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TC Disrupt: Calls, coupons and underwater adventures with UsefulTools, CashOff, Diveboard

By Pabla Ayala

The second day down TechCrunch Disrupt's Startup Alley in San Francisco was packed and we ran into a couple more Miami startups and one that should seriously reconsider relocating to South Florida.

IMG_9961UsefulTools, Adam Boalt’s latest venture based out of Pipeline, was smack in the middle of the enterprise aisle of the Alley where he made his official launch. “I’m going to show you how to launch a call center in under 30 seconds,” began Boalt. After successfully selling his previous company this past December, RushMyPassport, he could only manage to sit still for a short time before the startup bug got him again. He began analyzing his previous business’ strengths and weaknesses when he realized his biggest shortcoming was when the phones would ring he didn’t have enough people to answer quickly, if at all. “As an entrepreneur it is really difficult to work really hard for something and watch the phone go unanswered because you know those are missed opportunities.” Small businesses are often lean operations and don’t have access to call centers, but UsefulTools is making it affordable for anyone to hire call center services quickly and effectively so you never miss a call opportunity again. “I want to provide enterprise level call centers for small businesses,” Boalt says. You can create a custom script for the call center to carry out and choose the agent characteristics like the language, gender, location, experience level and industry specific to your business. UsefulTools has different packages available starting at $150 and premium per minute pricing for more specialized agents based on specific criteria like a Spanish speaking agent or special certifications like HIPAA certified.

IMG_9943We came across Brian Thomas and CashOff a little further down Startup alley, well, because it was a bit hard to miss him and his female boxing booth babe with big red gloves. “It’s a do it yourself coupon management system that allows any business to create coupons, print and share those same coupons on social media and profit from them,” Thomas explained. “We’re a Groupon disruptor.” Thomas created this business as an alternative for small businesses to be able to market themselves without discounting 50% and sharing the revenue with services like Groupon or LivingSocial. Thomas came up with the business idea when a celebrity eye doctor friend of his approached him and asked him to help him create a coupon for his business. “It took me about a week of going back and forth with him and the coupon wasn’t even digital. We looked at each other and thought, there’s gotta be a better way.” Using cloud based software CashOff enables merchants to digitally generate, modify and display the coupon in real time. To celebrate the launch of their startup CashOff is offering 12 months of free service using promo code techcrunch on their site.

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So Diveboard may be a Parisian startup, but should seriously reconsider relocating to Miami. This online platform, with an Apple and Android app available, is a free digital log book for diving enthusiasts to document, share and learn from other divers from all over the globe. “I am a frustrated diver,” says Alexander Casassovici, Chief Diveboarder, “because I live in Paris, France, the worst place in the world for scuba. I was logging my dives manually on my paper log book and decided it was time to go digital.” Users can browse interactive maps, discover new spots and connect with the divers who dived them. On the platform you are able to upload pictures, videos, dive site coordinates, document species, diver information and the gear that was used for each dive as well as diving conditions, length of dive, depth and even water temperatures, all on a personal diver’s profile page. “A few months after our launch we have over 70,000 divers on the platform from every corner of the world. But with 60 million registered divers worldwide there is definitely room for improvement,” said Casassovici. Diveboard also hopes to become a useful tool and source of information for marine biology institutions as well as conservation groups to be able to document and share information worldwide. Diveboard is currently available for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Stay tuned for the Day 3 wrap up including pictures and presentation from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. All of these interviews and more from TechCrunch will be airing on the debut of The Lab Report on KlangBox.FM from The LAB Miami.

Follow our TechCrunch Disrupt adventures by following us on Twitter at @pfunkmedia, @pfunkFSU and @cfunk305 and be sure to watch the live stream presentations and Startup Battle pitches here http://ustre.am/jMF6.

See the Day One post here.

Photos by Pabla Ayala

Posted Sept. 11, 2013