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NJ Tech Meetup 66:
Meet the Startups:
LRN | InJii | QuriQuant

November 16, 2015

Contributed by NJ Tech Meetup member, Gil Olsen.
You know the drill... at each NJ Tech Meetup, companies get 5 minutes and a brief Q+A to pitch whatever is most valuable to their mission... new users, new talent, an introduction to an investor for their next round, or, if they have their priorities straight, the coveted NJ Tech Audience Choice Award.
The Pitch Co. Intros. are meant to help give some context and set the stage to make the most of the time for you.
Let us know what you like, what you don't, and what makes you curious about upcoming companies in the comments.  
First up....
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  
If that step feels like it's off of a cliff, or in front of rail-road track, or on firey coals, you are unlikely to take that first step.  That's why I wish apps like lrn were around when I was first exposed to the back end of the magic computers.
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LRN is among the new crop of "Everyone Should be Code Literate" apps and services out there, and they are targetting absolute beginners looking to learn the basics of coding without internet connection, such as mass transit commuters.
Co-Founders Nathan Bernard and Chirag Jain aim to effectively expose the absolute beginner in a fun and CONVENIENT manner so they are better able to handle the inevitable challenges that come with learning to think and communicate with a machine in computer code. They cover the basics in HTML ,Java Script, CSS, Python, + Ruby. You can probably learned more HTML in 5 minutes in the free content than I did in 40+ Hours of CS101.  
You can splurge for all the full courses @ $2.99 a piece and STILL pay less than 25% of what I did for the USED copy of the textbook I never opened in college. 
Their claim of "No experience, internet or keyboard necessary" seems to check out in a 5 minute demo. 
  • No Keyboard:  It's mobile only.
  • No Experience = You can't fail. The interactive quizzes are multiple choice and you are guided to the correct answer even if it's process of elimination.
  • No Internet:  I'm not going to lie.  I didn't try it without internet.  But they seem nice, so I'll trust them on this one.  
Injii self describes as "a collaboration of artists & charities, showcasing content for great causes".  
Injii cites the average cost of raising funding for charities at 34 cents on the dollar.  This is a huge problem worth trying to tackle. 
Here's what I can gather about how they are trying to do it.  They note the trend towards gate-keeper free social content and broadcasting, citing Youtube uploads/users, Meerkat, Periscope etc.  The problem here is filtering for quality.  They are launching "the first (patent pending!) user-enabled time scheduled online broadcast network".  Un tapped talent from the web can schedule broadcast times to bring their audience/get an audience.  If consumers are into the content, they can make a donation to the charity of their choice.
They are in the SoftLayer incubator (IBM.)  According to AngelList, they received a $20k seed investment @ 100k valuation a little over a year ago.  They are currently 14% to goal on a Fundable Campaign to raise an additional $30K (by selling pre-selling launch day sponsor spots) prior to their launch on January 1.
The problem of fundraising costs is compelling, and the idea of intersecting live streaming with the un-tapped talent of the masses is intriguing.
QuriQuant is a company that offers data based trading methods through the OANDA platform's API.  They are in private beta as they got through NFA/CFTC CTA registration.  The company is targetted at retail traders.
They backtest all of the their trading models agains 25 years of data and then filter them through RANDOM sets of data as well the result is what they call  "Data mining for trading without data bias." 
All the promise of big data insights without the perils of being lost in the a sea of useless information.
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