Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Overview Stats on the Early Deadline for the 14th Duke Start-Up Challenge

Overview Stats on the Early Deadline for the 14th Duke Start-Up Challenge
Total Teams 51 (Student: 39, Alumni 12)
Total Judges 182

Functional Tracks
Clean Energy 4
Healthcare & Life Sciences 6
IT, Internet & Media 19
Other Products & Services 11
Social Enterprises 11

Special Interest Tracks 
Teams can compete in these tracks as a second or third chance to make it to Round 2
Undergraduate-led Startups 21
Women-led Startups 12

School Breakdown 
School that the lead student or alum is affiliated with
Trinity 20
Fuqua School of Business 14 (9 Daytime MBA, 5 EMBA)
Pratt 11 (8 Undergrad, 3 MEMP)
The Graduate School 3
Law School 1 (LLM-LE)
Nicholas School 1
School of Medicine 1

Monday, August 27, 2012

Updates from Duke startups August 2012

The following are updates from Duke alumni-led startups as of August 2012.  The alumni listed here have volunteered to give updates.  If you have an update, email hwr2@duke.edu

Aaron Aycock, 2005
Email:    aaron@cubevibe.com
Startup Name: CubeVibe
Location: Atlanta
StartupRiot Finalist
TAG Top 40 Most Innovative Companies
Enterprise 2.0 People's Choice
HR Technology Conference "Awesome New Tech"
We've launched our product and we're currently implementing a big new customer this month!
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Adding 1-2 advisors from HR Tech Space

Rachel Cook, 2006
Email:    rachel.cook@alumni.duke.edu
Startup Name: Seeds
Location: New York, NY and Nairobi, Kenya
We were recently approved by the App Store, and disbursed our first loan in Nairobi with the help of a team of Duke students and alums.  We will be taking Seeds on a 50+ stop University Tour beginning this fall at Duke, in conjunction with screenings of The Microlending Film Project, my global documentary exploring the impact of microloans on women.  Partners joining us on the University Tour include ACCION, Women's World Banking, and Investours.
Next Milestone:
Finding a co-founder, Raising money

Scott Dacko, 1993
Email:    scott@flicmob.com
Startup Name: Flicmob
Location: New York City
Flicmob.com is in limited public beta. We have 100+ filmmakers signed up to help test & refine the product.
There are two TV pilots shooting in Los Angeles & New Orleans that are launching on the platform in October. We'll make a big public push around those projects & our new original content product.
Actively looking for content to help launch - working with indie film producers, TV documentarians, web series producers, etc. Also looking for co-founders for the platform - technical & business development.
Next Milestone:

Jason Ethier, 2010
Email:    jason@dynamo-micropower.com
Startup Name: Dynamo Micropower
Location: Boston
Proofs of concept completed under NSF SBIR Phase I grant
Won Best pitch at New Energy Symposium in NYC
Semifinalist in Mass Challenge & CTO
Full scale prototype to be completed soon
VP of Engineering to be hired in soon  (Keep an eye out for a job listing soon)
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Developing a prototype

Katie Finnegan, 2010
Email:    katie.finnegan@hukkster.com
Startup Name: Hukkster
Location: New York, NY
The start-up is currently in private beta (launched May 2012) and we are in the process of preparing for a public launch in September!  The site will be completely re branded and have a lot of new functionality, just in time for Christmas shopping!
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Expanding

Michael Gagliardi, 1989
Email:    mgagliardi@austin.rr.com
Startup Name: Jackson Electronics, LLC
Location: Austin, TX, USA
We have been shipping our first product, iRoc for iPhone, since August 2011.  We are working on several development projects including a Double DIN version of iRoc, an iPad attachment, and a telematics capability.  We are currently looking for investors to expand our distribution channel and complete developments through manufacturing.  For more information, please visit www.iRoconline.com.
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Expanding

Daisy Jing, 2010
Email:    daiserz@gmail.com
Startup Name: Perfect Beauty
Location: Los Angeles, California
Private beta, raising money
Next Milestone:
Raising money

Anne Kallus, 2007
Email:    akallus@gmail.com
Startup Name: GearListed
We're planning a beta launch 9/6. Feedback is welcome. We're also looking for sports & outdoor enthusiasts to help out with engineering & community management.

