NJ TECH MEETUP #34
March 15, 2013
Spark Connections, Inspire Ideas
Number of Members: 2,688
- Welcome Penelope Mila Price! Launched 3/12/2013 and is showing healthy growth.
- Submit news to njtech.me to broadcast to everyone. News only, please.
- Evelyn White has a marketplace to connect people who share home cooking. Looking for funding and talent.
- Alan Wheeler is looking for recommendations on hardware for his startup.
- Christian just got fired and is looking for seed funding and .NET / PHP developers for his real estate venture
- David Klappholz has CS Project Course Teams working with startups. Contact him at email@example.com
- Peter from College of NJ has interns looking for work this summer
- Steve has an ecommerce travel site looking for developers and advice on technology
- Rich@ploonky.com has a web and mobile development company, looking for talent
- James creates software for new business ventures @ kenovatech.com
- Aaron’s startup weCraft is looking for UI designer with consumer experience
Yaphie | Presented by Mohit Shah | http://www.yaph.ie
Educational platform for college planning
** DEMO AWARD WINNER **
- User is his or her own educational architect, primarily students
- Fulfills requirements of college bound kids
- Insert interests
- Create 3-tier list of colleges they are interested in
- Populate list of schools that are on their shortlist as well as probabilities of getting in
- Measure requirements of them vs schools
- 22,000 classes collected
- View class profile about classes at schools
- Access tracker and planner to map out next 4 years of high school curriculum
- Can enter into private tutoring environments
- Meet the dean
- Users can submit questions to Deans as part of 30 min webcast
- Consolidated app for 4,400 colleges available
- Does 80% of work based upon kid’s from profile and customize the remaining 20%
- Integrated social tools
- Developing about a year, launching tomorrow (March 16th)
- Agnostic to colleges and high schools
- Free Killer feature is courseware tool integrating with application
- Revenue model
- Charge $1.99 per app to fill out Online
- Financial referrals through loan aggregators
Zenmenu | Presented by Carlos Paulino | http://www.flyingkick.in
Tablet-based menu system for ordering at restaurants
- Tablet based menu system enables restaurant to make more money
- Restaurant business is low return high operating cost business
- Owners hold back changing menu too expensive: $15,000 annual cost to print menu
- Zenmenu is a tablet based solution that contains menus, can upsell dishes and sell ads, get immediate customer feedback, turn tables faster
- How it works: Each patron gets a menu, one is left behind to pay and get assistance
- $10 per month menu only plus $100 license fee
- Zenmenu with ordering system is $15 per month plus piece of transaction
- Can incent customers at the time they order
- $9billion industry, independent restaurants are $3B
- Have several customers and strategic partnerships
- Zenmenu differentiates by involving all customers in process not just one menu
- Looking to raise $300k
Square1 | Presented by Jared Fass
The business card reinvented
- Venture backed fully funded for now, based in NYC, team of seven
- Everyone uses business cards Connect business cards to online world
- Engage leads from bizcard
- Three pillars
- Online ordering site
- Physical and mobile business cards
- Card management dashboard
- Patented way to detatch physical card
- Scan card get to landing page, view company or employee profile then goes seamlessly into CRM
- Leads automatically populate CRM system
- Can qualify leads
- Leads can instantly subscribe to company campaigns, request samples & demos
- See dashboard and track who is clicking
- Launching in May
- Differentiator: they offer physical business cards unlike other online card companies
Davis S Kidder, Author, The Startup Playbook
Co founder and COO of Clickable
- Entrepreneurship is a hard road of early rewards and dip of grinding failures
- Advantage of having investors is that they have seen this before
- Writing the book
- Started doing interviews with investors and entrepreneurs
- What do you do with first five years not to die?
- Spoke to lots of people tell me the secrets
- What is common across all these people?
- Know thyself. We all have one innate gift. Does company reflect innate gift?
- Extreme focus. Courage to bet it all. Quit optionality – more options make you less focused. It takes courage to focus
- Build pain killers not vitamins. They are addictive drugs for chronic pain – who is in chronic long term pain they can never turn off
- Be 10 times better. Incrementalism = path to death. Large exits are created because you created something nobody else in the world could do
- Startups are stupidly hard. Grow in a way you can never be taken out. Fastest way to success is to ask for the check and shut up
- Founder profiles
- Hosain Rahman, Jawbone: Scale an experience continuum. Yesterday’s home run doesn’t win today’s game. Keep taste of dirt and vlood in your mouth
- Chris Anderson, TED: Passion is proxy for potential. Leverage large communities. Form upward spira.l Build a broadly appealed niche. Own the stage.
- Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn PayPal: Execute on your biggest idea. Radically differentiate. Be early to market. Create patience. Maintain rebellious outside thinking.
- Elon Musk, spaceX, Tesla, PayPal: Impact the future of humanity. Great companies are built around a great product. Never engage in wishful thinking. Overall market prioritizes over all the short term metrics.
- Steve Blank, Epiphany, Stanford: Build only from core expertise. Entrepreneurism can be taught. First convince yourself, then your team, then market.
- Tony Hsieh, Zappos: Be humble. Drive and embrace radical change. Adopt a “McGyver Mentality”
- Jay Walker, Priceline, Walker Digital: Think aim aim ready fire. Recognize the complexity in all things. Talk to people close and far from your problem.
- Startup school 101 for CEOs
- Know where you are today
- Focus. You are making live vs die decisions. Decisions in beginning are critical
- Nothing should be a surprise
- Distribution is biggest hurdle. Distribution data speaks. Sell like hell.
- Courage is the cost of hard decisions. If not courageous you are incremental
- Eager sellers and stony buyers
- Defeat incumbent friction
- How do I get a dollar from my competitor to me
- Show better ROI
- Be utterly unique
- Solve volume problem: why Bing and Yahoo merged. Need a whole product to get someone to move all their money
- User behavior: once someone knows how to use something they almost never switch. How do I get behavior change? Simplicity, solve the lynchpin problem of migration.
- Revenue discovery takes years about three years
- Percentage of entrepreneurs interviewed who said outcome was pure luck: 70%
- Beware of really cheap advice
- You have won humanity’s lottery
- Don’t suffer from the sin of comparison
- Work only towards your innate effort
- Love and forgive people
- Don’t indulge in contempt. 7:1 rule do 7 times as much good as bad
- Best interview questions
- What about your last job did people most misunderstand about you?
- On a scale of 1 to 10 how lucky are you and why? Don’t hire anybody less than 8
- Always do off resume reference checks
- Don’t be impressed by things you don’t understand
Monday, April 15, 2013, 6:45pm
Speaker: Brad Feld
Location: Howe Center – Stevens Institute of Technology