Startup Showcase

Today in the late afternoon/early evening, Tim O'Reilly and I are going to host a startup showcase at the Web 2.0 Expo in NYC at the Sheraton in midtown.

Here's how it will work. Tim and I will go on stage at 4:50 to talk about how we are going to evaluate companies for 10 minutes. Then everyone in attendance will be able to walk around to all the booths for an hour meeting the companies. Then from 6:15 to 7pm Tim and I will make our picks (one each) and the crowd will make their pick. Each selected company will be given 10-15 minutes to do a pitch/discussion with Tim and me.

Here are the companies that will be participating. I am really looking forward to this event. Should be great.

 - - Beebuzz
 - - CiviGuard, Inc.
 - - Credit Coach, Inc
 - - Entrustet
 - - food52
 - - Glympse
 - - Honestly Now Inc.
 - - HowAboutWe
 - - Intersect
 - - Itizen
 - - Lifesta
 - - MindSnacks
 - - Naama Networks
 - - NabeWise
 - - Ninite
 - - Outlier
 - - Roadify Inc.
 - - SaneBox
 - - SocialFlow
 - - StorageByMail
 - - Tactical Information Systems
 - - Taskforce
 - - The Comet
 - - SoBi – The Social Bicycle System

Comments (Archived):

  1. Mark

    Nice. Is there a link where we can get a short blurb about what each of these companies does?

  2. RichardF

    Diaspora could be the elephant in the room there then.

  3. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    Please give us your impressions of all standouts, and the “offspring” of our own family here: Aprizi and HonestlyNow! but I am particularly interested in your opinion of Diaspora. Have a great time!

    1. Dave Pinsen

      I know Honestly Now is Tereza’s company, but I didn’t recognize the founders of Aprizi — are they commenters here too?

      1. Tereza

        That’s Giff Constable and Liz Crawford — and they’re terrific!

        1. Dave Pinsen

          I saw their names and bios on Aprizi’s site, I just didn’t recognize them from the comments here. Congrats, btw, for getting in the showcase.

          1. giffc

            It is true I tend to listen more, occasionally piping up. Love the community here, and thank you Tereza!

          2. Donna Brewington White

            I’m not much of a fashionista but I must say your website tempts me!

          3. Tereza

            They have a beautiful site.

        2. Satish Mummareddy

          Good luck Tereza.

        3. ShanaC

          And good luck to you too.

          1. Tereza

            Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

        4. Donna Brewington White

          With you in spirit, T!!!

        5. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

          Hey, just got back from my thing and hope I am in time to wish you very well today. Tell Giff hello from me and I hope to hear great things about you all in a Wilson Round Up post or reply from both of you guys. Throw your two cents in on Diaspora if you don’t mind when you get time.

      2. David Bloom

        I’m another long time reader, not regular commentator. Very exciting, though, to see Naama Networks in a Fred tweet. Can’t wait to meet everyone tonight.

        1. Tereza

          David, really enjoyed meeting you as well.

  4. Dave Pinsen

    We should do a home game contest here to see who can guess which three companies will get to do a pitch/discussion with Tim and Fred. Maybe Fred can think up a prize for the winner(s) to make it interesting.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I think we need to hear how Tim and Fred are going to evaluate the companies first. πŸ˜‰

        1. Aviah Laor

          Ha! this is an important input.And your guess, Matt? πŸ™‚

          1. Matt A. Myers

            My guess would have my own personal bias of where I see the internet going (and in the areas I know more about), so I’d rather not disclose that to the general public’s attention. In fact, I hope my non-disclosed picks don’t get selected for discussion. πŸ˜› I wish them the best though… :)But here are the products I can see myself using and that can be successful:1) Honestly Now – Obviously some bias can be taking some play here, but it can work and it’s needed, but no one’s done it well yet. Lots of opportunity for revenues / profits here. Lots of extensions too.I’ve thought through this same idea many years ago – roughly around the time a then-girlfriend taught me how to dress / what looks good on me. πŸ˜› Before that I probably dressed like you, Aviah. πŸ˜‰ ZING! πŸ˜› Just kidding.Regardless, it’d be interesting to hear how far Tereza’s idea currently extends: And she delivered… :))2) Ninite – I’d use once there were a few more features. There are definitely avenues for profits here, and pretty big profits. Good luck to them. Just thought of another revenue stream. I like this idea a lot.3) I can’t decide on a 3, so I’m not putting one. Deal with it. πŸ˜› Though I like Social Flow, but don’t know what that’s worth to potential users.And so my conclusions…1) There’s a problem with many of these concepts. They’re good ideas, but most of them fit better under a larger ecosystem full of more parts. If you execute really well and want to maybe make a one-time $10-$20 million in a sale, then cool. But if you’re wanting to make $100+ million a year then none of them have very secure revenue models. Even getting $10-$20 million in a sale will be difficult because the cost of duplication is relatively low – of course you can always be bought up as a “catch-me-up-to-competitors” buyout. :)2) To all those individuals or sites not mentioned – you have to remember we might not be your target crowd for criticism; We just think we’re all brilliant, but we all have biases and what one considers being able to achieve success and what another thinks is success can be very different. My $1,000,000,000 a year goal probably is more ambitious than yours, so I’ll be a little more critical than is needed for achieving some success.Now, I stop giving others advice to think about … and therefore I focus again because I have another 3-4 months of hard work (and yoga, also hard work) to do before I’ll have my 6-slides ready for Fred et al. Peace.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            Thanks for the ‘Like’ Aviah – probably only person who read it. πŸ™‚

        2. Eran Davidov

          I actually like this order.Eran @ Lifesta πŸ™‚

          1. andyswan

            Eran I love what you’re doing email me if you get a chance: andy …….at……

        3. Dave Pinsen

          It’s better this way. If Tim and Fred got too explicit about how they’ll be evaluating the companies, you’d adjust your picks accordingly. And the participants would adjust their pitches.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            True, however I imagine Fred and Tim would want to direct the presentations in such a way – at least somewhat?

