Friday, February 27, 2009

DemoCamp Boston Wrapup

The initial DemoCamp Boston was held in Cambridge at Hult International Business School on Wednesday.  First of all the school and organizers could not have been more accommodating to the presenters and attendees.

Smaller and more intimate than Web Innovators Group, it is a good compliment to the reigning Web Meetup in Boston. The presenting companies represented all parts of the startup spectrum, from bootstrap to funding by Union Square Ventures and from  VP of Biz Dev presentations to endearing ramblings by  engineers with an idea, a prototype and a dream.

One thing is clear, Boston is full of people building mobile/iPhone apps.  But again, the presenters ran the gamut from video applications in surveillance, medical imaging, and business intelligence, to mobile location software, contact management and easy to use Family picture sharing applications.

Congratulations to Alex Hodgson and her team. Hopefully DemoCamp Boston will become a regular fixture here in theHub of Innovation.

Andrew Rollins from the Boston Startups blog has a post up with links to some pictures and videos.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Democamp Boston February 25 6:30pm - 9:30pm

If you are interested in new and up and coming  startups, make sure to go to Democamp Boston next Wednesday evening. The format is Ignite style (5 minute presentation). The presenters are a mix of established startups and bootstrapped web applications.   Sign Up Here

The presenters they have lined up are:

7:10 Raj Aggarwal, Localytics

7:25 Fraser Kelton, AdaptiveBlue

7:40 Allen Smith, Wherephone

7:55 Dan Lambright, Mideo Factory

----------------------------20 minute Break----------------------------

8:30 Rachel Segal, B5Media

8:45 Greg Raiz , Raizlabs

9:00 Mark Bao, Ramamia

9:15 Wrap-up

9:30 Networking at Lingo bar and restaurant (at bottom of building)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tech Stars coming to Boston

Good news for the local startup community. TechStars the mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund that originated in Boulder is coming to Boston. Hopefully the program will fill a gap left by the recently departed YCombinator. It may have added positive benefits, as presumably the program will encourage the young companies to continue here in Boston, rather than recommending they move to Silicon Valley.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Genotrope Record: uTest 

Funding Status: Seris A

Investors: Egan, Longworth

Founders or Execs past companies:

Industry: Saas Web Testing, B2B

Offering Description: uTest is the SaaS marketplace for software application testing - providing software companies with on-demand testing services by a global community of professional software testers (the "uTester Community").

Amp Idea

Genotrope Record: Amp Idea 

Funding Status:  Seed

Investors: ?

Founders or Execs past companies: Consultant at Upstartle

Industry: Wireless, Consumer Advertising

Offering Description: providing clients with innovative and affordable means of advertising through digital signage. Amp Idea specializes in providing digital advertising in taxis for business owners in the Boston Area.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan (Open Source Funding)

Love him or hate him, he knows how to stir the pot.

Mark Cuban has made an offer to fund companies of his chosing that post their business plan publicly on his website. He provides 13 rules that the company must comply with. The Number One  requirements is Not Advertising Supported.  The toughest criteria are;  3. It MUST BE CASH FLOW BREAK EVEN within 60 days and 4. It must be profitable within 90 days.

With such a short runway, it would be very hard to go from an idea to profitable in 90 days.  I cannot think of any company that got off the ground that quickly. Maybe Plentyoffish, but they would not qualify as it is 100% advertising supported.

So it seems that to get this funding, realistically,  the company should already have a product ready and have a sound marketing and sales plan.

So far there are 150 some comments/company submissions. They range from Night Clubs to Reefer Distributors along with the expected web companies.

A lot of the comments are about the open source mode of the project and the reluctance of people to post their ideas for everyone to see. It seems the idea people don't want to release their super secret, no one has ever thought of this idea into the ether.

In any case, if you fit the criteria and already have a product ready, I don't see how trying for this funding can hurt.  I bet the companies that garner  an investment will reap PR benefits well in excess of the monthly stipend.

It will be interesting to follow this story and learn which companies are chosen and hear the founders tell of the experience over the next year. Hopefully some Boston area companies will give it a try.  Mr. Cuban has already invested in the local company CitySquares so it will be convenient for him to visit several companies in the area when he is in town.

Yes, there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding his plan, like the terms and preferences etc..   But let's face it, this is a blog post people. Where else could you realistically receive significant investment juice just by commenting on a blog.  It is off the cuff, it is outrageous,  it is for outliers, but it is real.

Hubspot gives you Link Love

What can I say, I admit it, I am continually impressed with HubSpot. They understand the new marketing dynamics and better still, implement it.

Their latest campaign is Link Love . It is sure to generate PR as well as genuine SEO benefits.

And yes, I am hoping to get a little link love for Genotrope as well.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Your Favorites from the past Year

Looking over the stats for the past year, there were posts that were heads above the rest in amount of views.

#1 Most Viewed:

Boston VC Directory by far the most viewed is actually a page in the blog. We have transitioned the Directory to it's own page in Genotrope.


Paul Graham Gets Vague when Boston Needs Analysis Calling for PG to distinguish between Web and "Other" categories of startups.

Paul Graham is "Selling" the Children Getting picked up by Hacker News always bumps up the traffic. Any mention of Paul Graham in a perceived negative fashion brings out the fans in defense, even when the article was "tongue in cheek"

Boston Calling Dave McClure or your Clones Probably the most commented of all the posts, searching for the elusive Boston Web Angel.

Company Posts

Hangout Industries