Application programming interface

BitCalm – Hosted DevOps Backup & Configuration Management for Cloud Services

Ed: Backing up servers is and always has been a pain in the ass, so this team has found a real problem with a seemingly simple solution.

Although cloud storage systems are usually redundant with multiple copies of data, this will only protect you from outright failure of a VM or instance.

It won’t save you from yourself and the many screw-ups that can happen running infrastructure.

Full or partial data corruption can happen for a variety of reasons not just hardware.

You could accidentally delete an instance yourself, or a malicious or incompetent team member could delete or corrupt data or an instance, you could have a problem with your newly deployed code, virus or hacker either accidentally or intentionally deleting or corrupting your data.

As a guy who in another life spent 24 hrs in a noisy ice cold data centre trying to recover a crashed server I can tell you this happens everyday and yet none of the cloud service providers provide a good solution for this.

Most cloud services don’t automatically provide a proper versioning backup method for each instance, in fact quite the opposite, the Cloud is still a bit of a DYI self service when it comes to backups.

I would go so far to say that backup is considered optional and the existing solutions seem to do a pretty poor job of syncing cloud backups away from the server.

DevOps tools are the latest hot sector, managing remote cloud resources is a real pain, looks like these guys might be onto a good point solution for a market that is willing to pay.


Startup Name BitCalm
What problem are you solving? Backup configuration and management for multiple Linux servers is complex and takes a lot of developers’ time.
What is your solution? Bitcalm – SaaS for the super simple server files and DBs backup configuration and management.
Target Market Web-developers
How will you make money? Subscription
Tell us about the market & founders, why is this a great opportunity? We target web-developers as our target market. Currently they have 3 opportunities to solve this problem:
1. Use backup solution, which is provided by hosting
pro: built-in solution, easy to use
con: can’t manage backups for multiple servers, hosted on multiple providers, can’t migrate, keeping backups, just snapshots
2. Find or self-code scripts.
pro: seems like a cheap solution
con: need specific skills, time to set up, time to validate, time to manage, time to support and results in non-convenient and not reliable results.
3. Use enterprise solutions.
pro: –
con: expensive, solves other problems (for big companies)Comparing to these three ways, BitCalm is really life-saving service.
Eugene (CEO) faced this problem himself when he was running his own web agency; at the end of each project Eugene and his team faced the same pain in the ass – backup configuration and its maintenance.As a result he decided to build saas solution to solve his own problem and the same time, solve the problem for millions of indie developers, freelancers and small and medium-sized web-development companies.
Founders Names Eugene Morozov (CEO), Boris Dus (Business developer), Yury Andreykovich (CPO)
What type of funding has the company received? Angel
Twitter Handle @bitcalm
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HelpRace- Helpdesk & Community Support Management Platform

You can pitch your Startup, App or Hardware here

The Pitch

Startup Name * Helprace
What problem are you solving? With over 500,000 businesses starting up in America every month (and rising), there’s no better time to help small companies grow in the right direction.The idea for Helprace came about due to a lack of an all-in-one, holistic support solution.

Back in 2011 our founder and CEO Gregory Koldirkaev thought the customer service software market was fragmented and lacked cohesion.“Everyone had their blinders on, from help desk providers to knowledge base guys to community managers” he recalls. “But together, they presented value that was hard for me to ignore”.

What is your solution? Helprace is more than a help desk and a self-service portal.We offer a community that transcribes user activity into the company’s admin panel. Using 4 intuitive feedback categories, users can ask a question, share an idea, report a problem or give praise.Currently, there’s no app on the market that does the above, but well-known enterprises such as Zendesk and GetSatisfaction offer a help desk and a community, respectively.
Why is this a great opportunity? Helprace fills the gap that exists between help desk vendors and community managers – allowing companies to better engage with their customers.Our software is a result of changes in user expectations and companies’ increasing preference of having a centralized support platform.
Target Market We’re targeting enterprises, IT companies and startups who wish to centralize customer service without spending a fortune in the process.We are targeting small companies that have a growing customer base. Companies that are poised to grow in size and look to centralize their customer service process early on.
How will you make money? When we roll out a pricing structure, we will generate revenue through out monthly or annual subscription plans. For now, our software remains free to use.
Founders Names Gregory Koldirkaev
What type of funding has the company received Bootstrapped/self funded

Startup88 Verdict

Helprace is trying to insert itself into the junction between two very competitive markets, Helpdesk and Community Management.

However the one thing that is clear to me is that most of the Helpdesk vendors are aimed toward technical support solutions, they are not particularly user friendly to the average non technical team member or customer support person.

A lot of these are technical throwbacks from the old days only suitable for engineers to log and solve support calls. They don’t offer a blend of customer and crowd support via community pages.

CRM Vendors such as Salesforce offer community management extensions to their core CRM platform, but you know you are going to bleed from the eyes when you hit the pricing button and it asks you to signup to book a demo and get a pricing call from an account manager.

Likewise most of the CRM providers are aimed at Enterprise and a largely not great solutions for smaller businesses especially when you need to get them to do something which crosses the border between CRM, Helpdesk and Community Management. Making Saleforce or their partner applications fit your company can be a very expensive exercise.