        4. fredwilson

          a big part of my criteria is something new, something i haven’t seen before

          1. Donna Brewington White

            so there goes Diaspora…shoot

      1. awaldstein

        DaveI like lifesta also. It is an idea that needs to become a company in the turmoil of the discount flash sale space.Big question is…customer acquisition or how to get attention in the noise of the marketplace. Brand building is no small matter.

        1. andyswan

          With long-expirations on deals it could very well become an SEO play as well…..

          1. awaldstein

            Possibly…Don’t get me wrong..I do some work in the coupon space and like the idea…and have met with Eran early on to see where he is going.SEO is the key driver for the big coupon aggregators on the web today….I think partnerships that sit on top of their massive keyword funnels is something to explore.Eran…your reading this I know (I just saw you in the airport:) It would be interesting to see the breakdown of expiration dates to see how many warrant traffic investments from a natural search perspective. A private share possibly.

          2. Aviah Laor

            Macroecon: every market needs a secondary marketBuyers: ooops. I just missed that deal. Wish I could have it Sellers: A perfect solution to an old problem – how to market a deal for long time, while still keeping the scent of a one-time-don’t-miss-it bargain.

          3. awaldstein

            Yup agree.This entire coupon flash/social/pop-up/sale market is interesting…and a bit nuts.Right now…hundred (literally) doing the same thing weaving deal-a-day,social loops for spread, thresholds and on and on. No technology barrier to entry.Biggest issue is acquiring me! I’m the cost. Right now, brand wins.If I was going to invest in someone in this space, I’d ask…how do you get me to pay attention. That’s the magic from my point of view.My bet…Amex or someone with a hold on small businesses and ‘me’ is going to come in and reshake the entire ecosystem.Gonna be a great movie to watch;)

          4. Eran Davidov

            I think Mastercard is already dabbling in this. They’ve got daily offers with limited quantities, mostly to bring people to their bigger marketplace, but could easily extend it.But wouldn’t you expect USA Today (USA Todaily Deals?) to be a big winner here if they start?Re expiration dates, without exposing numbers, let’s just say that some people are selling expiring vouchers, but quite a lot aren’t, i.e. bought a few weeks back, have a year to go, already selling. I can imagine various reasons why needs change. For example the person selling their left-over bridal-shower groupons (true story) and quite a few others like that.

          5. awaldstein

            Thnx EranRe: Am Ex…just a wild pitch on my part but throwing the ball in the right direction I think.USA Today…if they own anything, they have a connection with the traveler. I don’t think of them as local and the flash sale world is hyper local…no?Thanks for sharing some insights into the numbers. You have the value quotient, you need to simply make it easy to create a new behavior with these coupons…doable.

        2. Dave Pinsen

          WRT building a brand, they could probably start with a better name. But you put your finger on the key challenges.

          1. awaldstein

            Names matter for certain.I think that there is a space for this market…those who understand how to acquire the customers and build the brand will win. And of course, the margins don’t allow for the customer to be bought. That’s why Andy’s SEO note is dead on if the other components mesh together.It’s just marketing…

          2. Aviah Laor

            Agreed. It’s a challenge.

          3. awaldstein

            One that can be successful though in my opinion.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            I still like the idea, but I was just thinking that an added challenge here is that the coupon issuers might not be too eager to help WRT any marketing as they’re probably banking on the slippage that this business would minimize.

        3. Dave Pinsen

          I like the idea. I agree completely on the challenges of marketing it and acquiring customers.________________________________

    1. andyswan

      My money is on:Lifesta TacticalinfosysStoragebymailWilling to wager a bottle of pappy against anyone else’s three. I’m scared of honestlynow, mostly because I’m guessing it’s a girl founder and you know how these VCs are now on the PCTereza XX train, especially at public events where you don’t actually have to write a check :)Edit: Wow just found out it IS Tereza’s company. Shit. Now I’m really in the crosshairs.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Yup, you’re fucked! LOL πŸ˜‰

      2. Dave Pinsen

        Wager accepted.

      3. Satish Mummareddy

        Andy I’m not so sure about Tacticalinfosys. If someone was really putting money into it, I would advice against it. I have worked on computer vision for the last 8 years and know the biometrics industry a little bit. Here are my issues:1) Nothing on their website shows that they have actually solved the technology challenges. Riya tried it and PIVOTED away. πŸ™‚ But I know how the tech works and where it fails. In security its a super hard problem but for the wanderID there is a chance that it may work because the person is cooperative and will give you a mugshot and you don’t have to deal with pose and lighting etc. But this particular website doesnt show that they have the technology. If I were them, I would ask you to load photos of three people and then then upload another image and show the match.2) Iris scanning and finger print matching are such competitive areas. There are huge players. Don’t know why they have a competitive edge. If there is a market for hosted solutions the big players will make a play for that. TYCO, Seimens security, GE, Honeywell etc.

