Secondmic and David Rose get most audience votes at Ultra Light



By Dennis Clemente

Every month the Ultra Light Startup group asks the audience to vote for the night’s startup presenter and the investor giving the feedback. Last August 14, Secondmic won against eight other startups but it was also interesting to see David Rose, hardly seen in any meetup, get the votes for his comments.

Rose was also one of the four investors and the audience who think Secondmic has a great idea. Imagine broadcasting the sports games yourself, while also talking to fans as they watch a game on TV or at the stadium? And if that’s too daunting a role, it claims to have other pros who can do the job. There’s Chasity Melvin, WNBA veteran and Dave Holcom, Football Nation host and Star Ledger sports reporter to give you the blow-by-blow account.

“We’re trying to figure out partnerships with event providers,” said Francisco Prat of SecondMic who was told about “the importance of keeping the quality of content high.”

David Rose

David Rose

Rose is a rare sighting in meetups but he addressed the startups by offering his connections and his generosity, jumping at the opportunity to praise a great presenter in nTangle’s Pierre-Marc Diennet. “That’s the best two-minute presentation I’ve heard (for sometime).” Presentations only take two minutes then investors give their feedback.

Rose–considered the father of angel investing and founder of Gust, the Saas funding platform for startups–was part of a panel consisting of Gil Beyda, Genacast Ventures; Jalak Jobanputra of FuturePerfect Ventures; and Jay Levy of Zelkova Ventures.

The other startup presenters who received feedback from them were Closir, Pass, Novaux, Sailo, Simplist, nTangle and Univate. Closir and nTangle were in another meetup last February and presented again at the Ultra Light, hopig to raise funds from the investors.

Closir is a dedicated investor relations platform, connecting companies and institutional investors. “We do engagement whereas Bloomberg does data,” Andrei Powers of Closir said, as it charges $10,000 a year of subscription.

“Why was it not done years ago?” an investor asked him more out of concern than a challenge.

Another presenter, Javier Dutan of Novaux, is into bitcoin payment processing for small businesses through its POS software and terminal packages. Is his timing right or is he too early? That’s the question foremost in investors’ minds. “We take care of all crypto currencies. We partner with resellers, he said, citing how he charges $1 and $2.75 for credit card.

An interesting pitch was from Sailo, a peer-to-peer boat rental service. Jobanputra, the lone female investor in the panel, said: “I don’t even want to rent out my car,” as the investors mulled about the challenge for it. Will boat owners rent out their own boats?

Hosted Mark Caron and Steven Kuyan, the ULS Investors Feedback Forum is organized monthly by Graham Lawlor.

Breakfast with startup champion Mike Edelhart

Mike Edelhart

Mike Edelhart

By Dennis Clemente

A tech meetup at 9 a.m. is a rare occurrence in New York but so is an opportunity to chat with an angel like Mike Edelhart, a current investor in 82 companies, a past investor in 11,000 startups but who is now focused on his “two-sided” company. Edelhart is the lead partner at Social Starts and CEO of Tomorrow Project, LLC, producers of the Pivot Conference in New York and other services for major brands.

At last August 13, Edelhart was early, talking to his audience even before the talk was set to start. He was serious all the way as he shared his thoughts on many things tech, asking people every now and then to ask questions.

Yes, he has gray hair, but he clearly knows the youth market. Surveying the room, he asked, “What do millennials do these days?”

With some tentative responses here and there, he answered the question himself, telling us the sector most investors avoid but one he embraces. “They’re looking for news,” said the former executive editor of PC Mag.

He thinks one shouldn’t be hang up on demographics, though. “There is no such thing as a youth market. He added that it’s not true the youth don’t care about products they care about what goes into it. And what you also don’t hear these days from other investors: “Cool days for young people are off-internet days.”

Perhaps on account of his journalistic roots, Edelhart had this to say, “Startups with some emanating truth is worth looking into.” From his experience, he can tell, “‘This person’ is actually telling the truth. He actually believes in it.” But he also stressed how pitching cannot be a charm offensive. “You cannot BS your way. You have to put together a cohesive argument of your idea with your team.”

Edelhart didn’t elaborate as much which happens in a fireside chat as opposed to a structured interview. And to accommodate all the questions, he switched from one sector to another fast, talking as both an investor and observer in the tech community.

Clearly a very busy man, he announced that he made four new investments in the past week. Still, he was generous with his time. He answered as many questions as he could and talked with each attendee afterwards.

