The company works with employers to provide care to their employeesRead more...
Past Splash finalists and winners have been funded soon after being onstage
In about 10 days, we'll be holding our inaugural Splash LA, an evening event that will be held on May 26, Thursday, at The Highlands Hollywood. At the event, we will feature 10 promising young high-tech startups to present onstage in front of prominent investors and corp development officers.
As always, there will be an open bar, and an afterparty performance with a venture capital band.
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!
We had almost 150 applicants for this event. Only 10 can present onstage and only one can bring home the gold.
Since holding these Splash events, some of our winners and finalists have made significant progress, from a fundraising standpoint. Bump, with more than 500 followers on Vator and one of the finalists at Splash Sept 2010, raised $1.2 million in recent months. Cohuman, a productivity app, raised $600,000, months after being a finalist at Splash Sept. 2010, and has 804 followers on Vator. Grovo, an online training platform that was the winner of Splash NY, went on to raise funding from angels as well.
Udemy, the winner of Vator Splash May, went on to raise $1 million in funding a few months after presenting at Vator Splash. Dave McClure, one of the Vator judges at that even, ended up investing in Udemy. And, LawPivot, which was a semi-finalist and demo table presenter at our Splash event in September, recently raised $600,000 from Google Ventures, and high-profile angels.
This time around, we have a new crop of startups, who will try to impress our new group of venture capitalist judges. Who knows? Maybe one or two will open up their wallets.
But even if these VCs, angels and executives won't be generous with their funds, they've been very generous with their time. In fact, our judges are currently judging the 18 semi-finalists. Their votes will help us determine the top 10 finalists.
For their time and feedback, we're very appreciative. And, we'd like to take a moment to introduce you to them.
Neal Hansch and David Travers, two partners at Rustic Canyon, are two of the online and onstage VC judges who've been spending the past couple days and the next two to vet on the 18 semi-finalists. Prior to becoming a VC in 2005, Neal handled M&A at Macromedia and was an entrepreneur. David is an investor in Docstoc, ThermaSource, Navigating Cancer, Leads360, and Serious Materials. Without Rustic Canyon, Splash would not be held in LA. It was Neal Hansch who drove the vision and support to launch the inaugural Splash LA event.
One of our online judges and onstage judges is Jed Katz, a VC at Javelin Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm based in San Francisco, with $75 million under management. Jed and his partner Noah Doyle have been consistent supporters of Vator with their participation throughout the past year. Javelin Venture Partners has also been a key sponsor of our Splash events. A little background on Jed - he's not only an investor, but an experienced entrepreneur. Jed was the COO and Founder of Rent Net, the Internet's first rental and relocation guide, which was acquired by Cendant. Three years later, Jed created Move.com, one of the largest online real estate sites, which was eventually sold to Homestore for more than $900 million.
Also helping to vet these startups is Larry Marcus, a partner at Walden Venture Capital. Larry is one of the visionary VCs who spotted the value in Pandora back in 2004 and helped Tim Westergren, Pandora's founder, make some of Pandora's most important strategic decisions. Larry, who currently serves on Pandora's board, is also an avid drummer. He'll be playing with the band Darwin5 during the afterpary. This will be Larry's first time performing at Splash.
Joining Larry onstage during the afterparty is David Cremin, a partner at DFJ Frontier, and lead guitarist for Darwin5. When he's not sporting a guitar, David is a VC. He is founder and Managing Director of DFJ Frontier, a Draper Fisher Jurvetson venture capital fund focused on seed and early stage technology companies on the west coast. At Frontier, he leads fund management, fundraising and portfolio management efforts. He currently serves as a Director for uSamp, Mogreet, JanRain, AppleTree, MyWinesDirect, and Prolacta Bioscience.
A big thanks to Ron Bloom, founder and CEO of Mevio. Like the others, Ron took time out of his very busy schedule to help us determine the top 10. Mevio, backed by Crosslink, Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins, is one of the largest video entertainment networks, generating some 300 million video streams a month.
Also thanks to Brian Garrett, a partner at CrossCut Ventures. Brian is very active in the Southern California start-up community and currently works with the Boards of GumGum, Verve Wireless, Pulpo Media, Shoedazzle, AffordIt and Circle Street. He is also an advisory board member for the following digital media companies: Jacked, Zannel and Quepasa.com.
We also want to thank Sami Varma, a partner at Anthem Venture Partners. Samit currently serves on the board of JanRain, Audyssey and BeachMint and is a board observer at Cynvenio and Wavestream. Samit also works closely with Zag and and TrueCar.
