By Dennis Clemente
Would you like to watch free online sports you can’t find on TV? Would you dump your broker if you can find an apartment on your own? Would you like to dig deep into your social networks to find work or partnerships? Would you like to increase your traffic as a brand or media company? Now figure out which business fits the name below.
Last August 20, Ellie Wheeler of Greycroft Partners listened to the pitches from four presenters—Sportmantel, Zenly, Simpli.st and Acute IQ-at the ER Accelerator meetup at Microsoft. Twice Zenly and Simpli.st presented this month in separate tech meetups, which just goes to show how slow August is for events.
Perhaps before things pick up again in September, ER Accelerator could improve its meetup presentation. It would be helpful if the email invite included the list of presenters (their startup and names). Making use of the venue’s projector screen can also help attendees picture (and spell) the presenter’s work, as many names conjured nowadays are not in the dictionary anymore. Another group that uses the same venue makes use of the screen effectively.
Ad tech is a crowded space but Acute IQ is looking into how surveys can help mid-tier media companies extend their audience. It claims to use consumer insights and data to source relevant audiences for TV, digital and sponsorship campaigns. This approach relies more on getting users to take brand research questions.
If it works as such, customers should be able to source targeted audiences that meet existing campaign objectives, respond to RFPs with broader capabilities and extend to new platforms & products.
Still in its early stage, Sportmantel aims to make 20 minute videos watchable in just 5 minutes.
An annotation feature is also planned, including incentives for users who share their knowledge about the sports games. There’s crowdsourcing, but it looks forward to seeing some automation working on it as well.
Right now, its sports content comes from sports association. Having it embeddable to other sites is vital, as it recognizes the $4 million marketplace. It hopes to have a white label offering.
Warm connections matter in this world, but when was the last time you saw your connections on Linkedin, for example? Simpli.st likes to think it can solve that.
However, Wheeler suggested adding some content to go with– some “fun fact,” perhaps.
Zenly was the last among the official presenters, claiming you won’t find a fake apartment listing in its site. It’s disrupting the real estate profession by saving you dollars on broker fees—and videotaping all apartments, which can take some time.
Still, Zenly’s Isaac Palka is confident that even if a listing is posted right away before they can shoot a video, an apartment may still be available. “The average time an apartment is in the market is 45 days.”
What makes it disruptive? “We charge a 5 percent fee compared to the broker, who gets 15 percent,” Isaac Palka said. This summer, it charges 3 percent.
ERA will begin accepting applications for its Winter 2015 program soon. Deadline is Nov. 13, 204. The ten companies selected to participate in the four-month program will receive a $40,000 investment and the potential for follow-on funding from ERA’s Fund.
For those looking to pitch to Greycroft Partners, Wheeler said she focuses on B2B and B2C commerce innovation, marketplaces and mobile applications. She currently oversees Greycroft’s investments in BaubleBar, Daily Secret, Buzz Points, NuOrder and Plain Vanilla Games and also works closely with its investment in Plated and Nomi.