If you were trying to build something like Helprace from Salesforce + Partner apps, you would not only be up for a very stiff monthly fee from both, you would no doubt have an upfront implementation/consulting fee that a small or medium business would struggle with.

Most of the community management packages I could find were standalone or had some form of API to your CRM.

A few issues I had with the product.

I really have trouble with the name, I keep pronouncing it Hel Prace not Help Race, maybe it might be better to capitalise (I know this is a bit trivial but they wouldnt be the first startup that screwed the business because of a difficult name).

The bigger issue is that it just wasn’t clear how I would integrate this with my existing CRM or Social Marketing systems or if this was in fact supposed to replace them which seemed unlikely.

Some of their competitors such as GetSatisfaction which are aimed at the Social Community Management space and Lithium which are aimed at the Social Media and Community space and Zendesk which is one of the leading helpdesk solutions seem to offer very good integrations with dozens of other CRM and Social Media/Marketing/Email solutions.

While the Helprace websites mention an API, it doesn’t sound like these are integrated or out of the box which means you are probably on your own or going to require expensive integration.

Its hard to imagine that a business who needs this solution, doesn’t have some form of CRM, Sales/Marketing and or billing solution that it needs to integrate this capability with.

I like the solution, it does seem to offer value for the business that needs to integrate both Community and Helpdesk, but without integration to sales, marketing and other parts of the business I think its going to find it difficult to build massive growth on its own.

My feedback to the founders is that I would be trying to find a small-medium market CRM provider who doesn’t have a Community and HelpDesk solution and do some form of joint marketing together, ie create an out of the box integration that provides value for both sides.

Ideally if you wanted to ride the coat tails of a major enterprise growth phenomena (check out this growth curve) I would be trying to integrate with, I believe there is a place for a community/social/helpdesk integration within Slack as Slack doesn’t appear to cover this aspect, being particularly focused on internal communications and workflow and yet the provision of solutions to a customer probably have to come from within the Slack workflow, so it seems to me there is an opportunity to integrate meaningfully and create a Slackbot that routes customer support requests to the appropriate team.

On its own Helprace looks like a good solution, if I was the founders I would be putting all my focus on ensuring customer could integrate to existing or other cool apps that might displace existing point solutions.




Clarifai: Image Recognition Software

This is very cool, the team at Clarifai have launched an API that allows you to access a very advanced image recognition and tagging service.

Clarifai Similar Images

Clarifai Similar Images

Essentially your App or service can present an image to Clarifai who will match it against their image database and recognise it and auto tag it.

I tried it a few times and it seemed to work flawlessly each time.

Clarifai is pushing the limits of practical artificial intelligence. Their image recognition systems held the top 5 spots for classifying objects in images in the recent ImageNet competition and they are claiming their latest systems go even further, achieving lower error rates at 10x the speed with 1/5th of the memory footprint.

If you are developing an app that needs to work with images and you want to present a richer meta data with each image it makes sense to have a service like this auto tag and process it for you rather than having to build the capability yourself.




Grovestreams IoT platform

Interesting new startups is a regular feature, if you want your startup featured next week List your startup here.




Startup Name * GroveStreams
What problem are you solving? Providing actionable intelligence in the cloud for the Internet of Things as massive amounts of data arrives.
What is your solution? Our solution is to apply today’s business intelligence capabilities to the internet of things along with the following capabilities:
– Device and stream modeling
– Device data logging
– Data Visualizations
– Complex expression based stream analytics
– Event detection with Notifications
– Geo tracking
– Public API that exposes almost everything
– Big Data (we can manage millions to billions of streams)
– SaaSGroveStreams is more than an application. It is a cloud platform that many applications can be built on top of.Many vertical IoT applications will be built in the coming years. We want GroveStreams to be the platform of choice for these new applications. Customers can use us as is or build their own unique solution on top of us. Think of us as the Oracle of the Internet of Things.
Why is this a great opportunity? McKinsey Global Institute: “We estimate the potential economic impact of the Internet of Things to be $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion per year by 2025…”Several IoT cloud platforms have entered the market in the last few years, but none provide the capabilities and the reliability that GroveStreams provides at the low fees we charge. Most of our customers come from these existing platforms.The market is hungry for a low cost IoT solution that scales – one that can answer the tough questions as data arrives from all of their data sources, including devices.
Target Market Our primary target market is solution providers. These are consulting companies that already have a large client base but need the tools to build their next generation solution.Other Markets:
– Utilities
– Governments
– Health Monitoring Companies
– Environmental Companies
– Hardware Hobbyists (or future entrepreneurs)
How will you make money? – Small users (and test-drivers) are free
– SaaS fees. We charge $0.05/month per data stream and $0.05/month per 10,000 cloud http transactions.
– Private cluster leasing and maintenance fees
– Consulting fees
Founders Names Mike Mills
What type of funding has the company received Bootstrapped/self funded



Our opinion: Fast growing space, no clear winners, good they have traction and customers already




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