Friday, April 26, 2013

What VCs have to say about Start-Ups - Report from April iNNOVATOR Evening


Do you really want to know what Investors think of your idea? The chances are they won't be telling you. But when you look at what they have to say about these companies, you might get a good idea about what they might say about yours.

Or you can review the summary of our forthcoming book Are You Fundable? at the iBreakfast blog. It has been downloaded over 6,000 times!

Congratulations to the winner, Harold Baum of DynaTabs. He will be attending the PrivateEquityForums.com event at the Yale Club.

Here is a summary of the judges comments:

Defendcall is an emergency call system that turns your cellphone into a personal alarm system. It is best suited for campus environment.
Judges liked this idea and considered this a great presentation. But they were concerned that it may not be unique enough (add features!) and suffers from the "Catch 22" issue: can you open your phone in time in an emergency? Then, there is the key problem - this product is sold to schools and investors are extremely leery of startups that are sold to education or government because they are too many people who can say no and the sales cycle is tortuous.

Votopin is a popular voting system that employs an intuitive visual interface.
Another good presenter whose challenge is to focus this product on an area that would most readily adopt it. Otherwise, a voting system at this stage in the the internet is just too broad and too fully, if improperly served, to enter. The idea of turning it into a community is overly road and would either be problematic or too expensive to achieve.

Villij - a CRM and community development site for independent stores.
Well implemented site that addresses an obviously underserved market. The problem is customer acquisition - it has to be sold retail, as in store by store. The business plan actually asks for money to do just that - hire a sales force. According to the rules in "Are You Fundable?" you never want to ask investors for money for sales. (There are 3 reasons why and you'll just have to read the book.....)

Dynatabs - the unexpected winer!
Dynatabs is a company that sells supplements int he format of a "ministrip." and has a process patent that can be license for other pharma companies.
Arguably, the least polished presentation of the evening but the one with the products and the products won!

AVINI - High definition sound for hi-Def TVs and other digital devices.
The promise of this product is marvelous however it lacked a demo. Until then, we'll never know.

Jollify - a web service that "frames" your videos with a theme, creating a video equivalent of a snapshot or postcard.
The judges were impressed with the idea but felt there need to be more of a solution to the problem of too much video that will never get watched.


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