Video: Tech Toys and Tools PLUS Great Gifts from Local Startups

‘Tis the season for giving—and no holiday list is complete without cool devices and gadgets. Recently, the Columbus Metropolitan Club invited me and some local tech experts to choose and review our favorites in a lighthearted discussion on what we think are the coolest, techiest and most practical gifts and gadgets for the holidays.

Host Alex Bandar, Founder & Chief Mischief Maker, Idea Foundry, invited comments from panelists:  Kristy Campbell, COO, Rev1 Ventures; Will Burrus, Chief Technology Officer,, and Justin Kogge, Owner, Game Arena

The group saw virtual reality as a platform technology with enormous potential and power beyond gaming and fitness.

For example, VR applications for pain management and simulators for autism, epilepsy, opioid detox, and other conditions can help families, educators, medical professionals, and social workers, for example, to improve treatment, care, and daily interactions. A local Columbus-based startup, LittleSeed, specializes in VR products that specializes in transform the patient and family hospital experience from tears to laughter by “transporting” a child going through tests and treatment to somewhere else.

Enjoy the full panel discussion. Learn about technology trends and gain some great ideas for last-minute holiday shopping.

For more holiday ideas, consider adding these innovative products from local startups to your gifting list:

For the Foodie

The Toasted Oat is the creator of the only soft butter-baked granola that is certified gluten-free and certified delicious. Made from all-natural ingredients, The Toasted Oat’s granola is full of flavor and free of preservatives, additives and artificial flavors to finally deliver on the promise of a tasty gluten-free food that is safe for those with Celiac Disease, and scrumptious enough for everyone else. Find the Toasted Oat nationwide at Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, and online. My favorite flavor is Macadamia Chunk!

For the Instagram Influencer

HaloSmile, from SafeWhite, is a new way to get a whiter smile. It’s a unique formulation that creates a light and tasteless layer over the surface of your teeth.

For the Aspiring Rapper

Rapchat is the best way for today’s rap enthusiasts to create, collaborate, and connect with tomorrow’s stars. As a mobile app dedicated to helping millions of seasoned and aspiring rappers from around the globe make and share music, Combining the convenience of a mobile recording studio with the power of a social network, Rapchat is the premier place for artists and fans to fine-tune their craft, while helping the world discover new talent.

For the Meme Lover

Print Syndicate has developed an innovative social marketing platform and printing techniques which allow them to take a leadership position in the On-Demand Apparel industry. They even have sweatshirts for the grinch on your list.

For the Concert-goer

Frictionless ticketing meets transparent pricing with TicketFire, the easiest platform for buying, selling and transferring event tickets.

For New Parents

Juggle is an app for parents looking for real-time assistance with babysitting from vetted university students. Who doesn’t need a date night during the holidays?

For the Gift Card Enthusiasts

GiftPocket is gift card shopping app that allows you to store all of your gift cards on your phone, keep all of your gift cards organized, pay with your gift cards in stores, and buy gift cards with GP Points™ or credit cards all from your Pocket. Bonus: it allows you to exchange gift cards you don’t want for brands you love.

For the Beauty Lover

Concur manufactures and provides organic, all-natural skin care products, utilizing an in-house production facility and online sales. You’ll love Concur even more when you read about its amazing founder, Lindsey, and why she started the company.

For the Power Lifter

HILO Nutrition turns protein powder into protein gummies to simplify performance nutrition.

For the Coffee Connoisseur

Off The Beaten Path coffee and tea are COLD-BREWED. The flavor is preserved and so is the caffeine content. OTBP products have more zest because it hasn’t been boiled out of them, so they retain all the subtle flavors and just taste better.