Next Milestone:
Finding a co-founder, improving engagement & monetization

Matt Koidin, 2005
Email:    mkoidin@gmail.com
Startup Name: Pocket
Location: San Francisco, CA
We closed our Series B of $5M last month with lead investor Foundation Capital along with Google Ventures and Baseline Ventures.
We're actively hiring developers and an analytics lead. See here for details: http://getpocket.com/jobs
Next Milestone:

Jason Langheier, 2009
Email:    j@zipongo.com
Startup Name: Zipongo, Inc
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
VP Engineering
VP Product
UX & Visual Design
Account & Project Management
Operations Manager

Next Milestone:
Expanding, Talent recruitment, National product launch, Sales to health payors and retailers

Yoav Lurie, 2005
Email:    yoav@simpleenergy.com
Startup Name: Simple Energy
Location: Boulder, CO
We're live in over 550,000 homes with two of the biggest utilities in the country (SDG&E and Pepco) and have over $1mm in YTD bookings.
Next Milestone:
Raising money

Kathryn Minshew, 2008
Email:    kmminshew@gmail.com
Startup Name: The Daily Muse
Location: New York, NY
Great - we've blown past 1M users and are moving the HQ back to New York at the end of August!
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Expanding

Colin Mutchler, 1999
Email:    colin@loudsauce.com
Startup Name: LoudSauce
Location: San Francisco
We recently reached a milestone: our crowdfunded ads have now reached over 30 million (from the $130k pledged on our platform). http://visual.ly/crowdfunded-advertising-people
After exploring the crowdfunding of ads across many media, our upcoming beta platform will be exclusively focused on collaborative video buying. We've learned that video is the sweet spot of being both emotionally compelling to funders, and operationally effective (and scalable) from the targeting and buying side.
We're raising an angel round this fall to roll out the platform and expand beyond political advocacy to include passionate supporters of film, music and maker culture.
We have a strong small team including a solid Rails developer, and would benefit from a senior product focused CTO and a social video guru with video buying experience who wants to deeply disrupt the advertising industry.
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Expanding

Griff Parker
Email:    griffparker@gmail.com
Startup Name: WellAlly, Inc.
Location: Wayne
Today’s employer offered health improvement benefits are inefficient and outdated. Traditional programming, consisting of pre-selected workplace-centric supplier combinations, does little to change unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. 
WellAlly’s is being developed to work differently. Our web-based systems enable promoting healthier lifestyle choices by Individually Designed Activity Selections  (i.e., Use 3rd party resources and integrated performance-based incentives).
We are building the team, web-based knowledge-center, analytic capabilities and delivery systems to lead a new era of delivery individualization. We are looking for IT talent to help design is how it works.

Next Milestone:
Finding a co-founder, Raising money, Developing a prototype

Dan Pollard, 1992
Email:    dan@mydrugcosts.com
Startup Name: myDrugCosts, Inc.
Location: Research Triangle Park, NC
1. Growth funding
2. A strong sales and business development executive with experience selling prescription drug benefits to large employers and partners.
Here are some of our most recent wins in the market:
1. SEANC Selects myDrugCosts to Lower Prescription Drug Costs
RALEIGH, NC, August 15, 2012 -- The State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) has selected myDrugCosts, a mobile software service which helps individuals save money on prescription drugs, to provide service to SEANC’s 55,000 members.
Read more http://mydrugcosts.com/2012/seanc-selects-mydrugcosts-to-lower-prescription-drug-costs/
2. myDrugCosts Selected for CED Tech Venture Conference 2012
Durham, NC CED, the Southeast’s largest entrepreneurial support organization, announced the second group of companies selected to participate in the Demo Showcase at the CED Tech Venture Conference 2012 on Sept. 11-12 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Read more: http://mydrugcosts.com/2012/mydrugcosts-selected-for-ced-tech-venture-conference-2012/
3. Employees report saving money on prescription drugs using tool from myDrugCosts in the June 15, 2012 issue of Employee Benefit News
The preliminary results of a pilot project involving a large, self-funded employer and a new mobile application, myDrugCosts, show that 42% of employees who used the voluntary benefit reported saving money on their prescription drug costs.
Read the full article: http://ebn.benefitnews.com/news/mydrugcosts-wwl-pharmacy-costs-drugs-generics-smartphone-2725099-1.html
4. myDrugCosts Wins Best Consumer App at 2012 Health Datapalooza
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2012 – myDrugCosts was awarded First Place in the Consumer App category by the Health Data Initiative at its third annual Forum, The Health Datapalooza.  myDrugCosts, and its best-in-class transparency and comparison solution for lowering prescription drug costs, was presented the award by Howard Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Read more: http://mydrugcosts.com/2012/mydrugcosts-wins-best-consumer-app-at-2012-health-datapalooza/
See the presentation: http://vimeo.com/44461066

Next Milestone:
Raising money, Expanding

Jason Sender, 1997
Email:    jason.sender@gmail.com
Startup Name: Innovation Logistics
We are finding it very difficult to raise funds.
Next Milestone:
Raising money

