Tech Cocktail’s Kira Newman Wants Entrepreneurs To “Audit Your Soul” At SXSW

sxsw, panel picker, tech cocktail, startup, entrepreneur

Kira Newman is a senior writer over at Tech Cocktail. She’s been covering startups and entrepreneurs for a while now and even took a trip across the world learning about how they do things in different cities. After covering hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs she has some great insight.

Newman has noticed that in the “just do it” and do it now, lives of entrepreneurs, they don’t take the time to “know thyself.” Many entrepreneurs know how important it is to know their customers, but they often overlook their team and themselves.

We are combing the pages and pages of the SXSW panel picker for 2014 to find some of the more interesting startup discussions vying for a spot in the SXSW lineup. Newman’s talk is definitely worth a vote.

Why is looking into your soul and knowing thyself important? This is Newman’s take from the panel picker page:

“Entrepreneurs who pinpointed their fear of failure would perform better than those plagued by unknown terror. Entrepreneurs who understood their personality quirks could build a more cohesive team. Entrepreneurs who consciously valued independence would make completely different decisions from those who valued money.”

During the two and a half hour workshop, Newman will go over ten important questions that every entrepreneur should ask themselves.

You can vote for Newman’s talk here!


Xoogler Spotlight: Splenvid Zero Button Movie Creation [SXSW]

Splenvid,Xoogler,SXSW,SXSWi,startup pitch video,startup pitch,startupTwo former Googlers (xooglers) who once worked on the UX team at the internet giant have put together something new and exciting called Splenvid.  They spent over a decade at Google building maxable scalable systems so they are taking what they learned there and putting it into their new startup.

Splenvid is the self proclaimed “Zero Button Movie Creation” platform that allows users to tell stories through photos and videos uploaded to the cloud. That’s where the magic happens.

Splenvid is also fully collaborative and content can be combined to make even fuller movies.

All of the media that is uploaded from the user is then intertwined together automagically by Splenvid and spit back out as a complete story.

We got to see the pitch for Splenvid at the TechCocktail Pitch Jam event as SXSW (where I was a judge). While the app hasn’t been released yet, it may be just what the world needs in terms of easy ways to do media. Ease of operation are what make Instagram, Pinterest and Vine so popular.

Sure it’s not hard to string together movies using iMovie or a slew of other movie creation apps, but Splenvid’s value proposition is not having to do anything but upload and wait.

The app should be released later this spring. To get on their waiting list click here. Watch the video below:

Check out more of our startup coverage from SXSW here

DC Startup Homesnap Was Back At SXSW After Nailing Investment At SXSW 12 [video][sxsw]

HomeSnap,DC startup,startup,startup interview,SXSW,SXSWi,techcocktailWashington DC startup HomeSnap has got to be the best tool for those shopping for a new home.

The company’s proprietary technology allows anyone to snap a picture of any home and get all the pertinent information about that home. You can see the MLS data, how much the home sold for, what the neighborhood schools are, what other homes in the neighborhood sold for and more.

Their technology allows users to pre-shop for homes without the need of a realtor. However when the user is ready to actually purchase, HomeSnap can easily connect them to a realtor to finish out a deal.

Back in August the company closed a $3.5 million dollar round of funding led by Revolution Ventures. Steve Barnes, Homesnap’s President and co-founder told us that they met Steve Case, head of Revolution, at TechCocktail’s 2012 startup event at South By Southwest.

This year they were back at TechCocktail’s event to show off the newest version of HomeSnap, talk to other entrepreneurs and investors and pitch during TechCocktail’s Pitch Jam event, for which I was a judge. HomeSnap was declared the “Most Disruptive Startup” at the event.

In addition to the app that allows users to snap a photo and get home data, they also have a robust iPad app. The iPad experience allows users to browse entire neighborhoods virtually with an aerial map. Users can then drill down by looking at homes by address.

HomeSnap now also offers HomeSnap for agents. This part of the app allows agents to connect to their customers with a mini profile. Users can then flag properties for their agents to review with them, and use a one click method to ask an agent a question.

