E079: Global TWiST Meetup!



about this episode

Jason talks to TWiST fans from all over the world at our 3rd global Startups Meetup!

0:00:00 Intro
Hello everybody today on This Week in Startups we will be having the Global Meetup. Yes that’s right, we’ll be travelling to 5 different cities including Sydney and Tokyo and we’re going to hear pitches from startups in each of those regions.

Additionally we’ll be talking about Michael Arrington’s ‘AngelGate’, fact or fiction. And we’re going to tell you how you can come to The Launch Conference, that’s my version of TechCrunch 50, on February 23-24, 2011. All this and more on today’s This Week In Startups.

Hello everybody, I’m really thrilled to be here. It’s 8 PM at night in Santa Monica, which means it’s about 1 or 2 PM in Sydney and Tokyo. This is the third time we’re hosting the Global Startup Meetup. This all takes place if you go to Meetup.com/startups. Meetup.com is a piece of software to facilitate offline gatherings. They came to us with a piece of software a couple of months ago and said, “Hey. Use this piece of software to coordinate events around the world.” So we said, let’s do one for startups. And this is the 3rd time we’re doing it. This time we’ll be visiting 5 great countries. The first one we did as a normal episode. The next one we did at lunch. 11 AM. We did that because we wanted to get Western Europe. We wanted to get Paris and Germany. I think we did 10 cities that time. It was like a 3 hour show. I was exhausted.

Taurus and Fondue make themselves known causing laughing and lightening the mood a little. Jason struggles to get control. Once the dogs are subdued, the show continues. Watch closely as the dogs run around the table.

We’ll also have the Santa Monica Winner presenting here on the show.


I’m excited to announce that GoDaddy.com is sponsoring the show. We could not have a show without sponsors like GoDaddy. If you enter the code TWiST10, you’ll save an extra 10 percent off your entire order. Some restrictions do apply. So go get your piece of the Internet.

My favorite feature of GoDaddy by far, go to domains and then bulk registrar and type in all your domain names. I probably have a million dollars in domain names at GoDaddy right now.

0:05:11 Tokyo
How many people were out the event today? How many people pitched? Do you have a winner? We had about 16 people here and we do have a winner.

Tokyo Winner: Gifty
Gifty is a service that allows anyone to send gifts via Twitter. The concept is to save time, effort and money and simplify the process of giving gifts. The receiver is the one that goes to the retail store to retrieve the gift.

Domain name: Gifty.co, Giftee.com, Giftynow.com

JC: I love this idea and can see why you won. It became clear to me why I would use this service. You have the core of a great idea. Jason explains why he likes the service and some possible enhancements. I think it is angel investing ready.

TC: This doesn’t tickle me the way it tickles you. Tyler goes on to explain his reasons.

LH: I think the act of giving something is part of the reason for giving. Lon explains his thoughts.

JC: P:8, I:8.5
TC: No scores
LH: P:7, I: No score

JC: You’re in an incubator kinda like a YCombinator, named? OpenNetworkLab.

JC: Thanks a lot for calling in Tokyo.


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0:18:50 Melbourne

JC: How’s everything in Melbourne? Fantastic.

JC: Did you have a nice meetup? Is it just a meetup of one? Well it’s a pretty exclusive club. We only have 3 people here today.

JC: We’ve had many meetups start with one or two people, and the next time around you’ll have 20 people.

Clienteer Hub
Brings the tools and expertise to cope with the ever changing needs of the customer space. It’s Wikipedia meets Linked In, in a learning vertical. Today we’re focused on network independent value and we’re gathering the best experts and beginning to interview the leading companies around the world.

JC: I’m a little unclear. You’re doing customer support? Clienteer is a word that we coined to identify the person between the business and the customer. This person speaks to the company on behalf of the customers. So we’re creating a social learning website that allows those people in those roles to talk together and learn from each other on how to best do their job.

JC: So this for the Chief Customer Officer and it’s called Clientier? Teer. Clienteer. We’ve actually trademarked the word.

LH: Like Mouseketeer, but Clienteer.

JC: Your focusing on those who are most obsessed with the client, and you’re building a community around them. You might want define the word to be sure we all understand and it helps the pitch.

JC: P:6-7, I:No Score
TC: No Scores
LH: P:5, I:7

Thanks to Melbourne for calling in. Enjoy the rest of you day.

0:29:25 San Juan

JC: We’re going to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Marcos.

JC: The guy in the back there with the pink shirt. Is that a beard or a scarf? It’s a beard.

JC: You had a little startup competition there, who won? What’s their pitch? Luis from Brainvent. Luis is a neurosurgeon trained in the United states.

Brainvent evolved from a personal experience with a particularly difficult suture, which started the innovation of how to improve the process. So Brainvent has developed the iPhone of suturing, meaning that it’s new and disruptive and innovative. It can be used in a wide variety of situations.

