We really, really like VatorSplash. Bambi Francisco and her team have consistently put on an A-level show, and last week’s VatorSplash was no different.
It was our third time attending VatorSplash, and we can say without a doubt, this latest iteration of the fledgling VC pitch-fest was Bambi’s biggest and best. As usual, it was held at the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco’s Castro district. Ten startups got on-stage and pitched for 4 minutes each. Of those 10 startups, we’re happy to say that we’re working with three: Appbackr, MyEGamer and Phone Halo.
Each of our portfolio companies really knocked it out on the park on-stage. Their pitches were thought-provoking, animated and funny. Before we get into that, let’s give you a quick overview of the other companies selected to pitch:
micromobs: A bootstrapped micromessaging platform for small groups. One click, and you’ve created your own micromob. We’ve been using micromobs for the past month and a half, and are happy to report that it’s simple and intuitive, and genuinely useful.
InterviewStudio: A Washington-based web platform that gives you the tools to build an interactive resume on steroids, including videos, links to your Web properties, samples of your work, etc. $50 for job-hunters, free for hiring managers.
CoHuman: A software company that makes teams work quickly and more efficiently on projects. Similar to Basecamp, but lots more features.
OrangeSlyce: An Arizona-based service that connects graphic design students with companies interested in hiring them.
BUMP.com: Register your license plate with BUMP.com. If someone sees you driving around and wants to talk to you, they go to BUMP.com, put in your license plate and send you a message. We don’t get it.
Breakthrough.com: The crowd favorite, and a really good idea. Online, video-based psychiatrists connect with patients around the world. Telemedicine is an interesting field; we’re curious to see how Breakthrough performs in the market.
PlayMyAd.com: Think of PMA like AdWords for video displays. You know the video displays we’re talking about… they’re inside malls, on top of gas pumps, at bus stops, etc. PlayMyAd has built a central dashboard, allowing you to focus your video campaign on exactly the locations you want, and buy those ads in minutes. These guys are going places.
As you know, Appbackr is the world’s first wholesale digital market for iPhone and iPad apps. Developers sell copies of their apps in bulk, and buyers earn as much as 54 percent profit when the app sells at retail. Developers don’t have to wait months and months to profit, and they get the added benefit of partnering with someone who has a vested interest in promoting the app.
MyEGamer is a cool idea: Video gamers can play one another for cash. These can be one-on-one, winner-takes-all matches — all the way up to World Cup-style bracketed tournaments. The site has a whole suite of social features built around this core idea. It’s really a one-stop shop for people who love video games. The site is a mashup between Facebook and World Poker Tour — a really potent combination, IOHO.
…and last, but certainly not least, Phone Halo. These guys founded a company on the radical idea that we’ll never lose anything important again. Their first product costs $60 and is a software-hardware bundle. You attach the tiny, Phone Halo device to the object (say, keys or a laptop bag) and install the software on your RIM or Android phone. When the object gets too far away from your phone, you get an alert. Smart stuff. They sold out their first batch on Amazon, and they’ve got another order on its way.
We’re looking forward to the next VatorSplash. Who knows what we’ll see next?