It’s no secret that New York City’s startup ecosystem is booming. The City recently passed Boston to become the second largest venture capital investment hub, early stage investment in New York based companies has reached an all time high, and the City is now home to an ever-increasing roster of tech success stories.
As the New York startup community continues to mature and evolve, so has InSITE. This year we worked with startups in an unprecedented number of industries, broadened our services to serve increasingly later-stage companies, partnered with Sony and IBM to host the Always Be Closing event series, established the InSITE Research initiative, and launched several other special projects.
All of this hard work was on display last week at the InSITE Spring Pitch Event. The Event is our semester-capping showcase that brings together our Fellows, companies, venture capital partners, and other members of the New York startup ecosystem to share InSITE’s work and solicit investor feedback. This semester’s Event highlighted the breadth of InSITE’s work. Featured companies ranged in maturity from pre-launch and prefunding to 6 years old and thrice funded. They included fashion technology companies, medical hardware breakthroughs, social media apps, and everything in between.
The following list provides a snapshot of the companies that presented this semester.
· Threadmatcher: a social fashion recommendation platform that enables users to discover and purchase new gear without fear that they’ll show up to a party wearing the same outfit as their friend.
· BioDigital: a producer of state of the art biomedical visualization systems that improve training, communication, and the interpretation of medical information.
· Brevity: a video technology company that enables production studios and creative enterprises to dramatically reduce video data transfer and transcoding speeds and costs.
· Bug Labs: a machine-to-machine networking company that provides hardware and software solutions that power the “internet of things.”
· ColdSteel Laser: a medical technology company pioneering and commercializing a minimally invasive endoscopic laser surgery hardware and software solution.
· Social Bicycles: a bike sharing network featuring GPS-enabled bikes that riders can find and unlock using their mobile phone.
· Lifedots: a cloud-based solution to collect, organize and connect the cherished moments of your life anywhere, anytime, in a visually dynamic way.
These entrepreneurs received feedback from a panel of early stage investors including Brian Hirsch, Founder & Managing Director at Tribeca Venture Partners, David Aronoff, General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners, Jordan Elpern-Waxman, Senior Associate at Genecast Ventures, and Zach Schlidhorn, Vice President and Director of Operation at Lux Capital.
The Event also featured a recap of many of the special projects that Fellows worked on this semester. Featured projects included an InSITE Research deep dive into online video, consulting to startups in the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, and project analysis for AOL Venture’s rapid prototyping shop QLabs.
For the Fellows, this variety translated to a rich, wide-ranging and challenging learning experience. Listening to this semester’s entrepreneurs pitch, it was clear that the past few months have been a rewarding learning experience for them as well. We’d like to thank all of the companies, panelists and attendees who made the Spring Pitch Event such a success. This has been an exciting year and we’re looking forward to continuing to work to help InSITE and the broader New York startup community reach new heights in the future.
This post was written by Zak Schwarzman, Columbia Business School Class of 2013.