Startup Camp Recap

29 10 2007

I have a general distaste for networking events, a vestige left from my days at Stern Business School. I distinctly remember hordes of bootlicking finance majors, leather-bound portfolios overflowing with resumes, and clamorous voices attempting to outdo one another. To my surprise, Startup Camp was nothing like this.

It was refreshing to meet a group of talented, insightful, diverse people eager to help out one another. Everyone who I talked to – fledgling entrepreneurs, veteran consultants, venture capitalists – offered expertise and contacts. In fact, it took me three days just to respond to everyone I met or was referred to. I’ve listed some of the notable startups/people I met while at the conference:

UpNext – a robust 3D cityscape of manhattan with layers of embedded metadata (restaurants, nightlife, shopping, etc) that allows users rate, review, and interact with one another. It’s like a Yelp meets Google Earth, but much savvier. I particularly like their HotSpots feature: glowing lights that indicate what’s UpNext in the city (events, new openings, festivals, etc). Lastly, UpNext CEO Danny Moon is just a really standup guy.

Cupid’s LabTobin created this site as a social experiment among his friends, but launched the site in 2007 as a matchmaking application that lets friends play cupid for one another. The assumption being that people can connect one another than matchmaking technology. Users can sign up as matchmakers or daters, which opens up the dating market to people already in relationships (good move). These people may have a vast network of friends who they can introduce them to one another. Or they may want to link up with other matchmakers to find suitors for their friends. There is also a gaming aspect to the site where users can earn points for later use. For example you can challenge other matchmakers to see who could “hook up” a friend faster. I think it’s an interesting take on the (now stodgy) online dating industry.

8coupons – We’re getting into mobile marketing territory here kiddos. Wan Hsi and Landy have created a hyper-local coupon site, partnering with really quality NY establishments, and offering coupons online, sent to your mobile phone, rss feeds, and more. We’re all looking for great deals, however there is a stigma attached with coupons that these two hope to break. I love the simplicity of this idea and wish them the best of luck. Check out some of the establishments they have partnered with. Not too shabby:

8coupons.jpg

Rolemodel.TVBill Weber is creating an online channel hosting trusted content for kids.  The content includes themes that are appropriate for children but also deals with thorny issues  that parents sometimes have a hard time discussing.

Geo Geller – On Monday afternoon, about 30 of us had a breakout session to talk about Facebook – the future of the service, limitations for developers, appropriate businesses for the platform, etc. Upon hearing Geo speak, I knew he and I would get along. He’s what I would call a creative evangelist, or better yet, an evangelical creative. I’m sure he has an arsenal of stories that are unrivaled.

I could go on about the conference, but I realized there that I need to develop a working product asap. So, instead of blogging, I think I’ll go back to work now.

But not before I leave you with some tunes.  Mashup Monday?

A Plus D – Don’t stop believing in planet rock (Journey vs Afrika Bambaataa)

DJ Spider – I can’t go for sexual healing (Marvin Gaye vs Hall & Oates)

DJ Menegaux – What I like about crunk (Lil Jon vs The Romantics)

Doppleganger – Got it twisted sister (The Rapture vs Mobb Deep)

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One response

31 10 2007
Jocelyn

Vikas! So, despite the whole “they fired me” thing, I wanted to pass along this link to GOOD mag as I know you’ll appreciate it:

http://www.goodmagazine.com/blog/a-trak_mixes_the_knife_kanye

xx

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