October 30th, 2013 NYEBN: Startup Demo Night Series #17


On October 30th, 2013 boasted another great panel of judges and demos presented at “Startup Demo Night Series #17.” Hosted by the New York Entrepreneurs Business Network, presentations focused on E-commerce and Marketplaces bringing together angel investors, VCs, reporters and entrepreneurs to present pitches to the public and receive follow up Q&A from a panel of experienced judges and the public. Here is a brief rundown of the evening's startups.

Greg Marsh, Founder & CEO of KeyMe kicked off the presentations with a mobile app allowing people to scan keys on their phones to prevent inevitable lockouts. KeyMe stores a digital key in the cloud and copies it anywhere with features of mail order replacements, locksmith locations and automatic key distribution kiosks allowing copies of keys to be printed on demand. Questions from the panel and audience were raised around security, user acquisition, and refund policies.

Next to present was Peter M. Corrigan, Founder & CEO of TUN, the University network helping students save money on college campuses. The TUN website and app acts as a digital concierge offering daily deals through rewards points for students and business for participating vendors around college campus. TUN has over 300 merchants signed up for the services and includes discounts on entertainment, food, beauty and beer. Questions were raised around incentivizing sign ups for students and merchants at both ends. 

Artur Maklyarevsky, Co-Founder & CEO of JuicyCanvas, presented his video and statement fully clothed in costume as a pink elephant in the room. His explanation was that he is making a case for curators and remixers to create and consume more original work. This includes original and remixed designs on apparel, decor and accessories through the JuicyCanvas platform. Artur says they are focusing on bands and brands that offer people a stickier market. A participant of Startup Chile, JuicyCanvas has no sales of yet, but has been developing product for the past year and a half based in Buenos Aires.

Jennifer Lee, Founder & CEO of ClosetDash was next up. ClosetDash allows an online portal for women to shop by swapping out clothes from their closets in search of more value. Jennifer sites typical places where womens' clothes go after shopping sprees---donations piles, consignment, and the occasional thrift shops of the Beacon or eBay variety. ClosetDash seeks to give women "more value for a portion of their closets that they do not normally get." Questions were raised around current revenue streams and differentiation from competitors. 

Rob Caucci, Co-Founder & CEO of Pijon services monthly care packages as 'Pijin boxes' to college students 'with love.' Starting at $25 per box, parents can send curated care packages to their far flung sons and daughters far flung during their first year of college away from home. Rob claims there is over a $388 billion dollars spent on college students while away in school, and Pijon is looking to solve a piece of the puzzle.

Zeb Dropbkin, Founder & CEO of RentHackr helps to connect apartments with renters through a renter-powered search. It is a website showing "real rents from real people." Zeb says the service is scam-free with no asking price, and the site also allows you to stay up to date with what is available on the market. There is also a social search enabled to see what apartments your friends may recommend to power your search.

Next up was Jay Surovy, Founder & CEO of Sportpass. A tennis player and fan, Jay created Sportpass as an app that offer last minute deals on sports activities through your mobile phone. Interested in a yoga class or tennis lesson and want to book in real time? Sportpass is available as an iPhone app and allows you to connect with gyms with your phone. 

Lynn Chen, Founder & CEO of Alumvest was last to present on a crowdfunding platform targeting university alums with new ventures. Along with COO and Legal Officer Sasha Ablovatskiy, Lynn spoke about Alumvest as a place to connect entrepreneurs with alumni who wish to act as advisors and provide initial seed investing in promising ventures by young alumni entrepreneurs. 

Sourcepad sponsored the evening's event, providing services to bootstrapped startups. The panel consisted of Lori S. Hoberman, Partner at Chadbourne & Parke as Moderator, Peter Bordes, Angel Investor & CEO & Founder of Internet Media Labs, Paul Cianciolo, VP at FirstMark Capital, Ellie Wheeler, Principal with Greycroft Partners, and William Peng, GP at Red Swan Ventures.