Brandon Warner, 2008
Email:    brandon@simpleregistry.com
Startup Name: SimpleRegistry
Location: Durham, NC and Cincinnati, OH
Raised a seed round in 2012 with CinciTech
Next Milestone:
Raising money, Expanding

Crick Waters, 1983, 1992
Email:    crick@alumni.duke.dedu
Startup Name: Conga
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Conga Beta is Open! 
I welcome all DukeGEN'ers to sign up and try our Social Discovery tool.
Here's a direct link with invitation code:
About:  Conga is a social relevance platform.  We apply sophisticated algorithms to the connection data from your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other profiles.  We create a mathematical expression of you that lets us determine how well anyone might fit with you.
Do a search in Conga and we'll tell you who is likely to be the best fit for you and why.
Give it a whirl.  It works.  And there is much more to come.
Next Milestone:
Raising money

Evan C. Anderson 2004
Email: evan.anderson@osebergenergy.com
Startup Name: Oseberg
Location: Oklahoma City
From Seed to Growth
Over 30 Clients ranging from closely held private companies to $25B market cap public companies since going commercial 18 mos ago  
Cash Flow Positive
100% Client Retention
Next Milestone:
Identifying/Adding Tech Advisors, 300% Growth in 12 Mos, Hiring 1 Customer Success Manager, 1-2 Outside Sales Reps, & 2 Additional Developers w/ interests in predictive analytics, OCR, & GIS      

Jessica Faye Carter, 2002
Startup Name: Toour
Location: Connecticut
Mentioned in TechCrunch article on social travel
Currently in alpha
Several hundred users have signed up for our upcoming private beta
Next Milestone:
Private beta, Add a couple of advisors in travel space, raising money

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Join the Startup Matchmaker Directory; Summer 2012 Updates from Duke

Free T-Shirt! Join the Startup Matchmaker Directory

Want to match with a Duke-led startup?  Or do you have a startup idea and want to find Duke co-founders and talent?
Join over 500 other Dukie's in the DukeGEN Startup Matchmaker Directory, for students, alumni, and the entire Duke community.
We'll give free Duke Start-Up Challenge t-shirts to those of you that have signed up by September 13th, on a first come, first served basis)
Joining the Startup Matchmaker Directory is a great first step towards forming a team for the Duke Start-Up Challenge.
Vote for Bryan Silverman

Current Duke undergraduate student Bryan Silverman has a chance to win Entrepreneur Magazine's College Entrepreneur of 2012 award, with his startup, Star Toilet Paper.  
Check out his startup and vote here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/e2012college#696
Voting ends September 17th.

Duke programs in Silicon Valley

Congratulations to the ten Duke students who participated in this summer's Duke programs in Silicon Valley.  Five worked at Duke-led startups, and five worked on starting their own companies at DogPatch Labs.
500 attendees at 10th DukeGEN Networking Event

Over 500 Dukies RSVP'ed to attend our multi-city networking events in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, LA, NYC, Research Triangle (Durham), San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Our next event will be on November 15th.  Want to host one in your city?  Contact Nancy White at ngump@duke.edu and Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu

Congratulations to Corengi, Winners of the Angel Pitch Event

We held our 5th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event (sponsored by Freestyle Capital and SVB), in front of a packed audience of Duke alumni.  Congratulations to Ryan Luce and his startup Corengi, for taking the top prize from the panel of judges.
Check out our blog post summarizing the event. The next DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event is scheduled for October 2012.
Thanks to our event sponsor:

Join AngelList

For those of you who don't know, AngelList has become one of the top destinations for startups and angel investors to meet one another. There are 107 Duke startups and 164 Duke alumni who are members of the site already, but we think that more of you could (and possibly should) take advantage of AngelList.
See the rankings of colleges on AngelList (http://angel.co/colleges)
We encourage you to sign up for AngelList and get familiar with it. Who knows, it may lead to your next investment!  Visit AngelList

Congratulations and Updates!
Recent entrepreneurship milestones from the Duke community.
Notable event?  Email Howie Rhee at hwr2@duke.edu

Read interviews with Duke entrepreneurs
We've interviewed dozens of Duke entrepreneurs and investors.  Get inspired!  Read them here.

About DukeGEN
The goal of this group is to be a sophisticated and active network that helps create debate, dialogue, and productive connections between Duke entrepreneurs.  We are providing the energy and coordination to encourage Duke entrepreneurs, around the globe, to connect and increase their chances of success.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Want to stay informed of the latest happenings?  Follow us:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

5th DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event a Success!

