Vator Box


500 Startups and AngelPad look at Tripping

Jen O'Neal and Nate Weisiger do a live Vator Box in front of Dave McClure and Thomas Korte

Innovation series by Bambi Francisco Roizen
December 22, 2010
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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 hold our first-ever live Vator Box. That is, we decided to bring in an entrepreneur to do a live pitch in front of the judges.

Our first victims, err contestants, were Jen O'Neal and Nate Weisiger, the founding partners of Tripping, an online cultural exchange that connects travelers with locals. Tripping, I should also mention, won the first-ever Amplify competition, a pitch event hosted by Girls in Tech and Vator. 

Thanks to Jen and Nate for being good sports. Thanks to our guest hosts Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Thomas Korte of AngelPad.

In this segment, Jen and Nate 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, Jen and Nate 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 statements made. 

"You can acquire customers for $2 and make $20? Where does that $20 come from?"

"How does this become a dating site?"

"You should be a dating site."

"I think you're a dating site."

"Sounds like an interesting company. I’m open to taking another meeting and diving more deeply. Travel has real economics."  

(Editor's note: Our next Vator Box will be on Everloop, with Hilary DeCesare giving her pitch to Dave and Thomas. Then we have Naval Ravikant, co-founder of VentureHacks, which runs AngelList, as our guest host along with regular, Ezra Roizen, digital media investment banker, for a Vator Box show in which we'll listen to 19-year-old Brian Wong, founder of Kiip, give his pitch.)

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Service provider
Description: Global advisory network for emerging businesses.  
Description: Tripping gives travelers a safe and easy way to connect with local people for tips, shared cups of coffee and even home stays.   W...
Description: Everloop provides kids under 13 a free, safe space where they can connect with friends, play games, share pictures and music, send messag...
Bio: Jen O'Neal is the Founder and CEO of Under her leadership, has grown to offer 8 million rental prope...
Bio: Advisor-to and commenter-on emerging ventures

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