Each year since 2011, PyCon has reserved a special place for early-stage startups to show off what they're working on to the Python community.
As its name might suggest, Startup Row is a row of booths for startups at PyCon. Due to the ongoing global public health crisis, Startup Row, like the rest of PyCon 2020, has gone virtual.
Before we get started, a quick note: Even in the best of times, starting and running a startup is very challenging. Founders and early employees take on significant risk and expansive workloads to build something new and get it off the ground.
Obviously, these are not the best of times. Now more than ever, early-stage startups need support. If any of these companies seem neat to you, try their products. Get in touch with the teams. Give feedback. Work for them. Become a customer or refer them to people who might find their work interesting.
We're in this together.
This Year's Startup Row CompaniesWe had a very competitive application process this year, and we're happy to award 8 companies a spot on Startup Row at PyCon 2020. Here they are!
Here's a little bit about each company, in their own words.
Aiko AINYC-based Aiko AI is challenging traditional technology and pioneering ethical solutions through the integration of artificial intelligence. With multi-national and Fortune companies as customers, we were voted "Best Artificial Intelligence Company" by US Business News 2019 Technology Elite Awards; and our products have debuted at #1 on Product Hunt.
AstroscreenAstroscreen is a London, U.K. based startup employing machine learning models and human disinformation analysts to detect social media manipulation. Think of us as an Anti-Cambridge Analytica. We detect social media manipulation, such as automated bot networks and organized astroturfing campaigns, whether it’s from state actors, troll groups, or commercially motivated adversaries.
DeepnoteHeadquartered in San Francisco, Deepnote is building a new kind of data science notebook. It is fully compatible with the Jupyter ecosystem, but adds things like real-time collaboration and versioning. We aim to automate everything that can be automated, so the data scientists can focus on their work. Hosting, hardware provisioning, data ingestion and security are all taken care off, GPUs are just a single click away and creating a full-fledged data science environments takes seconds.
PowderkegPowderkeg (Indianapolis) is the place to plug into tech in the center of the country. Meet up with the best and brightest at our events, get access to the digital resource hub for tech leaders outside the Valley, and get matched with community-vetted talent with top tech teams with our job-matching platform, Matches. Matches is Powderkeg's community-powered job-matching platform that leverages a robust data set to match mid-to-senior level talent with employers and their next big job opportunities. Powderkeg is based in Indianapolis, IN.
r2cr2c is working to profoundly improve software security and reliability to safeguard human progress. In Oct 2019 we released the first alpha version of Bento, a developer tool that find bugs in Python projects and Flask-based web apps. Our analysis platform brings together program analysis authors with people who fix software security issues. We believe an emphasis on actionable results and tight feedback between developers and analysis authors will make software more reliable and secure for all. The company is based in San Francisco.
SLAppForgeSLAppForge has developed a completely serverless IDE to support the development of functions for AWS and GCP. The current minimum viable product supports Node.js & recently added Python. For the Node.js, live debugging has been added to the product which is unique for serverless functions. Typically, serverless functions do not allow traditional debugging and our technology has solved that problem. The company is based in Sri Lanka and in Mineral Bluff, Georgia.
SlideSlide—based in Cape Town, South Africa—offers a p2p payment app modelled after Venmo to the South African market. We've also generalized our payment platform to create Slide Link, modelled after Stripe Connect, which provides a set of payment building blocks for multiple business models. A key application of Slide Link is the Pay & Connect app, which is a closed network payments app for the University of Cape Town processing approximately 200,000 transactions and dining hall entries a month.
TonicTonic helps you protect your customer's data, meet regulatory requirements, and simplify your development and testing process. We do this by making a version of your most important data that is freely sharable. Using machine learning and the latest data processing techniques, Tonic creates data that looks and feels like sensitive or production data (synthetic data), but is based on an underlying model. The company has offices in Atlanta, GA and San Francisco.
PyCon Startup Row: Helping Python Startups SucceedStartup Row is a great tradition at PyCon US: the Python Software Foundation gives early-stage startups the experience of conference sponsorship — the booth space, the conference passes, access to the PyCon jobs fair, promotion on the PyCon website and printed material, access to community events — without the cost, and with no strings attached.
Many Startup Row companies come back to PyCon as sponsors. Many founders and technical leaders at these companies come back as speakers. And many companies become part of the Python ecosystem.
The popular data science toolkit Pandas was created by Lambda Foundry, which was featured on Startup Row in 2012. Plotly, among the most widely-used data visualization tools, was featured on Startup Row at PyCon 2013.
More recent Startup Row companies include Anvil (SR'17), which gives its users the ability to create dynamic full-featured web applications using nothing but Python. FOSSA, a platform for tracking compliance with open source software licenses, and data integration company Flex.io were also part of the 2017 batch.
SRE platform Blameless launched publicly at PyCon 2018 and secured its first customers at PyCon. 2019 saw great companies like Comet.ml, Deepsource, Iterative AI, and others present on Startup Row.
Looking at Startup Row's alumni base, one is struck by its diversity. Startup Row founders come from all sorts of backgrounds, and the enormous breadth of the problems they're aiming to solve speaks to the flexibility of the Python programming language and the vibrant, resilient Python community.
Thank You's And AcknowledgementsThank you to PyCon organizers for all the incredible work they do to bring the conference together each year. Special acknowledgements go to Betsy Waliszewski and Jackie Augustine, who've been great collaborators in helping Startup Row come together.
Thank you to the selection committee, which consisted this year of co-chairs Jason D. Rowley and Aly Sivji. They selected companies alongside three Startup Row alumni CEOs: Shea Tate Di-Donna (Zana SR'15, acq'd by Startups.co), Nate Williams (Flex.io SR'17), and Farhan Mustafa (Grafiti SR'19). Additional thanks go to entrepreneurs Graham Peck, Graham McBain, and Ben Vear for participating in the selection process. All of our votes had equal weight.
A very warm thank you goes out to IndyPy, which hosted the Startup Row pitch event at which Powderkeg earned its spot. The organizing team there, including Calvin Hendryx-Parker, MaryBeth Okerson, Carol Ganz, and Joshua Qualls were generous with their time and organizing capacity.
Thanks are owed to every company that took the time to apply. And thanks to you for being part of the Python community. The Startup Row organizing team and Startup Row companies thank you in advance for your support.