Ideas fresh off the wire

Inside the Hogwarts Incubator

Here at Highwire we spend a lot of time talking about entrepreneurship and chasing the hype on the tech industry’s latest hot startups. Our clients expect fresh ideas from us and we spend a lot of time brainstorming on both a planned and ad-hoc basis.Hogwarts-castle-harry-potter-166431

A successful brainstorm requires focus, but sometimes the best ideas come from letting your brain off-leash for a while (hey, reporters on Twitter talk about their clever Slack chats with colleagues…why can’t we?).

Stemming from a conversation about startups’ propensity for picking the most vowel-deficient names possible, we thought: What if Hogwarts Academy was actually a startup incubator—a Hog Combinator of sorts? What kinds of companies could we expect to see?

Look no further. We give you the Hogwarts Incubator! (Note: best read while listening to this.)

Weez.ly: A smart app for asthmatics. Ten percent of each app purchase goes to an organization that advocates for air pollution control.

Siri-US: A next-generation digital black box for use in transportation systems. Pitch: “Every time a transportation disaster happens, rescue teams spend weeks digging for the black box. Our next-generation private cloud ‘black box’ allows officials to begin conducting an investigation immediately so they can get to the root of the problem faster.” Our logo is just a black box.

black-box-you-quantifiableMugg.ly: The first-ever canine facial recognition software. Foolishly backed by Carmelo Anthony’s VC firm.

Lum.os: An operating system for smart lighting technology with built in biometric detection systems.

VoldemoRT: A bot platform that automatically RT’s haters of your brand, enabling you to embrace irony and attract savvy hipster millennial customers.

Hufflepuffs: A venture-backed gourmet cream puff chain. Guy Fieri sits on the Board.

Patron.us: A reverse CRM play that lets customers get big data about the businesses they frequent. Run up by CEO Edward Snowden.

Storage Hat: A sorting hat for storage. NEXT.

HaGRID: A “smart grid” solution for homes that exist entirely off the grid. Sensors monitor the amount of solar/wind energy which has been generated, battery back-up systems, water levels in your cisterns, even pH levels in your compost pile.

Mal-foyl: A next-generation proprietary “malware foiling” technology

Expecto-Patronum: An on-demand Tequila delivery service that partners with Pitbull for one-off marketing promotions. No wand required.

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9 ¾: A platform that leverages disused freight rail cars and rents space in them to modern mobile-enabled persons of nomadic disposure. Essentially, it’s Uber for rail-riding techie hobos.

QuidDITCH: A personal finance/automated savings app based out of the UK, in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood.

Snaype: A critically misunderstood consumer social app that somehow raises over 5 billion dollars in funding, forcing tech journalists to think “What comes after ‘decacorn’?”  Despite global popularity that turns “snip” into a verb, CEO Dick Costolo gets massive heat from investors along the ride, but saves the company from peril at the 23rd hour, finally bringing him Silicon Valley vindication. Also, Dick Costolo starts wearing all black.

Written by Pete Johnson, Margaret Farrell and Bill Bode, account directors/managers in San Francisco, who all know way too much about Harry Potter