As Vator Box watchers know, this show has always starred high-profile investors and CEOs who act as guest hosts/judges to analyze and give feedback to up-and-coming startups, who have uploaded video pitch to Vator. As you can imagine, with only a video pitch to go off of, offering up feedback can be a bit like remarking on a race course, say the Markleeville Death Ride, without ever having ridden it yourself.
So, in the interest of providing our judges "more" information to provide solid feedback, and to be fair to the entrepreneurs, since they typically get beat up and aren't around to defend themselves, we decided to start holding live shows. That is, we decided to bring in an entrepreneur to do a live pitch in front of the judges.
In this episode, we have Hilary DeCesare, the co-founder and CEO of Everloop, a safe social network for 8-13 year olds. Thanks to our guest hosts Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Thomas Korte of AngelPad.
In this segment, Hilary gave us a 90-second pitch. Then we had Q&A for about five minutes. Then Dave and Thomas gave their feedback in two minutes. Finally, Hilary got the last word, in response to the feedback.
We hope you like this format.
As for what the feedback was, I'm not going to say. I don't want to spoil the show. You'll have to watch. But I'll leave you with a few highlights and statements made.
- Hilary kicks off by saying that Everloop's goal is to be the largest social graph for Tweens and Tween companies as well as the largest app store for Tweens in a safe environment. She said there are 28 million Tweens in the US, who spend $43 billion annually out of their own pocket and influence $155 billion.
- Both Thomas and Dave (both fathers of pre-school/kindergarten-aged children) agree that sites like Everloop are in their future."Clearly Facebook is not a place I want my children to be at that age," Thomas said. "Services like yours are in our future," Dave added.
- Thomas raises a question about why Everloop is focusing on 8-13 years of age when children seem so vastly different. Hilary explains that members can create their own groups, or "loops" as it's called on Everloop. This way they can find like-minded kids who share similar interests.
- The market for Tweens is a crowded one. It's also unclear how Everloop differentiates or competes with Club Penguin or Gaia Online.
- How does virality work in the Tween space? Adults typically use email to invite friends to new sites. It's not the same for Tweens (who typically don't have an email).
- Everloop says that sponsorships from Tween-centric companies are a main form of revenue. Both Dave and Thomas dig deep into Everloop's relationship with the sponsor, the content and the audience.
(Editor's note: Thomas Korte will be one of the venture capitalists onstage at Vator Splash Feb 3 in San Francisco. There's still time to get early-bird tickets. Go to the registration page to reserve your tickets and see the agenda. These prices are good until next Monday!)
(To be considered for Vator Box, email email@example.com)