Guy Wolcott, co-founder and CEO of HomeSnap told TechCrunch that they have over 300 agents around the country registered for the app and have driven over 10,000 qualified leads.

“However, what we are launching here is a bit different,” Wolcott explains. “The idea is that agents can sign up to have their existing clients use HomeSnap. When the agent signs up, we put them (and only them) in the app for their clients – they won’t see any of our other partner agents, just their own agent,” he told TechCrunch.

We got a chance to talk with Barnes and VP of Product Development Lou Mintzer at this year’s TechCocktail event. The video interview is below:

We’ve got even more SXSW 2013 startup coverage here.

Interview With Sheboygan Brand Engagement Startup: Yappem [SXSW]

Yappem,sxsw,sxswi,techstars,startup,startup pitch videoYappem is a social platform that allows users to engage with the brands they love and get rewarded for it. Sure there are other social networks that have brand sections. Facebook  and Twitter both have heavy brand presence but they weren’t designed to talk about brands they were designed to talk about you. That’s the fundamental problem that Yappem has set out to solve.

Founded by Dave Sachse and Justin Webb, Yappem has already raised $2.5 million dollars in seed funding from private investors. They’ve also inked a partnership with McDonald’s to help with the relaunch of the Big Mac.

The startup just came out of beta and is using SXSW to launch their exciting new startup. While startup communities are growing extremely fast in cities like Madison Wisconsin and Milwaukee Wisconsin, Yappem was quick to point out that they were the startup scene in Sheboygan, but both founders are hopeful that their success will encourage others.

Yappem was a sponsor for TechCocktail’s SXSW celebration, TechCocktail’s SXSW video series, Mashable’s Mash Bash, and their own free events at SXSW. They were also giving Yappem coins away that can be used for $5.00 gift cards. They are giving away $150,000 worth of gift cards for the launch. They are also giving away gift cards redeemable for a free Big Mac.

Check out our video with Sachse and Webb below. For more info on Yappem visit 

We’ve got you covered for startup news at SXSW 2013, find more here

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Atlanta Startup Medicast Is Uber For HealthCare [video][sxsw]

Even though it’s 2013, Obamacare is kicking in and people are clamoring for insurance, there is a wave of “old school” healthcare sweeping the nation. It’s not about going retro to the olden days, but more about convenience in the hustle bustle, no time to stop lifestyles that plenty of American’s have grown accustom too.

What is it you ask?  House calls, and doctors are starting to make them again.  That’s where Atlanta startup Medicast comes in.

Medicast is an on-demand, doctor hailing application, similar to Uber for black cars.

Medicast,Atlanta startup,startups,sxsw,sxswi,techcocktailUsing the app, a patient would say what kind of doctor they need, order the doctor and then the doctor would come to their home or office to administer care. Doctors on the system will have another version of the app, designed for the medical provider. They can respond to requests by type of service, distance or what the patient is ready to pay.

Medicast founder Sam Zebarjadi came all the way down from Atlanta to Austin for TechCocktail’s celebration of startups event. It was there that he got to pitch Medicast during the Pitch Jam session and where we caught up with him.

Check out the video interview with Zebarjadi below and for more information visit

Check out over 30 stories we’ve already filed for SXSW 2013, here

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Tech Cocktail Hosting SXSW Startup Celebration Saturday March 9th

TechCocktail,sxsw,sxsw13,startupsTech startup blog and event powerhouse Tech Cocktail is hosting a startup celebration at South By Southwest 2013. If you’ve ever been to one of TechCocktail’s events you know they do a fantastic job of connecting startups with the public, the press and investors.  The SXSW Startup Celebration won’t be any different.

This year TechCocktail is teaming up with CEA (the folks who put on CES) and .co.

The event kicks off Saturday March 9th at 7pm and runs until 11pm at The Stage on Sixth (508 East 6th Street, Austin TX). It runs until 11pm.

