Concept Modeling at #SMNT11

Santa Monica New Tech#SMNT11 took place at CrossCampus on June 26. Santa Monica New Tech

Winston Perez gave a great presentation on Concept Modeling, the discipline he created. Read his articles: Superman http://bit.ly/19e5M4L and Godfather http://bit.ly/106Xwxn. After 5 new tech startups presented (Pollenate, Fatal Cut Entertainment, Bitium, AktiveBay, Rundavoo), Winston gave tips to all presenters on how to improve their concept models.

The best innovation of all times is not the bikini or beer and not even the underground sewage system or the bulb as was suggested … but wood bundles to make bonfire.

We videorecorded this event and will post it for all to view on SMNT Youtube channel when ready. Also, two more events are coming in July: AktiveBay
July 15 – #SMhub2 netwoSanta Monica New Techrking hub http://bit.ly/10pJjPC
July 24 – #SMNT12 demo/feedback event http://bit.ly/11NY8g0
Other cool events:
July 1 – Pay It Forward http://bit.ly/19DfukW
July 10 – Social interfaces http://bit.ly/128W927
July 18 – Deadline to Win a Business Trip to France with the YEi startup competition www.yeifrance.com
StartupChile just had another round Gen 8 of their business plan competition. On Aug 28, 2013 100 Startups will be chosen to go to Chile at the end of 2013!
Good luck!

Silicon Beach Fest Demo Day June 2013

santamonica-beautySilicon Beach Fest (SBF) kicked off Wednesday with a demo day showcasing over a dozen startups from the Los Angeles area. Here are a few companies that caught our eye.

Wikipad

The Wikipad 7 is a $249 hybrid Android tablet and gaming controller. It launched last week, selling out at Best Buy and Walmart. The device was originally pitched as a 10.1-inch tablet at twice the price, but the company delayed the product and went back to the drawing board.

Based on a quick hands-on, the combo has a nice ergonomic feel to it. Switching between the touchscreen and the controller can be a bit jarring, but the improved gaming controls make up for it.

Wikipad’s founder said it took about $2 million to get the tablet off the ground, and the project reportedly has the support of both Google and Nvidia.

Preact

Preact helps companies collect and understand user data to improve their support and customer management systems. The company offers a side bar that pops up alongside applications like Zendesk, Salesforce and Hootsuite. The tool offers data on user behaviors related to: churn likelihood, account health, unusual behavior and onboarding funnel.

Founder Christopher Gooley highlighted one company using Preact that got its support ticket resolution time down to 44 seconds.

Bitium

We covered Bitium back in April when they announced completion of a $2.4 million seed round. The startup bills itself as a “cloud operating system”. Its product acts as a centralized system for SaaS applications, helping enterprises consolidate logins and manage permissions and allowing employees to easier collaborate and communicate across applications.

The power of SaaS applications is growing quickly, but juggling apps is becoming a tangled affair. Bitium’s making a huge play for the enterprise, and we’re optimistic about their prospects.

Prevoty

Prevoty offers a security filter meant to help websites avoid malicious attacks by managing cross-site scripting. SmartFilter is designed to allow website users to continue submitting healthy content such as links and videos to a site, without opening it up to attacks.

The startup says SmartFilter works faster than traditional firewalls, while providing analytics and notifications. It can remove all HTML/CSS tags, allow a subset, and automatically convert links to a URL shortening service.

Prevoty believes in its product enough that it set up a SmartFilter sandbox on its own website and lets hackers submit code through it.

The Kive Company

The Kive Company won Startup World LA earlier this year with its Artkive app, which helps parents  archive kids’ artwork. Now it’s moving forward with Tastemaker Mom, a platform for signs moms to interact with and help influence brands and their products.

It’s nice to see that the startup isn’t just going to rely on a one-app wonder. The mom demographic is obviously a huge potential business, and the data The Kive Company collects from its user base is going to be immensely valuable for brands.

Instacanvas

You probably already know Instagram gallery site Instacanvas, but you probably didn’t know that it boasts the largest commercial image catalogue with over 38 million images for sale. Over the past year, the company has ramped up to $2 million in annual revenue.

