Last week, I attended the Annual Women 2.0 Pitch Night in San Francisco. I don’t make it out to SF much, but for special occasions I will.
The crowd turnout was pretty good and the event was well organized with plenty of food and drinks. Some of the finalists were generating revenues already and/or have very promising strategic partnerships lined up. Note to self, this event is not for alpha products with no customers.
My one feedback would be to have networking earlier in the agenda or sprinkled throughout the 6 hour agenda.
Check out the twitter feed from the event.
Here are my notes/takeaways:
If you are on a panel, might as well plug yourself when asking or answering questions. For example, “I have over 10 years of software experience in this space, how do you plan to have a strong barrier to entry in this crowded space?”
CEO of Obopay has raised $200M in funding
Kenya is the most advanced for mobile payment
Use the 10-5-3-1 formula for raising money: Have 10 great meetings with investors, 5 of those do detailed due diligience on your company, get 3 term sheets, and 1 transfer into your bank account!
Find people to help you through the raising money process
Always ask investors why they say no
If people are not domain experts, they are just guessing, filter feedback
Some good investor questions: What is your barrier to entry? What key hires do you need?
If people say it’s a hard problem, then it’s an opportunity to have a good barrier to entry and helps long-term competitive advantage
Raise more money than you need because your business model may change
The business model for residential solar panel company: contract with customer, local rebates, and tax benefits
A lot of entrepreneurs attended the event as evident by business cards with “Founder” listed
Nexpense – you streamline business expense processing, but how, what’s cool about the technology?
Prepay Nation – what the heck does “transfer small values” mean? it wasn’t clear that you have buying airtime working today, your presentation made it sound like you had small currency values transferring working today, my vote went here
Aesir – maybe a business person should have been part of your pitch just to crisp it up
Biolumber – impressed by the answers to the questions, evident that the CEO was a versed, experienced CEO, my vote went here
Chouette – maybe have the value proposition as one of the first things in your presentation, I was confused as to why Chouette was in the CleanTech category
Apply in the sky – impressed that the two women founders bootstrapped, but was hoping one of the founders were a techie, the list of potential partnerships is promising, working demo/app is good, but showed too many features in the pitch, liked the idea that AitS could be transferable to life management like job hunting, my vote went here
Everloop – not convinced that kids need a social network, nice that video was short unlike the other pitches, not sure about private label social networks, it’s a good idea, but then you lose the Everloop identify/brand
Read about the finalists (from Women 2.0 website):
Mobile Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Mightyverse
Mightyverse builds video-driven language tools for mobile devices, collecting words, phrases, and sentences translated from one language to another, creating a global language marketplace.
Presenters: Sarah Allen (Co-Founder & CTO, Mightyverse) and Paul Lundahl (Creative Director, Mightyverse)
Mobile Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Nexpense
Nexpense is mobile expense reporting for SMBs allowing users to capture expenses w/ their smart-phone and automates the back-end, saving companies time and money.
Presenter: Jennifer Bonnett (Founder & CEO, Nexpense)
Mobile Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Prepay Nation
Prepay Nation is a processor of “micro-payments” across national and international boundaries utilizing “mobile” ecosystems within the “unbanked” communities.
Presenters: Jessica Bishop (Founding Member, Prepay Nation)
PITCH 2010 Finalists (Cleantech Track) Pitch Live on November 4, 2010 @ 5:00pm
Cleantech Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Aesir Metals
Aesir Metals uses the greenest metal fabrication process to add value for customers by eliminating their need for machining, welding, heat treating and more.
Presenters: Sarah Jordan (Co-Founder & General Manager, Aesir Metals), Mark DeBruin (Co-Founder & Operations Manager, Aesir Metals)
Cleantech Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — BioLumber
BioLumber is a proven, eco-pragmatic company that will manufacture the only patented structural strength recycled plastic lumber.
Presenters: Kristin Kaune (CEO, BioLumber), Mitch Templeton (Sales, BioLumber), René Gamboa (Legal, BioLumber), James “Ed” Kaune (Founder & Inventor, BioLumber)
Cleantech Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Chouette
Chouette is a patented innovative all-in-one handbag that reverses and converts to become any bag any time you need it, without sacrificing style or quality.
Presenter: Judith Nelson (Founder & Designer, Chouette)
PITCH 2010 Finalists (Web Track) Pitch Live on November 4, 2010 @ 7pm
Web Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Apply in the Sky
Apply in the Sky streamlines the MBA application process and alleviates key pain points, helping applicants save time, stay organized and gain an edge.
Presenters: Emily Chiu (Co-Founder & CEO, Apply in the Sky), Chiara Piccinotti (Co-Founder, Apply in the Sky)
Web Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — Everloop
Everloop is the first website for tweens 8-13 that draws a safe, private “social loop” around kids’ connections, and puts purpose into being online.
Presenter: Hilary Decesare (Co-Founder & CEO, Everloop)
Web Track — Pitch 2010 Finalist — ObjectiveMarketer
ObjectiveMarketer offers an integrated platform for businesses to create, execute and optimize powerful multi-channel social media marketing programs.
Presenter: Amita Paul (Founder & CEO, ObjectiveMarketer)
And the winners were…
– In the mobile category, the 2010 PITCH winner is — Prepay Nation
– In the cleantech category, the 2010 PITCH winer is Biolumber
– In the web category, the 2010 PITCH winner is Apply in the Sky