Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Genotropegrzrlogo Record: iSyndica isyndica logo

Funding Status:  Series A

Founders Backgrounds: VistaPrint

Investors:  Angels

Industry: Consumer web, content distribution

Offering Description: iSyndica is your one-stop-shop for selling your digital content on microstock sites & digital galleries. Simplify your workflow: Upload Once, Sell everywhere™

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Founder Dialogues a New Speaker Series from Founder Collective

Another great new event has emerged for the local startup scene. Founder Dialogues is a speaker series presented by Eric Paley of Founder Collective.

I am excited to see another entry in the effort to create networking events with more substance and take aways that will contribute towards our efforts to create value and viable companies.

Eric explains the intent of the series, "I hope that Founder Dialogues will help inspire new founders who have the vision and energy to build great companies, but need to see role models and understand their stories to see what’s possible.  I hope it will help current founders to persevere through tough times.  I hope it will help founders with some early success to be more prepared for the road ahead."

The event is open to the public and is a great addition to our burgeoning collaborative startup community. Check it out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dave McClure Throws Down Gauntlet to Boston Angels

Dave McClure day in Boston was awesome. I attended both events featuring the geek coder, turned marketer, turned Angel investor/VC, here in theHub. The first talk presented by Performable and hosted at Dopatach Labs was excellent and he did a good job of making it fresh. Once he found out that everyone had already seen his Startup Marketing fordave mcclure Pirates presentation he pivoted to other material which included a bit of my favorite Dave talk, a riff on a Kathy Sierra slide, titled F**k or Kill.  You can watch the Performable event here.

Then at the MIT Enterprise Forum Panel, Dave did not disappoint and really injected the energy into the discussion which might have otherwise been a more boring event. Sim Simeonov is to be congratulated for assembling an interesting group of panelists and especially for adding the entrepreneurs that had been through the venture accelerator programs, which was a brilliant addition.  Again you can view the event courtesy of DartBoston.

It was humorous to see that , Dave's "blue wordage" was mentioned by the Boston Media, which is surprising because @sbroderick has certainly done his part to introduce Boston to a more emphatic mode of expression.

The point that Boston is lacking active angel investors for web startups was underscored by OneForty founder Laura Fitton's @pistachio tale about the necessity of traveling to San Francisco to raise her angel round, and Dave voicing his amazement at the lack of active angel investors here. He threatened to come back more often to fill the gap. Let's hope we see him once a quarter.

Now it is up to the entrepreneur community to produce some interesting companies and disruptive ideas. It is not a one way street, and we can't only blame angels. When Josh Koppelman of First Round Capital came to Boston last summer and held office hours, the word was, he left thinking not much interesting was happening here.  This is from one of, if not the most savvy early stage web investor, that came here looking to put money into the Boston market, yet left without getting his pen out.

So yes, it is clear that Boston needs more angels willing to invest in the $ 50K to $1M range, but if you look at the past year, changes are taking place.  Google Ventures, Start@Spark and the new Founders Collective are actively seeking to invest in Boston. Realistically those three alone could fund a significant amount of seed rounds. Who is going to step up and take that money off the table?

It can be done and the angels do exist here. If you need to be reminded, take a look at the Flipkey story.

So what do you think? Is there enough angel money to nurture a thriving web application startup market here? Is it really the entrepreneurs fault that they haven't come up with anything interesting? Can our established angel community pivot away from the traditional technology/IP oriented companies to embrace the consumer web and write faster checks?

Let's hear some of your stories.

Thanks again to Performable for putting together the presentation at DogPatchLabs and for sending an email with the included McClure photo which I stole.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

TestCase II March 24 @NERD, Call for Participating Companies

We had such a great time and got really positive feedback from both individuals and participating companies at the inaugural TestCase hosted by betahouse, last year, that we are doing it again this March.  This time it will be held at the Microsoft NERD center for 60+ attendees.

Josh Porter @bokardo, author of Designing for the Social Web, and a Performable co-founder will be moderating the discussion as the audience provides feedback for Lightning Landing Page Evaluations with the participating companies.

If your company is interested in taking part, please contact us.

We are seeking companies that have completed A/B testing of a landing page and would like to share the results. We will also evaluate a new landing page if a company wants the audience to review and provide feedback on potential changes that could be made for an A/B test.

Here is a bit about TestCase
Webheads, free pizza+beer and a bit of testing.
TestCase is a gathering of web marketers and developers attempting to mix a good time with a learning experience.
We hope to provide participating companies valuable feedback from the attendees and focus the conversation of the evening on testing, usibility and conversion rates.

Registration will begin later this week for attendees.