We’re less than 2 weeks away from Demo Day and I feel like this funding cycle has whizzed by faster than any other. We have 22 startups this summer, bringing the total number we’ve funded to 102. There’s a lot going on!
The founders will find the next few weeks to be the most hectic of the summer. As well as preparing for Demo Day, many are also planning to launch. Some have already: Startuply, a site (and widget) for startup job listings; Anyvite, an easy-to-use invitation service that (unlike Evite) also works well on mobiles; Posterous, which lets anyone post anything online just by emailing it; Slinkset, which lets users make their own Reddit-like link site for whatever topic they want; and Awesome Highlighter, which is like a highlighter, but for web pages.
I’d like to publicly thank the amazing speakers we’ve had come talk to everyone so far: Mark Macenka, a partner at Goodwin Procter, explained corporate law 101 in layman’s terms and warned of common legal pitfalls for early stage startups; Hutch Fishman, CFO of many successful startups, covered all the financial stuff founders need to understand; Jonathan Seelig, one of the founders of Akamai, shared insights from both the entrepreneur’s and investor’s perspective; Steve O’Leary, who’d retired a few days before as head of M&A at Jefferies Broadview, talked all about the nuances of the acquisition process; Bill Warner, founder of Avid and Wildfire, gave an extremely candid talk about his early experiences; and last week, Google’s Rich Miner, founder of Android, came to tell everyone about both the Android platform and his experiences as an entrepreneur. Special thanks to Joel Lehrer from Goodwin Procter, who came and spent the day advising the startups individually about patent and IP issues.
Coming up we have three stars in one week: Joel Spolsky, Mitch Kapor, and Greg McAdoo.
We’ve also been lucky to have a steady stream of YC alumni travel to Boston to visit us and advise the new founders. As peers they offer a uniquely valuable sort of advice.
Rehearsal Day, the “dress rehearsal” for Demo Day, is now only a few days away. So now the founders will gradually switch from working 100% of their time on their products to working on presenting as well. These presentations will be seen by literally hundreds of investors, so it’s worth putting in the effort to make them good. Fortunately the founders will get several chances to nail the delivery, because we’ve scheduled 3 Demo Days this year to accommodate investor interest. The first is in Boston, then everyone flies to the Bay Area for two more days of presentations at our Silicon Valley office. After which we all relax and have a beer.
*Thanks to Posterous' Gary Tan for the fabulous photos!
Rich Miner talks to the group.