        1. Alex Kilpatrick

          I’m the CTO for

        2. Alex Kilpatrick

          I’m the CTO for Tactical Information Systems. I’ve worked on very large scale biometrics systems in the Middle East for the last five years. The technology has changed radically in the last few years, and face matching is much more reliable than it was even a couple of years ago. You are correct in that lighting is critical for good face matching. I would not be comfortable using our technology in a situation where lighting wasn’t controlled, or where resolution was poor. However, in our application we can control both sides of the equation — enrollment and checking. We have a variety of proprietary technologies that grade the image, and if it is of poor quality we tell the person to take the picture again. Using this approach in our test databases of 100,000 or so, we get accuracy in the high 99% range. In our actual testing with real users, we have never gotten a missed match with a well composed picture.We aren’t competing in terms of the actual matching technology, though. As you say, there are a lot of players in that space. We are competing in terms of bringing low-cost consumer-oriented matching application to market quickly. Our goal is to make the creation of a biometric application almost as easy as signing up for any other online application.

          1. Satish Mummareddy

            Hi Alex. I agree with you. I said the same thing in my comment that since you can control the input pose & lighting & glasses etc, you have a better chance to solve the problem well. I would have liked to see more tech demos on the web site. Good Luck. I know computer vision problems are hard but there are elegant solutions when you limit the scope of the problem. Thats exactly what you guys are doing and you might be very successful. I just would have liked proof of it on the website. πŸ™‚

          2. Alex Kilpatrick

            Satish – I’ve done a lot of programming in various areas, and a little bit in image processing for fingerprint cards. I found it incredibly frustrating. It was easy to get to an 80% solution and very hard to improve from there. It is a field that is frustrating to talk about to outsiders because humans do it so well, and it is so hard for computers.Thank you for the suggestion about putting proof on our website. That is a good idea. As an example, we were recently written up at, about some work we have done in *defeating* face recognition. If you look at the examples, you can see some really extreme cases where it works quite well. It take a lot to defeat it, assuming you have well composed images.Here is the link:

      4. Aviah Laor

        honestlynow – think gilt group on steroids. Your friends tell that you look really good with XYZ. Now would you buy it?

        1. John

          um, not really. would stick to what I (upper case I) like

          1. Aviah Laor

            :)you just ended the fashion industry. cheers.

          2. ShanaC

            You are so not a girl. I would just to make certain people I know green with envy.

        2. andyswan

          How do you think I ended up with pappy and my wife?

          1. Aviah Laor


      5. ShanaC

        Be nice to Tereza.I wouldn’t do StorageByMail- that was a google joke a while back. It will be expensive to run over time if fuel costs re-adjust.I do think they are right that people put a ton of crap into storage and then don’t track it, and that is an area ripe for innovation. I don’t think mailing it in boxes is going to help them.TacticalInfoSystems is a little before its time. I think the public at large is a little nervous by biometrics even if they will be seeing them soon more often. While bringing down the costs is a good investment apportunity (I agree with you about that) I think you need to see biometrics systems out in the public in everyday use so that people will feel a need to offload costs of running a system. Otherwise it is a bit niche- I’m betting the cost for the vast majority of biometric system users isn’t super high right now because of this niche-ness

        1. Jared McKiernan

          StorageByMail sounds really similar to StorageByTheBox here in the Chicago area, which was started by a guy who owns several regular storage facilities.

        2. Donna Brewington White

          At first glimpse StorageByMail is a cool concept — but I’m thinking I’d want more ready access to my stuff — especially if they are marketing it as a service that enlarges your closet space.Maybe I’m too much of a minimalist to be a good judge.Although my husband would like something like this — to get his garage back.I’m wondering what the male/female differential is on the appeal of this service?

      6. ShanaC

        I’ll take you up on that if we can switch out the alcohol…would rather have shoes.

        1. Aviah Laor

          nah, with enough alcohol you will give up the shoes πŸ™‚

          1. Tereza

            Not just the shoes.

      7. Mark Essel

        You’re F’d dude.Tereza knows where you comment

        1. andyswan

          Charm shields, activate!

      8. Tereza

        You’re so busted.

    2. RichardF


    3. fredwilson

      i will buy a bottle of pappy for anyone who guesses all three correctly here on AVC. the guesses have to be posted by 6pm because we start announcing them after that

      1. Donna Brewington White

        …or you could give the winner a job at USV helping you to identify new investment opportunities! πŸ˜‰

      2. Dave Pinsen


      3. Mary Haskett

        What exactly is pappy?

      4. Satish Mummareddy

        I got all 3 wrong. Maybe if I got that bottle of pappy I’ll predict better next time. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    4. andyswan

      winners:Glympse Food52

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Looks like you and I are both 0-for-3, so our wager is a push.Glympse + Predator drones would be a deadly combination.

  5. giffc

    Thanks for the mention Fred (and Kelly). We’re looking forward to the event! Quick note on location: I will check again but believe it is being held at the Empire Ballroom.

    1. ShanaC

      Good Luck

      1. giffc

        thank you πŸ˜€

  6. Noah Fleming

    Thanks for sharing the list of startups. Lots of cool things to check out here.

  7. anand

    I really love Ninite. I had to reformat a few computers this past weekend, and it made setup of common programs like Chrome, Firefox, and Avast a snap. It’s a real time saver.

  8. kagilandam

    A special good luck to ALL from AVC tribe showcasing his/her company.

  9. Senith @ MBA tutor

    Amazing. Enough play projects to check out this weekend!

