Platform lets users share documents with real-time audio comments

The platforms that businesses most commonly use to communicate with both colleagues and clients — phone, email, face-to-face meetings and video chat — are typically only used one at a time. If it’s just a quick chat, you pick up the phone, if you need to send a document you send an email. But is there a way to make multimedia collaboration more seamless through a single platform? We recently wrote about Talko, which aims to make voice calls more like emails. Now a similar service, Blrt, is offering both real-time and anytime sharing of documents, with integrated drawing and voice commenting tools. READ MORE…

A crowdfunding site for late stage development

While most people may connect the crowdfunding phenomenon with giants such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there’s a whole range of budding platforms with a twist on the concept. We’ve previously seen Singapore’s Haystakt let the crowds determine the prices of its crowdfunded goods, for example. Now Crowdlaunch.it is focusing on entrepreneurs and innovators who have a fully-built or late stage product or startup and need the funds to bring it to market. READ MORE…

Comedy club charges customers per laugh

Entertainers, much like the publishing industry, are facing a much more tough environment for making profit in an age where it’s easier (and often cheaper) for consumers to get their kicks online. We’ve previously seen the literary world respond with ideas such as Total BooX — the Israeli startup that charges readers by the page, rather than for entire titles. In a similar way, Spain’s Teatreneu has now trialled a system that uses facial recognition to track audience responses and charges them according to how much they enjoyed the show. READ MORE…

Platform helps businesses find nearby investors and partners

For VCs and angel investors, there’s often some hesitation about investing in a business if they’re located in another city or country. Not only do those who invest locally feel more secure about the types of ventures they’re working with, but they also gain a sense of satisfaction from helping their business community. New York’sCSA+D studio has already helped funders support local artists in return for a share of the profit. Now Partner Hunt is a service that lets investors find businesses close to them in need of funding. READ MORE…

App makes voice calls more like emails

Despite the fact that the majority of people carry a phone round in their pocket, the voice call has largely been superseded by email when it comes to doing business. However, a quick phone chat can be far more productive than waiting around for a written response. While apps such as SayWhat have already attempted to apply email features to phone calls by attaching a subject line, Talko brings together live chats and voice messaging with multimedia attachments to help teams organize more quickly. READ MORE…

Portable, wireless cash register is designed for informal economies

Running a business in environments such as Africa is a completely different challenge than in the Western world thanks to lack of access to electricity and unreliable internet infrastructure. In the past we’ve seen portable devices such as the eChaja enable anyone to sell phone charging facilities wherever they are. Now Nomanini has created a rugged point-of-sale register that can facilitate cash payments for airtime, electricity and insurance. READ MORE…

Service tells businesses what to tweet

Social media strategies are almost indispensable for many companies, but at times it can feel like maintaining an engaging web presence takes over from more important business tasks. While platforms such as Echobox have aimed to demystify web analytics by giving site owners concrete actions to take to boost traffic, now Zootrock automatically injects businesses’ social media feeds with relevant curated content to engage customers and help them concentrate on running their company. READ MORE…

Tool enables better collaborations between data science geeks and regular workers

Companies who want to want to get ahead are often told that they need to take advantage of big data. However, turning the raw data into a coherent narrative and business strategy is a difficult task. In the past, we’ve seen apps such as Numericshelp visualize key data on common mobile platforms such as iOS devices, but now Adatao is offering a more comprehensive solution that lets business leaders and data scientists work together more easily. READ MORE…

Plug-and-play device brings smart capabilities to entire car fleets

Not everyone can afford to trade in their current car for a model that comes with smart features as standard, never mind businesses with large fleets. We’ve already seen the OBDLink MX WiFi marketed as bringing connected cars to individual drivers, and now Poland’s Cloud Your Car is enabling companies to track their fleets and driver behavior with a device that plugs into any car. READ MORE…

Boston shuttle service aims to make commutes more productive

Public transport commutes aren’t the best way to start a day of work, with train delays, packed carriages and traffic problems making getting to the office a daily trial. In the past we’ve already seen Kabuto Noodles’ Kab-U-To Work campaign, designed to pamper hungover workers as they travel to work. Now Bridj is hoping to make commutes productive, using luxury wifi-equipped shuttles and dynamically chooses the best routes for the city based on big data analysis. READ MORE…

Insurance policy rewards employees’ healthy shopping choices with cash

Employees benefit from good health insurance policies from the companies they work for, but if they don’t look after their health then employers are the ones that end up paying a higher premium. Tools such as FwdHealth have previously let bosses track their workers’ exercise regimes, and now EatRight Rewards is encouraging healthy eating by offering cash to employees that buy fruit and veg at the supermarket. READ MORE…

Robotic stand makes smartphone presentation videos more dynamic

Smartphones and tablets have almost replaced consumer cameras thanks to the increasing quality of their built-in lenses, coupled with the fact that the devices can do much more with the resulting footage. Making professional-looking content can be difficult with handheld devices, however. While we’ve already seen the roboticSOLOSHOT tripod provide automatic tracking for video selfies, Swivl is now bringing similar technology into the workplace, enabling office workers and educators to give more engaging video conference calls and presentations. READ MORE…

Smart seat tracks how often and how long it’s used

Sensor-based technology is most often associated with tracking physical activity, but it can also help monitor the opposite. Japanese company KeyValue has created the Smart Cushion to help consumers or offices keep track of their inactivity, or businesses to detect the crowdedness of their premises. READ MORE…

Food delivery service takes orders for 365 days into the future

While startups like Caviar are helping to unlock high quality restaurant menus for takeaway in San Francisco, another venture is focusing on another aspect of food delivery in the area. Palo Alto-based Fluc is helping businesses plan their food takeouts from any chain up to a year in advance. READ MORE…

Check out our slideshow presentation of Springwise’s Top Ten Business Ideas and Opportunities for 2014!