Frank Gruber and the team at TechCocktail know how to throw together an event and they also know how to find some of the best startups in the world. This years event will feature 30 great startups that will be named shortly.

This is the fourth year for TechCocktail’s big event at SXSW. Some of the startups that have showcased in years past at this event include: FitOrbit, Foodspotting, Khush, Mobile Roadie, Personal, Storify, Udemy, Tango, SaneBox, Sawbuck, Sifteo, Sonar, Sphero, Stitch Labs, Votizen, and many more.  So you know this years event will be equally as epic.

Don’t take our word for it though, click here to reserve your ticket.

Tech Cocktails Speaker Series “Sessions” Returns To DC December 5th

TechCocktail,DC Sessions, Startup event, TroopID, Fortify VC,iStrategy LabsIf you’re going to be in the Washington DC area next week, then you definitely want to put TechCocktail’s next speaker series event on your calendar. TechCocktails speaker series, called “sessions”, puts together entrepreneurs, designers, startups, and investors in a setting to discuss topics that are relevant to those in the tech and startup community. They offer unparalleled access to top tier, successful speakers, in a somewhat intimate setting.

The next “Sessions” event is being held in Washington DC at the Atlas Theater (1333 H Street NE) Wednesday December 5th from 6:30pm-9:00pm. They are calling the event “Building Your Team”.

Living up to their mission TechCocktail’s Building Your Team session is of the utmost importance to startup founders everywhere. The success of any startup hinges on the product and more importantly the team.

“At some point, most startups reach a point where they need to build a team. How do you start? How do you find the best possible people to grow your company and represent your new brand? Despite today’s unemployment rates, the technology sector remains highly competitive and building a top notch team might be more challenging than you think. Come hear from our speakers who have a variety of perspectives on building out amazing teams, finding talent and keeping them. ” (from TechCocktail’s event page)

The Sessions event will have three speakers, all who’ve had to go through the team building experience. Blake Hall the founder and CEO of TroopID , Carla Valdes a general partner at and Peter Corbett founder and CEO of iStrategy Labs, have all had their fair share of team building.

Hall’s company has built the first military focused verification database. Hall has had experience building his startup team and being part of teams in the military including as an active duty Airborne Ranger qualified officer.

Valdes has built up the team at a Washington DC investment fund and is also instrumental in selecting and solidifying the starutp teams that are chosen for Fortify’s dc based accelerator, The Fort.

Corbett and his team at iStrategyLabs serve as a digital agency to some of the world’s biggest brands like ESPN,Disney, ABC, Nasdaw and Geico. Not only is Corbett managing highly creative left brained teams, but he’s doing it with the intense pressure that comes with running a digital agency.

Tickets for the event start at just $10.00 but you need to get them quick before the pricing goes up. Follow the link below.


TechCocktail Sessions DC event page here

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Boston Startups Get Ready TechCocktail Is Back July 17th

TechCocktail events are great. We recently attended the TechCocktail event that was part of TechWeek in Chicago. We also went to one of their speaker series events two months ago in Washington DC. Aside from Cameron and I getting locked on the first floor, it was fun times to be had by all.

TechCocktail is headed back to Boston Massachusetts on Tuesday July 17th for a fun filled evening of networking, startup pitches, and of course with a name like TechCocktail, libations.

If you’ve never been to a TechCocktail event it’s a great time to hear about the best new up and coming tech startups and mingle with other tech entrepreneurs.

Here are the details:

Tuesday July 17th 6:30pm-9:00pm

Microsoft New England Research & Development Center
One Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA

Get your ticket here


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Startup America CEO Scott Case Offers 7 Tips For Relationships At TechCocktail Event in DC

20120524-202955.jpgToday was the big day of two Cases for Startups in Washington DC. It was day two of Capital Connection/TechBUZZ at the Omnin Shoreham Hotel. The 35 hour private investor conference highlighted 28 great Startups on Wednesday and equally as many later stage companies today.