  10. kenberger

    Notably high quality of names here that start the imagination as to what they do.Notably high lack of memed names like *, etc (though there is 1 *.ly)This session coincides with tonight’s @shakeshack event, which is probably a good thing to provide some crowd relief to the latter.

  11. andyswan

    I gave each of these a 2 minute opportunity to pitch me via their website. Some, if not most, of these take-aways will be unfair….but guess what….that’s about how long Angels/VCs and yes, CUSTOMERS give you to make an impression. Unsolicited, shoot from the hip opinions on other people’s businesses? GO!BeeBuzz — Great concept…. would love to see platform. Could goEntrust — Like selling life insurance to poor people on their least valuable assets. OddDiaspora — The linux of social networking? Other devs will love, but will my cousins care?Glympse — Love the idea. Would pay for it to keep track of loved ones. Privacy controls key.Honestly Now — not a — good concept in the “contract don’t hire” world of ObamaCare and other regulationsHowaboutwe — why can’t established players build this? Put in “tool not a business” categoryIntersect — Love interface and pitch….seems like it could be a lot of work that facebookers already solved?Itizen — so creative. Love the idea, can’t figure out why in the world I’d spend time on it. Too much time between “item events” to get traction.lifesta: Hell yes. Love it…..secondary market for deals of day. So smart. WinnerMindsnacks — Great….mobile/fun rosetta stone. WinnerNaamanetworks — going to have a hard time failing….nice niche where founders almost certainly “know the biz”….likely a solution to existing problem, not invented one. Nabewise — Data play….better as tool to be lisc by RE agents, etc than destination — I like the concept. Could be great partner for companies offering “simple computers”…would like to know more on how to HAD ME AT THE LOGO. WINRoadify — solving a problem I certainly don’t have….looks like a lot of trouble for a menial task….ehhhSanebox– crowded. Will be running 100 yard dash forever to stay ahead. Socialflow — “how to tweet right”??? Seems so….frilly, and so 2008. Hope I’m Not a defendable name but love the idea and think they’ll execute. Big win or zero but I like it. Nice work.Tacticalinfosys: Winner. I like everything about it….now it’s purely executionTaskforce: Crowded. 100 yard dash forever. AvoidSoBi: Why not? Seems like smart evolution in bike share….but existing profitable players could dev same tech within 3 months….so why not bet on them?

    1. Nick Grossman

      Fair question abt how about we, but I really love their approach. So different and fun.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        One of my favorites, too!

    2. Nathan Lustig

      I’m really excited to be in the showcase tonight. I found the application through AVC, which I read daily, though I rarely comment. I’m the cofounder of Entrustet, and here’s what we do:Andy – We’re a bit different from selling life insurance to poor people and I’d argue that your digital assets are not your least valuable! Our home page probably doesn’t do a good job of explaining what we do if that’s the impression it’s giving off from a few minute look.Here’s what we do:Consumers – Free way to make a list of all digital assets (online accounts/computer files) and decide which are transferred to heirs and which are deleted when you die. Premium allows our team to privately delete anything so your heirs don’t have to.Websites – We notify companies of user deaths and last wishes and help them facilitate transfers/deletes. 3 Facebook users die every single minute and they have no idea who these people are or what they wanted done with their accounts.Attorneys – Help attorneys learn how to add digital assets to Wills and Trusts. Certify which attorneys know what they’re doing with this emerging asset class.Hope to meet a bunch of you tonight!Nate

      1. andyswan

        I think it’s well thought out and definitely an interesting niche. I’m invested in backupify…there may be a partnership there. Let me knowif you want an intro.Don’t get me wrong….ALL of these (well almost) are interesting and couldmake a nice run. I hope yours does.p.s. I WOULD pay for a premium service where you post to twitter, facebookand disqus for me in the years after I die. 2pac style.

        1. Nathan Lustig

          haha Entrustet Immortality, I like it. It’d be great to connect with backupify, my email is nlustig at entrustet

      2. Tereza

        Hey Nate,Really nice meeting you this evening. I’m only reading your comment now.Having dealt with a number of family deaths in an extremely short period of time and being saddled with the fallout of multiple estates to settle simultaneously, I would say that what you describe resonates with me deeply.There is a huge gap around what happens to those assets. What’s more inevitable than death.I’ve thought about how JLMs kids should be able to read his Disqus comments after he’s gone….but do they even know he does this? That kind of stuff.And the way that some people buy a lifelong subscription of flowers after they did for their widow on her birthday, I could see a sentimental tweet or SMS every birthday.One difficulty I’d see is that Americans avoid talking about death more than any culture I’ve seen. It’s kinda weird.

        1. Nathan Lustig

          Tereza,Great to meet you too.Websites were (rightly) designed to get users to sign up, share content and create information, but nobody created a mechanism to deal with inheritance and legacy. Because nobody knows what to do, these assets are generally lost.There’s two types of digital assets that are important: sentimentally valuable and economically valuable.JLM’s comments, your family photos, my blog etc are sentimentally valuable assets. Domain names, hosting, paypal and certain ebay accounts are economically valuable and we’re trying to help people protect both.Our biggest difficulty is getting past American’s aversion to planning for their death. It’s not fun and we’re doing all sorts of experimenting to see if we can get the inheritance information we need without hitting people over the head with death messaging. I’m optimistic that we can do it.No matter what happens with Entrustet, I know my next startup will have to be about something lighter that everyone loves, like puppies and rainbows!

