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ShopHero Expands Service

ShopHero expands grocery delivery into new stores

Provo-based ShopHero recently announced its expansion into stores in 30 different states and three countries. This is in addition to the 18 Utah independent grocers already in ShopHero’s network.

Grocery delivery continues to expand nationwide, and ShopHero helps smaller independent grocers offer the service to their customers.

“ShopHero is empowering local grocers to stay competitive and relevant,” said Josh Ray, ShopHero co-founder. “We’re helping busy families find more time for the important things in life by skipping the weekly grocery store trip. We’re helping the old and sick who can’t make it to the store, and giving them some independence back. And, we’re helping small businesses across the nation to not only compete, but beat the big guys.”

Ray said ShopHero focuses on independent grocers because they are typically run by families, and are very involved in local communities. Studies repeatedly show that people prefer their local retailers over national chains, Ray explained.

“ShopHero is here to give those retailers the tools they need to stay ahead of the competition as the industry evolves and shopper habits change,” Ray said.

Republished from the Daily Herald.

Vutiliti Launches HotDrop a Revolutionary Energy Monitoring Device

Vutiliti Launches HotDrop a Revolutionary Energy Monitoring Device

Vutiliti (pronounced “view-tility”), a Utah company, unveiled its revolutionary new device called “HotDrop” at the Solar Power International trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month. HotDrop is an affordable energy monitoring device that installs in seconds and provides real-time energy load information wirelessly over great distances, solving the greatest pain points of energy monitoring.

“The response from the energy industry is extraordinary,” says Steve Ellis, CEO of Vutiliti. “Monitoring electricity usage at any level has traditionally required electricians and time-consuming installations with expensive equipment. HotDrop has changed everything about that, and the industry leaders instantly recognized these amazing benefits for their bottom lines.”

The HotDrop, at the size of a 9-volt battery, fits anywhere and is powered through a unique and patent-pending approach that requires no batteries or wiring to install it. With a typical installation time of less than 10 seconds, and a real-time, long-range wireless communication system that transmits miles away, HotDrop is designed for the toughest environments where reliability, real-time information, and distance are vital. A HotDrop device is configured in seconds through Vutiliti’s mobile app.

HotDrop uses the latest encryption technology to ensure privacy of data, and Vutiliti’s web and mobile apps provide real-time visualizations of energy loads, as well as forecasted trends and usage alerts. With advanced features like wireless 3-phase teaming and occupancy detection built-in, commercial businesses can measure building usage more precisely to reduce operational expenses.

Vutiliti has signed agreements with several of the top global solar and battery manufacturers for direct integration with their inverters. These new integrations will enable quick and transparent installations for monitoring utility grid energy, and will provide data fast enough for inverters to comply with zero export energy restrictions found in some states and countries. The benefits are a lowered cost of solar installations, compliance with strict renewable energy laws, and a better experience for the end-customer with real-time feedback on their energy usage.

Vutiliti is an end-to-end solution company that includes utility data collection, data analysis, visualization, forecasting, real-time alerting and consumption reduction guidance. The company has hardware and software solutions that are designed for both residential and commercial applications.

For more information on Vutiliti and their HotDrop device, visit

Republished from PR Web.

RoviTracker: The Link Between Humans And Equipment

RoviTracker: The Link Between Humans And Equipment

While Alain Eav consulted for a heavy equipment manufacturer, he learned what a nightmare it can be to manage equipment. “The industry likes to keep things pretty simple,” Eav explains. “That means using a whiteboard or magnetic board to keep track of their equipment, client, service record, rental dates, etc.” You know what seems risky to me? Keeping track of insanely expensive machinery ON A WHITEBOARD. AN ERASABLE WHITEBOARD. You get one disgruntled employee with a paper towel and you’re toast. 

But historically, alternative options have been limited. “Even if software was available, it was archaic and expensive. Not to mention it required intensive training because it was complicated,” Eav says. He explains that because organization systems were chaotic and because the equipment is used on remote job sites, manufacturers were often unsure of where their equipment was, when it was last serviced, and when they could expect client invoices. 

So, using his experience as a system integrator for over twenty years and as a general manager for a heavy equipment manufacturer, Eav launched RoviTracker in July of last year.

RoviTracker clients install a small device onto the equipment they want to monitor. The RoviTracker device uses the Verizon cell network to send data to the client’s dashboard. The client can use the cloud-based platform to identify equipment location, battery voltage, engine runtime, fuel level, cab temperature, and more. “In a quick glance the user can know what is going on,” Eav says.

RoviTracker particapted in the Spring 2016 BoomStartup and has received funding from angel investors as well as Varkain out of Las Vegas. The company currently has 38 clients and just landed a major Utah client.

