So I attended the DFJ Gotham East Coast Venture Competition today. Unfortunately Penn’s two teams got knocked out in the first round this morning, so I didn’t get to see them.
The highlight was of course the end of the day, when not only did they hand out two prize checks, but Time Draper, of Draper Fisher fame, sang his (in?)famous love song/ballad to all of the entrepreneurs in the audience- The Riskmaster. That guy has some balls. Apparently this wasn’t the first time he has sung in front of a rough crowd either.
My personal pick was Affine Systems- an online contextual advertising startup, but maybe it was not just the potential, but also because I could most easily wrap my mind around their plan. In the end it was SteriCoat who won, with Greenware getting second prize. SteriCoat was solid, although harder to understand being a medical device company. Greenware I thought had a very small market niche (upscale disposable plates) and an easily replicable business.
But overall all the presenters were much more together then I expected, and certainly then I had been in school. The teams were well-assembled, with good plans, and a fair amount of traction. It makes me realize all the work I have to do over the next year for 30elm. But I met some good people today and am excited to see things come together.
Last night I stopped by the hip Gallery bar in the LES for the Supernova mixer. Everyone was excited to find that it was open-bar, which helped facilitate pretty good mingling. There was a high number of left coast peeps, the ones I talked to were Oren Michaels of Mashery and of course Kevin Werbach the host of Supernova. I also got to talk with some people doing interesting things in PR (bulletproof vests specifically..) and a bit of brainstomring with Mark Davis from DFJ Gotham.
Again there was an overall sense of excitement about the NYC tech scene, although I only noticed a few entrepreneurs there (my office mate Niki of Homethinking, Nate of Ventbox, a few Motionbox peeps). I kept hearing people talk about the “good ol’ days” of six years ago. Maybe they’re back. Checkout the pics here.
So I stopped by and visited Charlie O’Donnel, local font of knowledge in the tech community, and unofficial head of NextNY. He was volunteering as he does many weekends at the Downtown Boathouse at Pier 40 on the Hudson- they offer free public walkup kayaking.
We talked shop a little but it was mostly just leisurely paddling around. A great time, although next time I have to be more diligent about sunblock on the feet and face..
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