          1. Tereza

            I think, as one of those categories that is *everywhere*, but no one wants to talk about it, your most effective communication channel is personal testimonials. They can set up a call to action. (I.e. “I never thought this could happen to me but then it did an I don’t want it to happen to you.”). Real people on video.There is so much euphemism and obtuse speech in that industry. It’s so annoying.It harkens me to maxi pad commercials in the 80’s where there’s a beautiful young woman with long flowy hair swinging on a swing in a meadow with a distant smile in her face…And you’re like, “What does that have to do with getting my period?”Honestly now!

    3. Dave Pinsen

      Your two minute drill here was informative. It was useful to see the quick takes of an actual angel investor. Hope the push back you’ve gotten here got won’t make you soften the edges of your comments in the future. Candid feedback from angel investors is helpful for aspiring entrepreneurs, even if we don’t always agree with it.

      1. Tereza

        I agree.In the spirit of “honestly now” I’d rather know someone’s real response than not….as long as I can respond back, if I disagree!

        1. Dave Pinsen

          It can be frustrating when someone criticizes your product when you feel they are negative about it because they don’t understand it. I’ve been there.But as Andy noted, for better or worse, a lot of angels and customers make quick judgments like this. And one benefit to you of Andy’s negative comment about your business here was that it gave you the opportunity to lay out your case for HonestlyNow in response. Maybe that detailed pitch you made here, which you probably wouldn’t have made if you weren’t responding to Andy’s comment, won you a few future customers or potential investors.

          1. Tereza

            Actually another piece of this is that we’re of course now building our company culture. Based on what we do for customers and users, we need to walk the walk and be honest too.One thing we say to each other is that we must give each other feedback early and often…especially if it’s negative. It’s easier to deal with negative feedback earlier than later.I’d like us to set the standard for honesty as core to who we are and what we do.And this means sometimes hearing things that are not comfortable, and gulping.

      2. Donna Brewington White


  12. RJ Johnston

    Very cool, sounds like a great time! Wish I was there, maybe next time. πŸ™‚

  13. Aviah Laor

    But, to everyones amazement, the shoe fitted perfectly!

  14. Matt A. Myers

    Seeing these types of things are exciting. Potential competitors presenting reminds me of the need to get my beautiful 6-slide presentation to the investors you want before they invest in someone else. Alas, I can only go so fast. Keeps me on my edge too I guess.

  15. awaldstein

    Just got back into town and would like to go tonight.Am I incorrect that you need to buy an Expo pass to go…and they are Sold Out?If anyone has info, please share on this.thanks

    1. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

      I don’t have the g2 on this, but am wondering if you got an answer. I have a ticket to the shakeshack thing I would trade. Any takers?

      1. awaldstein

        I pinged the expo and they issued a bloggers pass so I may go if the effects of the redeye from SF leaving at 2AM this morning don’t kick in before.Post the thing, not clear as yet. Thanks

        1. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

          Good to know…thnx. You going to the Meetup tomorrow night? Hoping to meet many folks here in person.

          1. awaldstein

            Hi Kelley…not going to make the one tomorrow.

        2. Tereza

          Nice to meet you today, Arnold!

          1. awaldstein

            Great to meet people you already know….been happening a lot lately.

  16. ShanaC

    Tactical Info Systems is way before its time.CiviGuard is super brilliant. We had a custom solution of this when I was in college after a shooting at a different college- if they can improve and do cheaper, they will have people running after them them There are a ton of uses if they can come up with a good pricing scheme.Itizen or its competitor Stickybits needs to work more closely with barcode reader companies and marketers and stop trying to be hipsters. Hip item doesn’t mean you cracked the code. Talk to Macy’s and start running random sales through a phone application, stop trying for the pretty website and the story thing….you’ll have people running through the racks for a randomly placed bargain. it is like they miss the game mechanics of the real world versus internet world and how they interact because they forget objects are part and parcel of the game mechanics…SocialFlow- I have a thing for data.Lifesta because the deal thing is getting too big and this is a good angle. Same reason why Yipit was a smart angle. they have no branding though :(Aprizi could work as a premium business. It’s domain doesn’t sing.SOBi actually really could sing in urban areas. Used bikes could keep down costs, as well as the fact that they are going to buy bikes in bulk. That could be a huge win in the way social car sharing is a huge win. Plus bikes last longer than cars…

    1. CiviGuard

      Hi Shana,Thanks for your comments and support. We are very excited about CiviGuard and look forward to disrupting this rather arcane ‘enterprise sales / RFP’ focused industry worth $4.65BN @ CAGR of 17%.Crazy thing is, due to the cost, complexity and long-sales cycles employed by our predecessors, barely 10% of the global market has bothered to lower insurance premiums and protect their civilian assets. All I can say is: stay tuned.I doubt Fred saw our relaunched website, as it happened barely 30 minutes before showtime. I reckon he’d be a little more interested vs. the original version that was heavily public sector focused giving it NO chance of USV funding :)Feel free to hail me @zubinwadia would love to hear more of your thoughts!Cheers,Zubin WadiaFounderCiviGuard, Inc.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Zubin,Any chance you were inspired by that scene in Star Trek II where the computer runs a retina scan on Kirk to verify his identity before letting him play the Genesis Project clip?

        1. CiviGuard

          Hi Dave,LOL no… we actually came out of Singularity University – a NASA/Google sponsored program out of Mountain View. Anything you work on there needs to be focused on a grand challenge and positively impact 1,000,000,000 people in 10 years. That’s when we trained our eyes on global emergencies and realized the response models were lame.Dug a little deeper and realized there was actually a market opportunity… we believe sustained impact can only be made profitable innovation. We had seen non-profits try to tackle this area and fail because they rely on the planet’s goodwill and have huge variances in cash flow due to market conditions.BTW – wouldn’t the retina scan scene inspire the Tactical Info Systems folks more?Cheers,Zubin.

