The War on Email
The Real TechStars of New York
KELLY CUTRONE GETS ABOUT 625 EMAILS A DAY, she told Betabeat last week. The fashion publicist, book author and reality show star spends her frequent flights to L.A. slashing through notifications from Twitter and party promoters, missives from clients and employees of her P.R. agency People’s Revolution, and communiqués related to her various television gigs. “I also have two BlackBerrys and two email addresses and they all forward shit everywhere, so sometimes I get the same email four times,” she said. “I sometimes contemplate how much time I spend deleting junk emails, and how I’ll be thinking that when I’m on my deathbed, like how many hours or days that will eventually add up to, and it’ll sort of just make me want to kill myself while I’m dying.
“I really am haunted,” she added. “Like this is like a really big part of my life.”
Entrepreneur-turned-investor Mark Suster has already dispensed email advice for “us sarcastic bastards who have slitting tongues,” but on this week’s episode of TechStars he gives David Tisch a run for his money on the real talk/insult-o-meter, to some amusing ends. (Check out our top five list after the end.)
In Episode Four, Mr. Tisch is trying to prepare the teams for Demo Day and “access to a room full of money,” in some cases by throwing ping pong balls or fake cash to see if he can distract them. He also encourages them to “try your best to get a third of what you’re looking for soft circled,” so they can present with some momentum. The VC weather report might be frothy, but not all the teams are finding it easy.
When the news broke yesterday evening that Skype acquired hometown start-up GroupMe, New York’s digerati took the party to Twitter. Indeed the acquisition and its hefty price tag, which Betabeat’s sources pegged between $50 million and $100 million, caused such a stir among a certain swath of tech circles that “GroupMe” even made into a New York City Twitter trending topic last night–albeit below penetrating questions plaguing tweeters such as, “Chris Brown OR Justin Bieber.”
The deal was the first major exit for Lerer Ventures, Thrive Capital and BoxGroup’s David Tisch, so much of the tweeting action consisted of ebullient pats on the back. But a few notes of skepticism arose from the din. In case you were too busy watching Libyan rebels end a 40-year dictatorship, here’s what you missed.
GRP Partners’ Mark Suster announced yesterday that he and Roger Ehrenberg, at IA Ventures in New York, are co-leading a $6 million investment in DataSift, a London-based data platform for third-party developers, brands, and publishers to capture real-time data. Although based out in L.A., TechStars just named Mr. Suster as a mentor for its new New York class. Mr. Suster has certainly made no bones of tweeting his pom-poms at local start-ups. Mr. Ehrenberg, on the other hand, has had his heart set on data mining. “As a former hedge fund guy, Roger immediately saw the value in helping companies better sift through the masses of data; often to gain better insights into financial information,” writes Mr. Suster on Both Sides of the Table.
News of the funding came just as Twitter announced that it hit the one-million-mark for registered apps, which the company says is “fueling a spike in ecosystem growth” in areas like analytics. Indeed, Mr. Suster described his investment in DataSift as “doubling down on the Twitter ecosystem.”
Salesforce veteran Mark Suster is a VC for GRP Partners, which manages more than $1 billion for more than 150 limited partners in North America and Europe. He’s hanging out at TechStars today after lunch at Dogpatch Labs yesterday and a few events at NYU. He’s totes a fan of the city’s hot start-ups.