D3 (DUMBO Demo Day)

I went to my first Demo Day in Brooklyn. It was a source of pride for me. It was sponsored by NYU-Poly Incubator (who else).

What I liked about it was probably what others in the audience liked. It had a less formal feel to it. These companies weren’t pitching to raise money. They were pitching to let people know what they are creating, and that they are hiring, and that anybody that wanted to be involved should get involved.

The companies that pitched were all Brooklyn companies (nice right?). They included:

Knodes – a social data analysis company. The CEO, Ron Williams, killed it as he laid out the company’s plans to build an infrastructure of users and developers around what the company is doing. As an ‘analytics guy’ I can see plenty to business models and I can’t wait to see which one is optimum.

Docracy – a crowd sourced document availability and management company. I first saw the co-founders John and Matt at Techcrunch Disrupt last summer when they were still fleshing out the idea and getting ready to take the leap away from project based work. It was nice to see the progress made as well as the roadmap for new services.

HowAboutWe – a venture backed dating and relationship site. The management presenters were just the right amount of quirky as they talked about the sign up process and challenges of national expansion.

I did miss one presentation, as I had to leave early.

All these three have successfully raised funds – Knodes has support from Quotidian Ventures, Docracy also has support from Quotidian Ventures as well as RRE and HowAboutWe has raised two sizable rounds from RRE and Khosla Ventures.

I though all the companies did a good job. The venture capitalist in me wanted to hear more about the business model and the challenges and opportunities for growth. But, at least so far, that is not the Brookyn way.  These guys seem to know that if they make something cool they will be able to take it to market.  And I’m sure I’ll get to ask my questions at some point.

I’m already looking forward to the next one!