JC: You’re a neurosurgeon who has invented a new way of doing sutures, in between your time fighting in Afghanistan. This guy’s like MacGuyver. We have absolutely no way of telling how good this device is short of you suturing that guy in the pink shirt. I’m going to give you a 10 on your pitch because you’re passionate, but I’m worried about the fact that you were suturing something late at night in a dark, tight space. That doesn’t sound good.

JC: P:10, I:No Score
TC: No Scores
LH: P:10, I:10

LH: Give the guy tens. You never know when you’re going to be in San Juan and need a suture.

JC: Luis you did an awesome job. Congratulations on winning and I wish you great success with your medical device. iSuture is going to change the world.

0:34:50 Los Angeles

JC: Get ready to tell us about your medical advice.

LH: I was talking to Marcos and they watch the show every week and that’s the kind of startup they wanted to share over there. Who are we to judge.

Dealometer offers hyper-local daily deals focused on mid-sized markets that are not serviced by the local daily deal space like Groupon. We source deals through customers instead of through a sales force. So a customer can go to our site and create their own deal.

JC: Very well done. So if I understand this correctly you are going to Zig where they Zap and play small ball. And instead of top down, bottom up. Anybody submits there deal and you vet them? Actually or users vet them for us. Their local and they know the business already. The model has worked already.

JC: Are you nervous about being in a space with billion dollar companies, or is your plan to win the small markets and become an acquisition target? Yes.

JC: They must be stoked. They see Groupon and ask, “why can’t I get in on that”?


No ratings

0:41:55 Sydney

JC: So now we have Sydney on the line. Sydney, are you there? Hi Jason, we are.

JC: Gentlemen. Did you have a nice turnout? It looks like you have several people. Yes Jason, we had a great turnout. We had a few pitches and we’ve picked one.

Tingo Teams
TingoTeams.com is an iPhone application designed for small to medium sized businesses for their mobile workforces that need to stay in touch and be informed about work to be done. Tingo teams addresses several issues experienced by these busineses. The transient nature of SMS. The need for employers to know where their employees are and the prohibitive cost of proprietary logistics. The difficulty keeping track of job information while on site. Tingo Teams solves these problems by bringing logistics and personnel management to small mobile businesses. Companies pay a low monthly subscription based on the size of the team.

JC: Brilliant. This is a more focused refined version of Yammer. What you’ve done is created something with workflow and jobs. This is great for service providers. That’s the market you were going for, correct? Yes. Exactly.

JC: And it’s the iPhone. And a boss would love, love, love to just give an iPhone to each of their workers to use in lieu of filling out paperwork. You can’t lie and be drinking beers in the van.

LH: It’s like the next step of
<href= http://www.pivotaltracker.com/>Pivotal Tracker.

JC: A wireless, mobile
<href= http://www.pivotaltracker.com/>Pivotal Tracker.

JC: P:8.5, I:9
TC: P:7-8, I:9-9.5
LH: P:No score, I:9

TC: One more element that would be killer on this, is that Comcast, or any of the services that came to people’s houses, if I could track that SOB and find out where he is on his route. I I could see how many stops he has and where he is…

JC: Like Ubercab. It’s like Ubercab, but for these other service providers.

0:53:25 Dallas

JC: Sean you had a meetup there tonight? Yes. We had about 50 people here.

JC: I think you guys win best crowd. Certainly best looking crowd. How many people pitched and who was your winner? We had 6 people pitch. They were all fantastic.

JC: Do you have a favorite TWiST episode? 37 Signals.

JC: Who is going to give their pitch Sean? We have Megan here and she is going to introduce her startup.

RefineStyle.com is centered around the frugality of the consumer. The luxury apparel segment has grown at 15% since 2003. Women are spending increasing time on the Internet, more so than going into retail stores. The Nation Association of Retail and Thrift Store there are about 30, 000 Consignment Shops nationwide, but only 18.9% of those sell online. RefineStyle.com is capitalizing on the billion dollar retail industry and the increase in shopping online. We’re enabling local, brick and mortar consignment shops to expand their reach.

JC: Awesome. Very well done. Great job. Always great to see a female entrepreneur crushing it. Any way to bring the consignment shops into the 21st century is a huge win. Your pitch was very PowerPointy, which I hate. There’s a beautiful site somewhere, but you didn’t show it to me. You build credibility by showing the functionality. Sometimes good presenters get into the PowerPoint black hole. PowerPoint = death. Simply show a mockup.

JC: P:8, I:7-8
TC: P:4-5, I:7-8
LH: P:6-7, I:7-8

TC: If someone wants to doubt you on the market size, it’s great that you know all that stuff, and you should know all that stuff, but you need to show that after.

JC: You always start with the product.

TC: Insight from Tyler
It’s very pomegranate-ish, in that it’s like you have to peel that sucker for 5 minutes to get a little sweetness. Which is why people eat apples. Boom I got a bite o the good stuff.

JC: Well done. Congratulations on winning Dallas.

Jason, Tyler and Lon go on to review the site. On reviewing they find some great features and are impressed with the functionality.

TC: The product is now 8.5.