      2. ShanaC

        Will do.

  17. Donna Brewington White

    On days like this I think Fred has the funnest and hardest job on the planet! Would love to be there!I haven’t had time to look at all the companies but I know enough about Tereza’s capabilities to give Honestly Now a vote! Plus it truly is a great concept!Since I don’t know which AVC people are represented, I will just send out a blanket “all the best!” — but truly anyone who has made it to that floor is already a “winner” in many respects. Congratulations to all of you!

  18. Donna Brewington White

    Is Mark Essel represented in this group?

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Unfortunately, no.

    2. Tereza

      Next year, for sure.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        For sure.

  19. Dale Allyn

    I wish everyone a successful presentation. I don’t like (or is it “I don’t get”?) some of the projects, but I very much understand and appreciate the amount of work and passion it takes to build a successful company. Kudos to all.I’ve watched much of the live stream from TechCrunch Disrupt these past few days and especially the startup presentations. I must admit that I’m growing weary of all the social and check-in apps. It’s a huge space and it’s obvious why it gets all the attention, but man, do I feel really full of this stuff – saturated I guess. Bolting more and more stuff onto Twitter, FB, etc.; repackaging FourSquare… As an avid web user I have seen very few ideas recently that I’d sign-up for. I’m looking forward to something new (and not so “social”) I guess… but that’s just me.And as Tereza is such regular and visible member here, I’d like to wish her “Good Luck!” with her presentations at the conference. Kill ’em!

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Agreed about the surfeit of social media apps being launched these days. It would be cool to see a start-up showcase like this one that was geared instead toward companies selling innovative tangible products manufactured in the U.S.

    2. Tereza

      Thanks Dale!

      1. Satish Mummareddy

        So how did it go?

        1. Tereza

          Thanks for cheering me on, Satish.It was a good event. It wasn’t quite the structured speed-dating they’d described — more of a pileup. Crowded and loud. Lucky for me i’m loud and tall.I did something a little different and i brought a customer with me, to demonstrate market validation. He is a stylist and award-winning handbag designer. He asked me, “Are they judging you on your technology, or your business?” I told him that’s a great question….I think business but I’m not really sure.This general audience does not comprise a large number of our target users (women), but I was pleased to have the women who did come by, stick around for a while and getting excited. Generally If I say, “anyone can use this platform”, people say, “your audience is too broad”. When I show it to guys and say, “This is a platform for women”, what I hear from them is, “Hey, do you mind if I use it too?”It was hard to tell who were attendees versus who were actually seeking investments.This was really good practice pitching. And it got better as the hour went on. I didn’t get much more feedback than that. I think people are just soaking it in.Folks took a huge stack of cards, so we’ll see if any convert.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Were you able to get card or contact info from those who stopped by your booth?

          2. Tereza

            I printed out signup sheets for people who’d be interested in the service and a bunch of people did.

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Cool. It’s always good when you can follow up to get feedback soon after an event.________________________________

          4. ShanaC

            Can I sign up> I will be in need. I will send to friends…

          5. Satish Mummareddy

            I empathize with the market is too broad. i guess you can say “Eventually anyone can use it but our beachhead is women older than xx who spend yy money of zz things, which itself is a $$$$$$$$$$$ market. And if we can help the women, we can make a ton of money. And I’m willing to share my cake with you if you get a knife, plates and forks” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ :DYesterday I was trying to think you would be evaluated on the real opportunity to build a business. But I guess in most of these shows the sexy company wins. πŸ™‚ You just have an opportunity to build a dull HUGE company. πŸ™‚ You will get positive reception at a kiosk at a kids soccer game than at a tech show. πŸ™‚ Your company will become sexy the day you announce that you took the unconventional path, launched in a market by staying lean, are cash flow positive & your revenue per user is huge and need money to scale. Thats when you turn from the ugly duckling into the swan. :)It must have been good pitching practice. I loved going to tradeshows. Every 2 mins you get to talk to a new person and can pitch the company. Based on the questions people asked, Id refine my next pitch.

  20. Dan Check

    Nice list!

  21. leigh

    Roadify is brilliant – i was JUST wondering the other day with all the bloody construction in Toronto why someone doesn’t create a mobile community that could be my community eyes and ears (/GPS).Also loving the concept of Social Bicycles.As for – Skinny jeans? Really???

  22. Satish Mummareddy


  23. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    I am flummoxed. Did I miss a memo?? How do you guys know how to name a top three if you don’t know what criteria the companies are being evaluated on? : > /// So, HASO. (kinda like HARO, but fun-ner because it is all about me and my girls).

  24. paramendra

    Diaspora needs a better domain name just like FourSquare did.

  25. daryn

    My favorites:Lifesta – definitely an opportunity here, but will be crowded and hard to defendSanebox – because it has changed my email use completely, though priority inbox is a pretty daunting competitor. Food52 – not sure what’s unique about it, but quality content and I would back anything Amanda Hesser does in a heartbeat.My guesses for

    1. daryn

      Just saw the winners list. Looks like I think like Tim O’Reilly (food52), and picked correctly for the crowd ( – but Fred surprised me with Glympse!

  26. Mark Essel

    Best of luck to all the presenters this afternoon/evening.kick ass and take names Tereza!

