Editor’s note: Joel Bennett is an innovation consultant in the Triad who led the way in organizing the first Tech Slam ‘n Eggs startup event.

This past Tuesday morning we had 50 people join us at Flywheel Coworking in Winston-Salem for our third Slam’n eggs showcase.

We are excited about showcasing the areas tech startups and giving them a forum to demo their software.  The Triad Tech Slam’n Eggs is a collaboration between Flywheel Coworking, Bobbie Shirvastav and myself.

We have a healthy waitlist of startup companies wanting to demo in front of an audience. Our next event will be September 5, 2018.

Following is a brief description of the companies and the demos we saw this week:


An omnichannel multi-hub for Live-ChatL Botsplash allows a customer to send a message to a business agent via website chat, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Alexa or any of the multitude of chat options available. Botsplash tracks all past engagements using AI to determine the status and department routing for a variety of live-chat apps in a single window served up as an omnichannel platform.

Co-founders Aru Anavekar, CEO and her husband Ramu Pulipati, CTO are no strangers to the technology industry.  They gained traction in their startup last year as they moved away from creating a new smart chatbot to being an agnostic omnichannel multi-hub for intelligent live-chat platforms.

“The pivot came at the right time,” Aru told me on the phone Sunday night.  She said that at the same time they were building their live chatbot, the market was getting very crowded. “We found interest in early adopters that needed a single and secure portal for multiple platforms of live-chat.”

“Just as with Alexa, we will soon be able to provide live voice recognition chat with Google RCS and Apple for Business,” and “Live-chats continue to prove an effective way to help manage customer engagement and re-engagement.” The main problem Botsplash solves is the inherent complexity of wiring all of that together. I was impressed with the demo’s transparent visibility and sophistication level of security protocols

BotSplash has bridged the gap between all of most popular online chat software platforms and created an omnichannel multi-hub to manage all of your live chats in one place.

Botsplash allows an enterprise team have to be concerned about connecting all their sales and business agents to a multitude of media channels or limit engagement to only a few such as live website chat.

They have six active pilots in both the financial and real estate sectors.

The value of understanding a broad vernacular of topics can escalate the status of an engagement or the routing of the live-chat to a specific agent role with say, state licensure when dealing with particular types of financial instruments such loans, insurance and medical issues.


Pay your 1099 contractors quickly and easily. CrewPay is a joint venture with Canada based design studio Blaze Studios and Grand Rapids software development firm Augusto. David told me this has mostly been a night and weekend project for them and that has allowed his team to create an engaging UX with subtle features that add value to the overall user experience.

David Horne is a brilliant creative we all need to know. I first met David in 2014 and have been following his aspiration toward startup greatness.

When I ran into David at HQ Greensboro a few months ago, he excitedly told me about his latest startup – CrewPay. David collaborates with a lot of freelance contractors in his digital products and creative services collectiveHonestly.co.  Paying all those all those folks on his crew who need a 1099 can be quite a task and he happily used Payable to do it.

So when he found out that Stripe had acquired Payable and was shutting down the cloud service  –  he thought “why not replace it?”.

David is not new to the startup scene. In 2014, after attending Groundwork Labs (NCIDEA Labs), he launched FanPack, one of four different startups now mothballed on the RIP section of his newly redesigned website.

Early in the validation process of CrewPay, he used Twitter for customer discovery. Searching tweets for “payable,” he connected with Payable’s users. After a lot of conversational interviews with accounting managers about the anticipated pain they were going to feel – he concluded that “people will miss this.” Because Stripe’s acquisition refocuses on a larger enterprise company like Uber, and so small businesses that regularly pay 5 – 100 contractors have no payment service available

A paid beta is planned for June. CrewPay plans on offering early adopters a lifetime discount and in return, they hope to generate the funding needed for CrewPay to build out that last mile.

Haystack CRM

Finally, a mobile-first CRM.

Jennifer and her husband Keir Davis launched HaystackCRM, not as a way to find a needle but to help others with a much “needed” solution that they also needed to run their own software development company.

“The design of a mobile-first UX is different, a one thumb UI that does not require a lot of drill downs to initiate actions just did not exist,” Jennifer told me as we talked about their new CRM. She said: “Minimizing the number of manual entries, using built-in integrations with native mobile apps and a mobile-first UI with one-touch operations and gestures.”

The demo was impressive. Keir showed the audience a clean and very tight UI, with a fast and very simple UX. The result that I saw in the HaystackCRM demo was a smooth UX for creating actions like building and sending a quote … one click and its done.

He has some very innovative features, the likes of some I had never seen before such as the “who’s nearby” feature which reminded me of the old “salesman’s route problem,” and the ability to search google maps for local business types.  Keir said: “If you are on a sales call, why not drop into a new customer that’s just around the corner?” and “The platform has been designed to work for you wherever you are and wherever you are going.”

Jennifer said: “We see fast adoption from small business owners that have outside sales reps such as cleaning companies and caterers.”

Right now haystack is free forever for a single user account.

 For more see:

New event, new crowd: Tech Slam ‘n Eggs kicks off with a high-energy start