“Our goal is to be the link between humans and equipment. We want companies who use industrial equipment to ask, ‘Does it have a RoviTracker?”

Republished from Silicon Slopes.

Varkain Contributes $100,000 toward Pre-Seed Round for Vutiliti

Varkain Contributes $100,000 toward Pre-Seed Round for Vutiliti

Varkain, a venture capital group based in Las Vegas, has contributed $100,000 toward the Pre-Seed Round for Vutiliti. Vutiliti (pronounced “view-tility”) gathers and provides real-time information on utility usage (electric, gas, water, renewables) so that consumers, businesses, and governments can monitor and budget utility usage. Vutiliti’s mobile and web programs guide consumers to actual consumption reduction, saving them money while reducing usage of water, gas, and electricity generation.

Vutiliti was part of the BoomStartup Spring Accelerator program. Along with eight other companies, Vutiliti presented at the Accelerator’s Demo Day on July 14, 2016. Members of Varkain, as well as 125 investors, including a representative from every major venture fund in Utah, were in attendance for Demo Day.

“Vutiliti is going to be a monster,” Laurie Hinckley, General Partner at Varkain, said. “The tools they are providing will allow every user to accurately track their energy spending and provide them with ways to save. Their tech is impressive, their management team is top-notch and we know they are going to be successful.”

“Varkain’s Pre-seed investment is a critical component of the round, which has enables Vutiliti to finish both software and hardware product development,” Sumner Douglas, Chief Operating Officer of Vutiliti said. “The pre-seed round was comprised of the top three Angel groups in Utah and two venture funds, which is a rare compilation of keystone investors at a early phase. Thanks to the support of Varkain we will reach our development and revenue milestones for the year.”

For more information on Vutiliti and to sign up to be considered for their Beta, visit

Varkain is a venture capital group based in Las Vegas. They typically seek investments in Pre-Seed or Seed Round funding. For more information on Varkain, visit

Republished from PR web.

Personalized Learning Is The Mission Of Core-LX

Personalized Learning Is The Mission Of Core-LX

BoomStartup company Core Learning Exchange has been selected to to join the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) Emerging Private Sector Partners program. Phew. That’s a lot of links in one sentence. But you know what they say: the more links, the more elite the program invitation.

That’s not a joke. Well, I mean, yeah, it is because no one says that, but the program is indeed very elite and Core-LX’s inclusion speaks volumes for the work founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzman is doing.

“Core Learning Exchange is a tool for the entire ecosystem of educators and students,” Katzman says. While existing platforms in the education market are designed to reinforce and support the factory style of education, the Core-LX model is highly personalized. Teachers may create a learning plan for each individual student to best accommodate their speed and style of learning.

Katzman founded Core-LX after discovering just how backward and out of step most schools were in terms of technology and learning theory. When his son fell ill and missed school for a month, he returned without having any opportunity to learn what he missed and dealt with what Katzman describes as a “cascade of consequences.” Katzman had worked in the education space for over twenty years and was developing incredibly sophisticated solutions for corporate education. “I [thought] I could bring my skills, approaches and technologies and apply them in an academic context,” Katzman says.

At the time there was a perfect storm of disruptions sweeping through the educational system. Schools started opting for digital resources instead of print and well-funded reforms prompted educators to take different approaches to curriculum, creating a market ready for Core-LX’s arrival.

The Core-LX platform will be available in a Rhode Island charter school, a New York private school, and a few Colorado schools. The students will benefit from the personalized, blended, and competency-based learning the Core-LX makes available. And as the program expands, those same benefits will reach students regardless of their ability, economic, or social status. For a flat fee, educators have access to a range of content from various publishers. Teachers can identify students with special needs, those who may be falling behind or too far ahead, and create customized curriculum for those students. The program allows teachers to assign lectures as homework and spend class time offering one-on-one or small group instruction.

And because one rad program isn’t enough, Core-LX is also partnering with Vant4ge to bring education to prisons. Nothing reduces recidivism in prisoners more than education and Core-LX’s technology can make that education easily accessible.

So you can see why SETDA, the nation’s leading advocates for equity of access, digital content, online assessment, interoperability, and digital learning selected Core-LX for its Emerging Partners program. “It’s quite an honor,” Katzman says. “It gives us a seat and access to the key decision makers at the decision level.” No doubt those decision makers will decide to make Core-LX a must-have in every school.

Republished from Beehive Startups.

