Meet the 5 Finalists for the Startup Innovation Spotlight Competition Sponsored by LendingTree

By aiwpadminAugust 10, 2017

by John Egan   

Five lead generation ecosystem startups are in line for the $25,000 first-place prize in Connect to Convert’s highly exclusive Startup Innovation Spotlight competition, sponsored by LendingTree. The winner will be announced at the LeadsCon Connect to Convert industry conference and expo, set for Aug. 21–23 in New York City.

The Startup Innovation Spotlight recognizes the most innovative fintech startups across three sectors: consumer lead generation, call center and customer experience. The five finalists are:

1. ForeverCar
ForeverCar is a Chicago-based online marketplace for car warranties. In October, the startup announced it had raised $10 million in Series A funding.

“ started with a simple vision—give consumers a transparent online experience for purchasing car repair coverage,” Mark Hodes, the startup’s CEO, said in announcing the $10 million investment. “We’ve taken our consumer-friendly model to another level by using algorithms to recommend coverage plans that meet the driving habits and budget needs of our customers.”

2. LeadCrunch
San Diego–based LeadCrunch operates a B2B demand-generation platform powered by machine learning.

“Data is growing and changing at an unprecedented rate,” the company says on its website. “LeadCrunch gives you the power of artificial intelligence to find patterns that describe companies most likely to buy from you. Unlike lead brokers, trade shows and other lead sources, LeadCrunch scans all data in real time so you can target sales efforts with laser precision.”

3. Outleads
Outleads, a New York–based Microsoft Accelerator company, connects offline CRM and call center data with online profiles for targeted web advertising and content.

“Outleads does not rely on the phone number dialed by a caller to track a call. Instead, our patented call-tracking technology assigns a unique ID to each phone call,” the company says on its website. “This enables us to track all incoming calls with just one phone number.”

4. Starbutter AI
Starbutter AI is a Berkeley, California-based provider of artificial-intelligence-driven chat agents that help people choose financial products.

“Picking financial products has become more confusing than the cereal aisle. It’s overwhelming and painful,” the company says on its website. “We build AI-based chat agents that help people pick financial products and help financial companies better match their products to the right customers.”

5. Traaqr
Traaqr is a Chesterfield, Missouri-based company whose technology bridges the gap between online clicks and offline conversions.

“Traaqr collects and analyzes data around the entire transaction lifecycle. It gathers valuable data from initial online customer touchpoint to final offline marketing sale closed,” the company says on its website. “Not only does Traaqr generate actionable data, but it also automatically feeds that conversion information back to the marketing and/or advertising platform for optimization and smarter spending.”

Judging the Finalists
Judges for the competition are Doug Lebda, Founder, Chairman and CEO of LendingTree; AJ Agrawal, Founder of Verma Media and a growth marketing consultant for startups and Fortune 500 companies; Matt Coffin, Founder of Coffin Capital & Ventures and Founder and former CEO of, Chris Fralic, Partner with First Round Capital, and Shawn Colo, Co-Founder and Mnaging Partner of 3L Capital.

At Connect to Convert, each finalist will be given five minutes to present in the form of a live demo, a video and visuals, and will then field questions from the judges in a Shark Tank–style setting. The judging panel then will pick the winner.

“We’re excited to kick off this competition highlighting promising technology startups in the lead generation space,” Lebda says. “These early-stage businesses perfectly illustrate how technology can enable greater insights, enhanced optimization capabilities and better overall experiences when connecting consumers, business, products and services. These five finalists have an incredible opportunity to showcase their businesses in front of industry leaders and top-tier investors.”

To learn more on what’s driving today’s customer acquisition, performance marketing and sales, join us at LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert this August in New York. Register today!


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