Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great 2nd DukeGEN Investor Pitch Event in New York City with over 100 Duke alumni in attendance

We held a successful DukeGEN Investor Event last night, hosted at DogPatch Labs (thanks Peter Flint) and sponsored by SNR Denton (thanks Chip Korn, Law '96).
The room was packed, the audience was energetic, the pitches were great, and the panel did an excellent job.
About 100 Duke alumni came and filled up the room at DogPatch Labs.

Here's who pitched:

  • CoverHound (San Francisco, CA) - Basil Enan, Trinity '03 –
    Americans spend over $180 billion a year on car insurance, but shopping for car insurance sucks - CoverHound is changing that. We give smart recommendations based on each shopper's unique needs and preferences, provide all the information needed to make an informed buying decision, and make getting quotes easy -- online or over the phone.
  • Foodably (Palo Alto, CA) - Brian Schwartz, Trinity '09 -
    Foodably finds the best local food based on your dietary needs. Foodably enables restaurants and grocery stores to engage with their patrons who have dietary needs.
  • FriendCal (Durham, NC and New York, NY) - Andrew Brown, Trinity '11 and Lauren Gundrum, Trinity '09 -
    FriendCal is a social calendaring application that simplifies group planning by allowing users to share and make plans on a common calendar. FriendCal will use these future plans to offer discounts to related venues and events.
  • Medical Learning Games (Durham, NC) - Peter Lamar, Fuqua '12 –
    Learning games for Health Professionals
  • MoxMe! (Mansfield Center, CT) - Danny Briere, Trinity '83, Fuqua '85 –
    MoxMe! is a SuperGroup platform that powers an interconnected group experience across social media. MoxMe! overlays the existing social media group experience with higher level privacy, policies and programs, and enables a feature-rich group to exist simultaneously across a broad range of social sites, devices and web sites.
  • PhySmart (Springfield, VA) - Rachel Greenberg, Fuqua '99 -
    PhySmart is an online marketplace connecting medical professionals with the vendors that have the products and services they need. By integrating the efficiency of a basic user profile with the capability to do anonymous searches, PhySmart helps medical professionals make smart choices and ensures vendors get qualified leads.
  • Republic of Fun (Durham, NC) - Mike Rasmussen, Fuqua '03-
    Republic of Fun is re-inventing games publishing in the digital download age. Using a patent pending "Fan-Sourcing" technology and methodology, Republic of Fun runs game IDEA contests among its fans for games on smart phones, XBLA, PSN and WiiWare. Winning ideas are then produced by Republic of Fun with ongoing involvement from the community, top contributors are rewarded with prizes, ranks, and acheivements. This creates a marketing and merchandising channel outside the vertically integrated platform owners, and gives Republic of Fun a measurable advantage in the games they release.
  • WingTips Interactive (New York, NY) - Kimberly Karpf Skelton, Trinity '03 -
    WingTips is a product sharing and storing platform that enables consumers to assemble products in a digital closet from their favorite retailers online and get instant feedback from their friends. Simply put, WingTips is Wingmen and Wingwomen sending tips.

    And here's who was on the panel:

    Chris Fralic, First Round Capital (thanks to Josh Felser T'86, B '90 for the introduction)
  • Chris Fralic is a Partner at First Round Capital, an early stage venture capital firm with offices in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New York. Chris has 25 years of technology industry experience, with significant Internet business development roles since 1996. Prior to joining First Round in early 2006, Chris was VP of Business Development at social bookmarking and tagging company through the Yahoo! acquisition. Chris was also one of the early employees and VP of Business Development at starting in 1999, and after the eBay acquisition spent six years with eBay in a variety of entertainment, business development and media roles. Chris earned his BS in Finance from Villanova University and his MBA from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
  • Rob Go '01, NextView Ventures
    Rob is a co-founder of NextView Ventures, a micro-VC firm focused on Internet-enabled innovation. He was previously a venture capitalist at Spark Capital and was the product lead for search and discovery for EBay. Blog: Twitter: @robgo
  • Mark Peter Davis '01, DFJ Gotham
    Mark is a NY based venture capitalist at DFJ Gotham Ventures. In addition to being a VC, he is the author of a blog ( that addresses industry topics and offers guidance to entrepreneurs on how to raise venture capital. He is also an active community organizer and founded the NY Venture Community and the Columbia Venture Community.
  • Kal Vepuri '03, The Trisiras Group
    Kal is the founder of The Trisiras Group, a holding company he formed in 2009 to manage his investing activities and operating companies. A software engineer turned entrepreneur, Kal bootstrapped a few technology and telecom businesses during and after his time at Duke, where he received a B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Economics. He spends much of his time working with founders and management teams of high-growth companies.
  • Peter Flint, Polaris Ventures and Dogpatch Labs 
    Peter joined Polaris Venture Partners in 2003 and invests in early stage companies focused on consumer internet and mobile applications and infrastructure. He currently sits on the Boards of stickybits, JIBE and BlackArrow. In December 2009 Peter opened Dogpatch Labs NY which currently has 14 companies and 37 entrepreneurs in residence. Prior to joining Polaris Peter had a very successful operating career with MTV Networks, New England Sports Network and QVC. Peter was also a Managing Director with Ramsey Beirne Assocaites, one of the most highly regarded executive search firms in technology.

    And here's who attended:

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

    The Audience Choice prize went to: Republic of Fun!

    Then, the judges came back, gave feedback to each team (in front of the audience), and then announced their results.
    Judges 2nd Runner Up:

    Judges 1st Runner Up:

    Republic of Fun



    Congrats to Basil Enan, Trinity '03!

    Basil will get a call with Vicki Levine BSE '00 of Lightbank, a 100mm fund.

    Thanks again to DogPatch Labs and to SNR Denton.
    And thanks to Tom Powell '09 (lead organizer) for making it all happen. And to Jozef Krakora '10, Shalav Gupta '10, and others who helped volunteer and make things happen.

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