Zizzle: Learning Chinese Just Got Easier

Zizzle: Learning Chinese Just Got Easier

Anyone who has tried to learn Chinese formally, or has simply looked over written Chinese characters can recognize the complexity and difficulty that comes with learning to read and write Chinese. Zizzle is a Germany-based company which has set out to make this process a little easier, creating an app that utilizes storytelling and pictorial devices to create a better way for Chinese learners to read and write Chinese characters.

So what does a German e-learning company have to do with the Beehive State? Zizzle is the only foreign company of the 2016 Spring Cohort at BoomStartup. After originally being contacted by BoomStartup, Zizzle’s founder Lukas Lohove said that he found “Utah was one of the best places for foreign language learning from elementary through university levels and beyond.” This includes but is not limited to the language immersion programs in Chinese as well as other languages and ultimately, Zizzle chose to come to Utah to be a part of the vibrant entrepreneurial community.

Zizzle is the brainchild of Lohove, created while living and studying in China. He stated, “Many Chinese learners have a hard time learning and remembering Chinese characters, a process that traditionally consisted of rote memorization.” In order to make the process more fun and effective Lohove created mnemonic devices and stories to go with each character as he learned. This process proved to be so effective that Lohove and his team are now seeking to fill this education gap by making the process widely available through technology. This product uses a subscription based model, targeted to serious learners of Chinese who will continually use the product for months or years instead of just weeks. The Zizzle team is also hoping to enter the school market, making the app available for students learning Chinese in a more formal classroom setting.

Lohove (CEO) has partnered with Kevin Li (CMO) a native speaker of both German and Chinese to provide an accurate educational product for their customers. They have leveraged the community and comradery of the BoomStartup program as they work with their CTO Hagen Hubel, who is still based out of Munich, to complete their product. “Zizzle is currently beta testing with 650 users,” Lohove said, and they will “launch their app for both Android and iOS before the end of June in preparation for BoomStartup’s demo day.” The team hopes to prove the efficacy of their mnemonic storytelling system with this initial product and eventually grow their e-learning company outside of just Chinese learning and into other fields including history, mathematics, or economics.

Republished from Beehive Startups.

Tracking The Progress of RoviTracker

Tracking The Progress of RoviTracker

Too many people get into “sexy” startups for the attention. They think that a landing page or pitch deck with phrases like “big data,” “internet of things” (IoT), or “the Uber of (blank)” will be what gets them funding and success. They forget that the fundamental point of building a business is to help people and to solve a problem. They forget that what governs a startup’s success is how well it can identify and remedy a pain point — not something as arbitrary as how quickly it reaches the unicorn mark.

With companies like RoviTracker, big data and IoT aren’t buzzwords, they’re descriptions. In fact, they’re added as an afterthought because the founders didn’t even think about those words when they started their companies — they were just a building a business.

“RoviTracker started out as a rental management platform, replacing the whiteboards that rental management companies were using,” says CEO Alain Eav. “Then we introduced a piece of hardware for our customers to install on their equipment, and with it we could track GPS location, towing speed, engine runtime, battery voltage, and more in real-time.”

Rather than screaming “I’m in a hot tech space!” Alain leaves it in the details and lets you read in between the lines. But come on. Installable hardware? Real-time tracking? We know what he’s really saying and in reality he knows it too.

“We’re in IoT, and it’s a very attractive space right now. It’s emerging and it’s going to have tons of disruption,” Alain says. “If somebody can not only gather a ton of data, but also turn it into something that gives you insights to make good decisions about your business, then that’s something special. That’s where we’re going with RoviTracker.”

Some of the best companies are created when someone has hands-on exposure to a specific problem and deigns to create a solution. Alain spent five years as GM and CIO at Mobilight, a 20-year-old company that manufactures mobile light towers for the mining industry. While he was there, he saw industry leaders using manual tracking methods for their equipment and he knew he could help them do it better.

“One of the first companies we worked with was Chevron. They had sites spanning 300 miles over southern California, and they wanted the ability to accurately capture metrics like engine runtime, fuel level, and GPS location,” says Alain. “They were sending technicians out to every single site every day to gather data from their equipment. It was a nightmare. They started with 24 of our devices on their light towers and a year later they were using 129, saving them tons of money. From that point on, we knew there was a huge need for this.”

Now, with a successful beta test under their belt and over 300 devices in the field, RoviTracker is poised to take on the entire heavy equipment rental industry. They didn’t get here by purposely riding on the coattails of the IoT or big data analytics trend either. Instead, they minded their own business and found the trend of their own accord, which is exactly how it should be.

Republished from Beehive Startups.

