Startup Showcase Semi-Finalists

Thank you to everyone who helped rate the 20 Startup Showcase semi-finalists. We’ll be announcing the 10 finalists on Monday, January 11 via @toc and on the TOC Blog. Learn more about Startup Showcase, happening February 13 at TOC.

Semi-Finalist Startups

BiblioBoard is a curation ecosystem designed to provide universal access to the world’s digitized historical content. Prior to the development of BiblioBoard, numerous digitization projects had occurred throughout the world but they sat in fragmented silos, without a unified way to access or search the content. BiblioBoard provides a way to unify digital content into curated, thematic anthologies that are easily for third parties to create and for consumers to enjoy. Anthologies can range in size, but generally contain 75 pieces of primary source content including books, videos, audio files, historical documents and images.

Creating, sharing and selling ebooks is way more complicated than it ought to be. Fed up with meat grinders and fiddly web forms? Tired of fixing up badly exported epub files? Want to forget all about grep, epubcheck, and running kindlegen on the command line? BookFlower offers a fresh new approach to ebooks that is human-friendly, and won’t make you pull your hair out in frustration. is a site for the people who make publishing happen. Publishing models have changed and new skills are needed now. is a simple and visual way to quickly find the best people for your project, or showcase your work. With popular offline events in London, New York and elsewhere, we are aiming to build a global publishing community that everyone can plug into. Whereas Linkedin connects you to those you know, helps you discover new people with the skills you need today.

Books You Touch
Books You Touch is a family of standards-based, domain-specific interactive ebook technologies, with an initial focus on publications about board games. Think of a chess book where the boards in the book come alive! “Standards-based” means that our books can be sold on nearly any store, and read on any modern reader, as well as older devices which do not support interactivity. “Domain-specific” means that publishers can get to market more quickly and less expensively than with apps or other interactivity frameworks. “Interactive” means compelling and differentiated.

Borne Digital
Borne Digital has developed a technology that can adapt a digital book to a child’s reading level. Using our framework, publishers can create adaptive eBooks that have multiple “layers” of content, which are revealed to users, conditionally, based on their profiles. Our server receives information (such as quiz results or reading analytics) and sends instructions back to the book about which layer of content to reveal to a specific user. We can also generate user specific, interactive content on top of each book (such as tips, advice, quizzes, multimedia, etc). We developed this technology to help teachers address multiple reading levels in the same classroom. In the short term, we intend to supply publishers with adaptive book frameworks and develop a small eBook library that responds to some of America’s most pressing educational needs – accommodating struggling readers and aligning instruction to the Common Core. We aim to develop the best tablet based reading environment for children.

CartoDB is a cloud powered spatial database and visualization engine that helps data journalists and news app developers map, analyze and tell stories with their data; the platform is currently used by The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek / The Daily Beast / Folha de Sao Paolo / Newsday, and others.

ContentLC is a web solution that unites traditional magazine publishing and the web while increasing revenue, web visibility, readership, and user experience. The software is a package of easy-to-use modules for publishers that helps them manage publishing, advertising, and content management for all devices from web to mobile and tablets to digital signage. ContentLC users typically double or triple online and mobile audiences in the first one to two issues after implementation.

Fidus Writer
Fidus Writer is aiming to be an online collaborative editor especially made for academics who need to use citations and/or formulas. The editor focuses on the content rather than the layout, so that with the same text, you can later on publish it in multiple ways: On a website, as a printed book, or as an ebook. In each case, you can choose from a number of layouts that are adequate for the medium of choice. is a new publishing platform that enables anyone to create and share their own digital magazines across devices. No design or technical skills required. All that’s needed is an idea!

Helicon Books Gyan Reader
The first fully compliant EPUB3 reader for the Android operating system. The reader goes even beyond EPUB3 to display 3D objects.

Inkbrewer helps authors and publishers become more successful via our marketing software that brings data and analytics to eBook Marketplaces. Real time tracking and reporting of actionable analytics with recommendations that help authors sell more books. We track a number of key metrics across the major ebook marketplaces (ex. Sales Rank, # Reviews, # Likes, Category Rank, Author Rank, Daily Sales, Borrows, Forecasted Royalty Amount, etc.). We are the first comprehensive analytics and marketing software for eBook authors and publishers with customized recommendations that tell you specifically what to do next in order to get your book in front of more potential readers and sell more copies.