On investing in a startup: “I look at great teams”
On future of tech: “Our bodies will produce content,” referring to sports analytics
On healthcare: “We’re not getting into it. We’re getting into the analytics of it”
On foreign startups: “It doesn’t matter what country you’re coming from” (He has invested in a startup based in Slovenia.)
On markets, opportunities to avoid: “The college market is small.” “I would not go near the ad business”
On big data: Look into the shift in big economics, game economics, predictability
On being an investor: I spent my entire life doing what I wanted to do. I would stop sleeping if I can. Investing? It’s a lot of work.”

For Edelhart, tech revolutions are not defined by their beginnings but by their middles. He was a founder and managing director of First30 Services, a new company-creation consultancy. He also served as interim CEO at LiveDeal, Inc. a NASDAQ company that delivers classified and small business marketing services over the Internet. He has been an advisor to Deep Dyve, Inc., which has developed revolutionary technology for high end search, after serving as its initial CEO. He was chairman of the board of Olive Software, a Sequoia backed XML software developer, where he was CEO. He was also CEO at digital magazine distributor Zinio. Earlier in his career, he was a senior executive at Softbank and Ziff-Davis Publishing and the author of 22 books.

The meetup was organized by StartupOneStop and the New York Society Startup Society.

Designing your web or app? Axure can make you a prototyping badass

Danielle Tomson

Danielle Tomson

Click here to view the presentation
Badass prototyping

By Dennis Clemente

Last August 12, about 80 people showed up at Kaplan center to “Learn (how) to Prototype Like a Badass” with the host group, the Agile/Lean Practitioners visibly surprised by the audience’s strong interest and engagement in the demonstration presented by Occum’s Danielle Tomson.

The audience warmed up to Tomson’s presentation style right at bat. She gave an equal dose of expertise and humor (“no slow claps please,” “there’s always a troll”) on a tool not many people use but which is considered the best out there—Axure.

The slow adoption of Axure in the U.S. may account for the fact that other tools are more affordable (it’s too expensive, with the pro version over $589) while the rest of the world may have “copies” to use freely, if you catch my drift. This is just to stress how the tool always intimidates with its price, more than its effective use.

The huge turnout shows the strong interest for it but it’s also surprising how many UX designers in the States don’t know how to use it, even if Axure has been around for more than a decade. It is actually everything that a UI/UX designer can dream of in prototyping a website or app without front-end coding.

But old habits die hard. Some designers use Adobe Creative Suites or even more basic ones like Balsamiq. Among graphic designers transitioning to UX, Omnigraffle seems to be the most popular choice as well, as one designer claimed that it almost mimics Adobe Illustrator which she has used for many years.

Axure does better. It mimics a finished site or app without a single line of code, saving developers from the constant changes a project undergoes. On the other hand, there are developers who prefer to code right away.

They plunge right into coding because they work on their startups and think they have a clear vision of what they want, while designers who work with companies would need Axure to give them more leeway to pivot when a company’s far more complex business needs require it. The coding happens once clarity is achieved.

Still startups would do well to recognize how it’s important to learn lean principles and agile development philosophies beyond its business model. Honing a vision, giving it life with a prototype, and validating it with users first are just as important.

In her presentation, the audience followed Tomson in prototyping a travel booking platform in minutes. She also showed some prototyping tips and tricks and how to test Axure prototype on customers using Validately or share within a network using Axure Share. The audience was receptive to the idea of a possible follow-up meetup.

Tomson, a Yale grad with an international development background, is a product partner at Occum which, in turn, has Avon, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG and the United Nations Foundation for its clients, among others. She echoes the company’s belief that a great idea starts from a real, clearly articulated problem.

As for the title of her presentation, “Learn (how) to Prototype like a Badass.” It’s really more about how the best prototyping tool, Axure, can make you a badass. Like this blogger thinks he’s on his way to becoming one, too—if not yet.

Improving people’s lives through water, coaching and code

By Dennis Clemente

Last July 30, Inside Startups showed what some people are doing to improve people’s lives, why people need each other, and what you can do with your life. Kunal Mehta of charity: water, Christina Lewis Halpern of All Star Code and Michael Miller of TeamPossible were guest speakers at the meetup held at Projective Space.

Mehta helps people in need of water. He found his true calling after leaving the financial world as an investment banker. So far, he said charity: water has done more than 12,000 projects in over 22 countries.

