March 11, 2016

A Cloud-Based Storm Water Monitoring Platform Among the Innovative Solutions from the 9Mile Labs Startup Accelerator

9Mile Labs is a Seattle, Wash.-based accelerator focused on enterprise or business-to-business (B2B) software and cloud technologies. The startups accepted into the program receive a $35,000-$105,000 investment in exchange for 7-10% of the startup's equity, a diverse network of mentors who can help provide counsel and connections to the companies, workspace for the company, and networking and social events run by 9Mile Labs during the program. At the end of the 14-week program, the participating companies (cohort) attend a graduation ceremony, 9Mile Labs Demo Day or "Milestone9," where each company is provided with the opportunity to present their idea to an audience of investors, mentors, executives, community partners, and the greater entrepreneurial community. I had the pleasure of attending Milestone9 on March 3, 2016 in Seattle.

The 11 companies participating in Cohort V at MileStone9 include:
  1. ClientLinkt -- Custom App for Realtors®, helping them add value & stay connected;
  2. CPE Suite -- Continuing Professional Education (CPE) marketplace for licensed professionals;
  3. Globatom -- Cloud-based platform that automates International trade;
  4. IoTfy -- Enabling IoT in Enterprises;
  5. Jodone -- Robotic/Human hybrid solution for Solid waste and Recycling, the mechanical Turk for robotics;
  6. minima -- SaaS solution that helps Enterprise IT control data sprawl;
  7. Muze -- Helping small businesses grow through entertainment and advertisements;
  8. Namastream -- Namastream is a comprehensive, on-demand virtual wellness studio platform;
  9. StormSensor -- StormSensor is the only cloud-based storm water monitoring platform;
  10. trenzi -- Trenzi enables everyday influencers to promote products for brands;
  11. Viato -- World's First Deal Escrow: Providing protection against channel conflict to indirect sales partners who register the deals early.
Photo of StormSensor's
Erin Rothman: GeekWire
Among the companies listed above, I am particularly impressed by StormSensor. During her presentation, Erin Rothman, StormSensor's co-founder and chief executive officer said, “We built StormSensor, the only solution that automates the entire data collection, monitoring, and reporting process for storm water data at test sites.” Ms. Rothman continued to say that "StormSensor notifies our users of rainfall at their sites so they know exactly when to sample…so they can focus on solving problems instead of wondering [if] they have one."

I appreciate the way Ms. Rothman presented the problem her company is solving and the solution she and her colleagues are creating. Specifically, I see value in the real-time analytics, data availability, and workflow notifications StormSensor is providing to their customers, which include government agencies and companies from the private sector. (For additional information about the company, I recommend reading this interview of StormSensor's co-founder, Anya Stettler, by Taylor Soper of GeekWire.)

This was the second Milestone9 event that I attended (the first being Cohort IV on May 14, 2015) and I enjoyed seeing the variety of creative ingenuity in the area of B2B software or cloud technology.

Aaron Rose serves as President and CEO of ROI3, Inc., a Seattle, Wash.-based company that empowers people in emerging economies through innovative, technology-based solutions. He is also the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.