Mark Suster, General Partner at GRP Partners, Writer at Both Sides of the Table, Host of This Week in Venture Capital
Mark joined GRP Partners in 2007 after having worked with GRP for nearly 8 years as a two-time entrepreneur. Most recently Mark was VP of Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral, where Mark was the Founder & CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder & CEO of BuildOnline, which was acquired by SWORD Group (PARIS: SWP). Mark currently sits on the Boards of Ad.ly, Awe.sm, Burstly, GumGum, and Ring Revenue, and is a Board Observer of Qualys. Mark also writes the influential blog “Both Sides of the Table,” and hosts “This Week in Venture Capital.”
Naval Ravikant, Co-Founder of AngelList and Venture Hacks
Naval is an entrepreneur and angel investor, a co-author of Venture Hacks, and a co-maintainer of AngelList – the leading community of startups and investors that makes fund-raising efficient. Previously he was a co-founder at Genoa Corp (acquired by Finisar), Epinions.com (IPO via Shopping.com), and Vast.com (largest white-label classifieds marketplace). Naval also has advised Bix.com, iPivot, and XFire, among others, and invested in many companies, including Twitter, FourSquare, DocVerse (sold to Google), Mixer Labs (sold to Twitter), Jambool (Social Gold), SnapLogic, PlanCast, Stack Overflow, Heyzap, and Disqus.
Founder Showcase Champion
Kaggle hosts predictive modeling competitions, which are an amazingly effective way to develop predictive algorithms. Predictive algorithms run everything from bank credit scoring to insurance company actuarial calculations and from powering stock market trading decisions to search results. Currently the only way to outsource algorithm building is to a consultant. Kaggle allows companies to outsource to the crowd and only pay those who achieve amazing results.
Nexercise is a free iPhone game, where you do a minimum of 15 minutes of ANY physical activity and get awarded virtual coupons (discounts ranging between 25%-75%) and the chance to win free products. Last year, in the US, $127 Billion was spent on ‘high margin’ healthy foods, products & services and Nexercise capitalizes on this market by collecting 10-20% MSRP of every virtual coupon redeemed. Nexercise uses proprietary algorithms on smartphone sensor data to prove that users really did physical activity + game mechanics that leverage 10 key psychological drivers, to increase consistency, duration, and frequency of physical activity.
- BlogMutt: BlogMutt helps small and niche blogs get the original content they need using the wisdom of the crowd and the best of game mechanics. Something like 7 million small businesses operate in the US. Nearly all of them have a website, and now are understanding that they need to fill up their blogs with original content. We’ll do that with a crowd of writers. What makes us unique? In the same way that 99Designs has turned website and logo design on its head using the power of crowdsourcing, we’ll bring the same to content creation. Also this is the third time the cofounders have worked together.
- Bundled.com: Bundled.com provides web delivered cross-promotions to merchants, franchises and restaurants. Our web and Facebook app builds and engages their customer list to driving viral sales of complimentary products or services. Our target has (or wants to have) an email list we combine these lists and product offerings to create a single bundled offer and cross promote the offer to the combined list adding both social media and our list. Were not a deal site, the merchant chooses the discount, we do the mechanics and promotion. We multiply their list growth and provide monthly bundles for ongoing campaigns increasing list size and retention.
- Buycentives: Buycentives one-to-one conversion tool allows companies to drive more sales by automatically shifting incentive dollars among individual online shoppers in real-time. It removes significant inefficiencies in the one-size-fits-none rebate ecosystem. 30+ U.S. automotive brands spent $30 billion just on rebates in 2010, wasting up to 20%. In addition, lenders, insurance providers and 17,000 dealerships want to offer data-driven incentives to drive conversion. Other markets include electronics. Buycentives lets brands directly influence an individual purchase at the point of sale. A predictive model determines the right incentive at the right time, which is delivered to an in-market shopper. Pay-for-performance pricing reduces client risk.
- Fashioning Change: Fashioning Change has developed a green shopping intervention application to help online eco-conscious consumers easily find, and purchase, authentically green brands without ever having to search for them. According to Forrester Research the US online retail market is $173 billion dollars and estimated to grow to $250 billion by 2014. Our application leverages a user’s existing online shopping behavior to introduce eco and ethical brand alternatives to name brands shoppers know they like and want. Our app eliminates the need for direct eco product research.
- Keepstream: Keepstream provides an online tool to curate, analyze, and share collections of social media content – important for social media managers, PR professionals, bloggers and journalists. Social media tools have already proven to be a critical business need, representing a $1.7 billion market growing 34% annually according to Forrester. In the belief that social media curation and analytics are tied together, Keepstream provides a platform that combines filtering the noise of social media with the analysis to make sense of it at a price fit for the small-medium sized business.
- Pick3: Pick3 has developed a mobile app that takes the concept of garage sale as a starting point to create virtual markets you can subscribe to and sell through. From selling, finding and browsing items, to paying and arranging for delivery. Pick3 is after the m-commerce market. Already a 5 billion dollar in the US, m-commerce is growing at an estimate 40% annually. Ebay alone sold over 1.5 billion through mobile sales last year. Focusing entirely on mobile Pick3 offers first and foremost simplicity. Selling is as simple as taking a picture and choosing a price range. That’s it. We all have at least 3 things laying around our house we could sell, Pick3 makes it dead simple.
- Picuous: Picuous allows webusers to easily, legally and freely use copyrighted pictures on the internet. It’s like a Scribd, a SoundCloud or a Vimeo, but for pictures. Pictures are easily the dominant media on the Internet, with Flick hosting 5 billion pictures, Picasa 6 billion, and Facebook 100 billion. Half of Tumblr’s 14 million daily posts are pictures. We display pictures in a player which allows them to be embedded, faved or shared on Twitter or Facebook. It also allows the picture owner to access detailed statistics, such as where the picture has been used and how many times it’s been viewed.
- VidCaster: Publishing online video is a complicated process. VidCaster simplifies this process by combining the best online video tools into one simple, integrated interface hosted on your own domain name. Here is an example: http://hackersandfounders.com. The online video platform (OVP) market grew 70% to $1.3B in 2010. VidCaster is poised to capture a large share of this market while also expanding the definition of an OVP thanks to its simple interface and end-to-end integrated solutions. Unlike existing free and paid online video solutions which provide just a video player, VidCaster includes everything you need — a web host, an integrated CMS, advertising, distribution, analytics and more – all on your own domain name.