“If everyone in this room donates, 100 percent goes (to those in need),” said Mehta, who is also an author of the book, “Disruptors” about tech startups. “We have provided clean water to over 4 million people in developing countries.”

Hearing inspirational and motivational talk is not too common in a meetup, but Miller also went there, offering TeamPossible’s three life-coaching programs. For those who feel stuck, it offers an Executive Leadership & Life Coaching program. For seasoned executives and entrepreneurs looking to create something that matters, it has a Create Your Legacy program. Finally, it has a Scale Your Impact program for experts who have mastered their craft but are not achieving the results they want.

The meeting was certainly about coming unglued.

All Star Code’s Christina Lewis Halpern runs a new non-profit initiative that prepares qualified young men of color for full-time employment in the technology industry by providing mentorship, industry exposure, and intensive training in computer science.

All Star Code is passionate about closing the opportunity gap between minority males and the tech industry. As it is, African-Americans comprise less than 1% of startup founding teams, a critical sector for job growth and wealth creation.

Also, there are few tech careers that focus on under-represented male youths of any ethnic background.
So All Star Code offers a six-week intensive summer experience for high school male students in New York City. Twenty students in New York City will attend a program in the summer of 2014.

The curriculum will have a rigorous computer science course, but also a soft-skills curriculum (leadership, innovation, team-work.) to help its students stand out years later when they enter the talent pipeline of top companies.

For Halpern, giving young African-Americans an early introduction to the world of technology provides a mode of entry to an industry that has been closed to them.

The meetup was hosted Ali Nicolas.

Who wants to challenge the YouTube business model?

By Dennis Clemente

How would you challenge the YouTube business model? Nine years since the video platform launched, no viable competitor has emerged, even if major media companies are reportedly working on plans to disrupt it. Can one really take on Google in the first place? If so, what could a new platform mean for content creators?

Last July 30, VideoInk, in partnership with BigSceen LittleScreen and Magnet Media, hosted a fireside chat with guest speakers Shira Lazar, co-founder and host of What’s Trending and Erika Nardini, chief marketing officer of AOL Advertising, to talk about YouTube and how to diversify the video ecosystem. Sahil Patel served as moderator.

“If you want to develop and nurture an audience, YouTube is the platform to do it,”
Nardini said. However, she also points out that it’s not a curated environment. If you look at iJustine (who has her own show on AOL), YouTube offers the same box that YouTube offers Conde Nast, my kids, and anyone here.”

AOL is known for pursuing personalities like iJustine, an internet celebrity and occasional TV host, as well as Nicole Richie, TV personality and fashion designer. “We love looking to YouTube to find talent for our programming. We love [iJustine’s] YouTube following. We discovered her there and we want her to grow it.

“But we believe there is an opportunity to program and distribute premium environments, and one thing YouTube doesn’t do is distribute. What we believe is having a really significant syndication platform that curates content,” Nardini said.

How does anyone grow a business on YouTube these days? For the panel, the glass half-full scenario is that YouTube allows zero barrier of entry; but the glass half-empty scenario points to the platform earning money, nor the person.

Asked if YouTube didn’t exist where can content be distributed more effectively? Lazar took on this question: “(Choose) either Netflix or Hulu. Amazon is harder, as they don’t curate as much as Netflix or Hulu.”

Two short videos were screened at the event. Set to start on August 11 on YouTube is “Master Date,” a comedic series about dating in New York City featuring Kate Oliva and Bryan Pauquette of Covert Bacon.

The other video was by Ryan Holloway of Forge Apollo. Showing on YouTube channel since May is his short-form series, “American History X-Men.” It’s about what happens in the future when Hollywood runs out of movie ideas.

The meetup was organized by Tiffany Asher.

40 new games to playtest. It’s like being let loose in a candy store

By Dennis Clemente

If you’ve never been to a gaming playtest, it’s like being let loose in a candy store.

At the NYC Games Forum at Microsoft last July 29, host and organizer Rohit Crasta did just that, giving us enough of a sugar high when he presented more than 40 independent game developers and their new games to excited playtesters like us. Crasta might as well be Willy Wonka for pulling this off.

The titles were diverse enough for playtesters to test the games for bugs and flaws before they go out to market. There were intricate games like the Sombrero by Pixel Metal, a fast-paced Spaghetti Western 2D local multiplayer arena-based competitive death match that would not be out of a place in a Robert Rodriguez movie.

