2011 TechStars NYC Demo Day

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained the entry sign read.

Today was a special day for a lot of people.  TechStars (a company I worked for for years and left to travel earlier this year) had a demo / investor day for their inaugural NYC program.  11 startups showed their companies to about 500 investors and 250 friends and community members in the audience.  Short reviews are as follows:

Nestio

Make apartment hunting easy aggregating many services with reporting tools such as fraud that make it much more than just a three in one.  It is a pain, especially in NYC.  Can they break the broker model (from the inside out)?

Think Near

Impressive team doing something that I think is challenging but not personally interesting.  They are smart enough to figure out what will work in the mobile ad space to do some really interesting things.

Immersive Labs

Jaw dropping tech by some stand up founders.  Will be very, very big.  I wasn’t sold until their demo (camera on a digital sign figuring out what ad to serve to just the person watching) zeroed in on my face and said ‘dissatisfied.’  Nobody likes watching ads, but if they are well placed my attention will be there at least.  Awesome.

Friendslist

The biggest chance for a high growth or no growth company.  An interesting take on the personalization that makes up our lives now (I don’t want a yelp review, I want my friends favorite spot).  Can they build something solving a real problem that has failed competing against legacy and free?  Had the best joke of the day.

OnSwipe

Very interesting demo of websites being automatically turned into beautiful tablet ready websites (think iPad).  Powers all wordpress.com blogs currently. Seed round was $1M, now raising a Series A(wesome).

Crowdtwist

Their main client in livenation, who tickets Webber Hall, where they took the stage to present.  That set the stage for an impressive demo on how ticket companies are trying, and failing, to give back for those bastard fees.

MigrationBox

These Spaniards are building things people want, in this case ways to migrate cloud services.  Think of moving a company from Exchange to Gmail Apps.

ToVieFor

I own three shirts and this is a fashion startup.  I don’t get why people buy things, or why people would spend over $800 for a handbag.  If I ever do that, please beat me with it.

Red Rover

Blah blah blah we are amazing and have crazy >$1M revenues blah blah blah world domination our customers love us blah blah blah.

Shelby.tv

Your computer is now a personalized continuous TV with media from what your friends recommend.  Intro from Fred Wilson set the tone, the team matched in bringing a quality product to the investors.  My guess for the fastest raise.

Veri

I’ve got a gut feeling that Veri will be big.  Think of taking a quiz on a topic where if you answered a question incorrectly, you were taken to a video showing you exactly the answer.  What did Robert Pack say about the ’94 Denver Nuggets expectations to upset the Seattle Supersonics?  Boom. I can see this type of learning to be fun and addictive.  Best domain name of the bunch.

How does it compare with years past?  Blows a lot of them away.  The most polished group I have seen yet as a whole.  It gets better and better and better.

Well done David Ticsh, you lead a mighty effort.

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