Going Live: SPC’s Demo Faire

Written by Temina Madon and Andrew Parker

Going Live: SPC’s Demo Faire
Events at SPC (2019)

Written by Temina Madon and Andrew Parker

The alumni of South Park Commons (SPC) are a creative bunch, and over the years they’ve built products you’ve probably used and loved. Last week, they came together to share their latest works-in-progress, at a Demo Faire organized by the SPC community.

This body of new work represents an ode to artistic vision (Facet.ai), an appeal to equitable childcare access (Tinycare.co) and so much more… In fact we were surprised at the diversity of problems being tackled by SPC members — from multi-player fintech (Braid.co) to automated mental health diagnosis (Kintsugi).

So what is SPC? We’re a self-organizing community of technologists, tinkerers, and domain experts based in San Francisco. We are building new (and sometimes unorthodox) ventures — ranging from enterprise startups and consumer apps, to open source ML and civic-tech projects. We come together, virtually and in the physical world, to learn from each other, challenge ourselves, and validate new ideas

You can catch up on all of the demos on our Youtube channel

Last week’s Demo Faire was our first. It was a half-day of live demos from 18 members of “the Commons”. The goal was to highlight the ingenuity, creativity and curiosity that SPC fosters, through a forum for makers to show off the products they’ve built.

We celebrated building and makers by focusing each presentation on live demos, as opposed to slideware. Live demos are exciting because no matter how well-scripted and rehearsed, things can and will go wrong. Our alumni makers were brave to demo their products in front of an audience of 150 on Zoom, and we deeply appreciate their efforts. The day even featured a live demo of a video chat inside a Zoom room (no small technical feat!)

Here’s a round-up of the demos, in three parts.

Presto (1st movement)

  • Braid.co: What’s the easiest way to pool money with friends and colleagues? It’s Braid, a social fintech app that brings “multi-player” to the financial sector. Founded by SPC alum Amanda Peyton, the app brings transparency to your financial relationships.
  • Pilot.com: As a startup veteran, Waseem Daher knows how tedious it is to manage finances for a growing business. So he launched Pilot, which frees up founder time by providing expert advice and software automation for bookkeeping, taxes, and more.
  • Lunchclub.ai: This AI super-connector introduces you to colleagues across (and beyond) your own networks, for 1-on-1 meetings that can accelerate your work. This week SPC co-founders Vlad Novakovski and Scott Wu announced a Series A led by Lightspeed.
  • Facet.ai is the first fully content-aware image editor — a mind-reading assistant that helps you create stunning visual content. In a live demo, we got to see the magic first-hand. So what’s under the hood? As co-founder Joe Reisinger says, what makes Facet better is not just the AI — it’s the love.
  • FormKitchens.com: A new kitchen is one of the most expensive purchases a homeowner will make. With Form Kitchen, SPC alum Danny Soos has developed industry-leading visual software that transforms a few photos of your space into project plans, timelines, designs, and an exact price.
  • KintsugiHello.com: Mental health has blown up during COVID-19, and Kintsugi’s talk therapy platform has been rapidly growing. SPC co-founders Grace Chang and Rima Seilova-Olson have now developed a tool using voice biomarkers to remotely diagnose depression and anxiety.

Allegro (2nd Movement)

  • Clerk.dev: Built by two brothers (Colin and Braden Sidoti), Clerk is auth-as-a-service: a developer toolkit for user and team management. In a remarkable demo, we went start-to-finish through an auth process that literally used to take weeks of engineering.
  • Slab.com: Slab is a knowledge management system built on a philosophy of integration. Co-founded by SPC-er Chengyin Liu, it keeps your knowledge base alive (and close to your code) by connecting to a rich ecosystem of existing workflow tools , with unified search.
  • Render.com is an intuitive tool for quickly deploying cloud-based web apps, with flexible and competitive pricing. It takes just a few minutes to get set up, and the Render community on Slack is super responsive. Founder Anurag Goel tells us SPC’s website was Render’s first public site!
  • AbstractOps: Alum Hari Raghavan is building an OS for the company stack — an automated back office that manages core operations for startups. It can issue equity grants when you issue an offer, and prepare security filings for fundraising rounds. A dashboard for all your processes…
  • Riya Collective: After launching as the Indian “rent-the-runway”, alums Arian Agarwal and Sarina Siddhanti had to pivot. They’re now a global circular marketplace helping Indian designers reach US buyers (sustainably). You can buy in bulk, or “buy and consign,” to promote reuse.
  • Rume: SPC’s favorite way to connect internally is Rume. It’s a social video chat that doesn’t feel like work — it’s more like a house party. You can chat with friends in a side room, take the stage, or play games from the Rume app cabinet. Co-founders are current SPC members Ben Scharfstein, Bryant Wolf and Cenzo Vitiello.

Vivace (3rd movement)

  • Tinycare.co: SPC alum Michael Lai is on a mission to reduce the cost of high quality daycare. He wants to expand access to world-class early education, while increasing teachers’ pay. Tinycare’s network of hyper-local micro-daycares is child-centered and software-enabled. Plus, every teacher gets equity in the company…
  • TribeAI: It can be tough for established companies to get started with machine learning. TribeAI is an outsourced AI lab, co-founded by Jacyln Rice Nelson and Noah Gale. It’s powered by a collective of seasoned ML engineers who work on contract with startups and companies.
  • Souffle.club: Looking for unbiased views on tech debates? SPC alum Pradeep Muthukrishnan created Souffle to build people’s credibility, based on the merits of their ideas. When answering a poll, you have anonymity — but it’s ephemeral. Authors of top-voted insights get their identities revealed (and get credit for their contributions).
  • Unit21.ai: No matter which industry you operate in, Unit21 can protect your platform from fraud, money laundering, and other risky activities. Co-founded by SPC’s Trisha Kothari and Clarence Chio, it’s empowering the fight against financial crime globally.

If you’re curious about our community and/or interested in membership, check out our website here: