Teen Startup Flight Car Takes On Airport Car Rental Industry PITCH VIDEO

FlightCar,Cincinnati Startup,Brandery,airport rental,startup pitch video,pitch video, Brandery Demo Day, Demo DaySo back in July when we heard the original idea behind FlightCar I thought this group of teenage ivy league dropouts was absolutely crazy. Their Cincinnati startup FlightCar is a crazy idea. Their simplest pitch, “let someone else rent your car while you’re traveling” seemed a little far fetched. Combine that with the fact that there’s maybe 10 years driving experience between the three of them and even less business traveling experience, and I was totally disconnected.

Sometime during Wednesday’s demo day for the Brandery though my opinion totally changed.

There are hundreds of thousands of rental cars available at just the top 30 airports in the United States. There’s also hundreds of thousands of cars that sit in long term parking lots at those same airports. FlightCar solves this problem.

Using the FlightCar platform somebody about to go on a trip can sign up to rent their car for the rate they want and the mileage they’ll allow. They indicate what time the car will be available and what time it will need to be back by. When they arrive at one of Flight Car’s satellite parking lots they are greeted by a friendly FlightCar team member who takes their keys and their car.  FlightCar then cleans the car and waits for the renter.

The renter checks the FlightCar website and can see what’s available by kind of car, time available, mileage allotment and price. Because this is a peer to peer sharing product there is much more variety in the cars available than your standard 5 model rental car lot. Did we mention this is also a lot cheaper.

FlightCar rentees keep 65% of the cost of the rental after taxes and fees, so rather than spending money on long term parking they’ll make money off the rental itself.

FlightCar is beta testing in Cincinnati and plans to bring San Jose and Oakland online in the next month.

As a very frequent business traveler my biggest concern was what if I rent my car out using FlightCar and when I get back from my trip the car is not back yet, or worse in an accident.

On the accident side, FlightCar has a million dollar insurance policy on each vehicle. They’ve secured this policy through the only insurance company currently insuring peer-to-peer car rental companies. Not only that but they have secured a deal with their insurance company that prohibits that company from insuring a competitor. That’s something investors will love.

On the pure timing side, the FlightCar guys said customer service is of the utmost importance to them. Their lot attendants will have the authority to give you another rental until your car comes back or get you a ride to wherever you need to go, and then bring your car to you.

See what this amazing trio of young entrepreneurs has cooked up in their pitch video below. They are currently raising $850,000 and have $200,000 committed. They should have no problem raising the entire round, and quickly.


Cincinnati Startup REPP’s Brandery Demo Day Pitch VIDEO

The Brandery, Cincinnati’s branding and marketing tech startup accelerator, held demo day on Wednesday at the Great American Ball Park. They showed off 11 new graduate startups to a packed house of nearly 400.

REPP was one of the startups we actually missed on our last trip to Cincinnati at the end of June. What we saw, was a team that knew how to dress in some awesome hot pink pants. After getting over their keen sense of fashion, REPP is actually a great new spin on a variety of old ideas rolled into one.

Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait… oh wait that’s a song lyric.  Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date and after she stood you up you found out she “pre date stalked you”? Well that’s exactly what happen to REPP founder Michael Bergman, when he actually met his now wife. Luckily for Bergman he’s got a pretty popular name. In fact, Chris Bergman, the founder of Chore Monster (which is a previous graduate of The Brandery) isn’t even related to Michael.

So sure we internet stalk everyone now. The first thing I do when I get a new business card or meet someone at a conference I find intriguing is go right to good ole Google. The problem with that in the dating world is that there is a lot of stuff out there that may be better suitable after a few dates.

Now take a situation at the complete other end of the spectrum. It’s time to sell your iPhone 4s on Craigslist. Now this is a hot item and you may want to know a little bit more about the man who just pulled up to a panel van and appears to be packing a pistol in his sweatshirt.

In both of these cases you want more information about someone. If you were the someone in question, with REPP at myrepp.com, you can control that flow of information.

REPP aggregates your social graph and can even integrate a background check into a profile that you can give people access to. You can also control how much information is given out in that profile.

You may want the ladies to know a little more information than the guy you’re buying the stolen Xbox from. Nonetheless both the Craigslist seller and the nice young lady would be more comfortable with more information about you.

So REPP is a background profile platform. With it’s wide variety of customizations and it’s great variety of information sources, REPP stands apart from anything else in it’s space. REPP costs $9.99 per month but for that you get a whole lot more than any other similar service. Also, the person that wants to meet you or wants to do business with you doesn’t have to foot the bill. To make  that $9.99 an even better value proposition, REPP has a way to gift subscriptions of their service to other potential users.

Watch Bergman’s Demo Day pitch below. After you get over their hot pants, you’ll see why REPP won’t ruin your REPP.


Check out REPP here

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Brandery Demo Day: Utah Startup CrowdHall PITCH VIDEO

Crowdhall,Brandery,Utah Startup,startup,startups,pitch videoWe’ve really liked CrowHall even before we found out they were going to be part of the 2012 class at the Brandery.  Their platform is a great way to let celebrities, public figures, politicians, bloggers and micro celebrities respond and interact with their following in a clean, branded manner that’s both organized and archivable.

The premise for the idea is great and they’ve been testing out the platform and in July they did a public test with “Bachelorette” winner Jef Holm. Holm sent out one tweet the day before the test saying that he would be taking questions on CrowdHall. He didn’t include a link to the site or the secret page that would hold his CrowdHall forum, but his fans were relentless, they went to the CrowdHall site, and founder the private page. The end result was that when Holm logged in for his CrowdHall session during the test he already had 29 questions waiting for him.

COO and co-founder Jordan Menzel pitched today at The Brandery’s Demo day at the Great American Ball Park.  Menzel was decked out in a yellow t-shirt and cutoff shorts which they explained before the pitch was a “cost cutting measure”. While they have money committed they used all of the seed money working on validating their concept, and buying caffeine for their developer Nick.

The product looks great and hopefully it will be a household word in the 2016 election. Check out the pitch video below:


See what CrowdHall is all about here

Check out The Brandery Here

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North Carolina Startup Accelerator: RevTech Labs Graduates Wednesday

When we were in Charlotte North Carolina for the 2012 Democratic National Convention we got to work out of Packard Place, a gigantic incubator for high growth potential startups in beautiful Uptown (read downtown but that’s what the natives call it), Charlotte North Carolina. Packard Place is home to two accelerators, one focusing on social entrepreneurship while the other one, RevTech Labs, is Charlotte’s first traditional co-hort based tech startup accelerator.

RevTech Labs announced the program back in May. The first class of 7 startups were able to move in the entire month of June and the program kicked off officially on July 2nd. The startups took a one week break (at least from the space) during the DNC when hundreds of bloggers moved into a temporary news room set up in the space.

The accelerator took some cues from other already established accelerators in their inaugural session. For starters, they required that every startup have a developer as a founder or a developer as a co-founder and present at the accelerator. Many accelerators in the past have allowed startups without developers to move into their programs. In some cases the startups spent much of their time in the accelerator either outsourcing development or dealing with the headaches of managing outsourced developers.

RevTech Labs also housed mentor startups in the same space. MailVu and DealCloud were two of the startups selected to mentor those in the cohort. They were able to secure space in the accelerator in exchange for helping their fellow startups.

Wednesday the seven startups in the first class will show off what they’ve been working on throughout the summer. Not only that but Packard Place, and RevTech Labs have partnered with the NC region of the Startup America Partnership, Startup NC, to host a startup expo alongside demo day. Another 10-20 local NC startups will get to exhibit during the three hour event Wednesday afternoon from 2-5pm.

Investors, entrepreneurs and potential customers will hear pitches from these 7 startups:


Welcome to the local community marketplace for scrumptious food. Our viddles (food) are prepared and grown by your neighbors, the bakers, farmers and artisans living virtually next door. Charlotte is the first stop and the Viddlrs (local bakers) provide homemade, beautiful baked goods. Viddlz makes it simple and economical for quality food providers to start or grow a great food business.


Dataset/IO provides beautiful, simple and powerful data solutions for the Capital Markets. Our solutions offer the ability to manage enterprise data quickly and easily – scaling on demand – while placing the control firmly back in the hands of our data team.


Spatially is developing a better interface for product search in today’s touch-driven world. The technology uses [a technique known as] faceted search and displays search results in a highly interactive 2D interface.


Dog Dash represents a new genre in mobile gaming by introducing a 3D-audio only concept. Users will have to utilize their auditory skills to navigate them through oncoming traffic and away from the pursuing cops. Head phones are required for the true 3D-audio experience and the game is expected to launch on the iPhone this summer.

The Torch

The Torch helps you plan for the unplanned. The Torch is an online and mobile application that makes it easy to organize your “What if?” plan and share it with the people closest to you, so they will know what to do in an emergency.

Flavma Inc.

Flavma Inc. revolutionizes pharmacy software. We’ve built the first Medicare Part D Plan Finder for the iPad. Currently, we are working with Independent Pharmacies to improve their processes and quality of patient care using modern technology.


Autopilot allows you to book a vetted, professional driver on demand when you can’t, shouldn’t, or simply don’t want to drive your own vehicle. You can reserve a driver with the push of a button, track their arrival, and enjoy the benefits of automated, cashless payments all from your mobile device.

The demo day event will be held at Packard Place and if you would like an event you can email them here
Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup accelerator stories from “everywhere else”

Brandery Prepares For Demo Day 2012

Brandery,accelerator,Cincinnati startup,startups,Proctor & gamble, p&g,brandingWe are one week away from seeing the 2012 class at The Brandery accelerator in Cincinnati. The Brandery is a top 10 accelerator and focuses on branding and marketing. They’ve attracted hundreds of applications from across the globe for each of their last three sessions.

While The Brandery follows a co-hort accelerator model, as well as the Global Accelerator model, what sets them apart is their focus on branding and marketing. Being situated in Cincinnati Ohio puts them at ground zero for one of the biggest branded companies in the world Proctor & Gamble (P&G). P&G’s influence can be found within the walls of the Brandery. General Manager, Mike Bott, came to the Brandery after a successful stint as brand manager for Olay and other P&G brands. P&G’s roots don’t stop there, Brandery Co-Founder Rob McDonald is the son of the current CEO at P&G Robert McDonald. The younger McDonald is a lawyer at Taft during the day though.

The Brandery pulls from other marketing resources as well. Take co-founder Dave Knox for instance, Knox is the Chief Marketing Officer at Rock Fish a digital agency with a laundry list of clients that are household names. PF Chiangs, Sam’s Club, Bunn, and White Cloud are just a few of the brands that trust RockFish for their creative needs.

The Brandery is a hard core accelerator. There’s no working part time and participating at The Brandery. We spent five days with The Brandery founders and the staff in Cincinnati’s Over The Rhine neighborhood earlier this summer. There was a constant swarm of activity in the bullpen where each startup has desk space and white boards. There was also class after class in The Brandery’s second floor class room. Folks come from all over the country to talk with The Brandery’s startups and even skype in for lectures.

Some of The Brandery’s startups from this class had pivoted by the time we went to visit in August, others have pivoted again as they got closer to demo day. Even startup evangelist Nick Tippmann found himself changing teams with less than two months to go. No matter what way you look at it, next week’s demo day is shaping up to be an eventful one.

“We’re pumped to showcase our companies on Demo Day.  They have done a fantastic job leveraging the relationships and partnerships in Cincinnati and our broader national network to refine and validate their businesses.  Its awesome that the Cincinnati and Brandery communities are working together to build something special” Bott told nibletz.com

From what we’ve heard on our visit to Cincinnati McDonald gets more and more excited every year. In addition to helping teams with legal issues, McDonald gets out in the community with the Brandery teams every chance he gets including festivals, events and even Reds games. The Brandery teams were also major parts of Startup Weekend Cincinnati over the summer. McDonald, Knox, Bott and many of the teams founders were on hand throughout the weekend to provide mentorship and guidance. In fact Austin Hackett, the founder of Crowd Hall (A 2012 Brandery Company) pitched his own startup on startup weekend, the one that actually looked most complete.

Accelerators are intense and sometimes a bit insane. Gut checks at an accelerator happen often and pivots are inevitable. Greg Svitak and Kurt Pettit from Cleveland Ohio entered The Brandery with a startup called Flock’d. The premise for the idea was good, they wanted to do “swarm” like deals at night clubs and bars. Pettit explained to us that the idea was abandoned because every municipality in the country has their own liquor advertising laws which made a nationwide app in that space all but impossible.

Svitak and Pettit regrouped and developed AndTix which is a ticket selling platform for major sporting events. Neither man is any stranger to startups. Pettit has been a designer that’s done startup work for years. Svitak was one of the organizers for the 2012 startup bus to SXSW. After wrestling with the ticketing idea for a little over a week, they regrouped again and plan to show off a great concept in ticketing next week.

26 year old Andy Zhang from Seattle Washington went into The Brandery with a concept called Fly Dutch which according to Angellist matched starutps and investors. Zhang, who is a trained lawyer among other things, actually pivoted FlyDutch into “woowhoo! online dating for the offline type”. His startup boasts no messaging, no surveys and no work. Could it be Pinterest for dating?

One of the teams we’ve seen as a standout since before this session at The Brandery started is Salt Lake City based CrowdHall. CrowdHall is a platform where celebrities, politicians, micro-celebrities, bloggers and others can communicate with their audience in a voting up and down question asking forum. Back in July they tested the platform with Bachelorette winner Jeff Holm. CrowdHall is the perfect platform for elections and online town hall meetings.

Co-Founder Jordan Menzel admitted that CrowdHall would be perfect for the Presidential Election, but the timing may be off. CrowdHall has stayed the course from entry to demo day and will reveal a polished, ready to go product that nestles nicely into it’s own space. We’re pretty sure that over the next few years and then again into the next election cycle CrowdHall will become a household name.

Our other standout team from this years session at The Brandery is Impulcity. We’ve covered Impulcity since before they were even selected for The Brandery. This Louisville startup is offering up a new way to find events in any area. They have hundreds of thousands of events organized and delivered into an app that has a slick and visually appealing UI and a feature set that includes the ability to share events, follow events, and add to an events wall.

CEO and Co-Founder Hunter Hammonds is putting his all into Impulcity. In July they had a full featured, working beta, in fact we were in the beta test. There really was nothing else like it available in any app store or market. Impulcity was able to find and recommend events based on location, likes and other algorithms and deliver them with great visuals and the information an end user needed to make a decision about what to do.

Impulcity may have been perfect to a lot of people’s standards however with just under a month to go Hammonds blew up the whole thing and started over from scratch. They took a lot of beta testers feedback and iterated to the product that will released next week.

The stylish Jay Finch came to Cincinnati and The Brandery from New York,  with his offline-online crowdfunding hybrid, SockStock. The concept takes businesses in need of funding and allows patrons to micro-crowdfund projects at the businesses they frequent via Finch’s platform. Finch has already made inroads in Cincinnati with the Carol Ann and Ralph V Haile Jr /US Bank Foundation who are referring their creative entrepreneurs and artisans to SockStock to raise money for their own projects to grow their companies.  Finch plans on staying in Cincinnati after demo day to further the SockStock platform.

We’re expecting great things from the 11 teams at The Brandery this year when demo day rolls around next week.


check out the Brandery here

Here’s our coverage of The Brandery

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Guest Post: Observations from a Demo Day Junkie

This guest post comes to us from Patrick Woods. Woods is a director at a>m ventures, the venture capital arm of archer>malmo a regional leader in advertising, pr and marketing. Disclosure: nibletz.com is one of a>m ventures portfolio companies.

Patrick Woods, a>m ventures, startups,startup,archer>malmo,startups

I’ve been to five six demo days already this year in my travels for a>m ventures, and many more over the past 18 months. The following points are my observations on the good, bad, and nasty of startup accelerator demo days.

No one of these points will sink your demo day ship, but taken together, when done right, these elements will help to give your teams better odds of getting to that next step on and following the big day.

The idea is to reduce the variables involved in your event in order for you to craft a  meaningful experience.


  • These are my observations, not gospel.
  • If you’re YC or TechStars, these points apply less to you; these are for everyone else.
  • Yes, there are a lot of seemingly minute details here, but that’s the point.
  • We can all agree there’s no substitute for great companies, and none of these observations are meant as such a substitute.

In general, be mindful of your goals for demo day, and curate all experiences to achieve those goals. Some goals might include:

  • Connect investors to companies
  • Connect investors to investors
  • Strengthen your ecosystem’s network of founders, angels, VCs, services providers, and those on the periphery
  • Generate buzz at various levels by raising the visibility of early-stage activity in your region
  • There are plenty more; the point is that you should be aware of what the goals are, then align every facet of demo day to achieve each goal.

Your accelerator is a marathon, demo day is not

  • 3 hours is pushing the upper limit of peoples’ attention span.
  • Limit team intros to something really short, like, 60 seconds or less.
  • Sorry sponsors, no one cares about you. At least not anyone in the audience.

Relatedly, more pitches, less bravado, fewer speeches

  • Yes, we all get it: your city is a great place for starting up. Being a mentor is an amazing experience, and you always need more. Okay. Now let’s get on with it.
  • Remember that running an accelerator isn’t an end to celebrate, but that it’s a means to an end that will produce celebration-worthy events.
  • Everyone’s got an accelerator these days, so let’s reduce the back-patting and celebrate the big wins.
  • That said, brief updates from alumni can be a great point of pride.
  • Also, no student “idea” pitches, please. Or anything else irrelevant to investors.

Pitch quality matters

  • Stage presence, pitch structure, and pitch content are all really important.
  • The companies shouldn’t be delivering bullet-point fact transfers, but rather telling a relatable, investable story.
  • Slides should be used as visual aids, not as core components of the presentation.
  • Long before demo day, require your teams to write a script for their pitch. They don’t necessarily have to recount it verbatim onstage, but the process of formalizing their thoughts will prove invaluable.
  • Coach your teams and enlist mentors who know how to pitch, like successful founders, folks who have been onstage before, and advertising people, many of whom pitch for a living.
  • Strongly consider bringing in a speaking coach a couple of times: first at an early point and later, closer to demo day to track improvements.

Continue reading at Patrick’s Tumbler here


Patrick Woods’ Tumbler

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7 Tips For Pitching At A Startup Accelerator Demo Day Everywhere Else

It’s Investor Day/Demo Day season across the country. We’ve got Brandery’s demo day in Cincinnati in two weeks on October 3rd. RevTech in Charlotte’s demo day is also October 3rd. MassChallenge has a class graduating soon, and so do many more.

Here at nibletz, the voice of startups “everywhere else” we attend a lot of demo days and we get asked for feedback by lot’s of startups. So here we’re going to show off some pitch videos from investor/demo days and share what we personally like to see. Of course take our advice however you’d like.


Product Product Product

Product is the most important thing at Demo Day, at least in my opinion. We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that a business plan, pitch deck or wireframe is what brought you to the accelerator in the first place. Now you’ve completed a three month accelerator and received a decent amount of seed funding. I don’t care what the reason, you better have a product. The accelerator staff may blow smoke up your ass but if I personally had given you the seed money, and I don’t see a product, youre going to be cutting my grass for many years to come.

Enough on the startup lingo

The point of the three month accelerator was not to hear about minimum viable products, bandwidth, game changing, disruption or that you’re a change agent. I also don’t want to hear “at the end of the day”. Truth be told most investors know the buzzwords and it’s often times a BS alert in the pitch, either that or a crutch. So at the end of the day those investors are going to go home to their families without investing.

Statistics are as boring as your statistics class

I love startup pitches on investor day that use real world examples of problems and not a hodge podge of statistics and a boat load of slides to show them. Remember that you rattling off statistics is nothing more than you rattling off statistics. Use your key statistics in nice colorful charts, leave them up for a few seconds but I’m sure you have your pitch deck in an emailable file or better yet on slideshare. If someone is jonesing to see all your stats, follow up later. Don’t put anyone to sleep

Growing organically and virally in the first year and making revenue in the second year

This is absolutely NOT a viable go-to-market strategy. We, and of course investors, want to know where your revenue is going to come from, the first year. In fact they want to know where your revenue is going to come from tomorrow. I don’t care what you told yourself in the mirror this morning, chances are very high that you’re not the next Kevin Systrom.

Stealth Mode

If you’re a nibletz reader you know we hate stealth mode, it’s bull shit. Somebody else already has your idea, it’s about execution and product not about keeping secrets. Now at investor day/demo day all of your cards should be on the table. If you’ve got a video capturing app and more features coming that are in stealth mode, why aren’t they in the product now. Perhaps you should have spent less time playing foosball and more time working on the product.

You can’t listen if you don’t stop talking

Whether you’re in a Q&A session right after a pitch, or fielding questions at a booth or in the crowd after the event, you can’t listen if you don’t stop talking. A lot of people are going to tell you what a great job you did. Take those compliments in stride. But when it comes time to answer questions, answer them concisely, and quickly. If you don’t understand the question, let the person asking it know that, they’ll respect you more. If an investor asks you something and you don’t know the answer to it, tell them it’s a really good question, jot a note down and either research the answer on your iPhone or with your team and get back to them that night, or follow up.  If you bullshit they’ll smell it.

Don’t forget personality.

There’s a good chance that you were picked for the accelerator not because your ticket selling app was going to take on Ticketmaster and Live Nation, but rather because the board liked you, or your personality. Don’t forget to interject some of that in your pitch.

And now a video…

This is Banyan, they won a $100,000 in the GigTank challenge which was an investor day challenge for the Gig Tank accelerator in Chattanooga.  Here’s why I love this pitch.

– First off I’m not big into the product I’m not sure how big the market is. It’s a collaborative research tool, it’s a great concept but again there’s not a huge market and researcher’s aren’t the best at sharing. That’s not the point though. I thought Toni Gemayel had a great pitch.

– Banyan had a product. Banyan was up and running and had been thoroughly tested

– Gig Tank’s theme was literally “high bandwidth” startups. The accelerator was built around Chattanooga’s 1Gb fiber. Researchers who use Banyan have to transmit enormous amounts of data. Gemayel conceptualized this by saying if a researcher wanted to send 2 terrabytes of data from Stanford to the UK under traditional bandwidth constraints it would be quicker to get on a plane and fly there.

– Banyan offered several plans at making money immediately, not two years down the road.

– Finally, Gemayel had everyone laughing with a really small joke at the end of the presentation. Watch the video to see it.

Startup Demo Day Month In Tennessee The Good, The Bad, The NSFW


August is just about over and “Demo Day Month” in the great state of Tennessee concluded last Thursday at JumpStart Foundry’s Demo Day in Nashville. It was a month that Vice President Gore should be proud of afterall nothing says innovation like inventing the internet.

Overall it was an impressive month for innovators in Tennessee. Tennessee has nine regional accelerators and groups like Launch Tennessee are paramount in keeping the statewide ecosystem flourishing and the accelerator leaders connected with each other.

“Demo Day Month” kicked off in Chattanooga Tennessee with the graduation of the GigTank. The GigTank was in its first year and actually included two simultaneous classes; entrepreneurs and students. The entrepreneurs group accelerated at Colab in downtown Chattanooga while the students accelerated at the Lamp Post Group’s offices. The classes came together on Thursday August 9th to show off their startups.

Out of all three demo days Chattanooga had the most pizzazz. They really did a great job of setting up a bunch of entrepreneurial networking events on Wednesday evening all over town. Thursday’s Demo Day event was one to be reckoned with, professional lighting, big signage, and a simulcast on the local PBS channel all helped set the stage for some great demos.

To top that off, unlike the other two demo days, Chattanooga’s GigTank featured a $100,000 cash prize for the top voted startup in the entrepreneur class (Banyan) and a $50,000 prize for the top student startup (Babel Sushi).

Chattanooga merged traditional southern hospitality with blazing fast internet. The blazing fast internet was the reason it was called “GigTank”. Chattanooga was the first city in the United States to offer 1 GB ethernet to the home and office within a 600 square mile area.

The bad: We found out late Wednesday night that the startups would actually pitch in front of the judges first thing Thursday morning and again on Thursday afternoon in front of the people. We went around in circles about it and I even spent some time with Colab Director Shelddon Grizzle, who had come up with the idea for the double pitching. Regardless of the reasoning I didn’t like it and once I knew it was happening it detracted from my view of the actual presentations.

The other downside to GigTank is that we saw a lot of slides, a lot of presentations and a lot of business plans. Unfortunately we didn’t see nearly enough working demo products. Also most of the startups said they would build scale organically and virally over the next year and make money in year two. This isn’t a practical path to scale in a market outside Silicon Valley or New York. I felt that go to market strategies needed improvement.

The NSFW: Check out this story about the first startup that presented at GigTank.

The following week we moved on to Memphis Tennessee and the Zeroto510 accelerator Demo Day. Zeroto510 is a cohort based accelerator based on medical devices. It’s a joint venture between Memphis Bioworks and Seed Hatchery.

The ZeroTo510 Demo Day was very academic in nature and top-notch professional. You could tell that all of the startups had worked extremely hard on their presentations. One of the biggest challenges that ZeroTo510 startups overcame was actually “dumbing” their presentations down so that the public and investors without medical backgrounds could understand. Luckily all of the startups were able to do that.

The startups that we really liked at ZeroTo510 Demo Day were Bionanovations and Restore Medical.

Restore Medical offers a new system for cleaning and sterilizing surgical instruments. Their system is vital as we head into Obama Care in 2014 because it helps reduce cost, but more importantly it’s more effective in the sterilization process which will drive down hospital born infection numbers. This couldn’t come at a better time. In 2014 hospitals will need to publicize and keep down their hospital born infection numbers in order to get reimbursement on the millions of extra patients that will be seeking hospital care.

One of the biggest moments at ZeroTo510’s Demo Day was when onstage Restore Medical co-founder Shawn Flynn revealed on stage that they already had a $3.75 million dollar purchase order pending their 510k approval from the FDA.

BioNanovations is the first pre-culture bacterial infection diagnosis platform. There were some shocking facts about hospitals in co-founder and CEO Charleson Bell’s presentation that echo why we like this startup so much and why it will also be crucial going into 2014.

There was no NSFW in the Zeroto510 Demo Day however the bad was definitely Urova Medical. This wet behind the ears team of entrepreneurs had great technology and did a fair job of presenting they just didn’t have the same vigor that the rest of the startups had. They immediately left Memphis to go back home and it appeared that the young student founders of Urova simply participated in the program to get $50,000 for “summer camp”. Just calling it like I see it.

Nashville’s Jumpstart Foundry has had some practice at this. They’re definitely the veteran accelerator out of the bunch and it shows. Co-Founder and Managing Director Marcus Whitney is a serial entrepreneur himself. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day at JumpStart Foundry he is also a co-founder and the CTO of startup MoonToast a social media/network management platform with a top shelf list of clients.

The theme about Whitney was echoed over and over again throughout Jumpstart’s Demo Day, and that is he’s a pull no punches take no crap kind of guy. In fact, together with Solidus Partner and Jumpstart Foundry co-founder Vic Gatto, they ran such a tight program that three startups called it quits before demo day.

The venue for the Jumpstart Foundry demo day was great, it was open, and they did a great job with lighting and ambience. The presentations showed that the startups had been working hard on refining their message for the public and potential investors. All of the presenters did a great job of talking more and relying on slides less. When slides went up on the screen they were very graphic and very easy to understand.

The entire class had great presentations. Whitney and Baker Donelson Emerging Technologies Lead Chris Sloan (also a mentor at JSF) both agreed that the most improved startup was PhotoRankr. Sloan and Whitney both commented that if any startup in this years JSF class showed what an accelerator does it was PhotoRankr.

PhotoRankr definitely topped our list of favorites at the JumpStart Foundry Demo Day. We also really liked The Skillery and their off-line workshops platform that empowers small business owners to teach classes on subjects they actually know and love.

We can’t report on JSF Demo Day without mentioning EverMind either. EverMind is a consumer monitoring system for the elderly. It works as easily as installing a “Clapper” you simply take the plug-in modules to your elderly loved ones home and hook them up to the coffee maker, television, lamp, toaster or other small electronics and it monitors their daily routine. When your loved one deviates from the routine you’re notified and you can check on them. The system gives them independence and piece of mind. It helps that it was also founded by a group of folks from Griffin Technologies, a Nashville company that makes some of the most widely known iPhone, iPad and Android accessories.

As for the NSFW, it wasn’t really NSFW it was more just ugly. The startup we liked the least at JSF was by a landslide KiWi, first off there are hundreds of other short form video services out there, can anyone say SocialCam. But the thing that drove us to even point this out was that at the end of the micromachine-man-esque presentation the founder of Kiwi actually said he would look for term sheets in Nashville for 30 days and then go somewhere else. Seemed like an F-U to the hard work that Whitney, Gatto and the entire crew at Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day put on.

It was also great that folks from Memphis like Biowork’s Allan Daisley and a>m ventures Patrick Woods were right there with us at all three demo days to support Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville as parts of a whole “Tennessee”, the Nashville guys.. not so much.


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Nashville Startup: PhotoRankr Captures The Essence Of Jumpstart Foundry

Now in their third year the cohort based startup accelerator Jumpstart Foundry, in Nashville Tennessee has ironed out a lot of kinks. We got a chance to spend some time with Marcus Whitney a co-founder at Jumstart Foundry, who also serves as the accelerator’s Managing Director. Through each of the last three cohorts Whitney has spent the most day to day time with all of the classes.

Throughout the Jumpstart Foundry demo day the theme surrounding Whitney’s role was consistent. Whitney, while a great and likable guy, means business. He’s a serial entrepreneur himself who’s founded a handful of his own successful startups. That also means he knows the struggles first hand at what a founder and a founding team at a startup goes through. That’s why he’s one of the best possible people in Nashville to serve as Jumpstart Foundry’s Managing Director.

While a three month boot-camp style accelerator can be a fun and life enriching experience, Whitney is known for telling teams like it is and establishing the ground rules on day one. He’s also known for pushing entrepreneurs to their limit. As far as the program goes there’s no bs in the selection process. Whitney told us that they don’t take teams without a technologist. We’ve seen teams at accelerators all over the country who come with an idea guy, a business development guy and no developer or coder. Often these teams blow most of their seed money on outsourcing and barely have a product ready for demo day. One of the biggest things we noticed at Jumpstart Foundry’s demo day is that all seven teams had a product up and running. No wireframes, no mock ups, no business plans, every team had a working product you could go out on the internet and try right now.

We asked Whitney along with Baker Donelson’s Emerging Business Practice Chair, Chris Sloan, what team at the Jumpstart Foundry this year, was the most improved. They both unanimously and at the same exact time said PhotoRankr. In fact they both agreed that PhotoRankr captured the essence of what a cohort style accelerator program was all about.

Whitney talked about PhotoRankr’s day one pitch. Sloan, who is a pro-amateur photographer in his s

pare time recalled thatPhotoRankr’s pitch on day one included a slide show with no photos. Who does that? A photo platform slide show with no photos.

When Sloan introduced the PhotoRankr team on Thursday he spoke very proudly letting the audience know that not only was their pitch deck filled with photos, every photo in their slide show was procured from PhotoRankr.

So what is PhotoRankr, it’s an online community for photographers. It allows photographers to chat with one another, get advice, vote pictures up and down and the biggest part, it provides a platform to sell photos.  As PhotoRankr co-founder Tyler Sniff pointed out in the presentation, the stock photo resources on the internet right now are relatively weak, most have had the same images for years and the ones with great photos are way too costly.

Now, someone looking for a photo for their website, book, magazine, movie or any other use can peruse the pages of PhotoRankr and find what they need. The photographers themselves set the prices for the photos, along with the licensing terms which typically means they will be fairly priced.

Sloan recently joined PhotoRankr and wasn’t sure what to expect. He had tried most of the other photo sharing services out there, but he was excited when he started receiving emails notifying him that people had liked his photos.

As for the team itself, they work and operate like a family. That could possibly be attributed to the fact that three of the four members of the founding team are actually brothers. Tyler serves as the company’s Head of Business Development. Their CEO is Jacob Sniff who will be graduating from Princeton this year.  Their third brother Matthew Sniff serves as the company’s CEO. Noah Willard, a family friend, serves as the Creative Director.

Whitney said that one of the teams keys to success throughout the program was their reaction to criticism. Rather than being head strong and ego driven, the PhotoRankr team took every piece of criticism in stride, often asked questions about what their mentors were telling them, and then sought advice immediately after making changes.

From where we stand the biggest challenge for PhotoRankr is going to be exposing the features to the market place and what sets them apart from Flickr, Photo Bucket and that product formerly known as Picassa.

When you watch the pitch video below you’ll see what a great job PhotoRankr did during the Jumpstart Foundry program:


Check out Photorankr here

Check out Jumpstart Foundry Here

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Nashville Startup: OurVinyl’s Final Pitch From Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day VIDEO

Demo Day at Jumpstart Foundry was amazing. The class was great and miraculously every single team that presented had a working product. Of course that’s the goal behind every accelerator but we’ve been to quite a few accelerator demo days where that wasn’t the case.

So what is OurVinyl, no it’s not an online record shop for vinyl buffs. OurVinyl is actually a music video platform that encompasses the user and allows the user to curate their own channels, playlists and discovery new music. Where most music discovery startups focus on just the audio, OurVinyl is all about video.

OurVinyl has started with indie artists and other video content that you won’t find anywhere else on the web. The founders have backgrounds in video and it shows with the intuitive user experience created within OurVinyl.

The OurVinyl team has equated most of their best practices to Spotify rather than Pandora. Of course neither Spotify nor Pandora actually do video, they are both just audio only. OurVinyl is changing that by offering a streaming video platform accessible by Google TV, Apple TV, Xbox and Roku.

They have an easy to understand subscription model which guarantees you access to all of your favorite videos on the platform and customization features for your specific tastes. Many don’t realize that YouTube is one of the top places people go to source not just videos, or music videos but music itself. OurVinyl is capitalizing on that fact with their unique new platform.

In their pitch video from Jumpstart Foundry’s Demo Day, they explain exactly how the platform works and how they plan on monetizing it through advertising and subscription plans.

Another feature that’s rather new and baked into OurVinyl is not just the ability to like or not like songs and music videos themselves, but the advertising as well. After an ad unit plays you can tell OurVinyl whether you like ads like that or not. If you say “no” you won’t have to see the same ad again.

Check out their pitch video below:


Check  out OurVinyl here at ourvinyl.tv

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New York Startup Jamplify Presents At Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day

What do you get when you take a bunch of good ole Goldman Sachs financial guys from New York and throw them into an accelerator in Nashville Tennessee? You get a social media, hybrid, promotional, crowdsourcing platform called Jamplify. Now at the first glance of the description I just gave them you may think we’re dealing with another Vooza, no that’s not the case at all.

Jamplify’s finished product, that’s actually available now (what a novel idea building an actual product at an accelerator), you get the most logical promotional vehicle for bands, musicians, and bloggers that’s available to date.

Jamplify crowdsources people for promoting the bands that they love. Rather than crowdsourcing for actual capital Jamplify is crowdsourcing for social capital and human capital, and then there’s the payoff.

Jamplify is like the kickstarter for fan based, crowd based musical promotion. As a fan of a band or a promotional ambassador you can agree to promote a band or musician. Based on your social graph and the amount of people that you actually touch with the campaigns short, trackable url you will become eligible for prizes from the band or artist you’re promoting.

The most interesting promotional “reward” or “perk” to date has been from a hip hop band where the artist actually recorded the outgoing voicemail message for that Jamplifier’s personal voice mail. Cool huh?

If you’re lost, you really shouldn’t be, but it would be great to check out the pitch video from JumpStart Foundry’s demo day in Nashville below:


Get Jamplifying today here

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Nashville Startup: The Skillery Pitches At Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day VIDEO

The Skillery CEO Matt Dudley pitching at Jumpstart Foundry demo day (photo nibletz llc)

Jumpstart Foundry demo day continues with the team from The Skillery.  When their mentor introduced the team she talked about how CEO Matt Dudley started his entrepreneurial roots when he was just 7 years old and put up signs in his neighborhood advertising his services as a GhostBuster.

The Skillery in it’s simplest description is a platform to sell tickets to workshops. They are in the same space as Dabble and Skilshare but with a twist.  Dudley and his team are specifically targeting small business owners who want to teach classes.

For instance, the local woman who owns a shop selling hemp and weaved products could start a class on The Skillery. Here in Nashville they’ve had teachers come out of the community that did whiskey tastings and even classes on the value of cotton diapering as opposed to disposable diapers. In fact the woman with the disposable diaper business saw 25-30 people come to her workshops that were listed and promoted on TheSkillery, and she was able to convert students to customers.

Dudley is charismatic and explained his pitch in a way that everyone in the room understood exactly what he was talking about but with the passion that would come with the next Instagram and not a learning platform. As for a learning platform, Dudley is quick to point out that The Skillery is not about online classes, it’s one of those startups that bridging the online world back with the real world, something that will be vital to the next wave a startups, according to the New York Times.

Check out Dudley’s pitch below:

Check out The Skillery here

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Nashville Startup Evermind Pitches At Jumpstart Foundry Demo Day VIDEO

Today marks the end of Tennessee demo day month with demo and investor day for Jumpstart Foundry in Nashville. Jumpstart Foundry is a nationally known startup accelerator currently based at the Entrepreneur Center in Nashville. They were recently recognized with an honorable mention in the 2012 national accelerator rankings, reported by TechCocktail just yesterday. This is the second year in a row Jumpstart Foundry has appeared as an honorable mention.

Evermind is a very unique new, “ambient monitoring” solution geared towards family members that care or are worried about the care of their elderly family members and loved ones.

Evermind is not nearly has obtrusive as many of their competing products. The founding team, who was part of the founding team at Griffin Technologies in Nashville, has approached this product with care and with always keeping both the end user and the consumer in mind, never losing site of that.

To that end, some of the things that immediately stood out to me with Evermind included:

– The non obtrusive design. The Evermind product looks sleek and it doesn’t look like a medical device
– The pricing is at $199 for three Evermind units
– easy to use website
– non obtrusive monitoring.

As for the way the system itself works, it’s simple. You plug an appliance that your elderly loved one uses everyday into an Evermind remote unit and every time your loved one uses that appliance it sends a message to the Evermind cloud and then to the loved ones phone. For instance if your grandpa John makes a cup of coffee at 7:30am every morning, you would plug the coffee maker into the Evermind unit and when he made his cup of coffee it would signal you. If he misses the cup of coffee you’re alerted, maybe there is something wrong. These remote plug devices can be set up on any small appliance, can openers, tvs, bedside lamps etc.

There is no need to worry about a life alert pendant or security cameras, it gives the elderly person privacy and the care giver, piece of mind.

Check out their pitch video at JumpStart Foundry video below:


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Check out Jumpstart Foundry at jumpstartfoundry.com


Memphis Startup: BioNanovations Shows Off Amazing TestQuick Technology

BioNanovations CEO/Co-Founder Charleson Bell Presenting at Demo Day (photo: nibletz llc)

It was Demo Day at the Memphis based ZeroTo510 startup accelerator this past Thursday. ZeroTo510 is the first cohort based medical device accelerator and was created with a partnership between Seed Hatchery and Memphis BioWorks.

We were really excited when Charleson Bell, the CEO and co-founder of BioNanovations presented their TestQuick technology on Thursday. First off, Bell and his partner Andre T Stevenson had spent some time with us a few weeks back during office hours. It was then that we learned how BioNanovations was preparing to really change the world. We all know that most startups say they’re going to change the world, the ZeroTo510 class is really going to do it.

Bell and Stevenson gave us a crash course in nano particles when we first met for office hours. Bell has done a great job of “dumbing down” the science behind their technology for laymen like myself.

We were fascinated by the BioNanovations team when we first met them. While Bell had been working on using nano particles to find bacterial infections early on and Stevenson had discovered the biomarkers for cancer before they had become cancer.

The BioNanovations team will most likely bring many great products to market but their debut product “TestQuick” will have a huge impact for millions of people suffering from bacterial infections.

Bacterial infections kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer and automobile accidents combined, every year. What’s even more troubling than that is the fact that over 1.7 million bacterial infections are hospital born. That means that people who have gone into the hospital for something else, incur some kind of bacterial infection. These hospital borne infections cost over $40 billion dollars.

That’s not all though. One of the most alarming facts in all of this is that these bacterial infections can claim a life or a limb in less than 48 hours, however the traditional diagnostic testing can take 4-5 days. Yes, unfortunately, the traditional way means that several people lose their lives before getting the diagnosis back on the infection.

What BioNanovations TestQuick product offers is a testing platform and reader that can confirm the type of infection and the level of the infection in under 30 minutes and patient side.

Bell was quick to point out his competition. That’s actually key in an investor pitch day.

BioNanovations main competition is a company called Nanosphere. They offer a diagnostic testing platform that comes back in three hours. Nanosphere received FDA approval and has 200 orders already. Their testing cassettes are $75 a piece and the machine to scan them is $100,000.

Compare that to BioNanovations TestQuick cassettes that sell for $100 a piece but the reader costs just $1000.

But that’s not all. Nanosphere’s technology has a three-hour turn around time, post culture. That means after the initial diagnosis.  BioNanovations, TestQuick platform is the first pre-culture diagnostic tool, saving critical time and lives.

Check out Bell’s ZeroTo510 Demo Day pitch video below:


Check out BioNannovations here at their website

Investors, reach bell at charleson.s.bell@bionanovations.com

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