Two of the events the IPG Lab visited this week, WeWork Startupalooza and the Global Innovator Demo Night, perfectly illustrated New York’s diverse and dynamic startup ecosystem.
Startupalooza was a combination of speed dating and a rumble. Twenty-plus early stage startups, from a wide range of industries, were stationed around the WeWork co-working space and were given the opportunity to pitch VCs from NY Angels, GrowthCap, IEA, Inspired Startup, Vendrome Capital, Joshua Capital, and The Nessa Group. Two startups in particular caught our eye:
- Canvs: An interactive visual project management platform.
- Boston Biomotion: A rehabilitation and strengthening machine that tracks, records, plots, and displays human movement in visual 3D.
The Global Innovator Demo Night was a “Shark Tank”-style event that featured five post-seed startups that were looking to expand into the U.S. The “sharks” were VCs from Comcast Ventures, Greycroft, FirstMark Capital, and BOLDstart Ventures. In classic fashion, the sharks were relentless, firing questions to learn more about their growth strategy, business model, past metrics, and current challenges. When the dust, settled two companies came out victorious, both receiving 35% of the audience votes:
- convertiFIRE: An integration free optimization platform for landing pages.
- AIMEE: A commerce focused platform that automatically creates several variations of a homepage, then delivers the most relevant homepage variation to each visitor type.
Even though startup investments and acquisitions are at a high right now, it’s still challenging to get in front of a VC, let alone a group of VCs. At the two events, it was good to see that these young startups brought their “A” game.