[Jason gives an example of how RefineStyle should have pitched.]

JC: You pitch as if you are a Harvard MBA. Are you a Harvard MBA? I am an MBA, but not from Harvard.

JC: You have to unlearn what you have learned, young padawan. They ruin your brain in these MBA programs. The teach you Power Point and all common sense is lost. You had something beautiful that has great utility. If you show it and don’t tell it, it will speak for itself.

TC: Frankly, I’ve been pitched hundreds of times, I have not seen this.

JC: We’ve been pitched between TechCrunch 50, The Launch Conference, Open Angel Forum, We’ve seen everything. This is awesome. Your presentation…lame. Take your MBA and put it in a box.

JC: Show the product is rule number one.

TC: Even more strange because she had something interesting to show.

1:07:02 Boulder

JC: I see that we’re on the set of 2010 a Space Oddessy or Gattaca or something. Is there anyway you can adjust the lighting so you don’t look like you’re in a prison? Shadowy figure number one, how was your meetup? Are you in the TechStars bunker? No wonder it looks like a bunker, it is a bunker.

JC: How many companies presented? Did you have a winner? We had 3 companies present. Our winner is Andy from BeyondCredentials.com

Beyond Credentials
The reason we exist is because the market for college students to find jobs is broken. Social media is helping people to connect, but what are the college students sharing with the contacts when they are able to engage them? That’s where we come in. We offer candidates a full profile to show more than just a resume. They can upload video, stories, information. They can see who’s viewing their profile. They can apply to companies on our network. We make money by charging companies a subscription fee to come in and recruit our talent. We’re exclusive. You must have a 3.0 GPA and above and be from one of the top 300 schools in America.

JC: Well done. Very good. You have a very innovative idea. Time will tell if it will work. I always tell people that your social media presence is critical. [Jason gives advice on how to enhance your social media presence.]

TC: Boulder always does a good job pitching.

JC: What is in the water in Boulder that the entrepreneurship is off the charts? [cheers]

JC: P:8.5, I: 8
TC: P:8.5-9, I:8.5-9
LH: No scores

1:16:15 Salt Lake City

JC: SLC. I will be there in January for the Sundance Film Festival.

LH: I’ll be there this year too.

JC: Hello Salt Lake City you’re on the air. Looks like you guys are at a law firm. I see some degrees on the wall. How many companies pitched tonight? We had 8 companies pitch tonight.

JC: Wow! I think that’s the most of any city, which is great. Did you have a consensus winner? Was it a competitive process? It was very competitive. We had about 18 people in the room, but we had a clear winner. It’s a company by the name of RawData.

JC: How did you get consensus? We all raised our hands.

JC: Beautiful. Some people didn’t get picked to go to the dance. That’s how it works in life. Some people are winners. Some are losers. Congratulations to the one winner, and condolences to the 7 LOSERS. No you’re all winners.

Raw Data
With all the technology that’s coming out we have a lot of different platforms on which we can consume media. However, the tracking of those platforms really hasn’t evolved. Tracking is still done using paper and hand written diaries in about 80% of the markets in the US. Further, they usually only track one type of media. Nielsen does TV. Arbitron does radio. Someone else does web. Then a holding company tries to push all this data together. You get conflicting areas. We track a single consumer and how he interacts with all types of media using cell phones. We track radio, TV and other things through the cell phone creating one report tracking all your consumption. Then we sell that information to media outlets.

JC: So this is a Nielsen ratings for your entire existence. Exactly.

LH: Why am I letting you do this? We pay panelists like they do now.

JC: P:8-9, I:8-9
TC: P:7-8, I:8.5-9
LH: P:7-8, I:8-9

TC: I love these ideas. It may be hard to pull it off, but the idea tickles me.

LH: I find it a little creepy.

JC: Well done Salt Lake City and I’ll see you in January for the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.

[Side Note from rajjr_tx]
I attended the Meetup in Salt Lake City. I’m proud to say that enthusiasm and creativity are alive and well in SLC and great ideas are being generated by a group of creative entrepreneurs of various ages and backgrounds. If this is similar to other cities, which I expect it is, we have a lot of cool things to look forward to.

Final Voting

The top three for each of the 3 moderators.

1. Tingo Teams (Sydney)
2. Refine Style (Dallas)
3. Beyond Credentials (Boulder)

1. Tingo Teams
2. Dealometer (Irvine)
3. Refine Style

1. Tingo Teams
2. Refine Style
3. Dealometer

JC: We all had Tingo Teams and Refine Style. It’s between Tingo Teams and Refine Style

Final Winner:
Tingo Teams is the unanimous winner.

Tingo Teams is coming to the Launch Conference as the guest of Jason Calacanis.

JC: Congratulations to Sydney for winning the 3rd TWiST Meetup. Thank you to GoDaddy. Thank you to Dot CO. Thanks you to UStream. Thank you to NewTek.

LH: And at Justin TV. For the first time broadcasting simultaneously.

JC: We’ll see ya next time on This Week In Startups.

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