knowledge in the field. Felix and Johnny are concentrating on coding and building up the app.

Another goal is to increase the quality in the moving industry. So our main focus is to bridge communication between the companies and movers so they can concentrate on other tasks. We want to create a rating system; before you start to work with someone you will know what to expect. You will see reviews on movers and see if they did a good job or not. It is a similar model to Uber, once your rating is too low, you won’t get anyone.

What do you hope to get out of being part of 42 Accelerate?

42 Accelerate is a really good place to begin our startup. It will help us get to another level and just take the next steps so we can experience growth. Having the time to focus on the project will be great. We will also have an opportunity to network with people outside of 42 who come to visit our campus. 

Being able to troubleshoot in a supportive and peer-to-peer environment is important. At some point, there will be issues we won’t know how to handle and there will be someone who will know how to help us, and I am sure we can help others too. We appreciate that we got accepted into 42 Accelerate and can focus on this.


Ognam

42 students Min Gyu Chi and Zachery Faria are working on a third-person shooter game that they are hoping to take to the next level in 42 Accelerate. We sat down with Ognam to learn more about their plans.

Explain your project:

Ognam is a game developed with Unreal Engine that is a third-person shooter, competitive, and team-based multiplayer game.  The big thing about it is that we are trying to create a game that is easy to get into but is difficult to master. The main thing we are focusing on is to try to make the game easy enough, but get people into it like any strategy game.

The main background of the story is that the game takes place in individual worlds. But the worlds collide together, and people come together and achieve and fight together. There will be several characters, they will have their own background and lore, they will have their own abilities. 

Other games that are kind of similar to ours include Overwatch, Counter-Strike, and Rainbow Six Siege. So we are kind of taking different elements from each of those and combining it into something new that will play differently. We started this game because we played enough competitive shooter games to recognize what issues there are and also grab the best part of each game. 

What are your goals?

Hopefully, by the end of our time in 42 Accelerate, we will generate interest in our game and start a Kickstarter to get funding. Creating this game will be a long process, so we will need to think about funding at some point and raise money to reach our goals.

L to R: Min Gyu and Zachery

Right now, we are focusing on finding people who can help us with the arts and the 3D assets of the game. Min Gyu is working with graphics and programming and Zach is doing some programming but will handle the business side of things and the general game design. 

What do you hope to get out of being part of 42 Accelerate?

The main thing we like about being accepted into 42 Accelerate is the startup boost. This boost will give us the time to develop our game and get our foot in the door within the gaming industry. Being able to network and find people who are interested in playing the game is invaluable.

We talked to a lot of people about this game, and there has been a lot of interest. We need players to get feedback and that will help us to refine our game and get us money from backers. Actually, after speaking to a lot of people about our game, they offered ideas and gave assistance. Collaborating with people has been an interesting experience.


Spottech

L to R: Taylor Yang and Maksym Moros

42 students Taylor Yang and Maksym Moros are already gaining traction after they were selected as a Call for Code Global semi-finalist with their device, FREE (First Responder Emissions Exposure) Sensor. The FREE Sensor team also includes software engineer Roy Stahl, who lost his home during the 2015 wildfires. Taylor, Maksym, and Roy first developed their sensor during the Call for Code Hackathon that was hosted by 42 Silicon Valley last May.  Taylor and Maksym spoke to Roy about wanting to go further with the project, so with his consent, they are building their own startup called Spottech. 

We sat down with Taylor and Maksym to learn more about their plans to make a positive impact. 

Explain your project:

We are building hardware and software for firefighter teams that fight wildfires. The hardware we are building is a carbon monoxide (CO) detection device. We focused on CO detection after the Fire Battalion Chief at the City of Fremont Fire Department stated that long term exposure to CO was one of the biggest issues they were facing. 45% of all firefighter fatalities from work duty are linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD can develop after overexposure to CO.

We also added a few additional features such as temperature, humidity detection and GPS. This will add value for the commanders of these teams in the wildlands and will make it possible for each individual to know their current exposure levels. They can track previous exposure levels, allowing commanders to monitor day-to-day exposures to make critical decisions managing team members to optimize performance.

There is also a value proposition for insurance companies with the data we collect. Now, firefighters need to manually fill out a form online after every mission to record their exposure. There is a company that charges them to fill out the form and store the data for future claims. We can help firefighters by automatically uploading the data and storing it on our platform. The main reason why they use this form is for insurance claims regarding any work-related illness they suffer from, this is currently the only method to provide proof of exposure to insurance companies.

What are your goals?

Our short term goals are to develop a minimum viable product (MVP), get users and get into Y Combinator. The long term goal is to make our product standard in time for the next season of fires. We’ve reached out to every Hotshot crew across America and have received profound responses and motivating support. Some of the teams would like to join our prototyping process to help prepare the product for next season. We also spoke to local urban firefighters, and they too were excited about our project.  We will continue close contact with with the Hotshot crews and build our network within the industry.

What do you hope to get out of being part of 42 Accelerate?

We are grateful to have this space and opportunity to devote ourselves to the ideas we believe in. We are excited about the guidance we will receive and the overall 42 Accelerate experience. The pitching sessions provided crucial experience, and the community we have access to is extremely valuable. We would like to expand team-building with the other 42 startups. We think it is imperative to have other teams to bounce ideas and iterate rapidly.

Having negligible burn rate, except for food, gives us an advantage to play outside the box. Where most startups fear they might fail by burning resources, we can try those risks, learn and leverage our opportunities. That’s what we are looking for; whether our company soars, flops or gets funded, the key is earning the experience going through the hoops of young startups and building a small network. We will succeed, regardless of our obstacles.

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published by Stacey Faucett – September 11, 2019