Founder’s Blog: Boomstartup 2016 Roundup

Founder’s Blog: Boomstartup 2016 Roundup

27 July 2016 | By: Nick Jones

Boomstartup is over! Memories of Demo Day are almost two weeks old. (Good thing I JRNL’d it.) I can’t remember the last time I was involved with something that seemed to last so long and equally went by so quickly (maybe high school?). Demo Day was the culmination of 12 weeks of hard work, intense scrutiny and mentorship and the camaraderie that developed over 12 weeks with some of the best people you’d ever want to meet. As I look back on my time at Boomstartup, I am reminded how I was so unsure of taking the leap of faith. I was told that I would make friendships in a competitive environment. I was told I would meet great mentors and potential investors. I was told I would be glad, no… happy, that I came to Boomstartup. As I write this post nearly two weeks after the dust has settled, I can say that the promises made to me by Sumner Douglas and the Boomstartup program were kept.

Here’s a recap of how Demo Day went down:

9:00am (More like 8:00am for this worry wart) – Arrive at Westminster College for Pitch Practice. I left my AirBNB rental in Sugarhouse and summoned Uber. It felt like game day to me. I was excited, if not a little anxious, and looking forward to the opportunity to present in front of a crowd of investors. When we got to Westminster, I had no idea where we were headed, but luckily there were people around and we were directed to the Jewett Center. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the quality of the venue that Boomstartup used to pull of this event. It was top-notch.

I took this ridiculous photo to give you some perspective. I’m not a big guy, but I’m not that small either. 😉

The view at 8:40a on Demo Day. Pardon the fisheye effect created by the panorama features on my iPhone.

9:30-12:00pm – Everyone went through their powerpoint or keynote presentations. We worked out any last-minute kinks and one-by-one recited our pitch. I have to say it was pretty cool to sit in the audience and listen to some of the companies pitch. It was equally cool to hear each company supporting the other with positive feedback, encouragement and the occasional suggestion. You could see that real friendships developed in this group and it was nice to be a part of it all.

12:01pm to 1:30pm – Final run-through was pretty quick. Each company was given 4-5 slides to work on their delivery and where they would stand in a mock-live scenario. If you look at the photo from the stage looking up, in the top left corner of the chairs, we had a 40″ TV (not shown) that showed our pitch deck as we delivered our pitch. It was easy to see, but in the dark with a spotlight on you, it was easy to forget to look.

2:00pm to 3:30pm – Mingle with investors and kill time. Other than the occasional mentor that I ran into, this was mostly time to kill before the fun started. Most of the investors were huddled together to catch up and this part of Demo Day wasn’t really designed for companies to talk to investors. It just worked out that way.

4:00pm to 5:45pm – Each company waits backstage and we prepare to move from waiting to room to the next-up room. Sales Bridge kicked it off and were introduced by Greg Warnock of Mercato Partners. I couldn’t see or hear their pitch, but I was told by a couple of investors that they absolutely killed it. If I remember, Known Factors went next and Carl Churchill handled the duties. I saw their pitch during practice and he seemed to have it under control. Clancy Marshall and Cleverywhere went next and she had one of the more fun presentations that I saw during practice. Since her company is in the educational gaming space, her graphics where pixelated like my favorite 1980s video games. Very clever! RoviTracker was fourth to present. Alain Eav is one of my favorite Founders in this year’s cohort. I can honestly say that Alain was the most improved company during the Boomstartup program and he should be proud. He has a great company, too. Shop Hero was next and I heard they did a very good job. They were the smartest company on Demo Day showing up with marketing/tradeshow material to set up in the lobby. Zizzle kicked off the final four presenters. Lukas Lohove might be the most impressive young entrepreneur I’ve met in quite some time. He’s traveled the world, speaks Mandarin, German (he’s from there) and his English is darn impressive. Even more, he’s quality people and I’m sure you’ll see him running a major corporation one day. Vutiliti was seventh and dropped the biggest bomb of the night. Not only was Vutiliti one of the top performing companies in the 2016 Cohort, they also managed to land Sumner Douglas as their newly minted COO. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I think Sumner is phenomenal. Keep your eye on Vutiliti. Core Learning Exchange was the second most improved company in the cohort and while they are focused on K-12, I really hope they refocus on corporate learning. They could become a monster in that area. Last, but not least, was JRNL. We were honored to be the closing presenter and I know we did well. We closed our Seed Round with relative ease and were greatly oversubscribed. I will post the video once we get it so you can see for yourself.

5:46pm-7:00pm – Chasing the money begins in earnest. A room full of investors ready to speak with the companies they like and nine companies ready to pounce. As I said above, Shop Hero stood out. JRNL had suitors all over the foyer and we did a lot of card collecting. We’ve made some great friends and connections that I hope will last throughout the remainder of my career.


