This blog post will give you my initial take on the startups presenting at Demo Night V – San Diego.
Time to read: 4 mins
It feels great standing in the room at Demo Night V San Diego and soaking in the growing San Diego startup community. Demo Night is one of my favorite San Diego events, initiated here by my good friend – and Minimum Viable Startup partner – Brant Cooper. I’m standing right next to Brant as I write this actually, which is always great; we banter quickly and sharply with one another. Our personalities may be different but our takes are typically the same.
Overall, there’s a great energy in here. Here’s my initial, real-time take on the startups presenting:
Note: these are just my opinions and not reflective of my company.
DonationMatch Peer to peer marketplace. Really love these business models as you probably know from previous posts here on 200ventures. I think the key here will be in business development and UX. The space is getting more efficient (moving towards perfect competition); a keen focus on BD and UX is necessary.
RockMyRun A Pandora for endurance athletes. I like the UX, it seems intuitive and smart (i.e. collects useful data). Depending on what the key revenue stream is – data or per install – the focus will move accordingly. Good pitch, some critical unknowns to the distribution model though, and hence, scalability.
MeasuredVoice Social media consulting firm goes product route. I like this, good pivot as a service business as the social media consulting side is getting commoditized and margins get squeezed (typical market response to any bull market). Useful analytics, I see SMBs and bigger would pay. Switching costs will be a key determination on its customer loyalty metric (its primary KPI as I see it).
CrowdClock Straight subscription play, not a fan of this customer model though. I think the go-to-market strategy is flawed (seems a bit too broad brush). Obviously a smart guy, I think more customer development is necessary for it to succeed. I like simplicity. When in doubt, simplify. And when simplified, simplify some more.
CityBot App for travelers. Crowded space with an uphill market adoption curve, I typically don’t like the diffusion model as an industry and doesn’t fall in my advisory themes. Seems like distribution will be the problem, particularly as it goes to other cities. My critical unknown is the key feature set – I think the curation model is a hot topic (it’s this year’s gamification) but I see it on a flat clip and should be a baseline feature – the team seems like they are sniffing around the key feature set but haven’t locked it in yet. I’d like to see them figure that out in San Diego prior to launching into San Francisco (it’s next target).
Note: for a San Diego startup really doing curation well, I recommend looking at TakeLessons.
GoodDays App for chronic fatigue. Interesting. This is an under-served and growing market and I think there’s a strong niche here that’s ripe for positioning. Distribution will be the key as it carves out its go-to-market play. Interesting app, I like it.
That’s it, folks. Thanks to the entrepreneurs who demoed tonight – tremendous courage and energy. Love it!