February 10, 2017

FreshSurety Wins ITEXPO's IDEA Showcase

FreshSurety was both the audience’s and the judges’ favorite this week at the IDEA Showcase. The showcase at ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. featured startups doing Shark Tank-style quick pitches of their business plans.

Tom Schultz did the presentation for FreshSurety. The company’s president and CEO said fresh produce is a $600 billion market that loses 30 percent of its product due to spoilage.

The problem, he said, is that it is impossible to determine the products’ freshness because it goes bad from the inside out. And, he said, a lot of produce that’s sold and bought is bad the very next morning.

To address that, the company created an IoT solution that tracks the respiration of the fruit so you can tell how fresh it is. That includes a sensor in the packaging and a coordinator on the pallet. Together, they provide an easy-to-understand rating as to the real-time shelf life of the berries. One bar indicates the fruit has expired. Two bars indicate it’ll be good for another day or two. And so on.

The company also has the ability to provide data on geolocation, temperature, humidity, vibration, and specific volatile compounds.

Fresh Surety already has some impressive partnerships in place. AgroFresh is its rollout partner. It also has relationships with Amazon, Whole Foods, and others. And it expects to break even this year.

The IDEA Showcase also featured a presentation by Agreeable, which offers an app that pays online sellers for their time and trouble even if their buyer doesn’t meet them as planned.

Another pitch was from a company called Code Blue. It is readying a $2,000 device that can be used to help people and animals suffering from cardiac arrest.

Charles Douglas-Osbourn, CEO of Merlin Guides, got snowed in in New York, so he gave his presentation via video. His company has a training tool in the form of an on-demand, in-app guide. That enables businesses to provide step-by-step information on how to complete specific tasks.

On the lighter side, a company called ParkParkGoose talked about how its app uses crowdsourcing to help people more easily understand where in cities parking is allowed and where it is not. This aims to save consumers from parking fines, and can help businesses offer an extra service for their customers.

Matthew Donovan, founder and CEO of txtsignal, took the stage to talk about his Web-based monthly subscription service that aims to help small businesses reach their customers and prospects via text. This, he said, is a much more effective way for small businesses to build relationships with their audiences. And txtsignal already has several reference-able customers with stories about how they were able to build audiences in the hundreds or more and realized multiples of their investment in the process.

Another company,, talked about how it wants to make it easier for businesses to navigate the request for information/request for proposal process. It makes the process more standardized and secure, and it features a business map generator.

And Jimmy Padia of talked about his bot-assisted business messaging solution.

VoIP pioneer and ITEXPO keynoter Jeff Pulver, social media business strategist Evan Kirstel, and South Florida Accelerator Co-founder Christopher Malter served as judges. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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