Meet Our 2017 Startup Competition Winners!

By: Kat Riddler
This year, the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference startup competition is a little different. Startup companies applied and went through a Skype interview process prior to the conference. Five startups were then chosen to receive two conference passes, free parking for the weekend, four food truck vouchers for both days, a free display booth, discounted hotel accommodations, and access to select speakers from Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and others. At the conference, the selected companies will have the opportunity to pitch their startup to a target market and 10 panelist judges from 10 companies, including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft for a chance to win $5,000 cash sponsored by Purina and UMSL Accelerate. Meet the five startup companies.
Gazella Wifi-Marketing
Gazella with wifi-marketingEric Burns from Gazella Wifi-Marketing explains that the company turns guest wifi into an automated marketing tool. Guests receive free wifi in exchange for email or social media engagement. Allowing business owners and marketers to connect with the customers in a meaningful and impactful manner using email, text messaging, and social media strategies. As a pioneer in wifi-marketing Burns’ team has opened their software to digital marketing firms with our white label wifi marketing. Digital marketers earn additional recurring revenue by turning the Gazella Wifi-Marketing system into their own with their own custom domains and branding to offer a unique product to your clients. For more information visit
Sitting Duck MediaScreen Shot 2017-04-01 at 2.05.55 PM
Brian Lord explains Sitting Duck Media is a digital out of home (DOOH) customer
engagement platform placed in high traffic restrooms like stadiums, malls, casinos and airports. Sitting Duck capitalizes on a captivated audience in the restroom to generate robust analytics around actual impressions, dwell time and engagement through our patent pending sensor technology. In addition, Sitting Duck’s internet-of-things (IoT) cloud-based software improves crowd analytics to optimize advertising content in order to be meaningful, relevant, and engaging for consumers. This means that advertisers will be able to deliver strategically tailored, high-definition audio-video content with the right message, for the right audience, at the right time.
Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 8.46.49 AMMetKnow is represented by Founder and CEO Will Edwards from Tulsa, Oklahoma. MetKnow is a patented mobile flash card and quizzing application that specializes in helping members of all types of organizations learn and remember each other’s name and group relevant biographical information. Will always wanted to start his own business, so the day he was issued his patent on electronic flash cards and quizzes, he dropped out of law school and the rest is history. He is a graduate from the University of Arkansas with a bachelors in Finance.
logo-gray.pngTony Tarn from Lumanu said, “Every brand has a story to tell.” Lumanu uses data-
science to connect brands with
micro-influencers who can inspire actions beyond likes and comments. By empowering microinfluencers to tell stories about brands they truly believe in, Lumanu helps brands harness the power of social advocacy to increase awareness and drive sales. Lumanu’s software platform allows brands and agency partners to engage with microinfluencers, manage campaign fulfillment, and see real-time performance metrics. Lumanu is built by a team of MIT mathematicians and computer scientists, with marketing strategy and operations experience from McKinsey, Bain, and household brands like Starwood Hotels and Williams Sonoma. With the company’s strong background in data science and marketing, they aim to understand how information propagates through relationships on social media. Lumanu leverages this understanding to help brands turn influential consumers into revenue-generation brand ambassadors. Lumanu is currently based in San Francisco and Milwaukee.
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