Pitch It | Tomorrow’s best start-ups

Founders and would-be entrepreneurs pitch their big ideas to a panel of business-launching experts. Even if you’re not pitching an idea, come watch the competition to start the next big thing.

Chair: Rick Ducey, EVP, BIA Financial Network

John: Worked as CTO and in new projects at AOL before LaunchBox Digital. Goal is simple invest in and support early stage companies. Bring in world-class advisors to bridge “capital gap”.

Rick: BIA works with later stage companies.

Suha: Started Real Girls Media with three others. Marketing and film background.

Joe: 30 years in the newspaper business before working at University of Miami.

Pitch It #1 -Newscup – A Social Bookmarking Company

Jonathan Hendler brings 11 years of experience in Internet industries including multiple NGOs and massive multi player gaming.

Newscup passively organizes bookmarks and searches (enables “search ownership”). It’s not for just web 2.0 enthusiasts.

A unique features allows user to highlight an entire text box and right click to “Newscup It” and save a list of searches based on that text.

Technology: Self Organizing Categories, SQLite, natural language processing (automates tasks), embeddable, multilingual

Key questions from panel:

How is it new?

What is your target demographic? Who do you reach out to initially and how will they multiply?

News lovers and their friends.

What is the “secret sauce”?

The core are the algorithms used.

Pitch It #2 – CivisOnline – Sparking a Global Conversation

Phil Noble is the founder of the longstanding PoliticsOnline.

CivisOnline uses widgets and social networking tools for the US elections to launch a “global conversation”.

Tell CivisOnline how you think and it’ll show you how it compares to others. Rate, vote, comment, or quiz then compare results by other users with variable filters (language, region, sex, age, etc.)

Plan is to continue working with major media companies who have an audience and then provide them with the technology to get them involved in the “global conversation”.

CivisOnline answers the question: “How do we stack up with the rest of the world?” or “How do I stack up with the rest of the world?”

Key questions from panel:

You have an impressive list of partners already. Why haven’t they given you financial support or bought you yet?

We haven’t dealt with the people upstairs yet. We dealt with the geek in the basement.

I think it’s great. Where are you in the process? Where do I come in on your timeline? Where would I be now on your timeline?

I’m happy to talk about that.

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