Fighting the Froth and Fluff: New York Tech Investors See Strengths in Digital Media Startups, Challenges in “Me-Tooism”

Venture capitalists and early-stage investors in New York may occasionally pull on their Wellington boots to wade through the muck of startups flooding the market, but they are not grumbling about it. The trick is sifting through the me-too entrepreneurs that develop ideas along the lines of Foursquare, which raised $50 million last Friday, and GroupMe to find the gems that can become viable companies.

Startups sprout in New York City faster than bamboo which raises a question: Are real businesses being built here? Some observers are keeping watch for a potential tech bubble, particularly with heavyweights such as Facebook expected to go public in the future, increasing the need for rigorous litmus tests among startup proposals.

Organizations geared at helping startups get noticed by angels, venture capitalists, and seed funders are fast at work in the city. The NY Entrepreneurs Business Network, for example, hosts events for startups to pitch their ideas for critiques by investors. David Teten, partner with New York’s ff Venture Capital, helped evaluate a batch of pitches on June 23 at the offices of law firm Chadbourne & Parke. The ideas included The Hotlist, a social recommendation engine which offers users tips on where to carouse with their friends, and ScanBiz Mobile Solutions, developer of the ScanBizCards app for scanning business cards. … Next Page »

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