Gold Coast Venture Capital Association, Aug-2013 Meeting

On Wednesday, August 28, 2013 the Gold Coast Venture Capital Association (GCVCA) together with the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), South Florida chapter had organized a meeting in Boca Raton to bring together investors, entrepreneurs and other professionals in their Tru-Life series. Three CEOs presented about their companies, two of them actively seeking funding:

  • Cydec – a next-generation email and ecommerce platform, CEO Brett Fogle
  • Bookt – a SaaS company for the global short-term housing rental market, CEO Rob Kall
  • Feathr – a maker of conference apps for smartphones empowering people, CEO Aidan Augustin

It was a good networking event with about 50 people in attendance. Interestingly, one of the pitches (Feathr) was about how to improve the networking among people at conferences or events just like this via the use of smartphone apps and data-driven recommendations of who you should meet. The cost was a bit high ($65 for non-members), the dinner was so-so, and a few logistical items could have gone better, but overall a useful event to network. Attached below are my notes taken during the presentations.

Meeting Minutes from GCVCA and ACP event Aug-2013 in Boca Raton

Meeting Minutes from GCVCA and ACP event Aug-2013 in Boca Raton

  • GCVCA Coast Venture Capital (GCVCA) and Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) joint event with 3 founder pitches, 2 of them looking for funding.

    Robert Fitts, Trident Global LLC, Director

    Education, Association and Information on entrepreneurial opportunities

    Jim Craig, president of SF chapter of Association of Corporate Growth (ACG)
    Worldwide 15.000 members, mostly M&A transactions

    GCVCA meets the last Wed of every month, next month topic is crowdfunding

    • Agenda
      Event 8/28/13 at Embassy Suites, Boca Raton
      • Bookt
        Bookt is a B2B SaaS company addressing the $85 billion global short-term housing rental market. The firm is founded by a team of seasoned entrepreneurs with previous successful exits in real estate technology. With clients on six continents and exclusive partnerships with travel giants like TripAdvisor and HomeAway, Bookt is looking to increase its already rapid growth rate to become the leading software provider in this exciting industry.
        CEO, Rob Kall will present.

        • Product
          InstaManager = SaaS service for booking and travel industryGrowth of travel industry

          Vacation Rental market is booming, AirBnB

          Short-term rental is disrupting the hotel industry

          Integrated offering as a service

          Uses Big Data and Visualization

          Launched in 2011, now 200 clients around the world

          Acquisition cost $1k, lifetime value LTV $12.5k, annual value $4k

          Addressable market = 50.000 companies

          Mgmt team knows how to scale from prior companies and exits

          Focus on ease of integrating existing data

        • Business Model
          Transaction Based Subscription FeesPartner Rev-shares

          Setup Fees & Pro Services
          (Outsource at $20/h but bill at $100/h)

        • Q&A
          – LiveRez
          – HomeAway
          – Kigo.netSaaS businesses are sticky b/c of the switching pain away from your current solution
      • Cydec
        Cydec is a next-generation email and ecommerce platform that empowers website owners and marketers to make more money, work less, and have more time to work on their business vs. in their business. Cydec offers simple yet powerful tools for processing online sales, email marketing, managing affiliate partner sales, tracking advertising, and business automation. Cydec is a user friendly alternative to the complicated and confusing shopping carts and CRM’s in the marketplace today.
        Brett Fogle, Founder and CEO, will

        Wasn’t clear to me what technology differentiator and why it would be easier to use.

        • Motto
          Simple. Fast. Easy. Shopping cart solution90% of online businesses fail due to lack of proper tool support

          Costly packages, 9 of 10 users are unhappy with their current solution

          Cydec brings enterprise grade tools at small business prices

          Specialty: Charitable donations at the end of each transaction; goal is to raise $100m for various charities.
          Studies showed that people like to buy from companies who donate to charities.

        • Product
          Integrated CRM systemIncreases conversion rate and reduces abandonment rate

          Allows for automation of routine tasks

          Technology integrates Sales, Email Marketing, Reporting, Ad Tracking, Affiliate Mgmt

          Customized order forms etc.

          Integrating with other SaaS providers like email campaigns, payment providers, etc.

          Subscription based model, 3 tiers, $1000-$3000 per year

        • Q&A
          Who are your competitors?Fusionsoft, got $50m from Goldman, growth 50% YoY, but unpopular with users

          Current annual revenue ~100.000 per year

          Target market 1-25 employees, -$20m annual revenues.

          Goal is to exit by being sold to a larger company like MSFT, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey

      • Feathr
        Conferences are about people; Feathr makes conference apps that put people first. Feathr’s mobile solution helps attendees maximize their time at an event by intelligently suggesting which sessions, companies, and people are most relevant to them and making those connections happens. Our action-oriented user interface simplifies both first contact and post-event follow-up. Simply put, Feathr turns contacts into connections.
        Aidan Augustin, Co-Founder and CEO, will present.

        • Motto
          Dissatisfaction with existing networking by paper business cardsFeathr provides:
          – much easier networking
          – organizing events
          – follow up
          – opp for ads
          – who should I meet!
        • Product
          Feathr Smartphone apps & data analyticsTeam of nine full time

          Business opportunity 1.8m events $263B spend in US

          Key differentiators:
          – clean UI
          – focus on people and connections
          – HOLMES algo suggests who you should meet (machine learning)
          – create value for sponsors

          Revenue model:
          – simple event app $1k
          – multi-event app for $5k

          Path to success
          – measure traction and engagement metrics

          Launched in April-2013, breaking even on monthly run-rate.

          Expand to corporate events and local regional events (like Meetup)

          Increasingly powerful knowledge graph from HOLMES

        • Q&A
          What’s your penetration rate at typical events?
          – 45-50% , more at tech-savvy events – at today’s event we were <10%LinkedIn could be an exit target (to be bought by LI)

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