A guide to the DEMO Traction 2015 winners in Boston

On September 16 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, the leaders from 30 enterprise startups all stood on stage in front of thousands of onlookers to tell their stories. James A. Martin gives us the highlights from the event.

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On September 16 at the Westin Waterfront in Boston, leaders of 30 enterprise startups stood on stage to tell their stories to a room full of CIOs, CMOs, and other high-level tech executives. Each brief presentation focused on several key areas: What the startup does; how it differs from others in its space; which problems it is solving; and how it is gaining traction in its field.

Among the 30 startups, four received a DEMO Traction Enterprise award: LiquidPlanner, Treasure Data, Greenhouse, and Emotient. The following are videos of their presentations (including follow-up questions that judges asked), along with a summary of each winner’s presentation.   

(Also check out videos of the April 2015 DEMO Traction conference winners in San Francisco.)


LiquidPlanner is a SaaS-based predictive project management system primarily targeted at IT and engineering teams.

“I’m obsessed with estimation,” confessed CEO Liz Pearce. As examples, she said she routinely tries to estimate how long it will take to get her kids to school or what her tax bill will be.

People constantly make best and worst case estimations in life as well as in business. But in business, “we don’t always have the tools we need to dimentionalize that uncertainty.” It’s a big problem, Pearce noted, citing a study that said the U.S. economy loses $50 billion to $150 billion per year due to failed IT projects.

LiquidPlanner is designed to capture the uncertainties in business, especially in large technology projects, and calculate realistic outcomes. The product uses three inputs as its “secret sauce”:

  1. What are the project’s priorities?
  2. What is the effort required to complete the project?
  3. What resources are available to get the work done?

Based on those inputs, LiquidPlanner’s predictive scheduling engine calculates projection completion dates “to tell you realistically what can be accomplished with the team and people you have and the time you need to work in,” Pearce said.

Seattle-based LiquidPlanner was founded in 2006. Pearce said the company is growing 40 to 60 percent annually and currently has about 2,000 customers, many of which are Fortune 500 companies. LiquidPlanner has received approximately $11.5 million in funding, according to its CrunchBase profile.

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