5 Nimble Startups: Exploring Clever Entrepreneurs on Columbus Day!

In the spirit of exploration on this day of discoveries, we are showcasing five of our favorite startups whose business models are built on the power of relationships.rocketsmaller

Business name: gifted2you.com – Andrew Wilmot

What they do: Smartphone gifting app

For years, Andrew Wilmot wanted to do something very creative with his career, and couldn’t make his mind up between being a purveyor of fine goods, or starting a social networking company — so he started a venture that brought both of these elements together.

He saw a gap in the market for sending gifts instantly to friends and family on a smartphone —  well-curated gifts beautifully wrapped and delivered to their door. The product he developed allows anyone to send artisan, eco-friendly gifts to loved ones at the touch of a button.

Once downloaded,  the app will send special occasion reminders and instantly send a gift. Use the app to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. The app shares the birthday information of friends from Facebook (or manually).

What does gifted2you.com think about relationship building?

“Nimble is a great way to keep in touch with business connections. When you have a lot of people to remember and not the best memory, it’s great to be able to see all their information in one place – their photograph, recent email trails, tasks, reminders to contact them, and even links to their Facebook and Twitter pages to see what they do besides work!” – Melissa Roberts, Social Media Consultant

Follow @gifted2you on Twitter


Business name: Design by Educators – Duncan O. Walter, Isaac Van Wesup, Marlon Davis

What they do: Software for teachers

Walter O. Duncan IV, co-founder of Design by Educators, is a career teacher and the person behind Quick Key. Quick Key is a smartphone app for teachers that grades quizzes using an optical scanning sensor, syncing with the teacher’s grade book. It saves teachers dozens of hours a week, allows them more time for personalized instruction, and bridges the digital divide between technology and paper-based classrooms.

Walter explains the pain Quick Key solves: “Teachers are distrustful of ed-tech software because so much of it has been clunky and disappointing. We wanted to level the playing field and help working teachers have the software they need to solve real problems.”

Follow Walter on Twitter:


Business name: Guided Products – David Stober

What they do: Green, American-made office supplies

Guided Products keeps their approach simple and honest. Responsibility means Made in USA, using responsibly sourced materials with consideration for where those materials end up at product’s end of life.

Guided Products breaks through the ‘green’ noise and is built with Americans in mind.  The definition of  “guide” is “One who shows the way by leading, directing, or advising” and “One who serves as a model for others, as in a course of conduct”. The name of the company is exactly aligned with its intentions.

Every Guided product is made the right way, considering environmental, social and economic factors.  Guided products perform the same function, be available on the same shelf (virtual or physical) and at the same price as comparable, less responsible products.  Guided products embody American Made Values. Stober is convinced that products made in this country can win in the marketplace.

What does CEO David Stober think about the importance of relationship building?

“As an American manufacturer of eco-friendly products, one way we maintain an advantage over offshore competitors is through our ability to engage and build authentic relationships with markets and end-users of our products.  As an organization that prefers to play offense, rather than defense, we invest heavily in social as a way to engage and also gain key insights to help us win — both in terms of markets and deals.  Nimble is one of our core tools to accomplish this.”

Follow Guided Products on Twitter.



Business name: PieThis.com – Pieter Walraven, co-founder

What they do: “We’re creating the hottest place to share knowledge with people at work.”

Fueled by the pain of trying to find important information from the “fetid swamp” of an email inbox, Pie makes it easy to share and discuss interesting finds with people at work. Pie is made for the modern worker. It’s intuitive, works fast, and can be accessed anywhere on any device.

With Pie, users can easily collect information for projects, read what co-workers are reading, and build knowledge together. Pie raises productivity and makes working together — well — easy as pie.

What does co-founder Pieter Walraven think about the importance of relationship building?

“Nimble has allowed us to tap into the reach of the combined relationships of the Pie team. It has become an integral part of all our business development and seeding activities.” – Pieter Walraven

Follow Piethis.com on Twitter


Business name: Sidekick.pro – Ben Fox, co-founder

What they do: Interactive, voice-guided walkthroughs for CMS’ and Web Apps.

Sidekick provides in-browser, voice guided walkthroughs for your favourite CMS or web-app. Users “learn as they do,” so they can accomplish their goal and move on while developers experience the freedom of fewer calls for support and more time for code and business.

Developers or their users install the Sidekick plugin into their software or CMS and
Sidekick does the rest, delivering a set of guided walkthroughs, customized to the user’s environment, right to their dashboard.

Sidekick is available first for WordPress and is free to download at sidekick.pro.

Sidekick Composer allows developers to create walkthroughs for their own software, plugins, themes and extensions and will be ready for beta testing in mid November 2013.

How does Ben feel about relationships?

“Genuine relationships are vital for startups like ours and need care and attention to grow. It’s easy when you’re community is 10 or 20 people but the developer and technology community is huge and we realized early on that we needed a better way to keep on top of it all. The Sidekick team uses Nimble as our one-stop relationship shop — keeping us up to date on who’s talking about us and who we should be talking too.” – Ben Fox, co-founder

Follow Sidekick (@wpuni) on Twitter: