Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bay Area's Real-time Web Meet-up with Jeff Clavier from SoftTech VC

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thanks to Bill Flitter of Pheedo for hosting this meet up!

We met at Pheedo's very convenient and comfortable Oakland office location. Bill did a great job of moderating and keeping everything right on time. Someone was filming, t-shirts were wrapped with ribbons on the table, and there were no glitches with technology.

Four different early stage start-ups gave 10 minute presentations to the audience of more than 20 people crammed into the boardroom.

After each presentation and questions, Jeff Clavier, Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, provided feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the presentation and business concept. Talk about being on the hot seat! I, of course, asked some pertinent questions of the presenters, and of Jeff as well. It's quite an honor to be in a small group setting with so much ambition, smarts, potential and money focused on customer driven product development!

The presenters were:

Pamela Swingley of RememberItNow "B2C and B2B eHealth Patient-centric platform" for reminding people to take their medications. Very nicely designed presentation and beautiful website - really! She's bootstrapped this endeavor with her own money and marketing skills, inspired by her aging father, family and neighbors' needs to keep track of their med timing to stay healthy. I think she has some stiff competition, but its a big need.
Alex Sherstinsky and Eugene Mandel of Mustexist jumped right into talking about content marketing and curation by experts on Twitter. It looks like they "crowdsource" content from Twitter organized around subject matter experts which they call "mavens" and repurpose that content to propogate their customers' sites with that desired relevant content. Got a lot of insight into their product iteration and thinking from their blog. I've added their "Journalism twitter feed" widget on this blog on the right side. ====>

Xavier Damman of Publitweet went next. I recognized Xavier from the Hack and Hackers meetup at Freshout last month. Publitweet reposts your twitter feeds into readable text so it looks more like a Facebook entry, including graphics, and lets you easily email and forward the tweet to people not on twitter. "Curate and publish any Twitter List on your website in a user friendly way." This is really a sweet tool. Their office is in the same building as Twitter, so they apparently can collaborate, since Twitter is a platform that encourages developers building applications. They are targeting publishers with readers who aren't on twitter and have signed up several European papers. Previous to this, they developed Listimonkey.

The last presenter talked about a stealth mode start up product for commercial real estate agents. He opened by laying the foundation for the real time web. He defined relevant web as "pertinent, applicable and operative content for interested parties who want it". The offering acquires, edits and delivers real time market data so users can monetize it.

Jeff was quite generous in providing direct feedback and insights into what it takes to grab an investor's interest. He talked about his own investment portfolio and laid out the time frame and considerations for how much money is required to get to the next funding milestone in an 18 month runway. His investments include mint and plancast. He also suggested VentureHacks, Business Week's top 25 Angels (put together by YouNoodle) and Crunchbase as good sources of up to date deals by investors.

Also met Stacy Bond of Audioluxe and Patrick Reilly of Ipsociety.net
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