Another judge is Dana Settle, partner at Greycroft. Dana currently serves or observes on the boards of Greycroft’s investments in K2 Networks, MoVoxx, Sometrics, Sportgenic, United Sample, Vuze and WideOrbit. She also managed the firm’s investments in Digisynd (sold to Disney) and ContentNext (sold to Guardian Media).
Jeff Lee joined Mission Ventures in 2007. Prior to his position as a venture capitalist, Jeff was at Cisco Systems, where he held technical responsibility for the company’s $1B+ Catalyst 2900 series of Ethernet switches. He also was part of the founding design team for Cisco’s successful Commercial Switching and VDSL product lines.
Thanks also to Kara Nortman, Senior Vice President of Publishing for CityGrid Media, an IAC owned online media company that connects Web and mobile publishers with local advertising organizations, Kara is responsible for overseeing the publisher side of the CityGrid Media’s owned properties, which include consumer sites, Citysearch, Insider Pages and Urbanspoon.
Bruce Taragin is a partner at Blumberg Capital. Bruce serves as a member or observer on the Board of Directors of DoubleVerify, CaseStack, Insightix, LiteScape, Correlix, Nolio, Revionics, Yap.tv, BringIt, NearbyAd, Mertado, Any.do and Offertarget.
Also helping us out is avid angel investor and entrepreneur, Zao Yang, of Betterworks. Previously, he co-created Farmville, and was the CEO/co-founder of MyMiniLife, Inc. (sold to Zynga Game Networks, Inc.). He is also an active investor with stakes in companies like Hipmunk, GroupMe, Facebook, Zynga (acquisition stock), and SV Angels.
Behind-the-scenes judges who have been most gracious with their time include, Michelle Wroan, a partner at KPMG, based in Los Angeles. Michelles has extensive experience with media and entertainment businesses. Michelle currently serves as an engagement partner on a number of media clients including NBC/Universal, The Anschutz Entertainment Group, Ascent Media Group, and Game Show Network. We thank Michelle and KPMG, a longstanding sponsor of Splash events.
Francisco Ramos founder of the Southern California chapter of HBS Angels, a growing group of angel investors affiliated with the Harvard Business School, is another online judge.
Manu Rekhi is another online judge helping us whittle the semi-finalist field down to 10! Manu is a seasoned internet executive and Venture Partner at Inventus since 2008. Manu is currently VP of Products at Myspace. He also worked at Google, where he worked on the launch of Gmail, Calendar, OpenSocial, and Orkut and spent over a year with Google in India.
Finally, Ezra Roizen, digital media investment banker at Ackrell Capital, will join us once again as a judge and emcee of the top 10 finalists. Ezra has been the lead banker in seven consumer Internet deals that closed in the past year.
Support VatorNews by Donating
Read more from our "Trends and news" series
The company offers tech and support to independent cardiologists as they shift to value-based careRead more...
Previous research has shown that loneliness can lead to declining health, dementia, and deathRead more...
Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
Joined Vator on
The company’s Q&A technology utilizes a personalized search algorithm to provide companies relevant lawyers on LawPivot to provide answers to their specific legal questions. LawPivot eases the burden on companies in finding answers to their legal questions in an easy and affordable way.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, LawPivot is funded by Google Ventures and prominent angel investors. To request a free invitation to use LawPivot, please visit www.lawpivot.com.
Joined Vator on
Udemy is a website that enables anyone to teach and learn online. Udemy tries to democratize online education by making it fast, easy and free to create online courses. Udemy is an open platform, so anyone can build an online course by posting videos, presentations, writing blog posts, or hosting live virtual classroom sessions.
Udemy tries to solve a simple problem: there are millions of smart people in the world (authors, speakers, coaches, trainers, subject matter experts and teachers) who want to teach over the internet. Currently, it costs $10,000 to create a website to teach, and there are thousands of instructors doing this (we've talked to them; they hate it). We provide instructors with the ability to create their own course without any up-front costs. That way, they no longer have to deal with the technology and can focus entirely on teaching.
Udemy Live is Udemy’s live virtual conferencing and classroom tool. It is entirely web-based and built on component architecture. Each component was built separately, and there is an internal API so third party developers can build components on top of Udemy’s virtual conferencing tool. The API is not currently public.
Udemy was founded by MobileCrunch writer Gagan Biyani, Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar. Eren and Oktay worked at SpeedDate.com, an online dating site that has received over $8M in funding from Menlo Ventures.
Udemy will start by focusing on a specific niche: Poker education. We will roll out Udemy to enter the $100M business of online poker education. Udemy has deals with more than 15 extremely popular poker instructors to teach on Udemy Poker over the internet. After that niche, Udemy will begin to enter additional markets in which there is a willingness to pay by consumers and a clear set of high-quality instructors interested in teaching.
