AngelPad's 5th Demo Day presents 12 promising startups

Bambi Francisco Roizen · November 29, 2012 · Short URL:

Meet the dozen startups chosen out of 2,000 applicants


AngelPad held its fifth Demo Day in San Francisco, with 12 startups giving their presentations to angels and investors. To date, AngelPad has seen 62 companies go through its 10-week mentorship program.

Since San Francisco-based AngelPad opened its doors in 2010, it's been able to attract a number of startups eager to enter its program. In fact, for this class, AngelPad received 2000 applications, said founder Thomas Korte, in an interview. Of the 2000, 140 were interviewed for the clearly 12 coveted spots. 

Most of the applicants came to AngelPad after hearing about the program through past AngelPad graduates, many of whom have gone on to raise signifcant rounds of financing. Notably, MoPub recentlyraised a $12 million round, on top of a $6.5 million round last year. And, Crittercism and Locbox, both part of the Spring 2011 class, recently raised their Series A rounds. Also notably, Astrid and Kismet, which have also raised funding, were winners at previoius Vator Splash SF events. 

Eight of the 11 companies in AngelPad's Spring 2012 class have already raised an aggregate of $12.5 million in financings. The number of successful fundraisings shows that the AngelPad model is working, said Korte. Of the companies that have gone through the program, about four have had exits, notably Adku was sold to Groupon. A few have failed, but that's to be expected. 

Indeed, Korte would now have to show the model is working as more and more accelerators emerge. When he started with his ex-Google colleagues (Korte is also a former Googler), there were few if any accelerators, apart from TechStars and Y Combinator. Today, there's dozens across the country. But at the same time, there's also been an explosion in the number of people who want to start companies.

AngelPad is benefiting from that cultural change, but also because Korte and team have built a nice reputation for themselves. 

Still how does AngelPad differentiate itself from so many accelerators, and particularly the more notable ones, like TechStars? Korte says that companies that go through AngelPad's 10 week course work closely with a very few mentors, such as Korte. TechStars has a many more mentors, who may spend a few hours or a couple days with companies, but unlikely for the entire 10 weeks. And, unlike Y Combinator, which could see a class of 60 startups in one session, AngelPad keeps its group small.  

AngelPad's capital also comes directly from the founders, like Korte, who says he has no plans to raise outside capital to continue investing. In the past, AngelPad invested $20,000 to $25,000 in its companies for a 6% equity stake. The companies would then receive $100,000 in additional capital from two outside investment firms (that always remained anonymous). This structure is changing, however. So it's unclear how much the companies in the current class have received in financing. 

So who's part of this class? Unlike prior classes, many of the founders have had experience at other tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft, or Ooyala. The companies are also more B2B (business-to-business) focused. 

Periscope is a business data analytics tool that provides a unified, actionable view of data from many different sources. Founders are ex-Google and Bing PMs and engineers who have worked together for over nine years.

FreedomCP automates cloud server management, providing modern tools for fully-managed Web applications and servers. Founders are engineers and National Science Foundation fellws with backgrounds in security and network research (UC Berkeley) and experience at Goodle and Mozilla

Kinnek is a B2B marketplace for high-cost purchases by SMBs. Founders are engineers from Cornell and Whart/Penn with deep expertise in procurement and software systems.

Boomtrain is a social Web TV platform lightly integrated with Facebook. Founders are an engineering/business team from Harvard Business School with pastr experience at Ooyala.

Tray is a service that learns from your inbox, Web apps and the context around you to automatically action emails and phone calls. Founders are from London, with strong tech and communication backgrounds, building systems for the UK department of defense as well as reserach (w/ Tim Berners Lee).

Circi is a marketing automation platform for local merchants that optimizes mobile, email, and social media for in-store visits. Founders are repeat entrepreneurs from UC Berkeley and Cornell, and expertise in email marketing automation and SEM.

ScaleGrid is a database as a service for SQL and NoSQL hosted in private and public clouds. Founders are both ex-Microsoft Windows Azure and have extensive experience with public cloud and enterprise software.

Buyou is a tablet application for discounts and promotions from major retailers. Founders are Michigan and Columbia alumni with a background in business development and engineering at startups.

CISimple is a mobile development platform that automates builds, testing and deployment reducing development time while increasing quality. Founder is an engineer with previous experience at Breezy (as CTO) and at (acquired by PayPal). 

Shop2 enables style influencers and fashion brands to publish their own table-first lifestyle magazines. Founder is from Sydney and has 10+ years experience designing intricate systems from Web crawler to HTML5 mobile apps.

UpCounsel is a B2B marketplace for legal services. Founders are a startup lawyer and engineer with previous work experience at Latham & Watkins and expertise in building marketplaces.

Storefront is a marketplace for short-term retail space rentals. Founders are Harvard Business School alumni with 10+ years experience in retail strategy consulting for leading brands including Best Buy, Target and Coach.


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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder Vator, Managing Partner - Vator Investment Club; Former Columnist/correspondent Dow Jones MarketWatch; Business anchor CBS affiliate KPIX

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