Markerly powers next-generation publisher tools. Pioneering micro-content sharing, Markerly turns all text and photos shareable while providing actionable analytics on the specific text readers are engaging with. Markerly also provides data on what content is being copied & pasted from your site — the method of sharing used by 82% of readers. We also increase the time spent on site with in-page google searches, article recommendations and commenting directly on photos.

Media Cooler
Media Cooler’s simple, brandable online marketplace technology empowers Publishers to generate new revenue and valuable leads by providing a searchable database of their content, and a transactional platform that allows customers to license the rights to republish those articles and images. It’s an easy way for businesses, looking for high-quality, industry-related news and features, to license content for their websites, newsletters, white papers and online publications. The platform also facilitates custom article requests, allowing Publishers to engage with businesses in a new and collaborative way.

Paperight is a network of independent print-on-demand bookstores. Using the Paperight website, copy shops can quickly, easily and legally print out and sell textbooks, novels, children’s books and more. Paperight’s outlets are predominantly in underprivileged parts of South Africa. Paperight outlets pay a small rights fee to the publisher for each print-out they make. Publishers license their books through Paperight to reach new markets, and to put their books in places where they can genuinely change people’s lives.

Savory is a digital publishing platform that makes it easy to build, manage and deliver app-like, web based digital publications on every device that has a browser. Savory publications are multi-device – they adapt to the available screen real estate and, since they live on the web, are multi-platform too: users don’t need to develop for a specific OS, app store or device to reach their audience.

Speakaboos is a multi-platform subscription service that offers educational, entertaining interactive picture books to children six and below. Speakaboos inspires a love of reading in young children through one of the largest catalogs of children’s interactive picture books produced in partnership with major publishers such as Henson, Penguin, Abrams and Charlesbridge. Speakaboos is currently in public Beta and our content is enjoyed by over 1MM consumers across computers, tablets and mobile devices in homes, schools and libraries globally. The service has been creating strong reading engagement to date: subscribers consume over 60 books and spend 120+ minutes per month engaging our content.

The Holocene
The Holocene is a digital micro-magazine for do-it-yourselfers, makers and curious people. Moving beyond just publishing instructions or patterns, each issue of The Holocene focuses on a single topic or technique, providing a selection of in-depth information, outstanding photography, skills-focused tutorials, specific project instructions, and (eventually) video. Step-by-step instructions are delivered as you need them – it’s like GPS turn-by-turn for your DIY endeavors. Beautifully designed for cross-device compatibility, The Holocene takes information, media, instructions, and targeted content and delivers them in a way that makes sense for crafters and makers. Our platform is built using state-of-the-art technology and age-old craftsmanship, enabling readers to intuitively navigate the microzine (as we call it) and to put their newfound knowledge, skills and know-how to use. From knitting to cooking to building a robot or repairing a leaky pipe, The Holocene is the premier platform for making and doing.

Author events are a powerful tool — crucial for building audiences and driving word-of-mouth recommendations. Togather is a free online fansourcing platform that makes it easier to plan book tours and deliver engaging experiences with less resources. We help authors connect directly with readers to create successful community-supported events. When authors make meaningful real-world connections with social audiences, their passive followers, likers, and retweeters become more engaged book-buyers.

Total Boox
Total Boox
– pay just for what you actually read. Total Boox is offering the world a new model for ebook distribution and consumption. It replaces the common “pay first, read later” model, with a revolutionary “read first, pay later” one. In the Total Boox world readers are free to download, at no cost, any books to their tablet devices, and the books are immediately available for reading online and offline. The system then monitors what users read, and charges them only for the portions they actually read, when they read them. This new approach greatly improves reader-book matching. It gives users the ultimate freedom to try and explore, as the compelling decision is ‘what to read’ rather than ‘what to buy’.
On top of its business model offering, Total Boox uses reading-based analytics to help publishers find the right readers, and help readers find the right books.
The company is now in closed Beta, and will launch its services early in 2013.

ValoBox offers pay-as-you-go eBooks, delivered through your browser. We make it cheaper, faster and easier to access expert content by combining some of the most successful web business models. Like YouTube, content on ValoBox is made highly accessible by streaming it on-demand through a web-based application. Anyone can incorporate the content into other websites via an HTML5 embeddable widget. As with iTunes, content is unbundled to make it more affordable – you can buy smaller fractions such as a chapter, as well as the whole book. We incorporate a powerful 25% affiliate model to supercharge word of mouth and reward users who make good recommendations. Publishers using ValoBox have access to extremely detailed analytics revealing where books have been embedded or shared, and which parts of the book are most popular.


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