Joined Vator on
Cohuman is the simplest most powerful way to keep your team in sync. Easily delegate, prioritize and track tasks with all your teams.
It is an intelligent workspace for coordinating people and managing projects. It promotes transparency and accountability in communications allowing teams to get things done more efficiently.
Cohuman delivers immediate insight into the status of projects, coworkers and the tasks you need to focus on.
1. We provide unprecedented visibility into a team's collective and individual responsibilities.
2. Projects and people are presented with lists of tasks that are ranked in order of priority. We utilize metadata to dynamically rank a task's importance relative to the needs of the team.
- Focus: Tasks are organized so people can focus on doing the most important things first.
- Transparency: Team members have visibility into the shared actions and needs of the group.
- Accountability: By compelling individual ownership, we reduce business ambiguity.
- Accessibility: Files, conversations and deadlines are centralized, secure and always accessible.
- Email Integration: We work seamlessly with email, so those who don't want to login to Cohuman don't need to.
- Attach Google Docs to Cohuman tasks, and we'll handle the permissions
- Sync your tasks to your Google Calendar
- Invite your Google Contacts
- Login and Signup with your Google Account
- Find us in the Google Marketplace and Chrome Store
The long version of our Story:
The challenge we all face in today’s multitasking world is that we are inundated with emails, tweets, social media statuses, collaboration tool notifications, IM’s, buzzes, waves and more. Submerged somewhere in this digital torrent are the tasks we need to act upon as well as the true status of the things we have shared with, or assigned to, others.
The truth is, we feel productive when we merely click on what’s unread in our inbox (a textbook Pavlovian response). We feel a sense of accomplishment when we stay abreast of the chatter. All the energy and time we invest in doing these things is creating a false sense of “doing” and eating into the time we have to get stuff done. We’re on a diet of electronic junk food. The day goes by and despite having been connected and collaborative, we’ve accomplished less than we thought. What’s worse, we experience that nagging feeling that we’ve forgotten to do something.
Cohuman is an online application that cuts through this digital clutter and gives you the power to make, share and track tasks with anyone.
We fundamentally believe that the only way to simplify our lives is to know what our priorities are and to be able to focus on what matters. Cohuman is a social network for all your work and personal tasks. When you share tasks with other people, Cohuman is aware of how all your tasks are related. That’s what Cohuman is – a Task Network. In the same way you keep track of your colleagues and friends via Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, we empower you to get status updates on all the tasks you’re connected to.
Based on an algorithm that takes into account the network value of a task, Cohuman is able to optimize your priorities and those of everyone in your network by assigning each task a score.
Cohuman lets you:
1. See everything you need to do in one place
2. Prioritize your day, your week, your life
3. Share tasks with others and follow their status
4. Trust you are not forgetting to do anything
The market for Cohuman encompasses everyone who is tired of depending on email to coordinate their life or is simply struggling to manage their priorities.
Joined Vator on
Events.com is a mobile-first, socially-focused suite of cloud-based applications that provides an ideal solution for event organizers and event goers alike. Organizers benefit from a dashboard that features the necessary tools to manage, market and monetize their events—including detailed analytics, robust reporting with actionable insights, integrated marketing and outreach tools, enhanced payment options, and comprehensive functionality to create interactive communities and affinity around their brands. Event goers get access and inspiration via the Events.com site—a place to explore experiences based on interests, discover aggregated social content and share the experiences that matter most to them.
Planning an event? Create and manage your event on Events.com by clicking here.
Joined Vator on
Grovo is the leading online platform that trains users on top Internet tools and cloud services with 60-second, personalized videos.
Featuring 3,500+ video lessons covering 100+ Internet tools and cloud services – and 15 lessons added daily - Grovo is the fastest and easiest way to become a better Internet user. With coverage, tools and training ideal for consumers, businesses, educators, and governments, users in 150 countries are using Grovo to work smarter and sharpen their Internet skills.
For organizations and enterprises Grovo’s lightweight training dashboard, Grovo for Teams, enables employee training on the Internet tools, sites, and trends they need to stay ahead.
Founded in 2010, Grovo is a privately-held online education company headquartered in New York City.
Joined Vator onJed Katz is the Managing Director of Javelin Venture Partners. One of the pioneers of online commerce, Jed has spent his 20 year career developing, advising & investing in early stage tech ventures.
Joined Vator onBrian Garrett is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Crosscut Ventures. For his entire career, Brian has been involved in building and funding early-stage technology and media companies.