Startup Diary: 2018's best NVC ideas

Spring quarter inches closer. First Years are eagerly looking forward to spring break and second years are already feeling nostalgic. A small group of our colleagues however are already working around the clock to launch great new companies as part of NVC. In this article, we review some of the most promising startups – from those looking to disrupt the vertical transportation market to a simply delicious juice stand – in this highly competitive pool.

ElevatorPass: Tired of waiting 10 minutes every morning for your apartment complex’s elevator? Want a little privacy coming back from TNDC? ElevatorPass guarantees you personalized access to the elevators (partnerships announced 10+ leading Loop complexes) when you need it. Because they know you’re your best when you’re on the go (potentially great tagline for a creepy ad). For high demand buildings they’re even providing modular elevator shafts that plug on to the emergency exits during peak traffic.

Market size: A plus
Our verdict: C minus. While a great idea, success will depend on developing both sides (apartments, users) of the platform.

SOMO (‘Stop Only Missing Out’): SOMO targets a very specific set of users – those who feel they’re missing out on a large part of Booth and want to do something. SOMO scans social media for the ‘hip’ events and sends you alerts for whenever the whyBooth hashtag is used. It even provides personalized recommendations on what events are right for you and how to navigate conflicting events.

Market size: C-
Our verdict: F. Eww, borderline creepy.

DailyPickup: DailyPickup is designed for people who never use the Metra, are fairly regular to class and are too gosh-darned lazy to book an Uber, every single time. Simply upload your class schedule and forget about it, DP will book a cab for you to reach just in time. You can even add preferred classmates so that you pool with your friends every day.

Market size: B+
Our verdict: C plus. While DailyPickup’s solution is really compelling, like the ChiBus, their target market is all of 10 people.

MiracleJuice: For those of you who can barely make it out of your apartment after a party, MiracleJuice offers a range of their completely organic, freshly pressed juices with closely guarded proprietary recipes that will pick you up after any party. Test users reported a 173% increase in productivity after using MiracleJuice.

Market size: A-
Our verdict: B. Lip-smacking product, but how do they differentiate themselves in the competitive market of healthy foods targeted specifically to MBA students?