  27. Kedar

    Is there livecast of the event ? I can not make it due to logistics…but would like to view it..My take is Credit Coach, IncHonestly Now Inc.Hour.lyBut personally i like following companies due to their product ideas (not business appeal) (though their real product is not functional for me right now)Hope everyone enjoys the event!

  28. Tim Johnson

    I’ll be a voice of grumposity here. Most of them sound like they should be services underneath existing systems and not stand-alone companies. As soon as one of the gorillas in their space offers something similar, poof!The only three that I see that have any legs are:Beebuzz – custom loyalty programs will help tiny/small/regional firms compete or differentiateOutlier – specialty urban bicycling clothes (although I have no idea how a swan logo ties into their name or product lines) although not much play outside Boston, NYC, Seattle, Portland and SFMind Snacks – truly awesome learning gamesFred, you can hand deliver the Pappy next time you’re in Silicon Valley

    1. Alex Kilpatrick

      I think the Black Swan is a nod to the concept of Black Swans in mathematical theory —… It deals with outliers in populations.

  29. Donna Brewington White

    Since I literally have two minutes — just going for it: – Honestly Now Inc. – Diaspora – LifestaAlthough I also like MindSnacks…I like a LOT of them.At a certain point you play to win, not based on what YOU like!

    1. Donna Brewington White

      BTW, Mind Snacks people — I will be a customer — LOVE this concept!

    2. Dave Pinsen

      MindSnacks might be the catchiest name on the list.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        That name has stuck with me since the first time I heard it. If I was just going with my favorites, would have voted it in my 3.So do we know yet who has won?

      2. Donna Brewington White

        haha — when I responded a moment ago I didn’t know you were replying to me — just saw your comment at the top of the page and responded to it.


    Woops. Missed the deadline. But like the best, based on making a significant difference. Think Entrustet is a bigger idea than a storage place for your content and who to leave these assets to. And the honestlynow idea is fun.K-

    1. Nathan Lustig

      Would love to chat to hear more about your ideas for Entrustet. Shoot me an email nlustig at entrustet – Nate

      1. COMRADITY

        Hey Nathan,When people value their own content as an asset, then the relative value of all content goes up. All boats rise with this tide.If you have the “vault” to store assets and manage them at death, couldn’t the same be used during life to increase the enjoyment of all content they care about, including content they’ve bought from others that also defines them as an individual?K–

        1. Nathan Lustig

          very good points. i like where you are going. definitely something we’llhave to brainstorm about over here.

    2. dowdle

      Agree that there’s a big opportunity for how to handle your assets when we all reach the inevitable. Entrustet is a valuable service.We’re working to solve the problem of “how does your life story get preserved?” which can include your bio, stories from others, FB, blog, Flickr, etc. assets. Beta starts in the next few weeks.

      1. COMRADITY

        Sounds very interesting. How will you engage people to tell their stories? And how to you reassure that they maintain control over their content?K–

        1. dowdle

          This is for living people to tell stories of the deceased. Today they do it in a variety of ways – just search on a recently deceased person in FB or Twitter. Our social media app will make this more organized than it is today.Bios will be editable but the stories won’t. We’re free and open. Looking to record human history in a way I wished our ancestors would have. With all these digital technologies at our disposal, the timing is right.

  31. Donna Brewington White

    Looks like we will all have to buy our own pappy!Congrats to the Startup Showcase winners!

  32. Peter Beddows

    What a terrific idea and terrific opportunity for the participants.Unfortunately, due to time constraints, have arrived rather late to this scene today and everything is obviously over by now or at the very least I would have been sending best wishes for great success to Tereza for her Honestly Now enterprise/venture.Fred: Currently there are 152 posts here and, having quickly scanned them, the results have not readily jumped out so I hope that tomorrow you will find time to do a follow-up with observations and conclusions?

  33. Steven Kane

    So… which ones got picked?Btw, is it just me, or is the conference thing getting a bit out of hand? This whole thing feels a little trite, a little too much game show and too little professional conference?I know, I’m just an old curmudgeon from Web 0.1

  34. Volnado

    Your feedblitz emails about new posts always get to me a day late. Do you have it set like this on purpose?PS Your job is a tough one trying to choose from all of these but I like your pick for Glympse… would be great API plugin for my company so you could see band’s around the world on tour making it to their soundchecks on time and then see all the fans converging onto the venue to see them play… or even bigger for a football team.

  35. Michael B. Aronson

    Fred- How many of these companies have UPENN/Wharton connections? We know these do and have contacted? Great to see you this week.LifestaSaneBox Storage By Mail (from the Wharton VIP program)Honestly

  36. project proposal

    Oh! I missed the game, hope you will come with another event soon. By the way how it went?

  37. Ryan

    In the Startup Showcase (…, Tim mentioned a blog entry you wrote last year. Can you please give us a link to that blog entry?

  38. andyswan

    You’re probably right. It’s just not surface obvious.

