Event Coverage – Dingman Center Angels Investor Breakfast

October 14th, 2011 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

The Dingman Center Angel investor network is kicking off the season with 11 new members, adding to the group of 27 returning veteran investors.  Last season, over $1.2 Million was invested in 6 companies, from 132 that applied.

Capital Access Network (CAN) enables entrepreneurs of start-up companies in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and Delaware to connect with active, accredited angel investors. The purpose of the Capital Access Network (CAN) is to provide open and efficient access to early-stage capital for entrepreneurs in the DC Metro area.

The Dingman Center Angels pitch and investment season runs October to June, with monthly meetings featuring two to four pitch presentations per meeting.

The majority of the investors are looking to invest $25-50,000 per transaction, with most seeking to make 3-4 investments each this season.

The first meeting and pitch session took place October 12th featuring 4 companies; Airside Mobile, LocalUp, Urgnt.ly, and Venome.

The first to present was Hans Miller, CEO of Airside Mobile.  His app Airside Express offers users the ability to place food and drink orders for direct-to-gate delivery, parking space reservation, and multiple other service requests.

 

A user can link the app to their frequent flier numbers, where the app can access travel itineraries, knowing where the user will be and when.

Revenue opportunities come in many forms including Advertising, Branded Apps, and Revenue Sharing from in-app purchases (there is $7b spent yearly in retail, food, and parking at airports).

Their competitive advantage lies in partnerships in progress with HMS Host, and Master Card, industry knowledge and know-how, and critical mass (by locking in exclusive agreements with big retail and food chains).

Goals include $750k in revenue by 2013 and $3m by 2015, furthered by expansion into international airports.

With initial seed funding currently at $450k, they are seeking another $500k in convertible note with price cap.

This service really made an impression on me and the investors in the room, as this service could easily fill a much needed void in the market realizing sales for Starbucks and similar food providers through kitchens and prep areas in back-room space of airports, and serving a customer that might not have waited in line due to time constraints in making a flight.

The second presentation was made by Chris Jeffery, CEO of LocalUp Solutions.  LocalUp is the “Hyper-Local approach to Online Food Ordering and Restaurant Advertising.”

LocalUp is focused on secondary and tertiary markets (with over 150 markets where they can be a first-mover in the restaurant guide and ordering space)

Revenue streams can be achieved through:

  • Branded restaurant guides
  • Premium advertising platform
  • Online Ordering Application

The service is currently executed through a dual model: Direct and publisher (Licensing/franchising)

So far they have achieved $18m in sales

Looking for: $1.25m in funding

Mostly to allocate towards:

  • Tech development (40%)
  • Sales and marketing expansion (60%)

This pitch was the most figure-heavy of the lot, which was needed to exemplify the opportunity and performance in an already crowded market space.

 

 

Urgnt.ly was third to pitch, presenting a time and location relevant search platform. Where, for example, a plumber could alert the engine that he is in a certain area at a certain time, and is available for service, while a customer at that place and time would search for a plumber. Either service seekers, or service providers would utilize the space.  The engine would be free to consumers, with revenue generated when a service provider gets a revenue opportunity.

Their iphone app is built, while they are moving to launch android app soon.

Additionally, they are working on a buildout API in order to expand data to partner sites

This pitch was harder to follow speech, slow oral delivered content with overwhelming information on the slides, moving far to quickly to catch the important key facts.

The last pitch was presented by Kevin Lenane – Founder /CEO, and Product developer of Veenome. Veenome is a video processing platform that auto tags video ads over playback.

To hit the ground running, the service is starting with revenue sharing from purchases, a traditional pay through click model. The projection is that most revenue in the future will come from ad bidding for the products that are tagged in the videos.

There is significant competition in this space with Google goggles, Pokeware, Stipple, and luminate.  Veenome wants to get to the market first.

The funding ask was $500k mostly development (60%), and 40% management and customer acquisition costs.

I had the pleasure of seeing Kevin’s presentation 2 weeks ago at the angel review session.

It was amazing to see how this presentation has evolved, nearly completely different than the one I saw 2 weeks ago.  This had a heavier focus on social media sharing and response functionality. Kevin did a great job at heeding advice from the review session spending less time explaining the tech and more on the opportunity.  Overall, a solid product idea with potential.

I am excited for the investors, as Dingman has brought them fantastic opportunities.  I look forward to an exciting season ahead.

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