Editor’s note: NCTA’s State of Technology Conference brought six emerging companies to the attention of investors at a startup showcase. Here’s a look at the winner: Likeli, a social media app developer from Wilmington. WTW will be featuring other startups who took the showcase stage in upcoming reports in the “Startups to Watch” series.

DURHAM, N.C. – Likeli, a Wilmington based startup that developed a social discovery app, won the startup showcase determined by crowd voting at the NCTA State of Technology conference on Friday. The company minds data from social media sources to suggest potential matches between people.

Likeli (http://likeli.co/) was one of six startups presenting at the event, four from Wilmington and one each from Raleigh and Charlotte. George Taylor III, CEO and founder of Likeli, explains that the app collects data from twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. It then uses machine learning algorithms to crunch the data.

Taylor said he originally thought the company could rework technology developed by his brother’s company, Next Glass, an app that helps people find new beverages they may like, which won the NCTA event showcase two years ago. “But that was a mistake,” he said.

It also uses data from an inapt game to help it provide matchup outcome ratings. J. Galen Buckwalter. chief science officer, was also chief science officer at popular dating site eHarmony. He is a psychometric assessment expert.

Taylor said the company’s app differs from eHarmony and others by collecting objective information rather than asking users to answer questions.

Founded in 2015, the 12 employee company closed the first round and an undisclosed amount. It will receive an NCTA prize package.

It was one of three startups that presented during the morning session along with Lapetus Solutions and Insight Finder. They will be profiled separately.

​Backstory: How Likeli works

From its website:

I. HotSpot

  • Explore.

Browse nearby places where the most potential matches are hanging out.

  • Likelihood of success.

See how many Likeli users are at a given place, as well as the average compatibility score.

  • Get the deets.

Tap on any Hotspot location for more information, including phone number, website, address, detailed directions on an interactive map, and more.

II. Feed

  • Stand out.

What you say and do matters. Communicate publicly with all of your potential connections.

  • Filter your feed.

You’ll only see or be seen by users when you BOTH meet each other’s search settings.

  • Interact.

Show your interest by liking or commenting on a post. (Don’t worry, only the original poster can see who leaves comments.)

  • Dig deeper

Like what someone has to say? Tap their photo to view their profile and learn more about them.

III. Meet

  • Target your search.

Choose to meet friends or dates and set your preferred age range, distance, and gender.

  • Browse away.

Each potential connection includes a name, age, distance, # of mutual Facebook friends, compatibility score, bio, Instagram feed, and up to 6 photos.

  • Make connections.

If you see someone you’d like to get to know, tap the green check. To pass and see other users, tap the red X.