500 Startups Brings Its Latest Grads to New York
Armed with gusto and a microphone, Bay Area Internet guru Dave McClure and his gang from 500 Startups brought their latest batch of hatchlings to New York at last night’s demo day at General Assembly. A handful of locally bred startups stood among the twenty-one exuberant presenters—all graduates of McClure’s Mountain View, CA-based accelerator program—who pitched their ideas to potential investors and fellow entrepreneurs.
New York’s ToutApp, one of this summer’s graduates, led off the night with CEO Tawheed Kader talking about how he can make sending repetitive e-mails easier. 500 Startups invests in the companies that emerge from its three-month program and helps introduce them to other potential backers. Many of the startups at demo day were in the midst of additional funding rounds, though one said it already had enough cash. “We’re not taking money,” said Michael Horn, founder of Brooklyn’s CraftCoffee.com. “We closed a round today and we’re oversubscribed.” CraftCoffee.com ships specialty coffees from around the world to its subscribers.
The full-capacity event, which may even have stretched a few room occupancy fire codes, was not all about trumpeting entrepreneurs who walked on air. Mixed in with the enthusiasm were notes of self-deprecation. Horn said he originally built CraftCoffee as an e-commerce site that stalled. “It was a total disaster; no one bought anything at all,” he said. Discussions with local coffee shop owners, he said, helped him refocus on specialty coffees for java lovers with discerning tastes.
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