Last night I attended the StartUp Atlanta April event (on the web at StartUpAtlanta.org, @StartupAtlanta on Twitter) where 40 or so members of the Startup community mixed, mingled, and listened to 6 presentations by Atlanta Startups. Mike Shinkel and Jenny Trautman (the organizers) focused this meetup on the Real Estate industry.
I did not see that many familiar faces and fewer people attended than than attended the March Meetup, but the specialization made the people who did attend more involved. Georgia Tech was nice enough to loan out the Georgia Tech Research Institute facility auditorium. I enjoyed meeting everyone and Mike Schinkel and his volunteers moved things along well. It is impossible to overstate how important it is to keep these events running on time. Daniel from Friendly Human recorded the event for video posterity.
And now, the contestants! We listened to the presentations, and voted via twitter for our favorites, here are mine, recorded here for posterity. I judge startups by the following criteria, on a scale of 1-10 (higher is better).
- Problem Solving – It can be a cool product, but does it make anyone’s life easier?
- Actual Customers – I am defining the customer as someone with both problems and money.
- Simplicity of Pricing – can the fees be described to anyone, do you need more information about the prospect before you can offer a quote?
- Chicken and Egg Problem – does the product require a lot of Customer A before Customer B becomes interested, and vice versa? This applies a good bit to middleman/broker type companies like E-Bay.
- Remarkability – that is to say, can someone who heard a quick presentation about it describe it to someone the next day, and have it be understood?
Note, I do not judge the passion of the founders, quality of marketing, execution etc. That’s too hard to judge based off of a short presentation. Continue reading →