We held our 5th DukeGEN Angel Event last night, awarding a $10,000 prize from Freestyle Capital. The event was held in San Francisco (our 3rd event here) at RocketSpace and sponsored by SVB (thanks to Carrie Walsh).

The full set of pictures can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/112782475170951809220/5thDukeGENAngelPitchEvent

A video recording can be found here:

Attendance was outstanding.  We had over 210 RSVPs on our event page, up from 150 last year.

A nice "surprise" visit from President Richard Brodhead.

The full set of pictures can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/112782475170951809220/5thDukeGENAngelPitchEvent

A video recording can be found here:

Here's who pitched:
  • Corengi, Inc. - Humanize and Accelerate Clinical Trials. Ryan Luce 1994
  • Flicmob - integrate social media & media production. Scott Dacko 1993
  • GearListed.com - Social Gear & Adventure Directory. Anne Kallus 2007
  • Hukkster - Online personal shopping concierge. Katie Finnegan 2010
  • Pixton Comics - The social gamification of comics. Geoff Archer 1995 
Here's who was on the panel:
  • Josh Felser Trinity '86, Fuqua '90 of Freestyle Capital
  • Ryan Spoon Trinity '03 of Polaris Ventures
  • Justin Caldbeck Trinity '99 of LightSpeed Venture Partners
  • Jay Jamison Trinity '92 of Blue Run Ventures
  • Shea DiDonna Fuqua '10

And here's who attended: http://linkd.in/ybjfvH

After the pitches, the judges convened, and the audience had a Q&A with the teams.

Then, the audience voted:

Audience Choice Winner: Pixton - 56 votes
Audience Choice Runner Up: Hukkster - 41 votes

Then, the judges came back, gave feedback to each team (in front of the audience), and then announced their results.

Judges Choice Winner: Corengi ($10,000 prize from Freestyle Capital)
Judges Choice Runner Up: Pixton

Congrats to Ryan Luce of Corengi, and to everyone who made it a great night!

Presented by:
■ Matt Koidin B '05
■ Basil Enan T '03
■ Howie Rhee B '04

Thanks again to SVB for sponsoring!

Posted by Howie Rhee '04, Co-chair of DukeGEN

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rubenstein Gives $15 Million for Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

DURHAM, NC - Duke University trustee David M. Rubenstein has donated $15 million to serve as a catalyst for the university's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Friday.
Rubenstein's $15 million gift will be used to establish new programs, enhance existing programs and support course development, internships, research, guest faculty and administrative operations that spur the creation of start-up ventures by faculty, staff, students and alumni.
"Every successful institution began as someone’s bright idea, and the creativity and can-do spirit of entrepreneurs are playing an ever more important role in building the economy and solving social challenges," Brodhead said. "In today's economic climate, sparking and training the entrepreneurial spirit is a fundamental goal of education. We're grateful to David Rubenstein for making Duke a leader in this field."
Duke announced the launch of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative in October 2010 to expand the societal impact of Duke inventions and to better serve students and faculty who seek to establish their own ventures as entrepreneurs.
Hired to lead the initiative was Kimberly Jenkins, a university alumna and former trustee who has launched entrepreneurial ventures with leading technology companies and established a prominent nonprofit organization.
"Duke is full of intellectually curious, passionate students eager to apply their entrepreneurial skills and inventiveness to tackling the big, complex issues of the world. And our faculty are among the best in the nation at translating our research innovation out of the university to those who most need our innovative solutions," said Jenkins, senior advisor to the president and provost for innovation and entrepreneurship. "David Rubenstein's gift will establish a pathway through which ideas gain traction and are transformed into action for an evolving global economy that’s driven by innovation and entrepreneurship."
Since the launch of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, the university has been working to strengthen its existing programs in entrepreneurship, establish new programs to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs, build a stronger culture of research innovation across Duke and move campus ventures to the global market and create new jobs. Rubenstein's gift will support all of these objectives.
"Duke has, throughout its many schools and centers, the requisite capabilities to inspire and incubate social and business entrepreneurs and their creations," Rubenstein said. "This gift is designed to help channel and focus these capabilities, enhancing Duke's role as a national leader among universities focused on creating great entrepreneurs and innovators. I see my gift as start-up funding and just the beginning. Duke needs other alumni to join me in providing their time, expertise and financial support to advance this initiative."
To enhance entrepreneurship education at Duke, Rubenstein's gift will be used to create courses, an incubator and mentoring programs that support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in their development of important innovations and new ventures. It will also expand on programs funded, in part, with gifts from other donors.
Existing curricular and co-curricular programs include The Duke Start-Up Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition for students now in its 13th year that runs throughout the academic year, and InCube, Duke's entrepreneurial residential community where 10 companies were created in its first year of operation.
This summer, as part of a pilot program, 10 Duke undergraduates will serve as interns at start-ups in Silicon Valley and three student teams will work closely with Duke alumni on developing their ventures at Dogpatch Labs, the incubator that spawned Instagram. In Durham, three teams of undergraduates and two teams of graduate students from the Nicholas School of the Environment will launch their new ventures through DUhatch, the on-campus incubator.
"In a field like entrepreneurship, student learning must extend beyond the classroom and into the field, and it must be hands-on, applicable, relevant, and impactful," Jenkins said.
Duke's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative will work with individual departments, including history, philosophy and sociology, and schools such as the Fuqua School of Business, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, Duke Law School and Sanford School of Public Policy, to encourage research in areas that foster innovation across the campus. Programs will be developed to promote collaborative, market-driven research and to provide financial resources to support early-stage innovation and translational research.
In addition, a centrally located space will be established to give all those involved in entrepreneurship at Duke access to equipment, resources, advice and mentorship that will foster collaboration and help move innovations from ideas and prototypes into new ventures that make a difference in the world, Jenkins said.
A native of Baltimore, Rubenstein is co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager. He graduated magna cum laude from Duke in 1970 and serves as vice chair of the university's Board of Trustees.
In August 2011, he gave Duke University Libraries its largest gift ever -- $13.6 million -- to support the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, which was renamed the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in his honor.
In 2009, he donated $5.75 million to the Sanford School of Public Policy to help it transition from an institute into Duke's 10th school; and he contributed $5 million in 2002 to complete the construction of Sanford's Rubenstein Hall.
In addition to his service at Duke, Rubenstein is the chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a regent of the Smithsonian Institution, president of the Economic Club of Washington, vice chair of the Brookings Institution and board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