GamingThere were also unassuming titles such as the Tetris-like ColorFinger by Quikding, this blogger’s favorite because of its deceptive simplicity that had testers addicted right away. It’s Tetris for the swipe-playing 21st century.
Some games fit certain devices to a T. Tapinator’s Balance of the Shaolin works well on the iPad (also on iPhone) on two counts: first, the actions of the game are limited to tapping left or right to keep the Shaolin in balance from his one-legged mountaintop stance. Second, the iPad’s real estate space gives you the scenery—the better to enjoy passing birds and other obstructions trying to mow you down from your serene stance. showed its new game called Kitty in the Box developed for iOS and Windows by developers from China who came here three years ago and now calls New York City their home. Asked why the game is not available on Android, “It’s just a (precaution) to make sure no one copies the game.”

Not all games were digital. Urban Land Games’ Funemployed is a storytelling board game that should easily be the life of any party. “To be hired,” you must create a story using “qualifications” that make you perfect for a job. For example, if you apply as a Pirate, you must craft a convincing story around your cards (your qualifications). Our cards read Narcissist and Package. Go on, tell us how you would tell your story?

And not all games were necessarily designed to be current. Rad Raygun is a game that takes you back to the 1980s as you shoot your way through monochrome off-green shades yet ultra-sharp 144p resolution graphics. People bent down to listen closely to its great soundtrack. It’s coming out soon on Steam and Xbox 360.

The event was not just about all fun and games. Sam Eng, an enterprising artist-programmer-indie developer, said he offers free lessons in Unity, which many of the games at the forum are made of. Check out his site,, for updates. His game at the event was called Zarvot a two to four-player cube fighting title.

There were other great games but just too many to mention here. If you want to know more about the presenters, check out their games: Air Brawl by Wilhelm Nylund; Arcade Basketball Blitz Online by Toneaphone LLC; Bik by Zotnip LLC; Blackjack Warriors: MMO Battle by Jim Lynch; Blue Dot by Urthworx; Bunny Love by Computer Lunch; Carbon Cutters by Dented Pixel; Chronosphere by Kind Fortress; Clobsters by Hart Laboratories; Clockwork for iOS by Michael Ren; Crystal Brawl by Studio Mercato; Dirtbags MotorClub by Eppy Games; Extreme Exorcism by Golden Ruby Games; Got Light? by Benjamin Reynolds; LEX, Digits, and others by Simple Machine; Magicis by Boogie Down Games; Meriwether by Sortasoft LLC; Mother Goose by Robotic Potato; Neon Krieger Yamato by LIONPLEX; Nika by Studio Mercato; Organic Panic by Lastlimb Games and Pet Pat by Goodnight Games.

Another board game came from Phoenix Covenant by Hikari Games.

The night also featured R.E.M. by Dragonllama Games; Recurse by Lumalus Inc; Roger E Pedersen’s ‘Warehouse 517′ by PSI Software Inc; Skyhook by MegaStorm Games; Sombrero by PixelMetal; Super Rad Raygun by Tru Fun Entertainment; That Rock Paper Scissor Game! by Philosoplay; The Good, The Bad & The Funny by The Completely Surrounded; The Splits by Trollcore Enterprises TM; Vidar by Dean Razavi and Voxatron Table by VOXON & Lexaloffle Games.
Crasta’s event was sponsored by Autodesk, Millennial Media, Qualcomm and the Law Offices of Christopher G. Reid.

Out of 14 startups, Flower Turbines get investors’ votes at Startupalooza

By Dennis Clemente

How do you tweak the startup meetup? The drill in New York meetups: Startups pitch for two to five minutes to investors who then provide their feedback. That’s how it goes.

In the Startupalooza meetup last July 24, host Alan Brody tweaked that formula. This time, he had the startups in place while the investors—this time angels, not the usual VC—roamed around asking questions. Think trade fair. And how it could only be pulled off like one because there were just too many startups—14 in all.

Out of the 14, Brody picked four to present to the audience. They were Flower Turbines, Potboiler, 90Grand and CelebDare.

Flower Turbines, the night’s winner based on votes by the angel investors, makes small, easily started, nearly silent vertical axis wind turbines that efficiently generate electricity.

Clustering them causes an additional 20 percent “flower power boost” in net energy output, according to Farb Daniel.

Potboiler produces serialized novellas with graphics, video, animation and social media components and distributed through Amazon, iBooks and Barnes & Noble. Check out where single chapters can be read or refined along the way. Stories are created from scratch.

90Grand, for its part, is looking into the corporate rewards and loyalty sector with its licensed iconic photographic images of luminaries, celebrities and personalities, shot by renowned photographers of the last century.