Instacanvas raised a $1.7 million seed round in just 48 hours, with Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital participating.

The Bouqs

Flower e-commerce site The Bouqs just crossed the half million revenue mark this month with over 200,000 blooms shipped.

Buying from other online flower vendors is a pain. The Bouqs wants to change that by offering a flat $40 fee for all of its bouquets, discount subscription services, and three-click check out. With the subscription, you can add in holidays, birthdays and special occasions and have flowers automatically delivered on the day of. You can also sign up for recurring bouquets or surprise shipments.

Flowers are apparently sourced from an active volcano in South America and cut to order.

I’ve been burned by flower delivery services in the past, so I was skeptical about this one, but I was practically reaching for my credit card by the time this pitch was done.

Wallaby

Wallaby aims to tackle the credit card market by optimizing users’ rewards programs in the background. You can sign up for a Wallaby card and add existing cards to your account and the service will automatically direct the charges to the card with the best reward for that purchase.

Wallaby launched version 2.0 of its iPhone app earlier on Wednesday and also offers an Android application. Other services include Wallet Boost, which recommends new cards, and an upcoming point of sale system and API.

Focus@will

Productivity and music need a special something to go together well, and Focus@will takes a scientific approach to finding it. The company builds “phase-sequenced music” playlists that are designed to help you focus for 100-minute segments.

The service launched five weeks ago and has reached 135,000 members. Growth is definitely on the up and up, as founder Will Henshall revealed during his pitch that the company had doubled membership in the last 48 hours.

This article is re-posted from http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/06/20/our-favorite-startups-from-las-silicon-beach-fest-demo-day/

June Networking Hub

Based oSmhub3n the results of our annual survey we learned that our members want more networking! So we had our first SMhub networking event yesterday at Regus. There were more than 100 people attending. Josh Ochs from MediaLeaders gave great Marketing tips for startups, TiempoDevelopment bought us all beer anSMhub4d snacks. After Jennifer Carter, CEO of Regus, told us about her office space and upcoming event, all attendees split into 3 main networking sessions: Social Media, eCommerce+Mobile and Healthcare.

See more pictures on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18X6iHC or Meetup: http://bit.ly/15h2yJJ
We will have our next networking event on July 15, while we still run our once a month pitch/demo events.

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Pitching Investors

Like it or not, money is the lifeblood of a business. If you are on the hunt for capital and have landed a meeting with an investor, your first impression can either be a deal breaker or money in the bank.

According to Founder Institute, an early-stage startup accelerator in Mountain View, Calif., one of the biggest flubs rookies make in an investor presentation pitch is failing to include charts and graphs. If you aren’t sure how to go about making charts and graphs that relate to your financial projections, you can consider hiring a business student or a certified public accountant for a day to help. Also, the institute says, steer clear of promising potential investors that your startup is going to be worth $1 billion by its fifth year. Investors want conservative estimates that they can trust, not pie-in-the-sky guesstimates.top-10-fundraising-fails fi1

Other tips from the Founder Institute include:

  • Avoid a “hard coded” financial spreadsheet in your presentation – that is, don’t make your numbers unchangeable in a spreadsheet. Present your information so that investors can play with your various financial inputs to see how your business model will survive in changing conditions.
  • Skip what’s known as a “top down” financial forecast where you assume that your company will automatically win a percentage of some existing market. Instead, use what’s called “bottom up” forecasting, where you base your financial projections on an actual budget: essentially, how many items you are going to sell multiplied by how much each is worth.
  • Talk about the size of your total addressable market (TAM), but don’t focus on it. For example, if you are creating an iPhone game for women ages 35 and up, the size of the entire gaming industry would be your total addressable market and would be largely irrelevant. Instead, research your serviceable addressable market (SAM), which in this example would be the total market for women over the age of 35.

In the infographic, Founder Institute offers a list of the 10 rookie pitching mistakes it sees on a regular basis.

Re-posted from http://bit.ly/YmGcXv