Capital Connection features AOL Co-Founder and CEO of Revolution, Steve Case. He offered a great talk highlighting what he’s been working on as an entrepreneur and the strength of Washington DCs thriving tech and startup community.

Later in the evening we went just two miles down the road to TechCocktails Sessions event focusing on relationships and networking. The featured keynote speaker was Scott Case the CEO of the Startup America partnership and the founding CTO of

Case opened up his talk by making sure everyone knew he wasn’t there to talk about dating. He did however talk about sex, gambling and getting lucky. In short that portion of his talk was about meeting his wife and having four kids (the sex). He then shifted to a story about his father in law who is a horse handicapper. He also talked about one of his friends, and their father, Ira, was also into horse racing (gambling). Then he explained how he was considering a move to the west coast and he got a call from Ira right before he left. Ira wanted to introduce Case to another one of his friends, who was ultimately the founder of (getting lucky).

With Case’s vast experience and the fact that he’s trying to become the most traveled man in the United States as CEO of Startup America, he’s met and networked with thousands of people.

Case brought up the fact that so many startups that he meets are so focused on product development that they forget about customer development. Customer development is totally different from customer acquisition. The roots of customer development lie in relationships and networking.

Case offered these 7 great tips for networking, specifically aimed at startups who sometimes forget about things like this:

1. Everybody has a story, understand what their story’s about.

2. It’s not about you it’s about them. Figure out more about the other person.

3. Find a way to say yes when people ask you for something. All the most interesting things in Cases life started by saying yes. You’ll find yourself falling forward and creates an opportunity for someone else to help you.

It’s very hard to say no to something when they’ve said yes to you

4. There are relationships when you won’t have something in common

5. Social networks aren’t a replacement for in person hand to hand make a relationship with them.

6. Use these tools to keep your relationships current. It’s not enough to go back 6 months. Use social networks to keep current between face to face interactions.

7. You have to be intentional about all of this. Allocate time and energy to networking. You can meet people almost anywhere.

This Thursday: A Day Of Two Cases, Capital Connection & Tech Cocktail

Thursday (May 24) Is a day of two cases first Steve Case (L) then Scott Case (R) (not related)

This week on the nibletz startup road trip we will be in New York for Disrupt and DC for Capital Connection and an event with TechCocktail.

Capital Connection is a one and a half day convention/conference being held in Washington DC Wednesday May 23rd and Thursday May 24th. It’s one of the nation’s most respected industry conferences and showcases emerging, growing companies (startups).

“For 25 years, Capital Connection and now TechBUZZ, have brought together a high-powered cross section of the nation’s technology-based, high-growth ecosystem.  Attendees include senior players from across the industry – investors across the continuum of capital, professional advisors, technology product and service firms, and, at the center of it all, innovative entrepreneurs.” source

The conference is divided into two tracks one on Wednesday afternoon and the other on Thursday. Wednesday afternoon is “TechBuzz” and features early stage startup companies. The TechBuzz companies will square off in a familiar quick pitch setting. Each company will have 4 minutes to present and two companies will present simultaneously, according to their website.

Later on Wednesday afternoon the best of the TechBuzz presenters will square off again in a “semi final” type round called “Best of the Buzz”.

The Capital Connection presentations involve early, expansion and growth companies that have been vigorously vetted prior to their presentation. During the application process, the companies presenting in the Capital Connection presentations are scrubbed for “the soundness of their financial model as well as the innovation and potential of their ideas”.

Over the 25 years of the Capital Connection conference it’s been a virtual who’s who of the best tech in the region has to offer.

The Thursday afternoon festivities will be capped with a keynote by AOL founder and Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Steve Case.

Later on Thursday evening we’ll move over to the TechCocktail sessions event with Startup America CEO and Priceline Founding CTO T. Scott Case. The other case (Scott) gives great, almost guy next door presentations on startups, the startup ecosystem and Startup America.

Thursday will be a fun filled day of two cases.


More on Capital Connection here (tickets still available)

More on the TechCocktail event here

If you’re in the other Washington this week TechCocktail is also having this event

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