“We carry no open receivables or inventory, with minimal infrastructure. We are also fully scalable,” said Roger Maggio, chief of operations.

Another presenter, CelebDare is a crowdsourcing platform aimed at engaging celebrities or anyone in the spotlight for the purpose of advancing a common good.

Founder Jeffrey Katz sees it as a new avenue for charities and companies to reach key objectives.

Asked what is the unique aspect of the business? Katz, a Harvard grad, recalled how another startup back in his day was also not that unique but how it still made it big. He let the audience say it was Facebook.

For Katz’s business model, there’s the challenge of reaching a celebrity, but he is undaunted.

One interesting startup is a white label service offered by Trained advisors give personal live dating advice directly through a dating site.

Among the investors at the meetup were John Ason and Barry Kolevson of Joshua Capital who also announced the Private Equity Forum event on Oct 2 where the winner, Flower Turbines, will get to pitch and raise funding for his startup. Visit

How would you like some hip hop to go with your school lessons?

By Dennis Clemente

How would you like some hip hop to go with your linear equations or your history lesson? Last July 17, Flocabulary, one of four presenters at the NY Video meetup, brought the house down with its educational videos. The other presenters were Zentrick, Veenome and Kaltura.

“Kids love this,” CEO Alex Rappaport said. Apparently, so did the adults who cheered him on at the AOL offices.

Flocabulary is an online library of educational hip-hop songs and vies for grades K-12. “More than 20,000 schools use Flocabulary to engage and inspire students. Our team of artists and educators is not only committed to raising test scores, but also to fostering a love of learning in every child,” he said.

But how can he keep up? It turns out there are many rappers out there who like doing this for their community, according to him.

Started with two people, now Flocabulary has 35 staffers and freelancers.

Zentrick, the second presenter, is an interactive video platform that allows brands, marketers and publishers to build, deliver, manage and measure interactive videos.

How interactive can you get? You can add interactive apps to videos, publish it to the web and all linked social network, unify media buying and content publishing to any channel, network or partner. Plus, its real-time programmatic optimization helps personalize and optimize for media performance goals.

Ever thought of the “viewability” of your videos in terms of brand safety and content? Veenome, the next presenter, is taking on the challenge of analyzing determining this with its technology.

Based on its indexing video impressions, it found out that 83 percent of objectionale impressions occur on predominantly brand-safe publishers.

This is done automatically and efficiently, at huge scale so that millions of videos may be analyzed easily, according to Kevin Lenane, founder and CEO of Veenome.

“We use computers but there’s still a human element,” he said. “The trick is doing it quickly,” he stressed.

Powering any video experience to transform the way people learn work and entertained is how the last presenter, Kaltura, talked about its service, its open source online video platform, which provides both enterprise level commercial software and services.

Kaltura’s Vitaly Shter, director of product marketing, enterprise and Iddo Shai, director of Product Marketing promoted the company’s real-time placement of TV ads.

NY Enterprise Tech features Hightower,, Aorato

Hightower's Brandon Weber

Hightower’s Brandon Weber

By Dennis Clemente

Last July 16, the New York Enterprise Technology Meetup hosted by Jonathan Lehr featured three startups—Hightower, and Aorato– with Jason Lemkin, managing director at Storm Ventures, co-founder and CEO of EchoSign, and author of, also talking about how to “Hire (and Fire) Your VP of Sales.”

Founded in July 2013, Hightower is disrupting the commercial real estate market with a mobile technology platform that allows landlords and their brokers to collaborate on deals in real time, track important documents and information, and view real-time analytics, all from the smartphone in your pocket.

Hightower is perhaps the best tool out there with its sophisticated leasing platform for commercial owners and brokers. From its demo of the app, it shows how it is clearly modernizing the commercial real estate industry.

It aims to empower investors, landlords and brokers to make faster data-driven decisions. You can manage your portfolio, deal pipeline, leasing documents, and collaborate with your leasing team, all in real time.

Hightower was founded by Brandon Weber, a high-profile technologist who ventured into commercial real estate. He was a First Vice President at CBR, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm. He started his career in software product development at Microsoft developing Excel, and later at Zillow.

Weber said customer adoption has been strong and are working with landlords and brokers in over 14 markets. “It’s as powerful on your mobile device as it is on your desktop,” he said.

The next presenter, Dennis Mortensen, got the laughs with, a personal assistant who schedules meetings for you. He named it Amy.

