If you are following me on Twitter (if not, join the party!), you might have guessed that I am currently in New York, NY for three weeks. After discovering NYC, its skyscraper and other kind of spots for the first time — perhaps one of the reason we called this city The Big Apple even if Apple is there, everywhere : I’m back to business. That’s for tourist intro; for other stuffs, get it on Wikipedia.
For this first post about NYC and how business is dealing with Digital in this part of the world, I would like to talk about my first businesslike meeting with Qwanz in NYC at Time & Life Building, 1271 Avenue.
CNNMoney (a service provided by CNN, Money and Fortune magazine) has organized the first-ever CNNMoney event to give a focus (and a chance at least) for a tiny selection of 3 startups from more than 100 submissions, according to their blog.
« They’ll face a panel of CNNMoney experts, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, who will shoot off questions a la the Spanish Inquisition. »
What is the purpose ? The main objective is to fit with the CNNMoney brand with a product vision, a roadmap and a businessmodel presented in a pitch of five minutes, hosted by the magical Stacy Cowley (@StacyCowley), Tech Editor at CNNMoney
There was a panel of 5 people (also known as judges) from different business spheres and having, of course, different backgrounds. Here they are :
– John Cantarella (@johncantarella), President of Digital at Time Inc. News Group
– Charlie O’Donnell (@ceonyc), Principal at First Round Capital, Founder of nextNY (independant inovation community group)
– David Tisch (@davetisch), Managing Director of TechStars (startup accelerator)
– Alexa von Tobel (@alexavontobel), Founder and CEO of LearnVest.com (was part of TechCrunch50 Company)
– Margaret Tuohy (@margaretmtuohy), Director of Product at CNNMoney
The event was divided in two parts. Starting at 6pm, « Cocktails and Networking » to discover and meet new people. The time for the team and me to speak about Qwanz.com : how Qwanz intends to change the world, by allowing people to give their opinions through an actionnable platform with polls. I met several interesting men and women from different area such as the Co-Founder of JOINBKLYN.com which curates blogs on arts and culture — everywhere in the world, including Brooklyn. What stroke me is the fact a lot of people came to speak about their product even if they were not selected by CNNMoney. American people are not shy to express their passion for what they are doing.
Then, the second part was dedicated to the three presentations like keynotes. After each keynote, the panel was about to start the Q&As in front of a real live audience which could ask questions at the end of the presentation. As I said before, a five minutes pitch and our host, Stacy, aimed not to get delays.
The competition was fair someway : the three startups, RoboInvest, Qwanz (psst! the one I help) and VisualRevenue were proposing something really different that could not make a real battle front which would have been interesting by the way.
Finally, CNNMoney did a great social media ad for the crowds and attendees by promoting its homemade hashtag #StartupCNNMoney and Twitter account : @CNNMoney (see picture above). If you had to remember one thing from this event, catch this « key takeaway » curated via #StartUpCNNMoney : If you want that capital, you’d best show some pride in — and passion about — your product.
Get more information on the CNN Money Tech’s tumblr.