The Pitch Season 1

This season of The Pitch originally debuted in the fall of 2011.

A college senior. A corporate banker. A toy maker and a fashion marketer. Betabeat got a broad swath of applications for our first web series from young companies around the tri-state area and beyond. Some of them were following a passion they couldn’t ignore, all while keeping their day job. Others decided the opportunity in front of them was too big, safety net be dammed.

But to get funding, a company has to catch an investor’s eye. The format for finding those backers, more often than not, is the pitch: an impassioned series of selling points that explain why your company is the next big thing and why you are the right person to pull it off.

Good venture capitalists, like baseball players, pick the right pitch to swing at. Just as a top slugger hits .300, the best VCs typically back three winning companies out of every ten tries. The elite have a higher average, and a few home runs along the way.

We sifted through hundreds of eager applicants to find some of New York’s top prospects. This series captured the process as they pitched investors Lerer Ventures face-to-face.


Check Out Our New Web Series The Pitch

It all starts with the pitch. Thousands of new tech startups will be founded in New York this year. Hundreds will be funded. Only a few will persevere to create a lasting business.

To get funding, a company has to catch an investor’s eye. The format for finding those backers, more often than not, is the pitch, Read More


The Pitch, Episode Three: PlayAPI – Gamification Nation

Welcome to the third episode of our web series, The Pitch. The latest installment introduces Julie Fredrickson and Philip Bjerknes, co-founders of PlayAPI, who originally met through their respective blogs. “It was very 2005.” Together, they founded Coutorture, a fashion blogging network that eventually sold to Sugar Inc.

The pair went on to gain Read More


The Pitch, Episode Four: Markover – Growing Up Startup

It’s time for the fourth installment of our first original webseries, The Pitch. This episode features Markover, a startup founded by Kelsey Falter, who is making her way in the New York tech scene and finishing her undergrad at Notre Dame to boot, completing a degree in graphic and product design.

Ms. Falter grew up in Read More


The Pitch, Episode Five: WanderPlayer – Get Your Game On

Like the personal computer before it, smartphone usage is booming around the globe. In this episode, we meet WanderPlayer, a company that transforms a smartphone into a mobile controller for video games. It features Ayo Omojola, co-founder and CEO of WanderPlayer,

Both Ayo and his brother Femi, a co-founder on WanderPlayer, share the entrepreneurship gene. Read More


The Pitch, Episode Eight: Dibsie – Browsing for a Big Idea

Dibsie is a dynamic shopping catalog that learns users’s tastes and then surfaces products based on that data. It was founded by Garren Givens, Dylan Fareed and Scott Poniewaz, who previously worked together on CampusDibs, a daily deal site aimed at the college market.

Learning a user’s preferences in order to recommend him or her Read More


The Pitch Finale: Olapic, Dibsie and Markover Compete For The Big Prize

After seeing pitches from eight New York startups, Lerer Ventures narrowed it down to three finalists: Olapic, Dibsie and Markover.

In this episode Ben Lerer and Steve Schlafman, a principle at Lerer Ventures, sit down with the finalists to get a sense of how they have progressed over the month since the first pitch. “That’s Read More