Finalists Announced for DMA’s HOT ZONE Startup Competition in Boston, Oct. 4-6

Contact: Mike Uehlein –

New York, NY, September 11, 2015 – With an eye on making connections between leading data-driven marketers and innovative, early-stage martech and adtech startups, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced today the 15 startup companies that will advance to its HOT ZONE national competition at &THEN, DMA’s annual marketing experience conference in Boston, Oct. 4-6.  These 15 early-stage adtech and martech companies will present their disruptive solutions directly to thousands of data-driven marketers, publishers, agencies and information services companies to &THEN attendees.  Five finalists will be selected on Monday, Oct. 5 to pitch-off on Tuesday, Oct. 6, for cash prizes before a panel of industry executives and &THEN attendees.

“The startup scene now is different than it was even five years ago.  The bar is much higher,” said David Kohl, CEO of Morgan Digital Ventures and Program Curator for the HOT ZONE.  “Today’s digital media startups are real, and bringing powerful solutions that can solve some of the supply-chain’s most vexing challenges.  We’re putting 15 innovative companies in front of &THEN attendees, all in the same place at the same time. It’s going to be a great way for marketers to get exposure to a group of companies that have been hand-picked for their innovative solutions to marketers’ burning needs.”

“Judging the HOT ZONE is inspirational because there’s so much talent and innovation in marketing today,” said Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy and Security Officer, Return Path and a HOT ZONE judge. “The diversity of ideas we’ve seen with the potential to reshape our industry is a great reminder of how much marketing has changed in such a short time, and how different it may be when this next wave of entrepreneurialism takes hold.”

The 15 startups advancing to the HOT ZONE competition in Boston are:

  • AdAgility
  • Booshaka
  • Cortex
  • Gravitater, Inc.
  • Gracious Eloise Inc.
  • InsideVault Inc.
  • Jebbit, Inc.
  • MentAd
  • Outleads
  • ReFUEL4
  • Sticky
  • TrackIf
  • Trendalytics
  • Vistar Media

(See more details on each startup below)

On Sunday, Oct. 4 and Monday, Oct. 5, the 15 startups will exhibit and interact with &THEN attendees.  Concurrently and using the &THEN Mobile App, attendees will vote on their top choices to advance to the Battleground Competition, where five companies will be selected through audience and judges’ voting. These five will pitch in a “Shark Tank” style contest for $40,000 in prize money.  The Battleground Competition judges are:

The HOT ZONE is supported by three sponsoring companies:  Facebook, MediaMath and Return Path.  Program partners who were involved in sourcing startups to apply for the competition are the New England Venture Capital Association, TechStars Boston and the Young Entrepreneur Council.  BostInno is the Media Partner for the HOT ZONE, providing coverage of the HOT ZONE competition before and during the event.

About the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association ( is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.   Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.  DMA provides marketers with INNOVATION that accelerates business growth, EDUCATION that develops talent and ensures compliance with ethical and best practices, and ADVOCACY that advances policies which support innovation in marketing.

About &THEN, The Global Marketing Experience

Introducing the only experience that unites the global marketing community – the people who think, plan and do what it takes to succeed.  If you are empirically driven and creatively inspired, you belong here. &THEN, which takes place October 4-6 in Boston, is powered by the organization that has been at the forefront of marketing for 98 years, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

To register for &THEN, visit

2015 HOT ZONE 15 Finalists at &THEN, Boston, MA, Oct. 4 – 6

AdAgility | Helps businesses drive incremental revenue and delight their customers by better-delivering multi-channel cross-sell through the use of predictive analytics and innovative merchandising techniques that engage users with native (designed-in) experiences at key moments in the buying cycle. |

Booshaka | To personalize the customer journey across every device and every channel |

Cortex | AI for marketing. We exist to advance the handshake between marketers and software to where it is supposed to be. |

Gravitater, Inc. | To connect consumers with the brands they love to create the most powerful and effective advertising |

Gracious Eloise Inc. | Reimagining handwriting in a digital age |

InsideVault Inc. | Drive better performance for large-scale paid search and social marketers |

Jebbit, Inc. | Humanizing how people interact with brands digitally |

MentAd | Helps consumer facing companies predict who their next customers are and finds opportunities to acquire them effectively through targeted advertising campaigns across different channels |

Outleads | Powering a richer online experience |

ReFUEL4 | Fueling creativity via data, around the world, in your digital feed. |

ROBUZZ | Empowers users with the data and intelligence to forge stronger business relationships by alerting them (in real-time) of organic and meaningful reasons to communicate. |

Sticky | A webcam eye-tracking analytics technology company that helps publishers, advertisers and agencies make more money from real people paying attention. |

TrackIf | Give consumers more complete control of marketing communications targeting them by asking them to set their criteria for receiving future marketing content. And, give retailers and other marketers the tools to ask consumers permission to market to them with Intelligent Alerting. |

Trendalytics | To support companies with actionable, data-driven insights that back product innovation and marketing based on evolving consumer insights and behaviors. |

Vistar Media | Helps businesses drive incremental revenue and delight their customers by better-delivering multi-channel cross-sell through the use of predictive analytics and innovative merchandising techniques that engage users with native (designed-in) experiences at key moments in the buying cycle. |