Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great 3rd DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event in San Francisco

We held a successful DukeGEN Angel Event last night, hosted at Rocket Space and sponsored by SNR Denton (thanks to Richard Allan Horning '69) and SVB (thanks to Steve Allan '08).

The room was packed, the audience was energetic, the pitches were great, and the panel did an excellent job.

About 120 Duke alumni came and filled up the room. 

The full set of pictures can be found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/hwr2duke/DukeGEN3rdAngelPitchEvent#

Here's who pitched:

    • CommuterRx - Commuter benefits, fueled by Android
      • Team Lead: Benjamin Picard '07
      • Location: Fairfax, CA
    • Dynamo Micropower - Cheap power dense distributed power
    • Happy Toy Machine - Design your own toys online
    • LoudSauce - crowdfunded media buying platform
    • Rentcycle - OpenTable for product rentals
    • Ribbons - enable earnest friend job recommendations
      • Team Lead: Anthony Bishopric '08
      • Location: San Francisco, CA
      • Website: http://rbbns.com
    • Youbibi - China Travel Search 2.0

    And here's who was on the panel:

    • Jim Scheinman T '88 of Maven Ventures, his early stage investment fund.  With over 15 years experience, Jim is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and adviser to consumer internet and mobile start-ups.  He is a pioneer in social networking and engagement marketing.  Jim is best known for his role as employee number one at Bebo, the third largest social network when it was acquired by AOL in early 2008 for $850M.  He was also the first business employee at Friendster.  Maven Ventures was the first investor in Social Gold which sold to Google in 2010 & is currently an investor/adviser at Tango, the leading mobile video call platform; and PageOnce, the leading mobile personal finance app.  
    • Josh Felser T '86, B '90 of Freestyle Capital, an early stage venture capital fund designed to fill the void between retreating angels and venture capitalists moving into later stage investments.  Josh is a seed investor and serial entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Freestyle Capital, Spinner (first Internet music service, sold to AOL for $320mm), Grouper/Crackle (video sharing service, sold to Sony for $65mm) & FYILiving.com (health information, launched in April 2010). He is also on the board of Duke's Center for Entrepreneurship.
    • Ryan Spoon T '03 of Polaris Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in seed and early stage investments in companies engaged in the information technology and life sciences sectors.  Ryan was the founder of beRecruited, the nation's number one online networking destination for high school student-athletes seeking recruitment from college coaches and universities.  beRecruited was acquired in 2007.  Ryan worked for four years at eBay where he focused on user acquisition and launched and ran Kijiji (eBay's U.S. classified advertisements site).  He also served as VP of Marketing at Widgetbox, a widget distribution platform.
    • Aaron Patzer E '02, founder and CEO of Mint, a free, simple, and secure personal finance web application which consolidates your financial life in one place.  Aaron became the Vice President and General Manager of the Personal Finance Group at Intuit when that company acquired Mint.com for US$170M in November 2009.  Prior to Mint, Aaron was a Lead Architect as Nascentric and the technical lead of the San Jose office.  Aaron was selected by Fortune Magazine to the Top 40 Entrepreneurs Under 40 in 2009 and Money Magazine named him as one of the top 8 Money Heroes of 2008.  He has twelve patents issued or pending to his name.

  • And here's who attended: http://events.linkedin.com/DukeGEN-Early-Stage-Investor-Panel/pub/576336

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

  • Audience Choice Winner: RentCycle

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

Congrats to Kai Wang '08 and his business partner Steven Pang.

Youbibi will be introduced to three venture capitalists by Josh Felser.

Presented by:
 Michael S. Cann Jr. T '95 - Event Lead
 Matt Koidin B '05 - Operations Lead
 Shea DiDonna B '10
 Basil Enan T '03
 Howie Rhee B '04

Thanks again to SNR Denton and SVB!

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


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