When Boomstartup started it was like a whirlwind. Meetings, mentors and new friends. It’s awesome and inspiring. Then as the program gets on, you feel pressure to perform and a desire to close money quickly, which rarely happens and leads to frustration. You worry every day about lo

Meet the 2016 BoomStartup Cohort

We’re excited to introduce the companies selected for our Spring 2016 cohort! Keep an eye on these startups during the next 12 weeks as they create explosive growth and traction for their businesses.


Members: CEO Clancy Marshall, Phil Giarrusso, Kendall Davis

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Cleverywhere’s educational games are engaging experiences for students, building confidence through immersive activities that spark students’ creativity while building critical skills required to master the subject matter.

Core Learning Exchange
Members: CEO Jeffrey Katzman, co-founder Paul Devlin, CMO Paul Allen, CTO Chris Sawwa, COO Robert Boyer

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

A well-funded reform movement in K-12 education has led to a mandate for personalized learning. Core Learning Exchange has developed a mastery-based platform that makes it easy for teachers to individualize instruction for each student. We give teachers the tools they need to find, share and create lessons on any device.

Members: CEO Nick Jones, co-founder Steve Reed

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

JRNL builds tools that will define the way people keep journals the way families and friends collect, curate and amplify personal content to create a full record of life and meaningful events. As one journal that lives across your phone, tablet, and computer, JRNL allows users to write, collect, share and print meaningful data that can be preserved for future generations.

Known Factors
Members: CEO Mike Van Thiel, COO Carl Churchill

Social Media: Twitter

Known Factors weaves all your data resources together into a single, dynamic system that provides you with the accurate Business Intelligence you need to boost competitiveness, reduce costs and create new revenue streams.

Members: CEO Alain Eav, CTO Alvaro Carrasco

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

RoviTracker is a rental management software that can integrated remote monitoring which provides a means to gather and analyze data so clients can gain insights on their business and remote equipment.

Sales Bridge
Members: CEO/VP of Sales Joe Lowry, CTO/CFO Trevor Paskett

Social Media: Twitter

Companies are spending millions of dollars to create leads but their sales teams consistently screw them up. Management thinks the sales team is following up with leads and customers even though most companies don’t have a process or tools to manage follow up and scheduling effectively. Sales Bridge provides an automated follow up and scheduling platform that allows salespeople to close more deals and gives management visibility into where the sales team is spending their time. Our platform requires that nothing be installed and works with the email, calendar and CRM platforms the customers already have. Customers using our platform see significant increases in revenue, and lead conversion and close rates.

Members: CEO Matt Garner, CBO Joshua Ray, COO Stephen Taylor

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Shophero provides e-commerce and fulfillment solutions for the grocery industry. We build and operate a proprietary, state-of-the-art platform e-commerce enabling established brick-and-mortar grocers to expand their reach via modern, white-labeled web and mobile channels.

Members: CEO Stephen Ellis, CTO Kody Brown, Engineer Dave Greco

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Vutiliti has created the first interactive, real-time utility monitoring and reporting service that guides consumers to conserve water and energy by reducing their utility bills everyday.

Members: CEO Lukas Lohove, CMO Kevin Li, CTO Hagen Huebel

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook

Zizzle offers an effective, time-saving and motivating way to help the 50 million foreign learners of Chinese learn Chinese characters.

Company Spotlight: Core Learning Exchange

Seeking to rid education of factory style learning methods, Core Learning Exchange (Core-LX) has stayed true to its mission to deliver a competency-based, personalized learning experience for every student through it’s Mastery Learning Platform.

The Boulder-based startup’s platform has been implemented across three states for this school year. In addition, they have partnered with Vant4ge to reform education in the California Prison System.

In June, Core-LX was selected as an Emerging Private Sector Partner by State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

Core-LX also announced a partnership with Impact Navigators in July to launch their first Career and Technical Education Accelerator Program in Salt Lake City.
They have also surpassed $30,000 in revenue during the BoomStartup’s Spring 2016 program.

“Boomstartup was an entrepreneur’s bootcamp where in a matter of weeks I learned the latest startup practices,” Jeff Katzman, Core Learning Exchange CEO said. “But the most valuable part of the program was the introduction to the mentors. I was able to establish a network that would have otherwise taken years to build.”

Core-LX’s Mastery Learning Platform includes playlist and lesson builders, and a digital learning content library featuring lessons from Florida Virtual School, Khan Academy and BetterMarks.

They were recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of “5 fascinating EdTech Companies From National Education Week.”

Additionally, Core-LX was spotlighted by Beehive Startups in August.

You can also hear Jeff discussing his BoomStartup experience and Core-LX’s growth on KCPW’s The Bottom Line Podcast.