About 100 investors, founders and startup folk–including the guy siting next to Betabeat whose nametag read “SocialNetwork.com”–gathered last night in Microsoft’s sixth floor office, just a few doors down from Radio City Music Hall, for the ceremonious-sounding Ultra Light Startups Feedback Forum and Pitch Showdown. The room was like most that host these things: projector, rows of plastic chairs, podiums. Microsoft does not try to be edgy with the decor.
But there was pizza, there was pop, and there was networking. “I hear a lot of networking going on in the back. Now is the time to stop networking,” master of ceremonies David Carlos admonished the murmuring crowd when it was time to resume after a break. “There are like, 50 people back there networking.”
Startups which are Ultra Light have a few things in common. They can, and must, explain themselves in two minutes. They should be maniacs for bootstrapping. And they must be ready to take flak from an esteemed panel of judges, which in this case included First Round Capital’s Phineas Barnes, who was voted best panelist for his thoughtful answers, instant grasp of concepts, and motivational feedback about creating magic and secret sauce. Read More