  39. Tereza

    I appreciate that, Charlie.I was surprised to see a judgment of ‘no biz there’ based on a password-protected landing page. We are showing this to the public for the first time this evening.Honestly Now is a women’s business. Andy is not a target, either as a user or investor.If you’ve ever wondered why women go to the Ladies’ Room together, then you’ve tapped into the dynamic around how women think, but men do not.Honestly Now is an on-the-go β€œself-search” engine and social network, where women connect with their friends for honest feedback on style choices, while Pros offer them personalized tips and offers. Β The result: Β gorgeous, confident, sexy women.Women spend $60b/yr on aesthetic products and services. Clothing is not included in that. Roughly 2.5m service providers serve them locally. It’s a huge chunk of their monthly credit card bill: cosmetologists, hair and fashion stylists, personal shoppers, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and dentists, and represent ~$4bn advertising spend, locally. Β It is shifting online and is high CPC (~$20). Weight loss, gyms & bridal categories triple this market. Β We target women age 30-49, predominantly mothers. Β Their weight fluctuates, anti-aging options intrigue them. Β They are affluent and discuss beauty with friends.We provide aesthetic service providers freemium access to showcase themselves to local prospects based on hyper-relevant questions, for subscriptions of $200-$500/yr. Plastic surgery lead gen ranges $80-150/lead. There are about 20 other revenue streams but those are where we start. However, preliminary focus is on growing the community of users through an addictive end user experience.Think Hot or Not meets What Not To Wear, Chatroulette and business in this?To each his own, but I think Andy’s dead wrong.See y’all later!

  40. Aviah Laor

    But it’s also a man’s website:Wife: Honey, how do I look with that?Husband: You look great, sweetheartWife: And with that?Husband: Absolutly fantastic. Can we go now?Wife: Really honey, you don’t help me at allHusband: But you look awesome with everything sweetie. Please, can we just go?Wife: I need to know what you thinkHusband: Did you check Ooops. great. I’ll do it.Husband: Please do. And hurry. I’m going to send some emails.If this is not a business, nothing is.Good luck Tereza!!

  41. Donna Brewington White

    So, what did you end up wearing? Honestly Now. πŸ˜‰

  42. Matt A. Myers

    Based on this post you know what you’re talking about.It is a business. Maybe Andy should have just said “not enough info to form an opinion”. :)Don’t take it to heart, sweetheart. :)And goodluck tonight!

  43. Satish Mummareddy

    I think there is a big business in this space. I’m not sure what the path is to the gold in this space yet. Maybe you already figured out the path or will figure it out soon by listening to the customers πŸ™‚

  44. andyswan

    Why would you be surprised that I judged something prior to knowing everything about it? That’s what we do. We take a look at what is available (in the case of this post, a link) and run with it.I’m 100% sure I’m wrong, because I’ve got good reason to believe YOU know what you’re doing……but I was going through a “what your site says to me” exercise….and the answer was “not much”. That’s intentional, and that’s fine.p.s. I can’t wait til your site is banking coin from friends pulling a Kramer:

  45. Donna Brewington White

    I have to tell you, Tereza. I was sharing with my 15 y.o. son about Honestly Now on the drive home from school and he said “That will definitely do well!” He wants to sign up for the beta and says that he could get all the teenage girls you wanted to sign up. We can email for more detail.(Have to warn you — my son is also the guy who wants to start a summer camp for 6 year olds called “Blow Stuff Up”! He’s convinced it will be a raging success.)

  46. Tereza

    1. Husband stays out of the doghouse.2. Confident wives = er….satisfied husbands. Jus’ sayin’…:-)

  47. Alex Kilpatrick

    Actually, I think it could be used by men just to make sure they don’t go out looking ridiculous. I have come to realize that I was born without the basic gene that lets me recognize what matches. Luckily, I can check stuff with my wife and I have a few simple rules to follow. But it would be nice to be able to get an outside opinion, especially when I am on travel.

  48. Tereza

    The fall floral wrap dress, Donna. Thanks for asking!It had a 90% approval rating. I’m ready to rock.Shortly, I will post the blow-out I just got at Ted Gibson’s…

  49. Tereza

    Thanks Mattie.I have a lifetime of being underestimated and overdelivering.So I’m in my comfort zone.

  50. Aviah Laor


  51. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    We are soooo not a techcruch community…love this humble response. You rock…

  52. Donna Brewington White

    You rock, Andy!You’re wrong, but you rock!(said that last bit tongue in cheek — you made a nice caveat on Honestly Now)

  53. Tereza

    Loved the clip, Andy.BTW, privacy is really important to my targets. There pissed that FB unilaterally changed its privacy settings and the discovered that pictures of their kids were out in the open.Facebook openness is fine for gals who still wear a bikini on the beach. Eventually, the bikini is no longer appropriate. Neither is sharing everything to the wide open.Imagine the “before” picture of your tummy tuck lands on someone else’s Facebook wall. Or a woman with breast cancer undergoing chemo who’s losing her hair and seeks feedback on wigs. This gets exposed to her employer at the wrong time, and that can really hurt her.Utmost respect to people’s questions is critical, and simple guidelines on what they share with whom is the name of the game. “Tough luck the world is going public” does not work for many.This is a digital dressing room. No lurkers, no creeps. Just friends, and people we trust.Anyway, we didn’t win tonight….but I feel good that we’re building this with tight feedback loops to target users and customers who plan to pay. And they’re liking what they see.

  54. karen_e

    Another factoid for you, Tereza … The Sartorialist (street photographer behind one of the greatest fashion websites, and a family favorite in Fred/Gotham’s home) has said that older and larger women are the most likely to refuse his request to photograph them for what he deems their awesome look. Older and larger women are so used to being mocked and ignored by the mainstream media that they have an inherent distrust for any photographer who claims (however honestly, as in Sart’s case) that he loves their look.

  55. Tereza

    That’s an awesome data point, Karen.I am going to mine that one for opportunity.I think many women (and men too) are paralyzed at the prospect of public embarrassment.I think it’s ultra-critical that the user feels safe that s/he will not be made fun of.