Last Thursday, the Talener Group was a proud sponsor of Business Insider’s Startup2012 in the heart of Silicon Alley (aka New York City). The day was packed with interesting speakers and interviews that allowed attendees to gain valuable insight into running a startup.
My absolute favorite speaker, and role model, Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post Media Group, dominated the stage with her presence and witty remarks during her interview with Henry Blodget, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider. She discussed her hands on involvement with the publication even after its acquisition by AOL and the critical importance of hiring good people. Arianna is still very much in charge of the publication and the direction it is going. Keep your eyes peeled, Huffington Period will be released soon! Huffington Period’s content and layout will be similar to the New Yorker but the purpose behind this initiative is for the reader to escape from their daily grind, take a breather, and read the publication whether it be on their iPad, smart phone, or computer.
There was an interesting segment about fundraising. The majority of the panel consisted of heads of VC firms and the CEO of Artsicle, Alexis Tryon. The VC’s expressed that in this market it is easy for startups to raise money and become venture backed. Tryon said it was difficult to get that first check but once she finally got the first investor the calls were flooding in. They also discussed situations wherein after your first round of funding it can be difficult to raise the second round. This is because once you have finalized your concept and implemented the new features you will gain a lot of users but after a bit of time the users plateau or grow bored and move on. In many cases this leads to difficulty in getting investors to contribute a substantial amount during the second round.
Considering the technology boom is upon us once again, New York is fortunate enough to have a startup founder and technology investor and enthusiast as their mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He is doing his part to ensure Silicone Alley truly becomes a substantial player in the industry. Rachel Sterne, Chief Digital Officer of New York City, who reports directly to Bloomberg, graced us with her presence to educate the audience on all the apps created by the City of New York to help improve the city and everyday life for its citizens. Check out their designated driver application, You The Man. The rest help with eliminating potholes, public transportation, and other helpful tools. They can all be found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/mome/digital/html/apps/apps.shtml.
The day was broken up by 8 startups pitching their concept in 3 minutes to the audience and 6 judges, all well known among the tech industry. Congratulations to Candace Klein, the founder and CEO of SoMoLend, for winning the competition and leaving with $25,000! We look forward to following the company’s progress and future successes.
My hat is off to Business Insider for putting together such an action packed day in such a seamless manner. The lists of impressive speakers were inspiring and I look forward to hearing about all the new ideas that were formed that day!