TechStars NY Demo Day: The Live Blog

Tisch at Techstars

Let’s get this party started.

GO: Ben Lerer and Roger Ehrenberg do a fist bump and talk about having a coding sleepover #brogramming

1 – Companies are coming out to Empire State of Mind. Investors high fiving them as they walk down the aisle.

2 – Unlike last year, when Bloomberg was filming, the lunch with investors after demos is private this time.

3 – David Kidder introduces Contently, says he’s an investor, and promises this thing has legs. Mr. Kidder says its gotten to $1 million a year.

4 – Contently’s Shane Snow talk about how LinkedIn became their client after trying Demand Media and other content farms.

5 – 90,000 Journalists have been laid off in past few years. Contently wants to pair them with big brands who need quality content.

6 – Contently announces partnership with American Express to produce content for Open Forum.

7 – Contently looking for $3 million with $500K circled so far.


1 – YES! Order.In comes out to Das Racist Pizza Hut and Taco Bell

2 – At our heart we’re an API that can turn any device or app into a way to order food, connected to a national network.

3 – We earn revenue on every transaction and grab great data. It’s a $170 billion market.

4 – Calls seamless web a “digital food court”.

5 – Four man team has already gotten as many restaurants on their network as Seamless in a fraction of the time.

6 – Virtual room service for Wyndom Hotels 110 million guests, big partner.

7 – Facebook and Microsoft apparently love these guys. MSFT built them an app.

8 – Order.In seed round led by Google Ventures.

9 – Roger Ehrenberg leans forward to tell Dave Tisch this company is boss. Tough act to follow.


1 – The Blaze CEO says URTAK takes their commenting engagement to a whole new level.

2 – Coming out to White Stripes. Crowd loves it, clapping along.

3 – Average user answering more than 20 questions. It’s addictive. Building rich user profiles.

4 – Less than 1% of audience takes the time to comment.

5 – Blaze story got 555 comments, Urtak got more than 200,000 answers on same story.

6 – 15 million responses. 22.8 responses per session. Average 100 response per comment. “Urtak is 100 times better than comments.”

7 – Sponsored posts would generate million of interactions. Not impressions. Actions.

8 – Urtak wants a nice lean $1 million from strategic investors.


1- Lights come on in middle of demo. Entrepreneur stays cool.

2 – This is a nerdy business, and we are the nerds to do it. Crowd applauds.

3 – MIT big brains. Bad boston accent. “My boy is wicked smart.”

4 – Running pilot campaigns so far, thinking about going beyond advertising in apps to mobile commerce.

5 – Raising a seed round of $500k. Planning a series A for late 2012.


1 – Ben Lerer says he’s invested. “It’s the new hotness.”

2 – Find out who’s available to hand out! Doesn’t Foursquare Radar do this?

3 – Share your plans with anyone. Auto detects your favorites. Send invite. Dave Tisch not invited.

4- Lerer and Accel invest in spontaneously at $700k, “but there is room for more!”


1- Photos are new universal language. “Even my mom knows what planking is!” 130k downloads to date.

On stage, Brad Feld tal ks about why TechStars NYC is getting so good: Mentors building on mentors.

El Bloombito

Mayor Bloomberg, who apparently couldn’t get enough of Startupland during his debut at NYTM last week, is in the house.

1- “Thanks, you just paid for my breakfast.”

2- Mayor Mike tells his favorite revenge fantasy about Solomon Brothers again. (A personal favorite of Betabeat’s).

3-“We are looking at every possible way to grow our tech sector: that’s what #TechStars is all about.” (Wonder if heard about Cornell’s big tech campus announcement. Hmmm . . .)

4-Oh, nevermind. This is the best part: the immigration pitch.

5-“NYC has more grad and undergrad students than Boston has people.” Hey, you don’t get a third term as mayor without being afraid to call it like it is.

6- “The day is coming when people will not remember that NYC wasn’t always the #1 tech hub in the world.” Err, well let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. But sure, why not? Yayayay! We’re (fairly close to) #1! Fairly close to #1!

7-People applauding the Mayor, who is stumping for people to pay taxes. Occupy Wall Street would be so proud of the startup scene right now.

Brad Feld is back on stage to do the VC dance/rap. There is only one word for that and that is bomb.


1- Foundry Group’s Seth Levine loved their Zen class with former Wall Street cat turned monk . . . So they invested.

2-Sidetour co-founder and CEO Vipin Goyal is speaking. The video on screen shows him riding an elephant. Like any good entrepreneur, he left his job. Sold all his stuff and took trip around world.

3-“Got back to NYC and wanted to keep exploring,” says Mr. Goyal, whose startup is an online to offline market selling unique experiences.

4- Just 8 weeks into its launch, Sidetour has held 30 experiences and sold out 90% of inventory.

5Sidetour is making $76 per experience, and the market is “boundless.” Hrmm, potential investors might be looking for an actual market cap here.

6- $300k of Sidetour’s $1.5 M. round is still open. Okay, angelic types: who wants in with RRE and Foundry?
7-NB: Sidetour, we just heard Jeff Clavier say he wants to go on the monk tour. Make it happen.


1- And they start by offering Betabeat’s very own Snooki some props: “Congrats @jasonlbaptiste on winning the internet.”

2- Ambassador has 15,000 brand ambassadors.

3- These bros have founded and sold companies already and built Ambassador into six figure run rate. They’re raising $800,000 with $600,000 committed, saving a little bit of room.


1- Mike Lazerow is investing in ChatID, says they are next great SaaS story out of NYC.

2- ChatID has deep tech. We chat way more than we call, and top 500 ecommerce companies are ramping up chat big time.

3- The conversation can start anywhere on the web or a mobile device, from any site, and hook into a biz-native chat system.

4- A lot of big ecommerce sites already have the option to chat with customer service, but ChatID integrates across the web. So on Apple’s site, you could chat with AT&T and Verizon and on Kayak, airlines can chat with customers as they debate which flight to take.

5- Chat ID raising a $1 million round with room for more.


1- Wantworthy is “time-shifted shopping.” Good use of buzz word.

2- Wantworthy has nice Tumblr/Pinterest/Fancy diss. We don’t need a new space to oggle objects we can’t afford.

3- Wantworthy has $450K committed of $750K. They want big data and social commerce investors.

1- Dispatch is “the front door to your cloud.” Help you manage your stuff across silo clouds from many firms.

2- Drag and drop across entire cloud and share with social graph regardless of service.

3- Dispatch were early to DropBox API. Built profitable company. About to go big. Not even talking numbers on series A. GroupMe, another TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon-hatched startup, are investors.


1- IA Ventures’ Roger Ehrenberg talks about convincing Coursekit to do #techstars even though they were mature and growing.

2- Education is missing its social network, says CourseKit. Subtext: Blackboard sucks.

3- To disrupt market, you need to avoid enterprise sales and go straight to teachers–which Coursekit has already done with teachers and professors across the world. Coursekit is not an enterprise play, it’s a social network focused on education.

4- Coursekit has Joel Spolsky as an angel investor–it has a good overlap with Stack Exchange. They are raising a Series A. No number given. So probably real big.

And we’re done! Afterparty later tonight. TechStars NY Demo Day: The Live Blog