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NJ Tech Meetup 68:
Meet the Startups:
Grown Ocean | Indicative | HYPR

Jan. 11 2016
Contributed by NJ Tech Meetup member, Gil Olsen.
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....
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Grown Ocean seems to be a digital adventure bucket list.  It allows you to great plans, budgets and equipment lists for excursions that are in the APP already, or for ones you create and add to the ecosystem. 
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Then you share it, your friends join forces, and you conquer your goals with rad people. 
Looks like a one man operation. If this is the case, the UEX and website seem fairly impressive. (My only complaint is the images present with a 90 degree rotation, see my selfie)  I don't see a huge pain point or value proposition, and have no indication of how they monetize, but it was easy enough to use- it feels like Trello for adventure excursions. 
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Their mission is to "Empower anyone in an organization to be able to use data to make decisions."  They funnel in your business data from platforms like Salesforce, Sailthru, HubSpot, Google Analytics, Optimizely, Microsoft Dynamics and Adobe SiteCatalyst, as well as to all common SQL databases. 
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They crunch that data to help with the following specific problems:
  • Understanding the customer Journey
  • Build a data driven Product Roadmap
  • Optimizing marketing spending
  • Monitoring customer health
I don't know about you, but I know barely anything about all this.  Here's what I do understand:  
The co-founders have had multiple successes and exits, some of which overlap in time AND they have worked together on some of them.  They are hiring. There are 9 positions listed on their site, so they are either well funded or have some solid traction.  
I'm betting on an interesting story coming out of these guys.
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Back in the day, if you were marketing anything you'd get your viewership data from the networks and ad agencies, throw a ton of money at it, and hope it worked.  
Big brands are now realizing that bullshit artist advertising is a dead business walking.  Beyond content marketing, influencer recommendations convert 4X the rate of brand-posted content.  
 GoPro is the most successful company that I can think of at executing the "influencer recommendation" model.  A tipping point came when they signed Kelly Slater, and the proof is in the pudding.  
GoPro launched this ad ad in 2012.  
Go Pro's MVP was originally started by Woodman to capture his experiences on a surf trip to Indonesia, and Slater is the most well known and influential surfer on the planet.  Slater's involvement (and active product use) was the tipping point for the surf world's widespread adoption.  
The audience fit couldn't have been any better.  A Forbes article indicated that Slater sold shares in the IPO in 2014, when the company went public around a $3B valuation.  This was just the beginning.  In the time since this ad ran, thousands of people started using GoPros to build 6-7 digit sized followings on Instagram, and they would shout out their equipment and settings "shot with my #gopro #hero31440X60 @gopro "  Etc.  
At the cost of a unit, GoPro sends new cameras and accessories to these folks and get the message out there.  Then the followers of these ambassadors tag their friends in the post, spreading exposure.   
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The problem for brands is partnering with the "best fit" influencers is not always as clear cut as GoPro/Slater and the legion of amateur photographers that use the actual product.  That's where HYPR comes in.
They provide access to the demographics of the influencer's audience, and connects brands to them.   
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Gil is betting on...
HYPR for audience Choice Award, Indicative for a successful exit in less than 5 years. 
I get and believe in HYPR's premise, market and concept. It's accessible, social and sexy.  But Indicatives team and history is indicative of success.