Mortensen demonstrated the app, showing the pain of scheduling a meetup and how he (and Amy) eliminates that for customers by showing a side-by-side email conversation display. “We thought a live demo was the way to go,” he said..

A participant was asked to email Mortensen for a meeting in his own words and challenge Amy by not accepting the first option site presented Mortensen would email with an agreement and let Amy handle the scheduling.

With, he said you won’t need to hire (a personal assistant) in the Philippines, referring to the country which has dominated this space for some time now.

The other presenter was Aorato. It protects your organization and active directory by automatically learning, profiling and predicting entity behavior.

Aorato’s Directory Services Application Firewall (DAF) protects active directory and leverages its central role in the network to secure organizations from advanced targeted attacks. Nowadays, attackers compromise all types of entities (non-privileged and privileged users, devices, servers, etc.) in order to gain a foothold into the network. It is not enough anymore to track only privileged accounts to protect the organization against advanced attacks.

DAF, a non-intrusive solution, transparent to Active Directory, introduces a new approach. DAF reportedly detects suspicious activities through learning, profiling and predicting entities’ behaviors. DAF

Asked how to detect password-sharing, he said, “We look at your role In the company”.

In his keynote talk on hiring your VP of sales, Lemkin said he or she the first VP of sales (VPS) has to be you and then you hire reps “Besides, you cannot attract any one good too early.

But when do you make the hire? “Immediately once you have as repeatable process.”

“A great VPS is accretive, a mediocre VPS is a cost center,” Lemkin said. A great VPS raises revenue per lead.”

For Lemkin, the top 5 things a Saas VP of sales must know and do:

1. Recruit the team (You’re going to need a team and a good one quickly)
2. Player-coach sounds great, but at best, will be quickly obsolete as a role
3. Backfill and help his/her sales team
4. (Develop) sales tactics
5. (Develop) sales strategy
6. Create and sells deals himself/herself

He also added ways your VPS will increase your revenue

• Ask for the most $$$ per lead
• Close: It’s an art — and a science
• Hire (someone) better than you
• Scale: Get more reps quickly
• Position: Give prospects right context
• Go upmarket: Drive to the highest practical deal
• Better: Great VPS makes your product better
• Great VPS makes it fun

But hire wrong and you’re set back a year.

What female founders should aspire to

orrickpicBy Dennis Clemente

Tech meetups in the city have always attracted men, but law firm Orrick clearly knows how to attract women to their own meetups. For the second time last July 15, Orrick only featured all-women founders and speakers in a talk titled “Life of a Founder” with an equal proportion of men and women in the room.

Host Joy Marcus of Bloglovin opened the night’s talk about what female startup founders should aspire to:
• Be tech smart but not necessarily technical
• Be analytical; understand the data
• Be business smart
• Be super-competitive (“great companies are not built on a 9 to 5” schedule)
• Be user smart
• Be a firehouse of new ideas, being careful not to be derivative
• Be curious, thorough and a risk-taker
• Most of all, be communicative

It’s a long list for sure, but Marcus said being a founder is hard. “You make tough decisions every single day, including firing your friends.”

It’s therefore important to foster a great culture to attract the best people.

Managing people well is vital. “Having one day off at least makes everyone so much better,” one said in response to how boundaries have been broken and how communication extends outside of the working hours in the startup world.

Another said she has a gratitude session every day. “We celebrate daily wins. It doesn’t have to big things but small things as well.”
And when it comes to dealing with VCs, you have to m
ake the board work for you and you’ve got to do your work in return. “You benefit from VCs beyond money, but you also have to believe in yourself.”

When it seems hard to convince a VC, “don’t think no is always a no. But know this: “If they don’t respond to your email, they are not interested in your company.”

The speakers were Sarika Doshi, co-founder, Rank & Style; Amanda Hesser, co-Founder & CEO, Food52; Kate Kendall, co-founder & CEO, CloudPeeps; Kathy Leake, co-Founder & CEO, LocalResponse; and Elissa Shevinsky, co-Founder & CEO, Glimpse. The other panelists were Elodie Dupuy, senior associate, Insight Venture Partners; Keegan Forte, general manager, Bowery Capital and Kegan Schouwenburg, co-Founder & CEO, SOLS. Kelly Hoey, chief marketing officer of Cuurio, moderated.

Orrick is global law firm with a particular focus on serving companies in the technology, energy and financial sectors.

Reporting New York's startups and personalities