CONTACT:  Michael J. Schoenfeld PHONE:  (919) 681-3788 EMAIL:  michael.schoenfeld@duke.edu

Monday, February 13, 2012

Over 100 teams in the 13th Duke Start-Up Challenge

We have over 100 teams competing in the 13th Annual Duke Start-Up Challenge.

Functional Tracks 2012 2011 2010
Clean Energy 5 10 11
Healthcare & Life Sciences 16 15 19
IT, Internet & Media 48 30 27
Other Products & Services 33 34 27
Social Enterprises 16 21 25
118* 110 109
Special Interest Tracks
Undergraduate-led Startups 46 43 41
Women-led Startups 34 27 29
Pilot Track
China-focused Startups 12
School at Duke (Lead student)
Trinity 37 30
Fuqua School of Business 34 17
Pratt 30 46
The Graduate School 10 5
School of Law 2 7
Nicholas School of the Environment 2 2
School of Medicine 2 1
Sanford School of Public Policy 1 2
118 80
* includes Alumni/Faculty/Staff teams
Student 102
Alumni/Faculty/Staff 16

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Win $50,000 in the Duke Start-Up Challenge

Do you have an idea for a startup company? Tell us your business idea, and earn a chance to win $50,000! Along the way you'll receive support for getting a business idea off the ground.

Last year we had over 100 Duke student teams, and 50 Duke alumni teams compete.
All Duke students (as well as postdocs and medical residents) are eligible for the prize money.  Alumni, Faculty, and Staff are also welcome to participate, but will not be eligible for the prize money.  They will, however, receive feedback and support. 
Student Prizes:
  • $50,000 Grand Prize (thanks to Rich Lee of Hosted Solutions)
  • $10,000 Prize for best Women-led Startup
  • $10,000 Prize for best Undergraduate-led Startup
  • $10,000 Prize for best Products & Services Startup
Want to compete? All it takes is a startup idea, and some time to put your idea down in writing.  Participation in the fall events is *not* required. 

Get started by submitting an Idea Summary (two to five page document) of your business idea. It's due at 5pm EST, Thursday, February 9th, 2012. Last year we had over 100 Duke teams submit ideas.

Up to 49 semi-finalists (up to 7 per track) will be selected by a panel of judges to advance to the second round.  If you advance to the second round, you will submit business plans and make investor pitches to a panel of judges.

The most important thing is to just write down your idea and submit it! If you want to go above and beyond, we suggest you refer to Guy Kawasaki's thoughts on Executive Summaries.  Also, check out executive summaries from past competitors.

Note: Participation in the Elevator Pitch Competition in November 2011 is not a prerequisite to participate in the Executive Summary competition.

How to submit your idea: Your submission for the Duke Startup Challenge is limited to two to five pages.  

Additional Links